Coyotes staff rescue Alberta club

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

TORONTO - Just to show that Sun Belt teams aren’t out to kill small-market hockey in Canada, we bring you a heartwarming tale from Phoenix.

A midget team from Edmonton was in Peoria, Ariz., near Glendale for a tournament the past few days, storing all its gear in a trailer. Thieves broke into the vehicle and stole all the hockey bags, leaving the Alberta squad out of business.

But there are some wiley Coyotes on the club’s equipment staff and when they got a call about the kids’ plight from a colleague with the Oilers, they sprang into action.

Head equipment manager Stan Wilson began collecting skates, pants, pads and sticks from around the Coyotes’ dressing room and training facility.

“We just basically got a rundown of their skate sizes, which way they shot — left or right,” Wilson told the Arizona Republic. “We just threw together a bunch of stuff and hauled it over to the rink. They went through it, suited themselves up, and away they went.”

Wilson, who moved with the team from Winnipeg in the mid 1990s, said he never had heard of an entire team victimized by theft. As for the loan perhaps getting a few Edmonton fans to change stripes when the Coyotes come north?

“That’s what I’m hoping for,” Wilson said.


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