The National Hockey League has been forced to suspend its season as a result of the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus around the world and it has caused some truly nightmarish logistical issues for thousands upon thousands of people in and around the hockey world. Some teams like the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins were quick to address concerns regarding how their employees would be taken care of as a result of this unexpected stoppage in play, but others were not so quick to respond.
Earlier today a journalist published what he described as "The Naughty List," a list of NHL owners, particularly wealthy NHL owners, that had not yet made a commitment to take care of their staff in spite of the fact that there would be no games played in the coming weeks, and perhaps even months. Featured prominently on that list was none other than the new owner of the Arizona Coyotes Alex Meruelo. Now if I had told you just a few seasons ago that the Coyotes were among the teams that would not be paying their employees while the season was suspended that would have come as very little surprise given the organization's obvious financial difficulties, however Meruelo is an extremely wealthy man so it was somewhat surprising to see his name included on the list.
It is unclear whether the public shaming worked like a charm or if Meruelo simply already had a plan in place to help out his staff, but the Coyotes have now released a brief statement in which they have made it clear that they will not leave their staff hanging high and dry. To be clear there were no specific details regarding the plan, but the commitment has been made by the Coyotes and I highly doubt that Meruelo would risk the damage to his reputation this would cause if he didn't live up to his word. To be frank the Coyotes are extremely lucky to have had an owner like Meruelo step in just prior to this catastrophic occurrence for the NHL, although no doubt it has to be somewhat of a thorn in the side for the relatively new Coyotes owner.
Here is the statement that was released by the Coyotes just hours ago: