UTAH PUCK REPORT

Lawson Crouse Opens Up About Relocation Drama, First Impressions Of Utah

May 10, 2024, 4:59 PM | Updated: May 16, 2024, 9:59 am

Lawson Crouse Utah NHL Hockey Team...

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 24: Lawson Crouse of the yet to be named NHL Utah team waves to the crowd as he and the team are introduced to the fans at the Delta Center on April 24, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The NHL has allowed the sale of the Arizona Coyotes and the team will relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah.(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYUtah Hockey Team left wing Lawson Crouse joined the Utah Puck Report podcast to go over the chaotic last couple of months that saw him and his team relocated to Salt Lake City.

Crouse played in over 500 games across eight seasons in Arizona.

Lawson Crouse On First Hearing Relocation Rumors

After months of speculation and only minor updates on the NHL coming to Utah, the hockey world had a bomb dropped on it in April.

As the Coyotes were still finishing their 2023-24 season, a report came out that the NHL was drafting two versions of the 2024-25 schedule.

“We were on one of our last trips,” “I remember coming down to the breakfast room. I heard some commotion, we all looked on Twitter, and it was tweets from everyone saying that the possibility of moving to Utah was starting to become real. We still didn’t know if it was happening. We had a game that night so we had a meeting with our staff and the coach. We had to kind of block out all the noise.”

With social media and hockey fans only making that noise louder, it took just two days after that report surfaced for the players to meet with general manager Bill Armstrong.

“Our GM met us in Edmonton and told us that it was the real deal, not just rumors on Twitter. It happened so quickly,” Crouse said.

Crouse was born in Ontario, Canada, and moved to the United States after being selected in the 2015 NHL Draft. Being unfamiliar with the place he’d soon call home created a blank canvas to be painted in the coming weeks.

“I didn’t know much about Utah,” Crouse said. “When we got (to Utah), I was blown away. You kind of get that similar mountain feel as Arizona but a little bit more snow on the mountains here.”

First Impressions In The Beehive State

Utah’s new NHL team first landed in SLC on April 24.

All wearing ‘NHL In Utah Est. 2024’ sweatshirts, the players were greeted by hundreds of youth hockey players from the state.

“It was incredible,” Crouse said. “Seeing the support of the state of Utah and Salt Lake. I remember coming down off those plane steps and just hearing the cheers from all the hockey kids in the airplane hangar. It gave me goosebumps. It was a very warm welcome. (The NHL Welcome Party) was one of the coolest things that I’ve been a part of in a long time.”

Crouse said that he was shocked by the hospitality he was shown by everyone he met on his first day.

The team drove around the area, checked into a hotel, and did a few more things until eventually making their way to Delta Center for the NHL Welcome Party.

“The thing that blew me away was how nice everyone was,” Crouse said. ” From the moment I landed, everyone was so friendly. Being a Canadian boy, it kind of reminds me of home a little bit with the weather and the friendliness.”

Crouse And Utah’s New NHL Franchise

The month of May has been much more calm for Crouse and the rest of the team.

But, there was a bit of exciting news this week as Smith Entertainment Group revealed the survey to name Utah’s new team.

Crouse said that he has seen the list of names and likes how the community is getting a say but doesn’t have a dog in the fight.

“I’ve seen the list,” Crouse said. “I like how (Ryan and Ashley Smith) are letting the community and state pick the team. I think it engages a lot of people and makes them feel like they have a lot of say in what can happen. I’m going to be honest, I don’t have a favorite. I’ll leave that up to the great fans. I’m just looking forward to finally hearing the name and seeing the uniforms.”

Regardless of the name and jerseys, Utah hockey fans are going to get the same Lawson Crouse.

In all of the past three seasons, Crouse has scored 20+ goals and recorded 30+ points.

“I’ve been a player that’s reliable all over the ice,” Crouse said. “I like to bring the energy, I like to be as physical as I can, and I like to put the puck in the back of the net.”

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. 

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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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Lawson Crouse Opens Up About Relocation Drama, First Impressions Of Utah