TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes‘ Tucson farm team will be called the Roadrunners.
The American Hockey League team’s name and logo were revealed by Coyotes’ President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc at an open house event at the Tucson Convention Center. The Coyotes recently bought the Springfield, Massachusetts, team and moved it to Tucson.
The Roadrunners name was first used in Arizona hockey in 1967 when the Phoenix Roadrunners of the Western Hockey League became Arizona’s first professional sports team. The moniker stuck for Phoenix’s World Hockey Association team in the 1970s, and also was used by a series of Phoenix minor league teams.
"The Tucson Roadrunners will build on the great traditions of hockey in Arizona dating back to 1967," LeBlanc said. "Roadrunners was the overwhelming fan favourite during our ‘Name the Team’ contest, and we thank the thousands of fans who helped us select a great name that creates a strong connection to the City of Tucson, reflects our state pride, and extends the reach of the Coyotes brand."
The Roadrunners’ primary logo features a fierce bird in full hockey gear. The sweater on the roadrunner includes the flag of Arizona in Coyotes colours, an emblem also used by the Coyotes as a shoulder patch. The roadrunner’s head, tail, gloves and striping on his jersey, pants and socks are copper in reference to the "Copper State" and mineral wealth in Tucson and Arizona.
The Coyotes also announced that they will hold a Red and White intra-squad game on Sunday, Oct. 9 at the Tucson Convention Center. The NHL and AHL players will play in the game that will benefit the University of Arizona’s hockey program.
Tucson has had several minor league franchises including the Mavericks of the Central Hockey League (1975-76), the Icemen of the Southwest Hockey League (1976-77), the Rustlers of the Professional Hockey League (1978-79) and the Gila Monsters of the West Coast Hockey League (1997-99).