Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Davis Harper of NHL.com,
How much stronger are Arizona's bottom-six forwards? -- This summer the Coyotes acquired Joe Vitale and B.J. Crombeen, two disciplined and physical forwards, to anchor the fourth line. Antoine Vermette, entering the final year of his contract, looks likely to move down to third-line center where he can display his faceoff and forecheck abilities. In all, the additions should help Arizona roll four lines in an unforgiving Pacific Division and Western Conference.
"When you've got players like [Anze] Kopitar, [Ryan] Getzlaf, [Joe] Thornton, players who can exploit you, we need players who can play against them even if they are third- or fourth-line players," Tippett said. "That's what's going to keep us competitive in our division."
Can Mike Smith recover his 2011-12 form? -- If Arizona wants to return to the playoffs and compete for a Stanley Cup, there is perhaps no more important player on the roster than Smith. The goaltender proved this in 2011-12, when he sparked a run to the Western Conference Final. Smith's past two seasons, however, have been marked by inconsistency. After signing a six-year, $34 million contract last summer, Smith allowed 2.64 goals-per-game and had a .915 save percentage.
"Last year I think he was coming off a big contract and put a lot of pressure on himself with the Olympics and all of the above there," Tippett said of Smith's season. "Speaking with him this summer, he just seems like a more relaxed player. He understands his role, and I expect Smitty to have a wonderful year this year."
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc announced today that the Coyotes and Arizona based Gila River Casinos have agreed to terms on a nine-year partnership agreement that includes the naming rights for Glendale Arena. The agreement is pending approval from Glendale City Council on September 9. If approved, the new name of the venue will be Gila River Arena. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
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...
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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