What will hockey be like in Utah for the newly relocated St. Louis Blues rival?

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Previews - Salt Lake City
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Previews - Salt Lake City / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Let's be honest, the Arizona Coyotes relocation came by fast, though the writing on the wall has been present for years.

I don't know about St. Louis Blues fans, but I'm excited to see hockey develop in Utah.

Arizona struggles

Having spent a large part of my life in Arizona, I can personally vouch for the fact that hockey never quite took off in the state.

Sure, there are many cold-weather transplants in the Phoenix area, but they were never willing to abandon their hometown teams and root for the Coyotes. It also doesn't help that the Coyotes struggled, never developing a dominant team.

The market produced significant youth leagues and arguably assisted in the development of Austin Matthews. Still, Arizona never made a competitive team like the Vegas Golden Knights, fellow desert inhabitants.

Arizona's best season came in 2011-2012 when they reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their franchise history.

Hockey failed in Arizona.


Like Arizona, I have lived in Utah, too. Utah's motto, "Greatest Snow on Earth," really defines the Salt Lake City area, as nearby Park City is a sought-after winter sports getaway.

To remind Blues fans, Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. Though Utah only has one professional team, the Utah Jazz, anyone familiar with the area knows the Jazz fans are some of the most loyal fans in the NBA.

Jazz fans also come from nearby Idaho and Wyoming.

Expect hockey to succeed and flourish in Salt Lake. There is something about looking outside your window and seeing snow-covered mountains that signal hockey is in the air.

It would be exciting to witness a stronger rivalry between the Colorado Avalanche and Utah hockey team.

Give me a name please

Utah has yet to decide on a name. However, the following list includes trademarked potentials:
• Utah Blizzard
• Utah Fury
• Utah HC
• Utah Hockey Club
• Utah Ice
• Utah Mammoth
• Utah Outlaws
• Utah Venom
• Utah Yetis

My vote is for the Yetis; it just flows.

Expect success

In the end, hockey will succeed in Utah. The market is growing, and fans have proven loyal to their Jazz. There's a chance the hockey team could secure a top-two selection in the NHL Draft.

The Utah hockey team currently sits at No. 6 in the upcoming NHL Draft Lottery, with a 7.5% chance of winning the No.1 pick.

With a recent relocation and a top pick, Utah is expected to continue with a rebuild mentality.

We are living in exciting times.