Arena Trouble, Chief Influence Officer, & Other

There’s been no shortage of news this week for the Arizona Coyotes, both on and off the ice, so there’s a lot of ground to cover in this latest edition of Coyotes news and rumors. For starters, the team’s arena proposal with the City of Tempe is apparently in jeopardy, unless a few more city council members are convinced the team’s financial troubles are a thing of the past. Arizona’s new Chief Impact Officer Nadia Rivera is now in the news. She will also be serving as the Executive Director for Foundation and Community Impact.

Related: Coyotes Corner: Homestand to Conclude With Matthews’ Return

Pressing on, the club is still seeing the impact of COVID-19 within the organization, the team is set to hold its Skatin’ for Leighton event, and its most recent addition of Riley Nash scored his first game.

Let’s dive in!

Report: Tempe Arena Proposal in Jeopardy

The Coyotes’ response to the City of Tempe’s request for proposals is no secret, however, a recent report from NHL and team insider Craig Morgan indicates the town itself is not currently on board with the project (From: ‘Coyotes’ Tempe arena proposal on thin ice,’, Jan. 9, 2022).

According to sources, the Coyotes don’t currently have enough votes on the Tempe City Council for approval of their $1.7 billion entertainment district and arena proposal.

Morgan’s article indicates that the Coyotes do not have enough support from the city council to move forward with the project, though it is still very much under review. The problem is not insurmountable. The team’s recent late payments on its taxes and bills, in which Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps indicated the team The door would be locked. of Gila River Arena if it didn’t become current on its financial obligations.

The Coyotes quickly responded and paid up, but the article quotes a source with knowledge of the ongoing discussions and indicated, among other things, “Those stories hurt tremendously.”

Glendale announced yesterday that HOK, an architectural firm, has been hired. to “reimagine” Gila River ArenaThis indicates that the Coyotes are moving on. The team has yet to find a home beyond this season.

Gila River Arena
Glendale is clearly moving ahead from the Arizona Coyotes.

Fans interested in voicing their opinion should note the next city council meeting is Thursday at 5 pm Arizona time, and there’s You can also submit your online petitionThe idea was to circulate the information in the hopes that it would be approved by the local officials.

Nadia Rivera Named Chief Impact Officer

Outside of the ongoing arena saga, the team’s promise and commitment to hockey in Arizona continually appears to move forward. Monday’s announcement by the Coyotes, Chief Impact Officer, was made by Nadia Rivera, founder and CEO of the team. TGen Women’s Philanthropy Council and former Chief Development Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, was named to the position.

“We are thrilled to have Nadia join our Pack to lead our community impact efforts,” Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said in a release. “The Arizona Coyotes are committed to being leaders in our community and Nadia’s dedication to building vibrant Arizona communities is distinguishable through her professional and personal endeavors. Nadia is a 17-year veteran of nonprofit management. She has been instrumental in advancing bold and effective organizational missions using the power of philanthropy. She will be an extremely valuable addition to our organization.”

The position will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of community impact, including the Arizona Coyotes Foundation, and will also lead the club’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and drive the team’s community engagement and social responsibility initiatives, according to the release.

Tourigny, Wedgewood Among Those in COVID Protocol

Arizona’s practice on Monday was abruptly cancelled after A number of coaches are available to help players and their parents. tested positive for COVID-19, putting Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in question.

Coach André Tourigny, goaltending coach Corey Schwab, and players Jakob Chychrun, Cam Dineen, Anton Strålman and Scott Wedgewood were all placed into COVID protocol, with more testing to be conducted Tuesday morning. In the interim, the Coyotes called up defensemen Victor Soderstrom (and Vladislav Kolyachonok) and goalie Ivan Prosvetov (both from the AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners) to their taxi team.

The status is changing rapidly, but at the time of this post’s publishing, no new positive tests were present, and the game is expected to take place on Wednesday. Should that happen, it’s entirely possible that assistant coaches Phil Housley or Cory Stillman could take the helm for the game.

Skatin’ For Leighton Set For Jan. 30

Arizona is partnering with Phoenix Children’s Hospital to host Skatin’ for LeightonThe Leighton Accardo Memorial Fund is a fund that supports young girls interested in playing hockey. The event allows people to skate, walk, or run at Phoenix Raceway, and recruit donors for every lap that’s completed around the track.

I get asked a lot what people can do for Matt right now. Sign up for Skatin For Leighton today.
Matty loved Leighton dearly and was a huge supporter of all her fund’s work. Please sign up or donate today if you can 💜.

Lyndsey Fry, the Coyotes’ Director of External Engagement, traveled 96 miles in in-line skates on Feb. 21, 2021, and raised $49,000 in memory of Accardo, who at just nine years old courageously battled Stage 4 cancer before passing away in November 2020. The team continues her legacy. The event also comes on the heels of the untimely passing of the Coyotes’ Senior Director of Hockey Development Matt Shott, who at age 34 passed away this past December after a long battle with liver cancer.

Fans are encouraged to attend and donate — both of which this particular writer will be doing, as well. I hope you can join me there.

Riley Nash Records Assists with Coyotes Debut

Arizona claimed veteran forward Riley Nash off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning last week, and the 32-year-old had an instant impact after recording an assist in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. The former first-round selection (21st overall in 2007) was brought in to help the team with a slew of injuries, impacting forwards Jay Beagle, Ryan Dzingel, and Dmitrij Jaškin.

After failing to score in 10 games against the Lightning and 15 with the Winnipeg Jets, the assist was his first point for the season.

Coyotes On Deck

Arizona is set to host the Maple Leafs on Wednesday — pending additional COVID tests, of course, before facing the Colorado Avalanche in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The team will then host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday afternoon before heading out on the road for the next four games.