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Coyotes to play Stars in El Paso for Kraft Hockeyville USA

Coyotes picked to play in this year's Kraft Hockeyville USA in El Paso, TX.

Arizona Coyotes v San Jose Sharks Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images

Earlier today it was announced that Arizona Coyotes will be playing the Dallas Stars in this year's Kraft Hockeyville USA held in El Paso, Texas.

The game was initially scheduled for 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced organizers to reschedule it to October 3rd of this year.

Kraft Hockeyville first took place in 2006, where it was limited to exclusively Canadian cities. However, United States candidates were eligible in 2015, with the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, PA, winning the inaugural US game.

As the hosting city, El Paso won $150,000 in rink upgrades from Kraft Heinz and $10,000 worth of new equipment from the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund.

The Arizona Coyotes don’t often get selected for events like this, and it is great to see them picked. The Coyotes ownership group has shown a commitment to growing the game of hockey, and this year’s matchup in El Paso should provide an excellent opportunity to grow the sport in the Southwest.

The game could also be the first step in fostering a rivalry between the Stars and the Coyotes. With the Coyotes moving to the Central Division, the Stars have become a division rival, and nothing helps build hockey fandom more than rivalries.