Former Coyote Paul Bissonnette Predicts NHL Team In Utah Will Be ‘First-Class Organization’

Apr 19, 2024, 3:58 PM

Arizona Coyotes Paul Bissonnette Utah NHL...

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28: Paul Bissonnette #12 of the Phoenix Coyotes sits in the penalty box after a fight during the first period of the NHL game against the Minnesota Wild at Jobing.com Arena on February 28, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Coyotes left wing and current NHL analyst Paul Bissonnette joined the Pat McAfee Show on Thursday and had some high praise for the NHL in Utah.

Bissonnette spent five years in Phoenix and played 187 games in a Coyotes jersey.

“I’ve been three for a long time not only on the playing side but on the media side,” Bissonnette said. “It just sucks because of all the amazing people that I got to be around and work with there. I do hope that they do eventually get a team back. I do think that hockey will work in the desert.”

After acknowledging the heartbreak in Arizona, Bissonnette went on to say that he has a lot of hope for the franchise’s future in Salt Lake.

Most of the high praise came from the angle of ownership. Bissonnette said that he has faith in Ryan Smith’s ability to run a franchise.

“With (Ryan Smith) wanting to put his own money and resources into building that new arena and new area,” Bissonnette said. “I think they’re going to get tons of fan support and it’s going to be a first-class organization with a lot of forward thinking. (Smith) is ten steps ahead of the next guy. He’s a brilliant mind and the fact that he’s going to have both teams out of the same building, I do think it’s going to have that community support and it is going to be successful.”

Bissonnette also mentioned that the size of the market is significantly less important than the dedication of the fan base.

With over 20,000 deposits for season tickets in less than 24 hours, it appears that the NHL, Smith, and even former owner Alex Meruelo all made the correct decision.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Former Coyote Paul Bissonnette Predicts NHL Team In Utah Will Be ‘First-Class Organization’