The Dysfunctional Family Affair That Poisoned Arizona Coyotes


The Arizona Coyotes, a National Hockey League (NHL) team, has been plagued by a toxic ownership situation that has hindered the team’s success on and off the ice. The franchise, which relocated to Arizona in 1996, has struggled to find stability and consistency, and it all starts at the top.

At the center of the chaos is the ownership group, led by Alex Meruelo, a billionaire businessman who purchased the team in 2019. Meruelo’s ownership style has been described as erratic and dictatorial, causing tension among team executives, coaches, and players. His meddling in hockey operations has led to a revolving door of coaches and general managers, creating a sense of instability that permeates throughout the organization.

One of the most egregious examples of Meruelo’s interference was the firing of general manager John Chayka in 2020. Chayka, who was widely respected around the league, was let go after a disagreement with Meruelo over the team’s direction. The move was met with widespread criticism, and many saw it as a power play by Meruelo to assert his control over the team.

The coaching staff has not been immune to Meruelo’s whims either. In 2020, the team fired head coach Rick Tocchet, who had been with the team for four seasons. The move was seen as a surprise, and many believed that Tocchet was not given a fair chance to succeed. The team’s current coach, André Tourigny, is already on thin ice, with many speculating that he will be the next to go if the team’s performance does not improve.

The players have not been spared from Meruelo’s meddling either. The team’s star player, Clayton Keller, has been the subject of trade rumors, with many believing that Meruelo is pushing for a deal to shake up the team’s roster. The constant speculation has created a sense of uncertainty among the players, making it difficult for them to focus on their performance on the ice.

The toxic ownership situation has also had a negative impact on the team’s front office. The Coyotes have struggled to attract and retain top talent, with many executives and scouts fleeing the organization due to Meruelo’s interference. The team’s scouting department, which is responsible for identifying and developing young talent, has been decimated, leaving the team with a thin prospect pool.

The fans have not been immune to the effects of Meruelo’s ownership either. The team’s attendance has been declining steadily, with many fans staying away due to the team’s poor performance and the toxic atmosphere surrounding the organization. The Coyotes have also struggled to attract corporate sponsors, with many businesses hesitant to associate themselves with a team that is seen as dysfunctional.

In conclusion, the Arizona Coyotes’ ownership situation is a dysfunctional family affair that has poisoned the team’s chances of success. Alex Meruelo’s meddling in hockey operations has created a sense of instability that permeates throughout the organization, driving away top talent and alienating fans. Until the ownership situation is resolved, the Coyotes will continue to struggle to find their footing in the NHL.

What do you think? Can the Arizona Coyotes recover from their toxic ownership situation, or is it time for a change at the top? Let us know in the comments!


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