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What happens to the Grizzlies if NHL comes to Utah?

Apr 15, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: May 15, 2024, 3:23 pm

If Utah gets a National Hockey League team, the existing Utah Grizzlies won't be going anywhere....

If Utah gets a National Hockey League team, the existing Utah Grizzlies won't be going anywhere. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE— If Utah gets a National Hockey League team next year, which seems more and more likely, what would happen to the Utah Grizzlies?

The short answer is that the addition of the Arizona Coyotes won’t send the Grizzlies anywhere.

Grizzlies staying in Utah

Vice President of the Grizzlies, Jared Youngman, said the team will be playing in Salt Lake next season even if the Coyotes make it to the Beehive State.

“Our plan right now is we’re moving forward, we’re playing hockey next year… the Grizzlies will be playing here at the Maverick Center next year,” said Youngman.

2023 was the best attendance year for the team since the 2003-04 season. Youngman believes that with the addition of an NHL team, things will keep looking up.

“Things are just continuing to grow with the kids and the adults playing and what’s happening here. So I think it will be a good thing for everybody and [we] want to be a part of it all,” he said.

Grizzlies staying with Avalanche

Even if the Coyotes come to Utah, the Grizzlies will remain an ECHL minor league affiliate team with the Colorado Avalanche.

“Right now we’re under contract with the Colorado Avalanche. I would say right now that’s one of the other unknowns that everybody’s not sure what’s going to happen,” Youngman said.

The Grizzlies signed a contract with the Avalanche back in 2018, and Youngman believes this is the last year that contract will be in effect. He said once the contract is over there will be a discussion about what to do with their future affiliation, whether they continue with the Avalanche or change to a Utah based NHL team.

The Arizona Coyotes currently have an AHL affiliate, the Tucscon Roadrunners. Meaning there is an opening for the Grizzlies to become the team’s ECHL minor leage affiliate team.

An official announcement from the NHL about whether or not the Coyotes will be moving to Utah is expected after the team’s last season game tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th, against the Oilers at 8 p.m.

The Grizzlies will begin their regular season games at the Maverick Center in October.

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What happens to the Grizzlies if NHL comes to Utah?