More than one thousand hockey fans braved blistering heat on Saturday afternoon to attend an Open House staged by the Coyotes inside Jobing.com Arena.
Twenty of the team’s top prospects, who are in town for the annual development camp, signed autographs for nearly two hours.
Some fans attended to pick seats for the 2009-10 season, the schedule for which will be released on Wednesday.
“We wanted our fans to have the opportunity to meet our young prospects and see the future of the Phoenix Coyotes,” Team President Doug Moss said. “I am really thrilled with the turnout. It’s a hot day here in the Valley and people came out and had a great time. I think our fans are just excited to talk about hockey…That’s what today is all about.”
Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson
, the sixth overall pick in last month’s NHL Entry Draft, was among the prospects signing autographs. So were other 2009 draftees Chris Brown
and Mike Lee.
Fans at the event were treated to free hot dogs and soft drinks.
Annette Tom of Phoenix attended the Open House and was able to get all 20 prospects to sign her “Game On Arizona!” placard.
“It’s so good to know that the team is going to stay in Glendale,” Tom said. “Our whole family loves the Coyotes. I don’t know what we would have done if they'd left.”
Despite the heat, Josh Taylor of Buckeye showed up wearing his red Coyotes sweater and a foam puck on his head.
“I love my Coyotes,” Taylor said. “I wanted to see some of the rookies because I’m really excited about a couple of them. (General Manager) Don Maloney has made a lot of good draft picks since he’s been here.“