Coyotes, Tucson make it official: Moving AHL team to city

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes and Tucson made it official Thursday, saying the team is moving its American Hockey League franchise to the city.

The AHL's board of governors approved the sale of the Springfield Falcons to the Coyotes on May 10, the Tucson City Council approved a 10-year arena lease agreement between the Coyotes and the Tucson Convention Center on Tuesday and the Coyotes closed on the franchise purchase Wednesday.

The Coyotes are running a contest to name the team that will begin play in October.

The Tucson team will play in the AHL's Pacific Division. In 2015-16, the Pacific Division featured the AHL affiliates of the Anaheim Ducks (San Diego Gulls), Calgary Flames (Stockton Heat), Colorado Avalanche (San Antonio Rampage), Dallas Stars (Texas Stars), Edmonton Oilers (Bakersfield Condors), Los Angeles Kings (Ontario Reign) and San Jose Sharks (San Jose Barracuda).

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).