GLENDALE - The Coyotes will welcome approximately 2,500 military members and their families on Saturday night as part of "Military Appreciation Night" at Gila River Arena.
Throughout the game against the Boston Bruins, the team will honor various military members in attendance and thank them for their service.
Many of the military members and their families will watch the game from inside arena suites provided by the Coyotes.
It promises to be a very meaningful event given the extraordinary political landscape in the United States in the days since the presidential election.
Captain Shane Doan is grateful to the military, and he's looking forward to witnessing people with different political opinions coming together to thank those who defend our nation.
"I think now, probably more than ever, it's something that's remarkable to me that people are willing to sacrifice and give up so much of their life for everyone else's freedoms, and to give up their time and to give up their lives, at times, for people that they disagree with," Doan said. "Disagreeing with people is something that's our right as a country, and the people that go over there and sacrifice their time and their life for us are fighting for that right. I think that that is so selfless and amazing and so big, that they are willing to do something that they may disagree with - certain politics and certain things going on - and yet at the same time they rise above that and offer up their life and offer up their time for the rest of us. Disagreeing is fine but hopefully (Military Appreciation Night) can bring us together on a day like that where you can recognize as a country you need to be united. I have incredible disagreements with lots of people, but that doesn't mean that you don't need to show love to each and every one. That sounds cheesy, but I think that's so important."
All fans who attend the game will receive a Coyotes dog tag bottle opener/key chain courtesy of Sanderson Ford.
The Coyotes also are partnering with "Packages From Home" on a pre-game Military Supply Drive. Fans are encouraged to bring one of the Top 10 items to any arena entry gate prior to puck drop to be donated and shipped overseas to our troops. A full list of the Top 10 most requested items is available at www.arizonacoyotes.com/militarydrive.