GLENDALE – The Coyotes staged a Town Hall Meeting for their fans on Saturday outside Jobing.com Arena just a few hours before the team’s game vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fans submitted questions to Co-owner/Executive Chairman George Gosbee, Co-owner/President/CEO Anthony LeBlanc and General Manager Don Maloney in a Q & A session that lasted just over 30 minutes.
What follows are some key quotes from the event:
Maloney on the state of the team:
“I still believe we’re a playoff team but we have to go out and show it.”
LeBlanc on the team changing its name to Arizona Coyotes starting in 2014-15:
“It is important to us that we expand our footprint. It may sound like a small thing but I’ve talked to a lot of fans from Tucson and Flagstaff and Prescott Valley and they’ve said ‘We’d like to see you embrace us and not just focus on the Valley of the Sun.”
Gosbee on input from fans:
“We value everyone’s comments and suggestions through social media and our e-mail suggestion (box). We just want to keep doing more and more and more.”
LeBlanc on uniform changes next season:
“Next year we’re just going to be doing a patch change – the PHX will get changed to an AZ. We are looking at uniform changes down the road… We have no plans on changing the logo. We think it’s the best damn logo in the League and that will stay.”
LeBlanc on a Throwback Jersey Night:
“It will happen next year… We received approval from the League last week, so that will happen at least one game next year.”
Maloney on best player:
“The guy that’s probably been the most impressive to me is Antoine Vermette … He has 20 goals now and he’s really stepped up his offense … He touches so many areas of our game and he’s getting better, and that’s the key.”
Leblanc on possibly hosting outdoor game in Arizona:
“It’s a tremendous event and it’s exactly what we need in this market to help us grow the brand of the NHL and hockey in general. I feel very confident. I think we gave a compelling story (to the League).”
Gosbee on possibly hosting an outdoor game in Arizona:
“I think we made a very good case. Obviously there are lots of cities vying for an outdoor game so we have to wait our turn … We know that we can put 55,000 people in an arena to come out and see the Coyotes play an outdoor game.”
Maloney on attendance:
“I’ve always believed that winning sells. We have to win. We need to get to the playoffs. We have to show people that we have a good product and that we know what we’re doing. And ultimately that will get more people in the building.”
Maloney on upcoming trade deadline:
“We’re always looking long-term here… I refuse to do anything short-term with what I would regard as ‘A’ assets… We’re working very hard to try to make this team better and to give ourselves a better chance… I still believe our defense is good. … We still feel like if we can get another forward or two we’ll give ourselves a chance to compete against anybody in the conference – whoever we end up playing in the playoffs… There’s still time to decide which way we’re going to go (at the trade deadline).”
NOTE: Click here to watch the Town Hall Meeting in its entirety.