Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Eisenberg at PuckDaddy,
When the Phoenix Coyotes hired Canada native J.J. Straker as their ice maker last summer, the new job inspired more than just the usual congratulatory hugs and handshakes from his friends and family.
"There was a lot of excitement because people knew hockey's my passion, but they would ask, 'How are you going to do that there?'" Straker recalled with a chuckle. "Making ice in Arizona? It doesn't seem like that will work."
Cultivating a perfect sheet of ice is a challenge anywhere, but it's an especially difficult job in the National Hockey League's hottest city. The average annual high in the sun-baked Phoenix-Glendale area is more than 86 degrees and temperatures routinely soar past 100 by the start of the playoffs in late April, making it tougher for Straker to produce ice of the proper thickness and consistency than it is for peers who work in cooler climates.
from Peter Corbett of the Arizona Republic,
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers on Monday asked the state attorney general to investigate a previously undisclosed meeting of City Council members and an Arizona Coyotes attorney last June, days before the council approved a $225 million agreement with the team.
Weiers, who voted against the deal that kept the hockey team in Glendale, said he believes the meeting violated the Arizona's Open Meeting Law and revealed key information to the Coyotes about the city's negotiating position.
"I think it's a clear violation," he said. "That meeting is wrong on so many levels. It's like playing poker and showing your opponents all your cards."
Violations of the Open Meeting Law can rescind actions taken by elected officials, which could potentially void Glendale's deal with the team, which was then called the Phoenix Coyotes.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
It's clear the Coyotes need to bolster their scoring options, but by late July or early August the remaining free agents don't usually provide that type of impact. A trade still is a possibility, and that might be the best remedy.
But even that might take some time to execute — perhaps in training camp when teams have a front-row seat to their deficiencies, and the pressure is on to find solutions. At this point in the summer, patience typically is the smartest course of action. That could end up paying off for the Coyotes.
Because they still have two forward spots available, a prospect such as Max Domi, Henrik Samuelsson or Tyler Gaudet could wow the coaching staff and help pick up some of the offensive slack during the season.
Recently acquired center Sam Gagner might capitalize on a new surrounding and finally have the breakout year many have been awaiting. And winger Martin Erat might rediscover his offensive touch in his first full season with the team.
All of these variables could pan out for the Coyotes. Or they might not.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed forward David Moss to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“David is an intelligent, steady, reliable player who fits into our style of play,” said Maloney. “We are pleased David decided to resign with us in Arizona.”
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Moss recorded 8-14-22 and 18 penalty minutes (PIM) in 79 games with the Coyotes last season. The 32-year-old native of Livonia, Mich., has registered 74-92-166 and 133 PIM in 441 career NHL games with the Calgary Flames and Coyotes.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed Darcy Regier to a multi-year contract to serve as the team's Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased Darcy has decided to join us in Arizona," said Maloney. "Darcy adds intelligence and experience to our management team. The wealth of knowledge he has garnered as a long time General Manager in the National Hockey League is invaluable to us. He is a great addition to our staff."
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
... it is an annual rite of summer to have Keith Yandle trade rumors swirling, and this is an important offseason for the Phoenix Coyotes, who were some folks' pick (OK, mine and mine alone) to win the Stanley Cup last year....
Phoenix is deep along the blue line and Yandle would command a handsome return, but the guess here is that if Yandle is moved it will be for immediate assistance rather than top draft picks. The Coyotes need help down the middle.
You wonder if the Edmonton Oilers have any decent forwards they would be willing to give up for a smooth, puck-moving defenseman? Or are the Oilers determined to stay in the hunt for yet another first overall draft pick next summer?
The Ottawa Senators need help up front, so Yandle is not necessarily a fit there, but longtime Senators center Jason Spezza would be a nice fit for the Yotes.
more topics such as how about Adam Oates as the coach of the Penguins and the Andrei Markov signing...
from Adam Green of Arizona Sports,
(Don) Maloney said turning to players like the 19-year-old Domi and 20-year-old Samuelsson may mean accepting the types of miscues that come with younger players, but feels like both have proven they're ready to contend for an NHL roster spot.
(Max) Domi, a center, tallied 93 points (34 goals, 59 assists) along with 90 penalty minutes for the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights last year, posting a +24 in the process. (Henrik) Samuelsson, also a center, earned 95 points (35 goals, 60 assists), 97 PIMs and a +35 for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League....
Of the team's top eight scorers last season, four are at least 31 or older. The emergence of Mikkel Boedker, who poured in 51 points, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who chipped in 44, give the team reason for optimism, but it wouldn't hurt to have more youth come through the pipeline as the team moves into a different era.
And if it sounds like the Coyotes are looking to undergo a bit of a youth movement, well, Maloney said that's not exactly inaccurate, but there's more to it than that.
"If you look at where we have been the last four years prior to our ownership group taking over, it was all about survival; nothing more, nothing less," he said, adding that he's not sure if that's even a bad thing, having a minimum expectation of reaching the playoffs. "And now I think, this is more we've had the same sort of group for a number of years. We can't be satisfied with where we're at, and even though we just missed we still missed, so we're looking hard."
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
In the coming weeks, the Coyotes likely will execute the bulk of their roster decisions, shaping not only the expectations for 2014-15 but also the realistic results. The draft, which usually coincides with the first wave of trade activity, starts Friday, and free agency opens July 1.
And ownership already has handed General Manager Don Maloney a budget that is higher than the one he initially anticipated retooling the Coyotes with this summer — an obvious perk of having bosses in adjacent offices rather than in NHL headquarters.
"It's fair to say we will be right in the middle when it comes to where we have approved Don to go to in regards to payroll," President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said.
Considering the salary cap is rising and the Coyotes already have a No.1 goalie, elite defenseman and depth at center, it's entirely possible this budget is enough to flip their fate next spring.
"Does my gut tell me we'll make some moves?" LeBlanc said. "Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised to see us make some moves."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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