GENERAL PUBLIC VIEWS NEW LOGO
By:_ Damon Markiewicz
On a night that marked only 99 days until the first hockey game is to be played at_ Glendale Arena
, the Coyotes gave their fans in the West Valley a preview of what the players will look like wearing the new logo.
The Coyotes hosted a “Sneak Peek” event at the newly named Desert Schools Coyotes Center in Peoria, Arizona on Thursday, September 18._ The event featured a Coyotes open practice allowing fans to view the team in their new colors._
Prior to the on-ice workout, the Coyotes along with Desert Schools Federal Credit Union announced that the two parties have agreed to a five-year deal to purchase the naming rights for the Polar Ice Entertainment Centers in Peoria and Chandler.
“We feel that Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has the same goals in mind that we have as an organization,” said Coyotes President Douglas Moss._ “We all need support from the community to help our businesses run._ We want to partner up with businesses like Desert Schools, who share our philosophies of making sure we give something back to the community.”
The Coyotes not only provided their fans with an event on Thursday night that allowed the individuals in attendance to preview this year’s team, but also gave adults and children the opportunity to participate in several interactive activities.
Before head coach
Bob Francis led his team through an open practice, the Coyotes hosted a youth hockey clinic._ As part of the clinic, kids had the chance to be instructed by Coyotes televison/radio color analyst Charlie Simmer._ The 60-minute clinic allowed Simmer to teach youngsters the fundamentals of the game and encourage them to keep practicing their skills.
“It is always fun to get on the ice and help the kids,” said Simmer._ “I have participated in several of these clinics and each time is just as enjoyable as the previous time._ I hope the kids had a good time and continue to strive to get better and enjoy the game.”
Along with the youth hockey clinic, there were also many games for the parents and the kids to enjoy._ Fans could bid on selected items as part of the silent auction, practice their slap shot at the inflatable shoot out game or receive ticket information for Coyotes home games.
“We want to make sure we provide fans with quality entertainment,” said Moss._ “We have quality players on the ice that are excited about the upcoming season and we want to continue to give back to the community because that is what we stand for.”
The feature event of the evening was a full Coyotes practice open to the general public allowing fans to view the players they will watch this season._ For the players, Thursday’s event was not just another day of preparation for the 2003-04 season, but also an opportunity for the team to feel the excitement that is building each day.______
“The fans in the Valley have been tremendous and tonight was no exception,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan._ “Hockey fans are very passionate and to see the rink filled again tonight just gives the guys that extra jump in their step and makes everyone feel good to be part of the Coyotes organization.”
Coyotes right wing Landon Wilson has been part of the Valley’s sports scene since the 2000-01 campaign._ The move to the new Glendale Arena is something he has seen blossom into a reality._ The Coyotes and their fans will finally have a venue they can call home.
“Glendale Arena sounds like it is going to have a great view for everyone in attendance,” said Wilson._ “I have talked with several individuals involved with the new Arena and it will be one of the nicest buildings in the League and suited for the fans enjoyment.”_
The Coyotes currently have three injured players that are listed as day-to-day:_ Frank Banham (minor concussion), Martin Podlesak (bruised shoulder) and Kiel McLeod (enlarged spleen)._
TRAINING CAMP NEWS AND NOTES
FATHER FOR A SECOND TIME – Two days after becoming a father for the second time, Coyotes defenseman Todd Simpson returned to practice on Thursday._ Simpson and his wife Effrossini are proud parents to a new baby boy, Parker William._ The new member of the family was born on Tuesday, September 16._ Parker weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces._
BACK TO THE DEN – The Coyotes will return to the ALLTEL Ice Den on Friday for workouts from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM._ The team will prepare for two preseason games this weekend when they travel to Los Angeles on Saturday to play the Kings at 7:30 PM Arizona time._ Phoenix will head to Anaheim on Sunday for a 5:00 PM local time start against the Mighty Ducks.