Report: Alex Meruelo officially relinquishes rights to Coyotes

The Alex Meruelo era is officially over.

According to a report by PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan on Wednesday, NHL debut commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the former Arizona Coyotes owner has relinquished his rights to the franchise.

In late June, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that Meruelo informed the team that he would no longer be pursuing a reactivation of the Coyotes after the hockey operations move to Utah.

Meruelo made the decision to stop looking for another arena option after another bid for a new location fell apart.

“Alex took over a franchise that had a number of challenges that he had nothing to do with creating,” Bettman said at the NHL’s Board of Governors meetings of Meruelo’s decision to walk away. “He invested a lot of himself and a lot of money in trying to turn things around, but I don’t think the stars aligned. And that franchise, well before he took over, had issues relative to an appropriate place to play.”

After Meruelo sold the team to Smith Entertainment Group in April, he retained the rights to the Coyotes’ name, logo and trademark. He was also granted a five-year window to build an arena and reactivate the Arizona franchise.

The reactivation of the franchise would have required Meruelo to pay back the $1 billion that he received when he sold the team.

As for the future of hockey in the desert, Bettman said at the NHL’s Board of Governors meetings it is not something the NHL is focused on.

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