Report: Coyotes ticket sales soar after Phil Kessel trade

Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka joined Sportsnet to talk about trading for Phil Kessel and what the scorer brings to the team.

Hockey fans are well aware of the impact Phil Kessel can have on the ice and the Arizona Coyotes are quickly learning of the financial impact Phil the Thrill can have on a team off the ice.

According to statistics obtained by The Arizona Republic, Coyotes tickets sales have skyrocketed since the team acquired the talented winger from the Pittsburgh Penguins less than two weeks ago.

Total ticket sales are up 550 per cent, while season-ticket sales have increased 600 per cent compared to the same time one year ago. The team’s website and app traffic plus its social media engagement have also increased, per the report.

“It’s certainly satisfying and exciting to see us doing something as a franchise that we feel makes us a much more competitive team and puts us in a better position to win,” Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen told reporter Richard Morin. “The fact that other people in this market are seeing that, fans are seeing that, and they’re jumping on board. It’s good, positive momentum for this organization.”

John Chayka has completely reshaped the Coyotes roster since being named general manager in May of 2016. In fact, only two players from the 2015-16 edition of Yotes – Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Brad Richardson – remain on the active roster.

The Coyotes haven’t qualified for the playoffs since that improbable run to the Western Conference Final in 2012 but are coming off their best regular season in five years and have momentum heading into 2019-20.

Chayka, who remains the youngest GM in the NHL, has been active on the trade front from the get-go but his acquisition of Kessel is his biggest move to date.

The New Jersey Devils are the only team that has scored fewer goals than the Coyotes in the salary cap era (excluding the Vegas Golden Knights who joined the league in 2017-18), so it’s no surprise the fan base seems delighted about finally having an offensive weapon like Kessel.

A Coyotes player has registered more than 70 points in a season just thrice (Shane Doan twice, Ray Whitney once) since the 2004 lockout. Kessel did so in each of his three seasons with the Penguins.

Only three Coyotes skaters have hit the 30-goal plateau during this time (Doan twice, Mike Comrie and Radim Vrbata once each). Kessel has scored at least 30 goals on six separate occasions during his 13-year NHL career and has registered at least 20 goals in 11 consecutive seasons.

Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane are the only players with more goals than Kessel’s 327 since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.

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