NHLPA openly questioning the future of the Arizona Coyotes.

NHLPA openly questioning the future of the Arizona Coyotes.

The Arizona Coyotes may finally be forced to face reality, and its all thanks to the players.

Jonathan Larivee

The Arizona Coyotes may finally be in some very real trouble.

For years now fans of the National Hockey League have questioned the league's decision to insist on keeping an NHL franchise in the desert, where seemingly it has been unable to plant roots and achieve any measure of long-term success. That criticism has amplified in recent years with the Coyotes playing at the rather ridiculous Mullet Arena, and for the first time that criticism may actually be gaining traction where it matters.

On Friday, National Hockey League Players Association executive director Marty Walsh went on what I can only describe as a tirade, tearing down the Coyotes in spectacular fashion and painting a very different picture than what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has tried to portray.

"I have serious concerns about Arizona," said Walsh on Friday. "I'm extremely disappointed in the ownership of Arizona and the president of Arizona. They have not reached out to the PA to talk to us about what the situation in Arizona is."

Walsh went a step further and strongly hinted at the fact that the players currently playing for the Coyotes are not happy about the current situation with their team.

"We have a team in Arizona that doesn't seem interested in having a conversation with the union that represents the players who play on that team," said a frustrated Walsh.

Walsh also revealed that the Coyotes have missed a pair of deadlines and didn't sound very optimistic about their future.

"It's a wait and see approach," said Walsh. "Unfortunately we've had two unofficial deadlines... we've gone past both of those."

There are of course a number of markets interested in having their own NHL franchise with many locations across the U.S. reportedly interested and of course fans north of the border have been clamoring for the return of hockey to Quebec City for many years now as well.

While this is far from the first time the Coyotes have been in trouble, it may be the first time that there is real pressure from the NHL's own players.