Hockey Canada, which merged with the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association in 1994, is the national governing body of ice hockey and ice sledge hockey in Canada and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Hockey Canada controls a majority of ice hockey in Canada. There are some notable exceptions, such as the Canadian Hockey League and U Sports who are partnered with Hockey Canada, but are not members, as well as any of Canada's professional hockey clubs. Hockey Canada is based in Calgary, Alberta with a secondary office in Ottawa and regional centres in Toronto and Montreal, Quebec; the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association was founded on December 4, 1914, when 21 delegates from across Canada met at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. The organization was made to oversee the amateur level of the sport at the national level; the Allan Cup donated in 1908 by Sir H. Montagu Allan, was selected as the championship of amateur hockey in Canada. William Northey, the trustee of the Allan Cup, was named the first chairman, while Dr. W. F. Taylor was named the inaugural president.
The Memorial Cup was the junior amateur championship of Canada. In 1920, after the Winnipeg Falcons won the Allan Cup over the University of Toronto, they represented Canada at the 1920 Summer Olympic Games. Canada would go 3-0-0 to win the sport's first Olympic gold medal; the Ottawa and District Amateur Hockey Association joined in 1920, followed by the Maritime Amateur Hockey Association in 1928. On June 30, 1947, the CAHA, the National Hockey League and the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States makes an agreement that no player under the age of 18 can be signed as a professional player without the permission of their amateur club; that same year, the International Ice Hockey Federation changes the rules on amateur status. The rule change means the 1948 Allan Cup champion Royal Montreal Hockey Club were not eligible for the 1948 Winter Olympics, so the CAHA sent the RCAF Flyers instead and were victorious. At the 1952 Winter Olympics, the Edmonton Mercuries won their nation's last Olympic gold until 2002.
In 1961, the Trail Smoke Eaters won Canada's 19th and last world championship for 33 years at the 1961 World Ice Hockey Championships. In 1964, Father David Bauer formed the Canada's national team in response to the success of the programs set up by the Soviet Union and Sweden. Three years the CAHA opened its first national office, located in Winnipeg; the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association, led by association president Don Johnson, entered the CAHA in 1966. Johnson would become CAHA president in 1975; the New Brunswick Amateur Hockey Association left the Maritime AHA brand in 1968 and entered the CAHA as a member. In 1968, the Hockey Canada organization was founded to oversee Canada's national teams. In 1970, the CAHA's 13 Junior. Tier I, the Western Canada Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey Association, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, were eligible to compete for the Memorial Cup; the ten leagues of Tier II, would compete for the Manitoba Centennial Cup, donated by the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association.
In 1970, Canada pulled out of IIHF competition and would not return to the fold until 1977 in protest of the IIHF's soft stance on Soviet and Czechoslovakian teams using "professional amateurs" in international competition but not allowing professional players to compete for Canada. In 1972, Canada and the Soviet Union competed in the 1972 Summit Series. Canada's team was composed of NHL stars; the NHLers won the series 4-3-1. Two years the World Hockey Association represented Canada and lost the series 4-1-3. In 1976, the Canada Cup was formed as a best-on-best championship. In 1974, the Nova Scotia Amateur Hockey Association and Prince Edward Island Amateur Hockey Association are formed out of the dissolution of the Maritime AHA; the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships was held for the first time. Canada, who sent Memorial Cup champion teams in early years set up a national team and won their first gold medal at the 1982 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. In 1975, the QMJHL, WCJHL, the renamed Ontario Major Junior Hockey League form an umbrella organization known as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League.
With the creation of the CMJHL, the three league began initiating compensation talks with the NHL and WHA without CAHA input. In 1980, the CMJHL separated from the CAHA. With the separation of the CMJHL, Tier II was promoted to Junior A, although the Tier II title still persists in hockey vernacular. To this day, the CMJHL releases its players to Hockey Canada to play at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. In 1983, the first Abby Hoffman Cup was awarded to the Burlington Ladies as the Canadian national senior champions of women's hockey. In 1990, the forerunner to the Canadian Junior Hockey League was created as an umbrella organization, within the CAHA, to oversee Junior A hockey; the Canada women's national ice hockey team was formed in 1987 and won the first world championship that year. The 1990 IIHF Women's World Championship was the first official event won by Canada. In 1994, Team Canada would end a 33-year drought by winning the 1994 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. In 1996, Hockey Canada replaces the Manitoba Centennial Cup with the Royal Bank Cup as the championship of Junior A hockey.
In 1998, Hockey Canada and the CAHA merge into one organization. The International Olympic Committee elected to allow professional players to compete at the Olympics
2002–03 NHL season
The 2002–03 NHL season was the 86th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Stanley Cup winners were the New Jersey Devils, who won the best of seven series 4–3 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim; as always, the regular season saw several surprises. The San Jose Sharks, who many felt would be one of the elite teams in the West, stumbled early and badly disassembled much of the team; the two-year-old Minnesota Wild, on the other hand, got out to an early start and held onto their first-ever playoff berth throughout the season, winning coach Jacques Lemaire the Jack Adams Award. The elite teams of previous years such as the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils, were joined by two younger Canadian teams, the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks; the Dallas Stars, which had missed the playoffs the year before, returned as a major power, backed by the record-setting goaltending of Marty Turco. The most surprising team was the Tampa Bay Lightning, which many had predicted to finish last, winning their first Southeast Division title and making the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
The most disappointing teams, other than the Sharks, were the New York Rangers, who finished out of the playoffs again despite bearing the league's leading payroll, the Carolina Hurricanes, who finished last overall after a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final the year before. On January 8, 2003, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Michael Leighton gained a shutout in his NHL debut in a 0–0 tie versus the Phoenix Coyotes. Coyotes goaltender Zac Bierk earned his first career shutout, it was the first—and with the abolition of ties two years the only—time that two goalies in the same game both earned their first career shutouts. At the midpoint of the season, the Canucks lead Ottawa lead the East. Vancouver stumbled somewhat over the stretch and lost the Northwest Division title to Colorado and the Western Conference to Dallas. Ottawa continued to dominate, having the best season in franchise history and winning both the Eastern Conference and the Presidents' Trophy; the season was marred by financial difficulties.
Despite their success, the Ottawa Senators were in bankruptcy protection for all of 2003, at one point could not pay the players. Owner Rod Bryden tried a variety of innovative financing strategies, but these all failed and the team was purchased after the season by billionaire Eugene Melnyk; the Buffalo Sabres entered bankruptcy protection before being bought by New York businessman Tom Golisano. The financial struggles of the Pittsburgh Penguins continued as the team continued to unload its most expensive players; the season was marked by a great number of coaches being fired, from Bob Hartley in Colorado to Darryl Sutter in San Jose and Bryan Trottier of the New York Rangers. Worries over the decline in scoring and the neutral zone trap continued; the season began with an attempted crack down on obstruction and interference, but by the midpoint of the season this effort had petered out. Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast P- Clinched Presidents Trophy.
Divisions: PA – Pacific, CE – Central, NW – Northwest Z- Clinched Conference. NHL Official Guide and Record Book 2009. NHL. p. 156. Note: All dates in 2003; the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs was one of shocking upsets in the Western Conference and hard fought battles in the Eastern Conference. The most watched series in the first round was that between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers. Two teams built around physical play with high salary and front-page trade deadline acquisitions; the series did not disappoint and the Flyers ousted the Leafs in seven games. The Senators dispatched the New York Islanders, who had traded away their starting goaltender before the playoffs. Despite losing the first two games, Tampa Bay rallied and defeated their division rival the Washington Capitals. New Jersey defeated the Boston Bruins shutting down star player Joe Thornton. In the west, the first round was one of unmitigated shock to all hockey watchers; the defending champions and perennial cup favourite Detroit Red Wings were swept by the underdog Mighty Ducks of Anaheim behind the goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
After losing three out of the first four games, the Minnesota Wild came back and defeated the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche in game seven. Vancouver lost three of its first four games with the St. Louis Blues, but rallied and won game seven; the only round that surprised no one was round seven of the Dallas Stars–Edmonton Oilers grudge match that saw the first place Stars oust the Oilers with only some difficulty. The second round in the west brought more upsets; the Minnesota Wild again fell 3–1 behind while playing Vancouver, but rallied and defeated them in seven games. Giguère's stellar goaltending continued to triumph; the Western Conference final was a meeting of two dark horse teams, but the superb goaltending of Giguère and the Ducks triumphed over the tight checking of the Minnesota Wild. This was the first time since 1994 that a team other than Detroit, Colorado, or Dallas had won the Western conference and earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Final; these playoffs signaled an end to the dominance of the afore mentioned thre
2000–01 NHL season
The 2000–01 NHL season was the 84th regular season of the National Hockey League. Thirty teams each played 82 games; the Stanley Cup winners were the Colorado Avalanche, who won the best of seven series 4–3 against the New Jersey Devils. The focus of Colorado's Stanley Cup run was on star defenseman Ray Bourque, on a quest to win his first Stanley Cup championship in his illustrious 22-year career; as of 2019, this was the last time that both teams who clinched conference went to the Stanley Cup finals. Two expansion teams, the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets, joined the league at the beginning of the season, increasing the number of NHL teams to 30; the Blue Jackets would join the Central Division. This divisional alignment would remain static until the 2013–14 season; this was the first time the NHL would have a team in Minnesota since the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas, Texas in 1993, the first time for Ohio since the Cleveland Barons merged with the North Stars in 1978.
The Dallas Stars played their final season at the Reunion Arena before moving to the American Airlines Center in 2001. On December 27, 2000, Mario Lemieux returned from his three-and-a-half-year retirement and, in a game nationally televised on Hockey Night in Canada, registered his first assist 33 seconds into the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he went on to add a goal and finish with three points, solidifying his return and bringing a struggling Jaromir Jagr back to his elite status, who went on to win his fourth straight Art Ross Trophy, narrowly surpassing Joe Sakic. Despite playing in only 43 games in 2000–01, Lemieux scored 76 points to finish 26th in scoring, finishing the season with the highest points-per-game average that season among NHL players. Lemieux was one of the three finalists for the Hart Memorial Lester B. Pearson Award; the record for most shutouts in a season was eclipsed. Note: CR = Conference rank. Note: CR = Conference rank. Note: CR = Conference rank. Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast Z- Clinched Conference.
Note: CR = Conference rank. Note: CR = Conference rank. Divisions: CEN – Central, PAC – Pacific, NW – Northwest bold – Qualified for playoffs; the Washington Capitals, another Stanley Cup favorite, were knocked out in the first round by their longtime rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The darkhorse Penguins made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Final, where they were dispatched in five games by the New Jersey Devils. During the first three rounds home ice is determined by seeding number, not position on the bracket. In the Finals the team with the better regular season record has home ice; the presentation ceremonies were held in Toronto. Atlanta Thrashers: Curt Fraser Boston Bruins: Mike Keenan Buffalo Sabres: Lindy Ruff Carolina Hurricanes: Paul Maurice Florida Panthers: Duane Sutter Montreal Canadiens: Michel Therrien New Jersey Devils: Larry Robinson New York Islanders: Butch Goring and Lorne Henning New York Rangers: Ron Low Ottawa Senators: Jacques Martin Philadelphia Flyers: Craig Ramsay and Bill Barber Pittsburgh Penguins: Ivan Hlinka Tampa Bay Lightning: Steve Ludzik Toronto Maple Leafs: Pat Quinn Washington Capitals: Ron Wilson Mighty Ducks of Anaheim: Guy Charron Calgary Flames: Don Hay Chicago Blackhawks: Alpo Suhonen Colorado Avalanche: Bob Hartley Columbus Blue Jackets: Dave King Dallas Stars: Ken Hitchcock Detroit Red Wings: Scotty Bowman Edmonton Oilers: Craig MacTavish Los Angeles Kings: Andy Murray Minnesota Wild: Jacques Lemaire Nashville Predators: Barry Trotz Phoenix Coyotes: Bobby Francis San Jose Sharks: Darryl Sutter St. Louis Blues: Joel Quenneville Vancouver Canucks: Marc Crawford Note: GP = Games played.
Western Hockey League
The Western Hockey League is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitutes the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada. Teams play for the Ed Chynoweth Cup, with the winner moving on to play for the Memorial Cup, Canada's national junior championship. WHL teams have won the Memorial Cup 19 times since the league became eligible to compete for the trophy. Many players have been drafted from WHL teams, have found success at various levels of professional hockey, including the National Hockey League; the league was founded in 1966, as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, with seven western Canadian teams in Saskatchewan and Alberta. From 1967, the league was renamed the Western Canada Hockey League, before the admission of American based teams in the league and renaming as the Western Hockey League commencing in 1978, up to present day; the league was the brainchild of Bill Hunter, who intended to build a western league capable of competing with the top leagues in Ontario and Quebec.
Considered an "outlaw league" by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, the WCHL was sanctioned as the top junior league in Western Canada when junior hockey was reorganized in 1970. Today, the WHL comprises 22 teams, divided into two conferences of two divisions; the Eastern Conference comprises 12 teams from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, while the Western Conference comprises ten teams from British Columbia, the US states of Washington and Oregon. Despite winning the 1966 Memorial Cup, the Edmonton Oil Kings' owner, Bill Hunter, was growing concerned about the state of junior hockey in western Canada; each of the West's four provinces had its own junior league, Hunter felt that this put them at a disadvantage when competing nationally against the powerful leagues in Ontario and Quebec. Desiring stronger competition, Hunter's Oil Kings competed in the Alberta Senior Hockey League rather than the Alberta Junior Hockey League; the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association informed the Oil Kings that they were required to play in a junior hockey league for the 1966–67 season or would be held ineligible to compete for the Memorial Cup.
This led Hunter to form a new league with five former members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, the Estevan Bruins, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Moose Jaw Canucks, Weyburn Red Wings, to leave the SJHL and join the Oil Kings and the Calgary Buffaloes in a new league known as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League. Despite concerns that this new league would see the demise of the Alberta and Saskatchewan leagues, the governing bodies in both provinces sanctioned the new league; the CAHA did not, declaring the CMJHL to be an "outlaw league" and suspending all teams and players from participation in CAHA sanctioned events. The new league accused the CAHA of overstepping its boundaries and with the support of the players and their families, chose to play the season regardless; the new league deliberately avoided including the term "Western" in its moniker, as some of its founders wanted to keep open the possibility of inviting top Eastern junior clubs to join in a national elite junior league in case negotiations with the CAHA reached a complete impasse.
The CMJHL renamed itself the Western Canada Hockey League in 1967, adding four new teams to total 11 as the league stretched east into Manitoba. Concerns over the WCHL's relationship with the CAHA led the Pats and Red Wings to withdraw before the 1968–69 season, returning to the SJHL; when the CAHA reorganized junior hockey in 1971, it named the WCHL one of three Tier I Major-Junior leagues, along with the Ontario Hockey Association's Tier I division and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The first decade of the WCHL saw constant expansion and franchise movement as the league spread throughout the West; the Flin Flon Bombers became the league's first powerhouse team, led by future NHL stars Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach. The Brandon Wheat Kings and Swift Current Broncos joined in 1967, the Medicine Hat Tigers in 1970; the WCHL became a western league in 1971 when Estevan moved to B. C. to become the New Westminster Bruins, joined by expansion franchises the Victoria Cougars and Vancouver Nats.
In the mid 1970s, the New Westminster Bruins became the WCHL's first true dynasty, capturing four consecutive championships between 1975 and 1978. The Bruins won back-to-back Memorial Cups in 1977 and 1978. In 1976, the Oil Kings succumbed to the competing Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association and relocated to Portland to become the Winter Hawks, the WCHL's first American franchise. With the addition of American teams in Seattle and Billings a year the WCHL shortened its name to the Western Hockey League; the 1980s were marked by several brawls that involved police intervention, one of the most bizarre trades in hockey history, the tragic deaths of four players in a bus crash. Early in the 1980–81 WHL season, Medicine Hat Tigers GM/Coach Pat Ginnell traded blows with a linesman during a bench clearing brawl against the Lethbridge Broncos. Ginnell was found guilty of assault, fined $360, suspended for 36 games by the WHL. In March 1982 a violent brawl between the Regina Pats and Calgary Wranglers saw the two teams collectively fined $2250 and players suspended for 73 games combined.
Pats coach Bill LaForge would end up in a courtroom that season when he got into an altercation with a fan. LaForge was acquitted when the judge noted that it was hard to convict a man for assault when faced with "an obnoxious person trying to get into the coach's area." LaForge resigned following the sea
Guy Joseph Jean Charron is a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre. He played in the NHL from 1969–1981, he served as the head coach of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers. Guy is the Commissioner of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League. A product of the Montreal Canadiens' system, Charron played twenty games with the Canadiens before he was traded during the middle of the 1970–71 NHL season to the Detroit Red Wings in the monster deal that sent Frank Mahovlich to Montreal, he played with the Red Wings until he was traded to the expansion Kansas City Scouts in 1974. Prior to the 1976–77 NHL season, Charron signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals, where he played until he retired following the 1980–81 NHL season. Despite playing in 734 NHL regular season games, he never appeared in a single playoff game, an NHL record. Won the 1999–2000 Commissioner's Trophy. 1 Midseason replacement Captain Guy Charron career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
Metallurg Magnitogorsk is a professional ice hockey team based in Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia. They are members of the Kharlamov Division of the Kontinental Hockey League, they competed in the Champions Hockey League, losing the 2008–09 season championship round to the ZSC Lions of the Swiss ice hockey league National League A. Metallurg Magnitogorsk won the Gagarin Cup in the 2013–14 KHL season and the 2015–16 KHL season. Metallurg was founded in 1955 by the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works as a Class B team that competed in the Chelyabinsk Oblast and the RSFSR championships. Since the 80s it joined the Second League of the Soviet Class A and won its championships twice, in 1988–89 and 1989–90 seasons. After two more seasons in the second level of the USSR hockey Magnitogorsk club became one of the founders of the International Hockey League, the first Post-Soviet major pro hockey association. During the 1990s, the team worked up a reputation as one of the top Russian teams of the new era.
Magnitogorsk advanced to the Russian Superleague finals six times becoming a three-time champion of Russia. On 1 October 2008, Metallurg Magnitogorsk played against NHL's New York Rangers in the inaugural Victoria Cup at the PostFinance-Arena in Bern with an attendance of 13,794. Metallurg Magnitogorsk led most of the game, 3–0 at one point, but lost 4–3 by the Rangers' Ryan Callahan breakaway goal with 20 seconds remaining in the game. Denis Platonov, Vladimir Malenkikh and Nikolai Zavarukhin scored for Metallurg, Dan Fritsche scored and Chris Drury scored twice for the Rangers; as a sign of respect, Russian Dmitri Kalinin and Ukrainian Nikolay Zherdev accepted the Victoria Cup trophy on behalf of the New York Rangers. American analysts and broadcasters reported a rumor that team management was to reward all 22 the Metallurg Magnitogorsk players $100,000 USD for victory. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Metallurg Magnitogorsk seasons. Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTW = Overtime/Shootout Wins, OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against Updated March 13, 2019.
Gagarin Cup Winners: 2014, 2016 Runners-up: 2017Opening Cup Winners: 2014-15, 2016-17Russian Superleague Winners: 1998–99, 2000–01, 2006–07 Runners-up: 1997–98, 2003–04 3rd place: 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2007–08Silver Stone Trophy Winners: 1999, 2000, 2008Champions Hockey League Runners-up: 2008–09Spengler Cup Winners: 2005Victoria Cup Runners-up: 2008Tampere Cup Winners: 2005, 2006, 2008Hockeyades Winners: 2009Davos Hockey Summit Runners-up: 2018 Scoring leadersThese are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated. Note: Pos = Position.
The Arizona Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the Coyotes first played at America West Arena in downtown Phoenix, before moving to Glendale's Gila River Arena in 2003. In 2021, the Coyotes are scheduled to return to the Central Division when an expansion team in Seattle joins the league; the Coyotes were founded on December 1971, as the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association. After the WHA had ceased operations, they were one of four franchises absorbed into the National Hockey League and granted membership on June 22, 1979; the Jets moved to Phoenix on July 1, 1996, were renamed the Phoenix Coyotes. The NHL took ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise in 2009 after owner Jerry Moyes turned it over to the league after declaring bankruptcy. Spending several years finding prospective owners who would not move the franchise out of Metro Phoenix, the NHL completed the sale of the Coyotes to IceArizona Acquisition Co.
LLC. led by Andrew Barroway, on August 5, 2013. On June 27, 2014, the team changed its geographic name from "Phoenix" to "Arizona", modified its secondary logo. On June 26, 2015, the team introduced updated jerseys for the 2015–16 NHL season; the Coyotes continue to be at odds with the city of Glendale and the use of Gila River Arena, but has signed a lease through the 2018–19 season. The team began play as the Winnipeg Jets, one of the founding franchises in the World Hockey Association; the Jets were the most successful team in the short-lived WHA, winning the Avco World Trophy, the league's championship trophy, three times and making the finals five out of the WHA's seven seasons. It became one of the four teams admitted to the NHL as part of a merger when the financially struggling WHA folded in 1979. However, the club was never able to translate its WHA success into the NHL after the merger; the merger's terms allowed the established NHL teams to reclaim most of the players that had jumped to the upstart league, the Jets lost most of their best players in the ensuing reclamation draft.
As a result, they finished last in the NHL during their first two seasons, including a nine-win season in 1980–81, still the worst in franchise history. However, they recovered quickly, making the playoffs 11 times in the next 15 seasons, but the Jets only won two playoff series due to being in the same division as the powerful Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. Because of the way the playoffs were structured for much of their Winnipeg run, the team was all but assured of having to defeat either the Oilers or the Flames to reach the Conference Finals. In 1984–85, for instance, they finished with the fifth-best record in the NHL, only to be eliminated by the Oilers in the division finals. Two seasons they dispatched the Flames in the first round, only to be eliminated again by the Oilers in the division finals; the franchise would not win another playoff series for 25 years. The Jets ran into financial trouble. Winnipeg was the second-smallest market in the NHL for most of the Jets' existence, after the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver in 1995 to become the Colorado Avalanche, it became the smallest market.
In addition, the club's home arena, Winnipeg Arena, was one of the smallest in the league. Despite strong fan support, several attempts to keep the team in Winnipeg fell through. In December 1995, Jerry Colangelo, owner of the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns. After the franchise considered "Mustangs", "Outlaws", "Wranglers" and "Freeze", a name-the-team contest yielded the nickname "Coyotes", which finished ahead of the second-place "Scorpions". In the summer the move occurred, Jets star Alexei Zhamnov left the team, while the team added established superstar Jeremy Roenick from the Chicago Blackhawks. Roenick teamed up with power wingers Keith Tkachuk and Rick Tocchet to form a dynamic 1–2–3 offensive punch that led the Coyotes through their first years in Arizona. Impressive were young players like Shane Doan, Oleg Tverdovsky and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, whom the fans nicknamed the "Bulin Wall". Another key addition to the squad was veteran forward Mike Gartner, who had joined from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Despite his experience and scoring his 700th career goal on December 15, 1997, Gartner battled injuries in the latter half of the 1997–98 season. The Coyotes did not renew his contract and he retired at the end of the season. After arriving in Phoenix, the team posted six consecutive.500 or better seasons, making the playoffs in every year but one. The one time they did not make the playoffs, in 2000–01, they became the first team to earn 90 points and miss the playoffs; the Coyotes' original home, America West Arena, was suboptimal for hockey. Although considered a state-of-the-art arena when built for the Phoenix Suns, unlike most modern arenas, it was not designed with a hockey rink in mind; the floor was just large enough to fit a standard NHL rink, forcing the Coyotes to hastily re-engineer it to accommodate the 200-foot rink. The configuration left a portion of one end of the upper deck hanging over the boards and ice, obscuring a third of the rink and one goal from several sections; as a result, listed capacity had to be cut down from over 18,000 seats to just over 16,000 – the second-smallest in the league at the time – after the first season.