FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, April 5, 2021
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes announced today that the club will induct Leighton Accardo into its Ring of Honor on Saturday, April 17 when the team hosts the St. Louis Blues. Game time is 3:00 p.m. at Gila River Arena. Accardo will become the first individual who is not a former player, coach, general manager, or broadcaster, to be inducted into a team's Ring of Honor in the Valley and the entire NHL.
Accardo, who was beloved by the Coyotes organization, passed away on November 24, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. Accardo will join Wayne Gretzky and former Coyotes/Jets franchise players Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Teppo Numminen, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, and Bobby Hull in the club's Ring of Honor. Accardo's family members will be in attendance for the pre-game ceremony.
"Leighton was a very special person, and we were all inspired by her incredible strength, courage, positivity, and passion for life," said Coyotes President & CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. "Leighton loved the game of hockey and she had an incredible impact on our entire organization and the Arizona hockey community. We are honored to carry on her legacy and preserve her memory by inducting her into our Ring of Honor. Leighton will forever be a part of our Pack."
"Our family is so honored and so proud to be a part of the Arizona Coyotes organization," said Carly Accardo. "The Coyotes embraced our daughter and made her feel like the superstar she was. She deserved every bit of the attention that she received, and the Coyotes made her last few months of life so memorable for her. We will forever be grateful to the Coyotes and we appreciate everything that the club has done to honor Leighton and make sure that she will never be forgotten. The Coyotes continue to amaze us and go above and beyond."
As part of the Leighton Accardo Legacy Game, Coyotes players will wear special warmup jerseys in her honor. The white jerseys will all feature "LEIGHTON 49". The jerseys will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Leighton Accardo Scholarship Fund which provides financial assistance to girls interested in playing hockey in Arizona. The Coyotes players have worn "LA49" stickers on their game helmets all season long to commemorate Leighton.
This past February, Coyotes Director of External Engagement & Female Hockey/Radio Analyst Lyndsey Fry spearheaded the "Skatin' For Leighton" event. Fry, who is also the President of the Arizona Kachinas, rollerbladed 96 miles across the Valley to raise funds for the Leighton Accardo Scholarship Fund. To date, the Coyotes have raised $75,000 for the scholarship fund.
Fans interested in donating to the Leighton Accardo Scholarship Fund can visit: ArizonaCoyotes.com/skatinforleighton.