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Utah welcomes new NHL franchise to town with an event at the Delta Center

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Utah’s new NHL franchise was officially welcomed to Salt Lake City on Wednesday in an event at its new home — the Delta Center. The former Arizona Coyotes got a chance to be up close and personal with their new fanbase as they were officially introduced.

While the team doesn’t have a name just yet, there’s still quite a bit of optimism for the franchise’s future.

“We’re 70 people who got traded the same day and we’re going to the same place,” Utah head coach André Tourigny said. “I think all of that creates some magic. I think we’ll just be tighter with that. When you want to win championships, you need to go through the trenches together. We went through some trenches this year.”

Fans packed the Delta Center, home of the NBA‘s Utah Jazz, for the free event, and showed that there’s a ton of enthusiasm for the new team.

“We’re now a part of history,” Utah forward Lawson Crouse added. “Not too many people get to say they can do this. Obviously, the circumstances over the past couple of weeks have been unlike anything out there, but to be here now we feel honored, and we feel blessed and we’re really looking forward to get things rolling here.”

Players like Clayton Keller, Crouse, Nick Bjugstad and Liam O’Brien took to the microphone and had messages for the crowd of 12,400 fans. It’s safe to say that O’Brien may be the top fan favorites in Utah.

“How we doin’ guys? Let’s go! My name is Liam O’Brien and you guys can call me ‘Spicy Tuna.’ I cannot wait to get this place buzzin,'” O’Brien screamed into the microphone.

While the new NHL franchise playing in Utah is official, there are still details that need to be hammered out as they approach their inaugural season. The team doesn’t have a practice facility just yet, but they’re expected to make temporary arrangement with rinks in the area until a permanent one is made available.

The former Coyotes produced a 36-41-5 record (77 points) during their final season in Arizona.

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