Uncertainty Abounds For Arizona Coyotes As Puck Drops On 2021-22 NHL Season

Written By C.J. Pierre on October 13, 2021

The puck dropped on a new NHL season Tuesday night. Yet while fans of most teams jump with optimism and hopes of seeing their team hoist the Stanley Cup, Arizona Coyotes faithful head into this season with loads of questions.

Will the team be competitive? What can we expect from new head coach André Tourigny? Will the team even be in Arizona next season? If so, where are they going to play? Right now, there are more questions than answers. One thing is for sure: sportsbooks in Arizona don’t think much of the outlook for the Coyotes this season.

The excitement around sports in Arizona is buzzing thanks in part to the launch of legal sports betting last month. Now the Yotes have a chance to join the conversation and turn some of that skepticism into optimism with good play on the ice.

Arizona Coyotes 2021-2022 NHL betting odds

Arizona’s sports betting apps don’t like the Coyotes’ chances of making a run at the league champions this season. Right now, their Stanley Cup betting odds to be crowned the best team in the NHL stand at . That ties them for the worst odds in the league.

Simply making the playoffs seems a bit of a long shot, with that line set at . That said, if you take a flier on the Coyotes to make a surprise playoff push, you could be in for a nice payout.

The last two NHL seasons were condensed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the league is planning on going through the typical 82-game slate in 2021-22. In the last full season, the final 2019 playoff spot in the Western Conference went to the Colorado Avalanche, which scored 90 team points. According to DraftKings Sportsbook AZ, Arizona’s over/under of team total points is set at 67.5 — well below the projection for a playoff team.

But stranger things have happened.

Coyotes looking to make improvements on the ice

Arizona made the playoffs two seasons ago and pushed for a postseason spot last year before eventually falling short. Since then, head coach Rick Tocchet and the Coyotes mutually agreed to part ways. And Tourigny was hired to take his place.

The team also lost its starting goalie Darcy Kuemper and a few other quality players. Now Arizona is back in rebuilding mode. However, there is some good young talent on this team.

Defenseman Jakob Chychrun might be Arizona’s best player. He posted 41 points in 56 games last season. He’s a budding star and should see a lot of time on the ice. Right now, the odds for Chychrun to be named the NHL’s best defensive player and win the Norris Trophy are at .

Last dance in Glendale for Arizona Coyotes?

In the middle of a rebuild project for the team on the ice, Coyotes fans have concerns about where the team will be playing long term. The City of Glendale said it will not renew the team’s operating agreement at Gila River Arena beyond the 2021-22 NHL season. The team has been on a year-to-year lease since 2016. The saga has gone through ownership changes, negotiations and ongoing discussions.

Despite the team’s future in Arizona in doubt, the Coyotes were still awarded a sports betting license from the state last month. However, the team has yet to announce an operating partner. The unknown about the team’s future could play a role in that. But there are plans in motion to keep the team in Arizona.

According to the Associated Press, the Coyotes proposed the $1.7 billion development in the Tempe Entertainment District. The proposal includes a hockey arena, hotels, apartments, restaurants, shops and more.

The team said the arena will be funded by private investors but would seek city sales tax revenues to help pay for $200 million in additional costs, including infrastructure work.

The Coyotes put in a proposal for the land near Tempe Town Lake in early September. The city of Tempe said the evaluation process will take several months and will include extensive examinations with opportunities for community feedback.

Amid all this uncertainty, a bright spot with the team emerged. The Yotes have brought back the Kachina, a longtime fan-favorite, as its primary logo. Fans can look forward to the debut of the jerseys during the season opener on Oct. 14 against the Columbus Blue Jackets and in the home opener against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 18.

Photo by AP / Ringo H.W. Chiu
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C.J. Pierre

CJ Pierre is a multimedia journalist currently residing in the Phoenix-Metro Area in Arizona. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. CJ has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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