Okay, honestly? I don’t think anyone knows what to do with the Arizona Coyotes. If you’re looking at the money side and business side of hockey, they bring in the least amount of revenue and the least amount of fans. They play in Phoenix and that’s not a hockey rich environment, they were 11th in the west at the time of the season pause. They beat the Nashville Predators in four games and then lost to the Colorado Avalanche in five. Phil Kessel was supposed to be the star of this team but he ended 5th in scoring with 38 points.
They’ve had some struggles with general managers and losing draft picks and changing general managers and having to renounce certain draftees. The last ten years haven’t been easier for the Arizona Coyotes and I can’t imagine that’s going to change anytime soon.
Key Additions: Johan Larsson (Buffalo Sabres)
Larsson came from the Sabres in free agency. He doesn’t have a lot of NHL ice time but he was captain of Team Sweden in the 2012 World Junior Championships and led his team to gold. Having experience in a leading role is going to help him keep this team together.
Losses: Taylor Hall (Buffalo Sabres)
Hall was one of the only consistent players in Arizona. He didn’t have a lot of points but he could move the puck. I don’t really know why they didn’t re-sign him.
Forward Line Predictions:
|Nick Schmaltz||Christian Dvorak||Conor Garland|
|Clayton Keller||Derek Stepan||Phil Kessel|
|Larson Crouse||Barett Hayton||Christian Fischer|
|Tyler Pitlick||Johan Larsson||John Hayden|
Defensive Pairing Predictions:
|Oliver Ekman-Larson||Jason Demers|
|Jakob Chychrun||Alex Goligoski|
|Jordan Oesterle||Niklas Hjalmarsson|
In the Net:
Darcy Kuemper was really the backbone of this team. In the first couple of games against the Avs, he brought real competitiveness to the ice every night. He just ran out of gas in the last two games and unfortunately got blown out. There more than likely won’t be any changes made to the Coyotes net unless Kuemper is moved to bring in some strong defensive players.
Umm… Coyotes fans, I think you know what’s coming. This isn’t your year. Maybe they can get some scoring percentages up and develop more consistency and move some players around for the 2021-2022 season. Clayton Keller has a lot of potential to kick it into high gear this season. He was a Calder Memorial Trophy finalist in 2018 a long side Brock Boeser and Mat Barzal so we know he can keep it together. Oliver Ekman-Larson has also been the only redeeming quality of the defense. But there’s only so much you can do with two skaters and a goalie.
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