Todd Walsh

Arizona Coyotes broadcaster Todd Walsh went viral this week for his emotional, elegant farewell to the team, which is relocating to Salt Lake City after 28 years in Phoenix.

Thursday, he went into a deep dive on the team’s sale and move, and he says everyone he’s talked with is in agreement: “This didn’t have to happen.”

In an appearance on the Bickley & Marotta show on Arizona Sports 98.7, Walsh talked about the harsh reality of seeing the team’s sale and pending relocation.

“As I said, I’ve been sort of preparing for this moment, but I never thought it would be when the team was turning out the lights after we were done with our broadcast and leaving town,” Walsh said.  “But I just wanted to speak from the heart and I wanted to thank the game and acknowledge briefly somehow, some way the people in it, because if you’ve been around this sport even a minute, I think you start to understand [and] realize that there’s nothing quite like the sport of hockey and the people in it and the great reverence that they have for anyone that puts time into the game.”

Now, Coyotes faithful, whether fans or employees, are left wondering what went wrong. Walsh said conversations he’s had with people around the organization have “felt like a wake.”

He said he’s talked with a number of people, and a common theme has emerged.

“The first words that one of us would say – it was universal – [were], ‘This didn’t have to happen,’” Walsh said. “That’s what I kept hearing, and then I started to repeat it, and that’s how I feel today. I’m not smart enough to talk about finances when you’re getting into the billions of dollars, but I am smart enough to know how things can work and I’ve seen it work. And I’ve seen the due diligence that has been done and has to be done in a situation like this in cultivating a sport, and I’ve seen how it has failed.”

In case you missed it, here’s Walsh’s emotional farewell to the Coyotes as host on the local television broadcasts on Scripps Sports.

“The Coyotes, as you know, never won a Cup, but we went through a whole heck of a lot together,” Walsh said. “This is my message to you, Coyote fans who have been there since Day One, and it’s simply this … we walk together forever as Coyote fans.”

Walsh then addressed speculation that Phoenix would land a new NHL team in the league’s next round of expansion.

“Show me the money,” Walsh said. “Look, I want to believe in that. … I believe the NHL is committed to this market … but I don’t know when that happens.

“I believe that there will be a team here … they desperately love this market and I think they don’t want to turn their backs on it. But things are going to have to happen before that ever happens.”

[Barrett Sports Media]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.