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Knies on Coyotes potential move: 'It's pretty unfortunate'


With the Coyotes future in Arizona in doubt, Phoenix native Matthew Knies said Thursday he's hoping to see the franchise stay put.

The Toronto Maple Leafs winger attended games Coyotes games during his childhood, as did teammate Auston Matthews.

"It's pretty unfortunate. The Coyotes did a lot for me growing up, and loved going to the games. And it was a kind of big reason as to why I got into hockey," Knies said. "But yeah, that kind of situation is out of my control. And I'm hopeful that they can stay there 'cause it meant a lot to me. But yeah, I guess we'll have to see what happens."

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Wednesday that the National Hockey League sent a status report memo to its Board of Governors on Wednesday amid media speculation surrounding the Coyotes and a potential move to Salt Lake City. LeBrun added that a couple of sources who read the memo said there is still nothing done, as there are still moving parts to the whole situation.

The development came just a week after the Coyotes said that they're committed to winning an auction for a plot of land in Phoenix that would house a 17,000-seat arena and entertainment district. The Arizona State Land Department set the auction for June 27 with a starting bid of $68.5 million.

"When I was growing up it wasn't the hockey hotbed that Colorado or Chicago or Detroit was. But it was definitely growing and you could see the potential there," Knies added, "I think the Coyotes were a big part of that. It's definitely got a lot better and a lot of guys are starting to pick up a hockey stick now. It's just really good to see. 

"Again. I hope they can stay there but it's out of my control. Not really too happy about the situation but it is what it is."

The 21-year-old forward has 15 goals and 35 points in 76 games as a rookie this season, while Matthews leads the NHL with 66 goals, the most in any season in the cap era.