Connecticut's governor wants to bring the Coyotes to Hartford

Published: Monday, June 12, 2023 - 2:24pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - 8:20am
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.39 MB)

The commissioner of the National Hockey League has committed to keeping the Arizona Coyotes here despite Tempe voters rejecting last month the team’s bid for a new home.

Connecticut’s chief executive says he spoke with Gary Bettman about moving the Coyotes to Hartford.

During an interview with local ABC affiliate WTNH News 8, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he’s working hard to bring the Coyotes to Hartford.

Lamont was asked about a local group of prospective owners that he says is ready to buy the team.

“What do you want to tell us about that group?” asked WTNH.

“Nothing," replied Lamont

The governor and the reporter laugh. 

“Do you know them personally?” asked WTNH.

“Yeah I know them personally. They’ve expressed real interest. Now there is a lot of negotiations out there,” replied Lamont.

When asked if the Coyotes are for sale, a team spokesman replied that the Coyotes have already said they’ll play next season at Arizona State University's Mullett Arena.

The spokesman also declined to comment on “relocation speculation.”

Hartford is considered a long-shot relocation spot for the Coyotes.  

But Lamomnt said that he’ll spend more than $80 million state lawmakers just approved to renovate an arena.

“NHL is going to cost a lot more than to bring it up to NHL standards. (If) we get the Whalers back, we’ll do it,” said Lamont.

Hartford’s National Hockey League team named the Whalers left for North Carolina in the 1990s.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Arts + Entertainment