COYOTES COMMITTED TO ARIZONA COMMUNITY
executives, coaches, players and broadcasters, and all money raised
from the events goes directly toward the foundation’s grant cycle,
which happens once a year. The foundation awards the grants to local
Arizona nonprofits that fall in its mission.
“We see this team as a community asset,” Cohen said. “This
community has given us an awful lot over the years and we view this
as our responsibility to give back and really expose a lot of people to
this great game of hockey.”
With regards to that exposure, the Coyotes have committed to
growing the sport of hockey within the community through their
Hockey Development Program. The goal of the program is to try to get
more people of all ages playing hockey and, to that end, the hockey
development team focuses heavily on making the game accessible
and fun for everyone.
For example, the Coyotes regularly donate street hockey equipment
to local schools and offer learn-to-play programs for boys and girls.
Current and former players often help the hockey development crew
provide instruction. Former U.S. Olympian Lyndsey Fry has joined the
team as an ambassador and has helped create her own program, Small
Frys, which is specifically designed to teach hockey to young girls.
Furthermore, the Coyotes also have constructed multiple DEK hockey
rinks across the state to provide a place for people to play the game
and to really get a feel for the dimensions and subtleties of a hockey
rink. The rinks are located in Scottsdale, El Mirage, Tucson and at Luke
Air Force Base in Glendale.
The team’s commitment to its community goes beyond financial
donations and growing the game. There also is a valuable human
component to the mission that features player visits to local hospitals,
schools, and fire and police stations. Recently, staff members
volunteered at the Veteran’s Day Parade in Phoenix to show gratitude
and support for active and non-active military personnel.
In addition, players, coaches and other staff members sometimes
volunteer at local food banks and shelters, and at other times
help rebuild homes in disrepair and help build new playgrounds in
neighborhoods needing a place for children to gather and recreate.
It’s all part of the team’s master plan to be more than just the NHL
team that happens to plays its games in the area.
“We need to engage with our community and be committed to doing
the right thing for this community all of the time,” Cohen said. “Every
day we should wake up and ask ourselves how can we make this
community a better place? That has to be a critical priority for us and