Coyotes Ice, NHL’s Coyotes form multi-year partnership
The Arizona Coyotes continue to contribute and be a major cog in the fruitful growth of hockey in Arizona and recently announced that the team has entered into a new partnership agreement with Coyotes Ice, LLC, the owner and operator of Ice Den Scottsdale and Ice Den Chandler.
As part of the multi-year agreement, Ice Den Scottsdale will serve as the official practice facility for the Coyotes. Additionally, the new agreement includes marketing and event-related initiatives that will positively impact and grow the grassroots core of fans that the Coyotes have worked to establish and cultivate over the past 20 years in the Valley.
“We are extremely pleased to continue our great partnership with the Ice Den,” said Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc. “For the past 20 years, the Coyotes and the Ice Den have done an exceptional job of growing the game of hockey in Arizona. This strong partnership will provide us with an opportunity to work together to promote and cultivate our great sport.”
Ice Den Scottsdale has consistently been ranked as one of the Top 10 skating facilities in the United States by USA Today. Among its many attributes is the fact that it houses the single largest adult and youth hockey programs in the state. In addition, the facility has one of the largest Learn to Skate programs in the country. In 2014, the Ice Den expanded its footprint with the acquisition of Ice Den Chandler. Following a more-than $5-million renovation, which brought that facility up to NHL standards, Coyotes Ice now operates a total of five sheets of ice in the Valley.
Over the past 20 years, the Ice Den has proudly represented the Coyotes by wearing the team’s logo and colors. The Jr. Coyotes Elite players represent the local NHL team internationally in the most positive fashion. The program has sent more than 40 players on to the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior program, the Canadian Hockey League (Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League – all Major Junior leagues), multiple Canadian Tier II junior hockey leagues and the North American Hockey League (NAHL), the lone USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II league in the U.S.
Erik Middendorf, a former star with the Jr. Coyotes Elite AAA program, plays for the United States National Team Development Program (the same program that Scottsdale native Auston Matthews played for and was later drafted first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in June) in Plymouth, Mich., and recently committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Denver (NCHC).
That level of excellence would not have been reached without a partnership focused on excellence. Former Coyotes players such as Ray Whitney, Tyson Nash, Daymond Langkow, Derek Morris and Steve Sullivan, as well as numerous retired NHL players and top-level minor league veterans, have all invested their time and experience to help the Jr. Coyotes program succeed.
“We have been the proud ambassador of the Coyotes brand since 1998 and it is an honor we don’t take for granted,” said Coyotes Ice president Michael O’Hearn. “Having gained the organization’s trust and respect over that time, we see this next step in the process as a natural evolution. With so many young, talented players, the Coyotes have an extremely bright future. We see our responsibility to further the growth of future hockey stars and fans through our Learn to Skate, pre-hockey and youth hockey development programs, which positively impact the youth of Arizona.”
In addition to being “home” to the Coyotes for game day practices, Ice Den Scottsdale and Ice Den Chandler will also host six Coyotes viewing parties throughout the 2016-17 NHL season on select game days.
Game dates and locations will be announced in the future.
– Matt Mackinder