The Arizona Coyotes are on the verge of relocating to Salt Lake City, Utah, and the team played what is likely its last home game in Arizona, which sparked a few emotional messages from former player Paul Bissonnette, one on X and one on the TNT broadcast.

“I wish I could have been there tonight at the Mullet,” Paul Bissonnette said on X. “Thank you to every single amazing person I came across while being involved with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes organization. You made the engine run. You helped me live out my dream and I'll never forget you. I'm forever grateful. Hockey will be back in the desert.”

Bissonnette played in six seasons in the NHL, one with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the remaining five with the then Phoenix Coyotes, before they rebranded to Arizona. On the TNT broadcast, Bissonnette spoke on the Coyotes giving him a chance in the NHL.

“I was a borderline NHLer, I was fortunate enough to get picked up by waivers by the Arizona Coyotes, I thought maybe I was gonna be there a month or two and got to spend five of the best years of my life living out my dream in the National Hockey League,” Bissonnette said on TNT. “While there, met so many incredible people. Whether it was players on the team like Shane Doan, Keith Yandle. Guys on the staff like Stan Wilson who was our trainer, who came over from Winnipeg and had already been through this before. The coaching staff, even the people who looked at the rink, the ushers. So many amazing people, and when I retired, ended up having the fortunate ability to go there and start my media career.”

Bissonnette was known as more of an enforcer type with the Coyotes, as in his career, he put up seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points, according to Hockey Reference. Obviously, the Coyotes leaving Arizona hits close to home for him.

Coyotes' history in Phoenix/Arizona

The Coyotes finished their season with a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers, a good way to go out in the final home game. The team finished with a 36-41-5 record overall, and did not make the playoffs. It has been a struggle with the arena situation, which played into the move.

The franchise came to Phoenix in 1996-1997, and made the playoffs in five of the first six seasons. The following six seasons, the Coyotes missed the playoffs before returning in the next three seasons. The furthest the Coyotes made it in the playoffs was the Western Conference Final in 2011-2012, when they lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

The following seven seasons, the Coyotes missed the playoffs, and the 2014-2015 season was when they changed from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Arizona Coyotes. The last time the franchise made the playoffs was in 2019-2020 in the bubble during COVID-19.

Now, the Coyotes are on their way out, and will look to establish themselves in Salt Lake City.