One final insult for Shane Doan from the Arizona Coyotes
Zuma Press  

One final insult for Shane Doan from the Arizona Coyotes

Alex Meruelo and the entire Coyotes' former front office should never be allowed an NHL team again.



Earlier this month, at the final Arizona Coyotes game in franchise history there was a weird, almost festive like atmosphere at Mullett Arena. Sure, it was the final game in Coyotes history so it's not like fans were waving their pom poms, but there were some celebratory moments throughout the night. 

What struck me the most about the evening though was a segment produced by Craig Morgan and the team and PHNX Sports that showed Coyotes legend Shane Doan being reunited with his #19 banner that was reportedly abandoned by the team when they were evicted from Glendale's Gila River Arena. The Coyotes reportedly ditched Doan's banner, the only retired number in Coyotes history, in the dumpster only to have it preserved by an arena worker.

Check it out:

What a way to treat your franchise leader. Just another despicable move from the Coyotes under owner Alex Meruelo... but maybe we shouldn't be surprised?

The writing on the wall with regards to Meruelo and this team should have been legible to us all when Doan left the franchise for a position with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Doan, a Coyote through and through, ditched the Arizona desert for the Leafs with hardly a word from himself or from the Coyotes. Now, a report from ESPN insider Emily Kaplan sheds light on why exactly Doan left the team.

Spoiler: It involves Meruelo's spoiled rich kid Alex Meruelo Jr.

From Kaplan:

Doan worked for the Coyotes after his retirement as chief hockey development officer but had higher aspirations, eventually seeking to become their president of hockey operations in 2023. According to a source, he was told he "wasn't ready" for the position, a verdict handed down by the owner's son Alex Meruelo Jr., the team's chief brand officer who had taken a more active interest in the hockey operations department.

- Emily Kaplan

Imagine you're a 20+ year NHL veteran who has seen and been through literally EVERYTHING that this franchise has been through and you get told by the boss' kid that you're 'not ready' for a job in hockey operations...

The audacity of this kid, who didn't even know a red line from a blue line when his Dad bought the team, to treat Doan this way?

Again, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that this team folded given what was going on behind the scenes.

Read below for our earlier report on Doan and his reunion with his #19 banner.

It's all over for the Arizona Coyotes. 

For better or worse, this team is done in the Arizona desert and will pack up for Salt Lake City, Utah next season.

The Coyotes franchise is officially leaving the Arizona market after 28 tumultuous years and last night both the players and the fans got one final send off.

The Coyotes managed a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Tempe's 5,400 capacity Mullett Arena, but it's hardly the game action that anyone was talking about afterwards. No, it was the on ice farewell celebrations that took place after the final buzzer. The entire Coyotes franchise seemingly spilled out onto the ice to take in the gravity of it all, giving us a few special moments to share.

Check it out:

Once everyone was off the ice, things spilled into the back parking lot:

The most touching part of the evening though, was also one of the most frustrating moments of the evening. Longtime Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who had his #19 retired by the team in 2019, was reunited with the #19 banner after it had reportedly been thrown in the trash by the team during their move from Glendale's Gila River Arena. An arena worker discovered the banner and managed to grab it before it was destroyed. Last night he returned it to Doan at Mullett Arena.

The Coyotes were reportedly contacted by reps at Gila River Arena after they were evicted from the building, but they simply never showed up to collect their things. In other words, the Coyotes were awful tenants who not only failed to pay their bills, but they left their junk behind too.

In any case, you have to feel for Doan here. You know he's just trying to put on a brave face during this interaction but to know that the team he poured his heart and soul into didn't care one ounce for his banner really tells you all you need to know about this franchise and how it was run.

Honestly, I feel for the hardcore Coyotes fans out there. There obviously just weren't enough hardcore fans to make things work in Arizona, but that doesn't make the real ones any less real. As a Canadian hockey fan who has watched two of my favorite franchises come and go, I can sympathize with Coyotes fans. The fact is that you deserved better than what the Coyotes and its rag tag collection of owners served up. This team never really had stability in the market and they suffered in all ways because of it. When the team was good and they were stationed in downtown Phoenix, times were good... but that was over 20 years ago. Since then the team has struggled to find its footing and has bled tens of millions of dollars. The move to Glendale was disastrous, but not nearly as disastrous as the pitiful Tempe pitch that owner Alex Meruelo fumbled. 

Meruelo, by the way, neglected to show up for last night's game. The final game in his team's history.

Doesn't that just say it all right there?

RIP, Arizona Coyotes.

Source: Emily Kaplan