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Ryan Smith Alluding To Bringing An NHL Team To Utah

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Ryan Smith Alluding To Bringing An NHL Team To Utah

Ryan Smith really wants to see some NHL hockey in Utah. The Jazz owner is currently in the middle of a relentless pursuit to finalize an expansion/relocation with Gary Bettman and the league to make it happen. The latest example of this came yesterday when he posted asking for people to give potential names for a Salt Lake City franchise:

He started the groundwork for a new team earlier this year but has not stopped his efforts to complete it. Of course, the most obvious candidate to get moved out in this equation is the Arizona Coyotes. Despite committing to remaining in the area and building a new arena in nearby Scottsdale, the local government is not a fan of the idea. I have bashed Bettman over the failure of that team for a long time, but this is simply a bad break. There is no denying that hockey in the desert had a real chance of working way back when. That team used to be fun and good with Shane Doan leading the charge. Their best shot came in 2012 when they lost to the eventual champion LA Kings in the Conference Finals.

However, it looks to be a long road back to anywhere near that type of success. And besides, they watched a team five hours away in Vegas turn themselves from baby expansion team to constant contender in a span of five years. The Golden Knights own hockey in that region until further notice. And a move to Salt Lake City looks more and more on the card as this stadium situation remains unsolved.

Still A Chance?

NHL Insider Frank Seravalli touched on this topic and gave a really good glimpse into this. Watch it below:

As he said, there is not a zero percent chance that NHL hockey is dead in Arizona. And honestly, it could be a win-win situation. Let the team move in Utah where a new fanbase would probably welcome them with open arms. Seattle loves their Kraken and just look at how passionate Jazz fans are over there. Give the Coyotes a couple of years to move out of Mullett Arena and figure out where they could live. Once they’re ready, create a 33rd team that could have the exact same logo and branding as the current-day Coyotes. For all of the stupid problems the NHL creates for themselves, the game is growing. Scoring is up a ton over the recent future and young stars are in the driver’s seat to increase their popularity.

The NHL is on the precipice of passing the NFL for the Pro League with the most teams in it. Ryan Smith is obviously very confident in bringing only the second professional team to Utah. Keep your eyes on this, people!

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