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Phoenix Coyotes 2014/15 Team Preview

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1 Phoenix Coyotes 2014/15 Team Preview on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:53 am

Division: Pacific
General Manager: David Spang
Head Coach: Garry Valk

Last Year: An inconsistent season led to a 20th place finish. Former GM Don Maloney made a lot of deals to acquire picks and prospects and while this will likely pay dividends down the road, it led to a disappointing inaugural EEHL season. Patrick Kane and Matt Moulson led the way offensively, but a lack of depth down the middle made it tough for the team to sustain success.

This Year: A crazy offseason see’s a new GM, a new head coach and a new top player all added to the organization. To say the Coyotes have a new identity would be an understatement. The addition of Malkin should be an immediate shot in the arm offensively and lets everybody else on the team slide down a spot into more appropriate roles. Kane and Moulson will likely benefit the most from Malkin’s presence and the Coyotes can confidently say that they have a top line to match anybody in the league. In addition to Malkin, the deal to get Krejci could pay off big for the Coyotes as what was once a weakness is now an area of strength. The D is solid if unspectacular, but is also a young group that is still growing and maturing in their roles. It’s a similar theme in net with Bishop and Tokarski, only time will tell if they can help carry this team to post season success.

Projected Depth Chart
Moulson - Malkin - Kane
Kreisler - Krejci - Setoguchi
Cooke - Berlgund - Foligno
Lewis - Weiss - Nelson

Kulikov - Seekers
Gardener - Hedja
Brodie - Gudas

Bishop - Tokarski

Prospect Watch
Tyson Baillie (18): Plus shot and skating for an 18 year old, Baillie has a chance to be a top 6 center. Has to continue to work on his play away from the puck at both ends of the ice, but has shown the willingness to put in the time to improve his game.

Tomas Jurco (21): Already has NHL level skating and shooting skills. Jurco can hold his own when it comes to physical play and can take a defender one on one when he has the puck. Adept both with and without the puck, he's not a stranger to creating a play either. Very few  weaknesses in his game as it stands now and could join Baillie as a long term fixture in the Coyotes top 6 up front.

The Upside: Any time you can add arguably the second best player in the world, it gets people excited. This is a team that is poised to make one of the biggest jumps in the standings from one year to the next that the league has ever seen. The addition of Krejci was a footnote compared to the Malkin deal but not only gives them insurance in case of an injury to Malkin, but a much better looking second line than they had last season.

The Downside: As exciting as acquiring Malkin is, will they regret moving Seth Jones? If he establishes himself as a true #1 in the next 2-3 seasons and nobody on the Coyotes roster can do the same, they might. Can Bishop handle the load between the pipes or will this team be looking at a late season rental before the deadline? What effect will a rookie GM and rookie coach have on this team?

Our Prediction: 2nd in the Pacific, 3rd in the West



Last edited by The Hockey News on Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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2 Re: Phoenix Coyotes 2014/15 Team Preview on Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:20 pm

What! Surprised Garry Valk is not on the prospect watch. Who are we kidding, we know he is the coach for life

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3 Re: Phoenix Coyotes 2014/15 Team Preview on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:39 pm

Nikle

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Commissioner
Oh you and your Valklove. Something tells me at least a bit of the credit should be going Malkin's way too Wink

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4 Re: Phoenix Coyotes 2014/15 Team Preview on Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:38 am

Nope. All for the coach. Lol

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5 Re: Phoenix Coyotes 2014/15 Team Preview on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:21 am

Nikle

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Careful now, look how it turned out for Peyton when all the praise and accolades were put on his shoulders going into the Super Bowl...  Twisted Evil 

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