Marchand has been increasingly vocal on Twitter lately, speaking out on issues ranging from getting chirped by opponents to labour issues that the league is facing while pulling out of the upcoming Olympics.
The Coyotes are reportedly in talks to move into Arizona State’s arena, which can only host 5,000 fans — an absolute nightmare scenario for the moribund franchise. It would be the smallest venue in the league by far, and frankly the team should elect to relocate if it can’t be sustained, despite Gary Bettman’s best efforts.
Marchand was asked about Arizona's arena woes and fired away:
“The only way they get 5,000 fans at their games now is if they give 4,500 away for free so wouldn’t change much,” Marchand wrote Thursday after being prompted by freelance writer Matt Kalman.
It’s a pretty accurate assessment by Marchand and a clever burn at the same time. Arizona is averaging just over 11,000 fans per game, the 30th-best total in the league, with Ottawa and Buffalo as the only clubs faring worse. There is a key difference though, as the Senators and Sabres both have vocal, in-house fan bases that are merely tired of perpetual losing, whereas the Coyotes’ market rarely has any sustained interest in the team. Since 2014-15, Arizona has never fared better than 28th in average attendance.
Playing in a 5,000-seat arena is an admission that the club can’t sustain the interest that any North American men’s professional franchise ought to generate, but the Coyotes are still marching forward. We’re looking forward to seeing what Marchand has to say when the Bruins play the Coyotes on Friday evening at Gila River Arena.
But if Marchand rips the Coyotes and no one’s around to hear it, does it really count?
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