The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Next Six Months Will Define Coyotes Hockey

The next six months of 2020 are likely to be the most consequential in Arizona Coyotes history.

Now, we know the first six months of 2020 has been arguably the most insane six months in most of our lives so whatever happens over the next six has to be an improvement.

But for the Coyotes franchise, not only could the finish to 2020 be a welcome relief from the insanity of the year's start, the final six months may define the franchise indefinitely going forward.

On Monday, the Coyotes announced Xavier A. Gutierrez as the franchise's new President and CEO. Gutierrez has an impressive resume full of business leadership, deal making and sports acumen.

His background screams "Arena Dealmaker" as owner Alex Meruelo disclosed during a conference call with reporters that he hopes to find a new arena deal by the end of the year.

The Arizona Coyotes have had new ownership before. They've had new CEO's before. And they've had public declarations for a timeline for a new arena.

But all of this feels different.

A billionaire, trailblazing owner combined with a team president who's career has been built on making large, complex deals joining forces to transform hockey in the desert. It's crazy enough to work.

In addition to the hiring of Gutierrez, the Coyotes were afforded the rarest of gifts when they got a second lease on their season. Armed with a healthy roster and a team motivated by its previous shortcomings, the Coyotes have a chance to redefine their season and franchise on the ice whenever play resumes.

We know its going to take a lot of success for the Coyotes to transform into the NHL powerhouse that Mr. Meruelo and Gutierrez want it to be and they may never get a better opportunity than this year's re-start.

We don't know where the world is headed in the next six months and we've given up trying to figure it out, at least I have, but somehow, someway the future still looks bright for the Coyotes.

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