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The Yote: An NHL Hallowe’en Tale

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With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe, on the spookiest night of the year, we thought we’d tell a story of a strange off-day encounter in Gila River Arena.

Once upon an off-day dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
O’er many a bad GM trading Larsson for Taylor Hall,
Suddenly there came a tapping, stick on ice gently rapping,
calling me to pass the puck so one could shoot and score.
“Tis OEL” I muttered “back on ice to skate some more”
“only this, and little more”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was October, not December,
as I pondered Antti Raanta and his love for saves back-door
Eagerly I sought tomorrow - another win I hoped to follow
from the four collected in a row by a team who loved to score
Goals aplenty pouring from the team who loved to score
So fans here, worry no more.

And each broken relocation joke from other’s fans now spoken
Thrilled me, filled me with amusement and glee never felt before,
In the state of Arizona, hockey fans, no longer loners
know our team is better than in years and here for evermore
“No relocation necessary, we’ll be here for ever more”
“Fear us, NHL, for there’s a shock in store”

Came a howl, from concourse level, like a unbound demon’s revel
My spine tingling, now I raced downstairs to open concourse door
But concession stands were silent, from the staircase, only quiet
For on off-days no fans filled the rink or browsed in the merch store
On the concourse only silence, save for whispers down the hall
“Let’s go Yotes, shoot and score”

Back into arena turning, desert soul within me burning
Soon I heard a howl, even louder than before
And from the ice there came a clatter, as a pane of glass did shatter.
And my heart went pitter-patter as I this mystery explored
Went down to ice-level, for to this mystery explore
For ‘twas rink maintenance, no more!

And then the bench gate wide did open - from darkness came, with no word spoken
A proud and watchful Yote, from the desert tales of yore.
Not a sound he made, nor howled he, nor a bark, and nor did growl he
But on center ice did prowl he, for to skate and skate some more,
Prowled onto center ice to skate and skate some more,
Prowled then sat, and nothing more.

And his gold eyes I regarded, as they watched me, hard and guarded
Laying my soul bare each passing second they my heart explored
And then...amazingly, a smile, came from this fauna filled with guile
And lo, he spoke to ease my troubled mind and all it bore.
Only these words he spoke, only these for ever more.
Let’s go Yotes...shoot and score”

A mighty goal horn sounded, and from the empty seats around me
A sound arose, a raucous cheer, a yell, a mighty roar
And Gila River quivered, and my very bones did shiver
To hear the ghostly Pack rejoicing, with their echoing roar
A mighty, ghostly Pack rejoicing loudly here for evermore
“Let’s go Yotes...shoot and score”

And the Yote grinned so widely, dismissed old jokes made snidely
And once again he howled, and turned back to the bench door,
But before the ice now leaving, he turned and stared at me, chest heaving
At my dumbstruck countenance and the look of shock it wore.
Eyes flashing gold, one last time, he said with a mighty roar
“LET’S GO YOTES...SHOOT AND SCORE!”

I watched as his fur faded, proud tail now by darkness shaded
I reflected on the message this spectral Desert Dog he bore
For players may be traded, losing seasons leave fans jaded
But all that pain brought us this season, and great things now in store
With Galchenyuk, Keller, and them all, great things are now in store,
For the Pack, loyal evermore.

So I turned, homeward starting, from the Yote spirit parting
Temporarily, til next time Gila River opens up its door,
Considering games waiting to be, and the playoff race, and maybe
A future where Lord Stanley darkens the arena door
But whatever comes, our pack still howls in Arizona evermore
“LET’S GO YOTES...SHOOT AND SCORE!”

Happy Hallowe’en, Coyotes and their fans, from all at Five For Howling!