UTAH GRIZZLIES

Utah Grizzlies VP Tells Fans ‘Minor League Hockey Isn’t Going Away’ Amid NHL Rumors

Mar 21, 2024, 11:48 AM | Updated: 7:27 pm

Maverik Center, home of the Utah Grizzlies before a game...

Utah Grizzlies - Maverik Center

SALT LAKE CITY – With NHL to Utah rumors flying, many hockey fans are wondering what would happen to the Utah Grizzlies?

Vice President of the Grizz, Jared Youngman, joined the Puck Report podcast to talk about the team’s current push for the ECHL playoffs and offer fans some reassurance on minor league hockey staying in Utah, even if an NHL team comes to town.

The push for an NHL team in Salt Lake City is led by Utah Jazz owner Smith, who recently said Utah is ready for a team “now.” 

RELATED: Ryan Smith, SEG Formally Requests NHL Expansion Team To Utah

What Will Happen To The Grizzlies If NHL Comes To Utah?

While no one can say for sure what could happen to the Utah Grizzlies if the NHL comes to Utah, recently NHL teams have set a precedence of buying a team in the city and making that the AHL feeder team.

When it comes to the structure of hockey, you can think of ECHL and AHL as minor leagues, with ECHL being a step lower than AHL which both serve as feeders to NHL teams. Currently, the Grizzlies are affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche whose AHL affiliate is the Eagles in Loveland, Colorado.

“It’s all going to come down to the ownership situation … it’s the communication and putting points in place to say ‘hey, we’ve got a building,'” Youngman said. “We’ve had AHL before (formerly Grizzlies), we could put AHL back in there.”

The Grizzlies have the added benefit of already having an arena – The Maverik Center.

“I don’t see us going away, I don’t see minor league hockey going away,” Youngman said. “Whether we stay in the ECHL or move up to the American Hockey League … hockey is going to be at the Maverik Center, I don’t see that changing.”

Hockey Grows, So Do Grizzlies’ Ticket Sales

Ticket sales are up for the Grizz. Youngam said that’s partly thanks to more fans coming to the games and telling their friends and family how much fun it is to go to a hockey game.

He also credits the increased interest in hockey to excitement around the potential of Utah getting an NHL team.

RELATED: Answering The Most Asked Questions Regarding NHL Coming To Utah

“To watch a hockey game live, it’s fast-paced action, it’s hard-hitting… absolutely the best there is,” Youngman described what it’s like to watch hockey live.

When asked whether or not all the NHL to Utah talk was helping to drive ticket sales, Youngman said, “Absolutely … anytime we are talking hockey it is definatly a good thing.”

But he was also quick to credit incredible work from the Utah Grizzlies staff.

More On Utah Puck Report

On the epsisode, Youngman and Stevens also discussed the importance youth hockey in the state, John Stockton driving the Zamboni and how every game matters for the Grizz right now.

You can listen to full epsisode and subscribe to the show here. 

Puck Report is a podcast all about Utah hockey, from interviews with NHL stars to which Grizzlies players are about to take the next step, Utah Puck Report has everything for a Utah hockey fan. Find it wherever you find podcasts or on KSLSports.com. The show is hosted by KSL Sports’ hockey insider, Jay Stevens. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

Utah Grizzlies

alex beaucage celebrates goal for utah grizzlies...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Utah Grizzlies Attendance Soars, Could It Be NHL Influence?

The Utah Grizzlies are facing the real possibility of not making the playoffs this season.

1 month ago

Members of the Grizzlies celebrate a goal...

Jay Stevens

Utah Grizzlies Look To Turn It Around After Not Meeting Preseason Expectations

The Utah Grizzlies are a good hockey team, on paper anyway.

4 months ago

Aaron Dell #30 of the San Jose Sharks watches a puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL ...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Carolina Hurricanes Sign Former Grizzly Aaron Dell

The Carolina Hurricanes have addressed their goaltending concerns by signing veteran NHL and former Utah Grizzlies goalie Aaron Dell to a professional tryout contract.

4 months ago

utah-grizzlies-two-players-face-off...

STEPHEN WHYNO and PAT GRAHAM AP Sports Writers

Player Death From Skate To Neck Reignites Hockey’s Stubborn Debate Over Protective Gear

The death of American hockey player Adam Johnson from a cut to the neck in England has reignited the debate over skate blade safety.

5 months ago

garrett metcalf skates onto ice before hockey game...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Grizzlies Third Goalie, Salt Lake’s Own Garrett Metcalf Signs AHL Deal

For the past two seasons, that number three goalie has been Salt Lake’s own Garrett Metcalf. 

6 months ago

utah grizzlies player waits at center ice...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Utah Grizzlies Off To Hot Start In ECHL Playoffs Against Steelheads

The Utah Grizzlies needed a final series sweep against the Tulsa Oilers to qualify for the 2023 ECHL playoffs.

12 months ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah Grizzlies VP Tells Fans ‘Minor League Hockey Isn’t Going Away’ Amid NHL Rumors