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'Yotes Notes: Ice Installation Set for Thursday

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – With the start of the 2014-15 season just around the corner, workers will begin installing and painting the ice inside soon-to-be named Gila River Arena early Thursday morning.

Installing the ice is a complex, time-consuming task that will require about 10,000 gallons of water and gallons and gallons of paint to finish.

Photo by Norm Hall.

The ice will be used for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 13 when rookies begin a five-day camp before the veterans report on Thursday, Sept. 18 and skate for the first time on Friday, Sept. 19.

For the first time, the installation of the ice will be live-streamed at the team’s official web site – – starting at 7 a.m. on Thursday.

The Coyotes will host 41 regular-season games at the arena starting with the home opener vs. the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 9.

The Glendale City Council is expected to approve the arena’s new name – Gila River Arena – at its next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 9. It is estimated Glendale will receive $600,000 annually as part of the arena’s new naming rights deal announced last month.

“We don’t see there being any issues with an approval (by Glendale),” Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said.

Joe Vitale. Photo by Jesse Aranda

Players have started trickling back into Arizona in recent days and most are voluntarily getting ready for the 2014-15 season by skating at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.

On Tuesday, nearly a dozen Coyotes players – including Shane Doan, Mike Smith, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Mikkel Boedker - skated informally with others for just over an hour.

Other participants included prospect Henrik Samuelsson and newcomer Joe Vitale.

“Going out here and passing the puck with your future teammates, there’s a little bit of nerves going into that,” Vitale said. “They’re trying to feel you out and you’re feeling them out. If you can get that done before camp starts, obviously that’s an advantage. I’m trying to do that now. It’s been great so far.”

The skates, which the players coordinate themselves, are staged four times per week.

Vitale, Sam Gagner and Devan Dubnyk all participated in recent “Twitter Takeovers” to enable Coyotes fans to ask the newcomers questions/get to know them a little better before the season starts.

Among the revelations:

Vitale said former teammate Sidney Crosby is, by far, the most superstitious teammate he has ever played with:

“When I first started with the Pens I felt like I was walking on eggshells on game days,” Vitale said.


Gagner said new teammate Mike Smith is the hardest goalie he’s had to score against in the NHL.

“I'm glad I'm on his side now,” Gagner said.


And Dubnyk said he’s thrilled to play for such a defensive-minded team.

"I'm looking forward to a fresh start and the chance to play on a new, hardworking team that's always competitive,” Dubnyk said.



Former Coyotes defenseman Cale Hulse has joined the team as Senior Advisor, Business Development & Alumni Relations.

Hulse played 619 NHL games, including 82 with the Coyotes in 2003-04.

His primary focus will be in corporate sponsorship sales but he will also assist in ticket sales, premium and suite sales and serve as the official liaison between the team and Coyotes Alumni.

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