As we reach the start of the new year - and the approximate halfway point of the 2018-19 National Hockey League season - it feels like the perfect moment to pause and thank every member of our Coyotes family for the successes we experienced as an organization during 2018. Everything we've accomplished on the ice and off has been made possible by your passion for #OurPack and your commitment to the Arizona Coyotes.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Thank you for coming out to cheer us on. Thank you for taking time out of your busy days and nights to watch us on TV and online.
2018 was a year of evolution for our team. With strong leadership from Head Coach Rick Tocchet and President of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Chayka, we feel confident that we have turned the corner as a franchise. In July, we locked up All-Star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an 8-year contract that should keep our team captain in a Coyotes sweater for the balance of his NHL career. Through the first half of the season, our team has battled through injuries to key players to remain in the hunt for a Western Conference playoff spot.
If we are not precisely where we want to be in terms of wins and losses, we certainly are in terms of grit, hustle, competitive attitude and character. We know those qualities matter to you as a fan equally as much as they matter to us as an organization.
Off the ice over the past year we have made great strides - and 2019 promises to be even better. As a team, we have pledged to do even more in the community than we did last year, when we donated more than $2.7 million to a range of community organizations. With U.S. Olympic hockey star Lyndsey Fry on board to help us grow youth hockey across Arizona, we will continue to sew our sport into the fabric of our home state, all over the Valley and all over our neighboring communities.
Video: Coyotes Give Back In 2018
Our pledge to you for 2019 is a simple one: We will continue to fiercely pursue our core goals of producing a winning hockey team, growing fandom throughout this state and positively enriching our Arizona community. We will not accept failure. And we will pursue excellence with the highest possible degree of commitment and character.
Another quality that matters to our organization is honesty. For that reason, I have and will continue to be forthcoming about matters related to our franchise. While it's neither necessary nor prudent to address every unsubstantiated Internet report or tweet, it is important to communicate where things stand to our fans.
Recently, you may have read reports about a potential ownership transaction. As I have said for months, we will continue to explore investment opportunities to better assist our team in achieving our long-term goals and organizational vision. This process has at its core one key pre-condition: any investment in our team must be laser-focused on helping the Coyotes achieve a long-term sustainable arena solution here in Arizona.
Every potential investment opportunity we evaluate and every business deal we consider is predicated on making our franchise successful here in Arizona for decades to come.
Arizona is our home. We love it here. And we love playing for you, the very best fans in the NHL.
May you and your loved ones have a terrific 2019. Thank you for being a part of our Coyotes family.
President & CEO