NHL

Coyotes Move To Utah Won’t Impact NHL Divisions

Apr 18, 2024, 2:54 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm

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Teams warm up during an NHL exhibition game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Moving a franchise from Phoenix to Salt Lake City won’t change the current NHL divisional format in 2024-25. The Utah-based NHL franchise will be in the Western Conference Central Division alongside the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues.

On Thursday, April 18, the NHL Board Of Governors unanimously approved Ryan and Ashley Smith and Smith Entertainment Group (SEG) establishment of a new hockey franchise in Utah using the assets of the Arizona Coyotes.

“Today is a great day for Utah, for hockey, and for building a legacy that will have a lasting impact for generations to come,” the Smiths said after the move became official.

RELATED: League Approves New NHL Team In Utah

 

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RELATED: Coyotes Express Thanks For Arizona, Look Forward To Support Of Utah

The Coyotes (36-41-5, 77 points) finished 2023-24 seventh in the Central Division, behind Minnesota and in front of only Chicago.

Dallas Stars (52-21-9, 113 points)

The Stars enter the playoffs as the top seed from the Central after leading the Western Conference with 113 points this season. Dallas has played in the Stanley Cup finals five times, and its only title came in 1999.

Winnipeg Jets (51-24-6, 108 points)

Winnipeg has seen its total wins increase in each of the last four seasons, climbing from 30 wins in 2020-21 to 51 so far this year. The Jets will face Colorado in round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Colorado Avalanche (49-25-7, 105 points)

No longer the only NHL franchise in the Rocky Mountains, the Avalanche have won three Stanley Cups, with the last coming in 2022.

Nashville Predators (47-30-5, 99 points)

A franchise that began play in 1999, Nashville has reached the playoffs 16 times but continues to seek its elusive first championship. The ‘Preds’ made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 before falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

St. Louis Blues ( 43-33-6, 92 points)

St. Louis has the most Stanley Cup playoff appearances outside of an Original Six franchise, reaching the postseason 45 times in 56 years. Despite their regular season success, the Blues have reached the Cup finals four times and hoisted the Stanley Cup once (2019).

Minnesota Wild (39-32-10, 88 points)

Minnesota began play in 2001. The Wild have reached the playoffs in eight of the past 11 seasons but have yet to win a round since 2015.

Chicago Blackhawks (23-53-5, 51 points)

The only Original Six franchise in the Central, Chicago has fallen on hard times in recent seasons. Chicago has six Stanley Cup championships in franchise history with the last coming in 2015. The Blackhawks selected Connor Bedard with the first overall pick in 2023.

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Coyotes Move To Utah Won’t Impact NHL Divisions