'No excuses': Arizona Coyotes apologize to fans for 'question marks season after season'

Posted at 7:55 AM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 12:49:34-04

It has become customary throughout professional sports for each team to promote a slogan -- a tagline -- heading into each season.

The Arizona Cardinals have gone with "Be Red See Red" and "Team is What It Takes" in recent years, while "Ignite the Future" has been the Phoenix Suns' recent tagline of choice.

But heading into the 2016-17 season, the Arizona Coyotes have decided to buck that trend, instead issuing an apology to fans Monday -- not just for the abundance of slogans, but for their on-ice performance and their off-ice drama.

"We're sorry. Sorry for all the slogans and taglines," the Coyotes wrote in an open letter to fans. "Sorry we asked you to 'Join the Hunt,' 'Run with the Pack,' and to 'Be Coyotes Cool'... especially that one. Sorry for 'Hockey Headquarters,' 'Together We're Full Strength' and 'Not Your Dad's Original Six.'"

The letter, released on the team's social media accounts, goes on to address years of rampant rumors that the team will leave Arizona and its legal issues with the City of Glendale, along with a lackluster on-ice product. After advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2012, the Coyotes have failed to make the playoffs in each of the last four seasons.

"We're sorry for the insecurity. It's not by choice that we face some new questions and question marks season after season," the letter reads. "But hey, it's hard to overcome being the underdog (no pun intended) without some adversity."

The letter goes on to implore fans to "buy in" to what the team is creating in the Valley under new general manager John Chayka and young, emerging stars such as forwards Max Domi and Anthony Duclair.

"But we WILL overcome. We need you to buy in. We need you to see the heart, dedication and sacrifice these players bring to the ice EVERY night," the letter reads. "We need you to see our commitment to this community, and to the entire state of Arizona. We're not merely going to promote that we're 'Here to Stay'... we're going to SHOW you."

The letter ends by ensuring fans there will be "No taglines. No promises. No excuses" before declaring that this year's team will be "Coyotes 2.0."

The Coyotes' 2016-17 regular season will begin at home against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Oct. 15.