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Arizona minor league hockey team suspends season

PHOENIX — The minor league hockey affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, known for zany stunts, is taking a yearlong break, citing financial concerns.

“Slower than expected off-season revenue along with other league issues have moved us in this direction,” said Arizona Sundogs majority owner Brad Fain.

The decision was announced after the Central Hockey League gave the Prescott, Ariz.-based team permission to suspend operations for one year and still remain in good standing.

The team could return to the ice for the 2015-16 season, though it could be in a different league.

“We needed to take a deep breath and take a step back and evaluate where we are as a franchise and where we wanted to go,” said Sundogs General Manager Chris Presson. “This dormancy, while it’s unfortunate for the community for this season, gives us the chance to do that.”

In stunts to sell season tickets, Fain and Presson were buried in a 22-foot metal container and spent days on end in a scissor lift.

In a less crazy promotion, the team also honored those affected by cancer at a special game in January.

All corporate sponsors and season ticket holders can expect full refunds within 30 days.

In a statement, Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said his organization hopes to see the Sundogs return soon.