Say goodbye to “Robo-Coyote.''
Turning a page in their history to dovetail with the opening of their arena in Glendale, the Phoenix Coyotes will announce today they are changing their primary logo and team uniforms beginning next season.
Still pending formal league approval, the team will ditch the robotic-looking desert dog — which replaced the old Winnipeg Jets logo when the team moved to Arizona in 1996 — in favor of a more traditional depiction of the animal.
The logo and the uniform will not be officially unveiled until September. Players selected by the Coyotes at Saturday's NHL Amateur Draft in Nashville, Tenn., will be slipping on the old uniform — the lame-duck Coyote.
But the team will wear the new jerseys for four months at America West Arena before it moves Dec. 27 to Glendale and plays the New York Rangers.
“We're still working on the final designs, but the finished product will be an evolution of the original logo,'' said Coyotes senior vice president of sales and marketing Brian Byrnes. “We decided we wanted an updated look to go with the new arena. We feel like we've listened to focus groups and done our homework on this.''
The NHL has instructed home teams to wear dark jerseys for next season, and league sources say the new Phoenix home jersey will be primarily a red brick color with white and green serving as secondary colors. All three colors are used in the current home jersey — one that was met with mixed results by Coyotes fans but was universally panned around the NHL as too busy and cartoonish.
Sources say the new Coyote logo has an aggressive look and is howling with its head up. The sweater neckline will be conservative and the team is considering a draw-string top — similar to those now worn by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rangers.
Byrnes wouldn't confirm any specifics, saying only, “We're using the original color palate and we see the uniform as a thread between the past and future. We think the uniform is more simple and traditional, and we think the logo has a more dynamic feel.''