Arizona Coyotes owner responds to relocation rumors.

Arizona Coyotes owner responds to relocation rumors.

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo speaks out for the first time since talk of relocation.

Jonathan Larivee

Rumors of relocation for the Arizona Coyotes have exploded over the weekend after reports began to leak out suggesting that a move to Salt Lake City, Utah, and a sale to Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, is imminent

Multiple National Hockey League insiders have now reported on the alleged relocation of the Coyotes, with April 17th even being rumored as the date of the official announcement, and up until just moments ago the Coyotes and their ownership group have been silent in regards to the league-altering rumors.

Moments ago, Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo released a statement via the team's official social media, explaining why he has remained silent up until this point. Here is Meruelo's statement unedited and in full:

There has been a lot of discussion in recent days about the future of the Arizona Coyotes. I understand and empathize with the concerns of our fans, our community, our partners, our players, our front office, and all of our team members. I hope to address these issues as soon as I am able to speak on the topics.

We are focused on a myriad of issues that are unresolved, and therefore we are unable to make any official public comments at this time. However, you have my commitment that I am going to speak on all of these issues and publicly address all of your concerns as promptly as possible.

As you can see from the careful wording of this statement there is no sign of a commitment on the part of Meruelo to keep the team in Arizona, something I interpret as confirmation that the rumors of relocation are accurate.

If the reaction to today's statement is any indication of fan sentiment in Arizona, it does not appear that Meruelo has done himself any favors by speaking out in this manner. The reaction to Meruelo's comments has been largely negative, only adding to the already negative fan sentiment around the Coyotes owner.