What's Next For The Desert Dogs?
We all know for the last couple of years the phoenix coyotes have been rebuilding. After making the playoffs year after year when they first arrived, they shipped all of their players off. Is the newly built team just over the horizion?The coyotes have missed the post season the last two years. After all there moves and coaching and staff changes, it looks as though the coyotes are nearing that goal they were looking for so long ago. A young fast team that could compete in the West for many years.
The coyotes are in great shape for the salary cap, and the new rules will only help the yotes because they are full of speedy forwards such as nagy comrie Doan, and Johnson. Heres how the Coyotes look now.
Shane Doan $3.002 million
Petr Nedved $2.204 million
Ladislav Nagy $1.976 million
Mike Comrie $1.748 million
Sean O’Donnell $1.748 million
Brett Hull $1.71 million
Mike Johnson $1.672 million
Mike Ricci $1.52 million
Denis Gauthier $1.33 million
Cale Hulse $1.14 million
Oleg Saprykin $1.064 million
David Tanabe $950,000
Fredrik Sjostrom $817,000
Brent Johnson $760,000
Matthew Spiller $722,000
Krys Kolanos $722,000
Michael Rupp Team Option) $684,000
Boyd Devereaux $684,000
Tyson Nash $608,000
Jason Chimera $494,000
Morris and Mara will accept the offers from Mike Barnett. The coyote D is young and very skilled, Dont expect to see brad Ference coming back, and young prospect Keith Ballard will be a great player in the near future.
The coyotes salary is only 28million. This gives them room to help them lock up the most important, and needed situations for the coyotes. The number 1 goalie. Phoenix will extend Boucher, but i expect him to be backing up a veteran goalie. Rumors are the return of Sean Burke or even the return of Khabibulin. I can’t see him leaving the lighnting, so i do see a return of Burke soon.
The coyotes have great centres and are even looking at another in Modano, but you will more then likely see the Coyotes aquiring Ray Whitney before Modano. Whitney is capable of playing and has played every spot on a forward line. He has been injured alot in the past which may be a red flag to BArnett, but you may expect to see him in Phoenix.
Teemu selanee is also reported to be scouted out by the coyotes staff, i think he would be a great fit there as he has played with Ricci before, and is interested in playing behind Wayne, as many players are.
I expect the Coyote lines to look like this or something like it:
Nagy Comrie Doan
Hull Nedved Johnson
Saprykin Whitney/Kolanos Selanee/Cleary
Chimera Deveraux Ricci/Sjostrom
Burke Boucher – David Lenevu
Phoenix will also have youngsters Kyrs Kolanos and Jeff Taffe. They have lots of forwards, but may want to consider shopping around for more option on the Defense, they have a solid one, but not very many in fault of injury.
I expect to see Gretzky behind the bench to lead the coyotes to hopefully, their first playoff birth since they began to rebuild, but there goalie situation is still cloudy, any thoughts?