The NHL may be coming to Utah sooner than expected.

According to a report from Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the league is currently working on two versions of next year’s schedule: one where the Arizona Coyotes remain in the Grand Canyon state and another where the franchise plays in Salt Lake City.

Arizona has experienced continual issues in its effort to build a new arena. As the team makes its temporary home in the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena (4,600 capacity for hockey) at Arizona State University, the option of finding a new home in a different state is actively being explored.

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith is currently attempting to bring an NHL franchise to Salt Lake City, having met with league officials and even taking to social media this week to ask for team name suggestions.

While most believed Smith’s NHL efforts were aimed at landing an expansion franchise, the Coyotes’ drama has made the possibility of bringing the existing franchise to Utah more plausible.

As of last December, Forbes had Arizona valued at a league-low $500 million, though Seravalli said Smith would have to pay upwards of $1.2 billion for the club.

“We are interested. We are ready, and we’re a partner,” Smith told The Athletic this week. “The arena is done. We think we have a solution. And that’s my message to the NHL.”


Seravalli also posted to X Wednesday afternoon that the NHL, Coyotes and Smith have made “significant progress” on a relocation agreement.

Any hockey team in Utah would share the Delta Center with the Jazz until a new arena suitable for both sports can be constructed.

Seravalli wrote that Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo is “intimately involved” in both scheduling options for next season. While Meruelo could strike a deal with Smith, he could also take advantage of June 27′s Arizona State Land Trust auction to purchase land for a new arena in the Phoenix area.

The Coyotes are 33-40-5 on the season and out of the playoff picture. They’ve missed postseason play four times in the past five years.

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