5 cities the NHL must consider relocating the Arizona Coyotes to in the near future

It looks like the NHL is looking to relocate the Arizona Coyotes, and Salt Lake City is the clear-cut frontrunner, but we’re still in the ‘wait and see’ phase.
Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks
Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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The Arizona Coyotes are yet again in a rut, this time with potential resistance coming from those running Scottsdale as the reason that could play a role in preventing the team from buying land just outside the city and building an arena to keep them in town.

Clearly, playing in a college arena that only seats a few thousand spectators isn’t a good look for a top-tier professional sports league like the NHL, so there is a good chance that this team won’t continue playing in the desert much longer. 

If that’s the case, it may open the door for several cities to try and lure the franchise to town with the hopes of it turning into a powerhouse. Sources like ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshnyski have reported Salt Lake City, Utah, as the frontrunner and the move would make sense geographically since the Coyotes play in the Central Division, and it wouldn’t force yet another realignment. 

But with this being so early in the process and the possibility that any potential deal to move the team to Salt Lake City could always fall through, why not get speculative and talk about five other cities the NHL should also consider? 

Several cities deserve a chance to lure the Coyotes to town

Atlanta, Georgia, is another area that has been in the news lately about a potential NHL return, and they would already have a sound nickname and color scheme that the Winnipeg Jets left behind. Bringing back the Thrashers would be great, but does the NHL really want to return to Atlanta after losing not one but two franchises to different cities?

If you’ve been an NHL fan for a while, you may remember when the Atlanta Flames took the ice before they moved to Calgary. And if you’re younger, you may have memories of the Thrashers prior to them moving to Winnipeg and resurrecting the Jets, who, as irony would have it, replaced the franchise that moved to Arizona. 

So, the cities listed in the following slides are not named Salt Lake City or Atlanta, as they would be too obvious. But let’s talk about two towns that formerly held NHL franchises and should at least be in consideration to get one back, plus three others that could be deserving.