Imagine Phoenix in the 1870s (just before its incorporation as a city). Hot all year round, and not even one ice cube for yr firewater. Imagine it in 1923, when Canadians were still the only ones playing hockey. Imagine it in 1948, when Glendale became the first city in AZ to have all of its streets paved, or in 1973, the year before the inauguration of the first failed hockey franchise in the city. No doubt Jerry Moyes and Wayne Gretzky yearn for those carefree days, back when the concept of ice hockey in the desert was collectively regarded as pitiable lunacy.
Moyes’ and Gretzky’s Coyotes have probably delayed their banishment from PHX for another year by continuing to suckle at the charitable teat of the NHL, as described in this column by someone from where hockey belongs. But you don’t have to attend more than one game at Jobbed.com Arena to understand that this bailout is merely delaying the inevitable exodus of the team to a proper climate (and we know their next home will be more suitable than here, because the only town shittier for hockey than PHX is Tucson, and only assholes and gila monsters live there).
Just because the technology exists to generate and maintain a massive sheet of ice when it is hot enough to burn air outside does not mean you should do it. However, one cannot advocate the abolition of ice hockey in the desert without acknowledging the support that the sport once received. The first few years of Coyotes hockey were not only sucessful, seeing over-.500 seasons, but they were also a well-attended event. And before you cast that off as typical PHX bandwagonism, take note of the beloved franchise that the Coyotes mercilessly slaughtered, the IHL version of the Phoenix Roadrunners. There is support for hockey because Phoenicians are a motley crew of cast-off detritus from other cities, some of them northerners who actually love hockey. That said, the fact remains that each hockey franchise in this city has gone down in flames, a testament to the opinion that the meager appreciation for the sport does not outweigh the cost of performing it in this arid region.
The Coyotes are advised to get out of town before they promptly follow in the footsteps of the Roadrunners III, the ECHL team that is shutting down as we speak.