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Coyotes changing name: Phoenix Coyotes to be 'Arizona,' few jersey alterations

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The Phoenix Coyotes are changing their name to the Arizona Coyotes for the next hockey season. Yahoo! Sports confirms this Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that a new announcement earlier today was made by the professional ice hockey organization that the name change was implemented to make fans from across the state feel more included in support for the team. Although a few jersey alterations are said to be in store, nothing major will be adjusted in terms of the players’ sweaters.

Coyotes changing their name may not be a major change for many fans — from the narrower city of Phoenix to the more expansive state of Arizona — but it is meant to be a more all-encompassing alteration to welcome all fans in the Southwest. Save for a shoulder patch to be added to both the road and home jerseys in the 2014-2015 pre-season, overall alterations made to the hockey players’ sweaters are said to be trivial.

"Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours," Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said in a statement. "We also want to be recognized as not just the hockey team for Glendale or Phoenix, but the team for the entire state of Arizona and the Southwest.

Anthony LeBlanc went on to say that the team becoming the Arizona Coyotes in the upcoming season should be an even greater way to more expansively “embrace” the ice hockey team.

"We hope that the name 'Arizona' will encourage more fans from all over the state, not just the Valley, to embrace and support our team."

According to the press release regarding the Coyotes changing name story:

“The Coyotes first came into existence as a professionally recognized team back in 1996 when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Arizona. In the summer of 2013, after the NFL had stepped in to operate the team for four years, a deal was reached to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, avoiding a possible relocation of the franchise to another city.”

Currently, the Phoenix Coyotes are working hard to earn their own spot in this season’s hotly expected playoffs. Their current record is 25-18-10, as of Wednesday evening. The Coyotes will be participating in a home game this Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres; the team right now sits in 9th place in overall Western Conference rankings.

What’s your thoughts on the team’s name change? Sound off below.

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