Alex Meruelo officially relinquishes his rights to the Arizona Coyotes

Cooper Godin
July 10, 2024  (4:20 PM)

Former Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo.
Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Coyotes brand is no longer under the ownership of Alex Meruelo according to the National Hockey League.

According to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports, National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has confirmed that Alex Meruelo has relinquished his rights to the Arizona Coyotes and is no longer the owner of their brand.
"Per NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly,
Alex Meruelo has agreed to and signed all of the necessary agreements and paperwork to relinquish his rights to the Coyotes. The process is complete." Morgan said.

A report first came out in the middle of the Stanley Cup celebrations back in June that Alex Meruelo was no longer pursuing an arena deal in Arizona and would be walking away as the team's owner. That news came just days after it was announced that the Arizona State Land Department cancelled a land auction that Meruelo was set to participate in because it wasn't zoned for an NHL arena.
While Coyotes fans are likely happy that Meruelo is no longer the team's owner and that it opens up the possibility for new people to get involved in bringing them back, it also means that the five-year window for Arizona to return to the NHL can no longer happen. As part of the Coyotes' non-traditional relocation to Utah, Meruelo was given a five-year window to bring them back as an expansion franchise, but that is not transferable to any other prospective owner.
As for the Coyotes' brand, logos, colours, etc., that is expected to be returned to the National Hockey League. But there's another interesting wrinkle to this that leaves many questions. The Coyotes joined the NHL back in 1996 after the Winnipeg Jets 1.0 franchise relocated to Arizona. Some people are now wondering what happens to the Jets 1.0 history, logos, branding and want it to be given to the current Winnipeg Jets.
Fans in the desert will have to wait quite a while for the National Hockey League to return, but it's not guaranteed at this point until a stable ownership group comes in and shows they can do a better job than Alex Meruelo. Even then, they'll have to go through an official expansion process and will be competing with other cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Portland, Quebec City, among others.
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Alex Meruelo officially relinquishes his rights to the Arizona Coyotes

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