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“We’re not striving for mediocrity here. We’re striving to be the best, so I want my guys to focus on the process of getting better every day. I know it’s a cliche but I really feel like if we take care of our own business here, we can improve and have a real strong season where we can kind of earn that right to be proud and confident in our group and our organization and believe that we can be the best.
“I want guys that dictate the outcome and feel like if we play our game, we can win every night.”
-John Chayka, GM of the Arizona Coyotes. Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports has more on the Coyotes.
from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,
Five days after the press release was posted, the buzz had barely dwindled, the surprise still there. “I’ll be honest, it’s a little bit overwhelming,” Dawn Braid says. “I’m not used to this kind of attention. I haven’t really wrapped my head around everything that’s happened.”
Until August 24, when the Arizona Coyotes made Braid their new skating coach and what’s believed to be the first full-time female assistant in NHL history, the 52-year-old had always preferred operating at low-key levels. Her private training business, located in Ontario, maintains no website and buys no advertisements, relying only on reputation and referrals. Her two sons still tease her about social media illiteracy. There is genuine concern in her voice when she says of all this newfound attention, “I was on the ice today, and I was a little worried. Am I going to go in and are there going to be people watching me? Is it going to be fair to the players I’m working with?”
No, Braid didn’t think much of Arizona announcing her hiring, in the final paragraph of a 280-word memo that also welcomed aboard a development coach (Mike Van Ryn) and a skills coach (Steve Potvin). This was merely the next logical step in a long career, ever since her late father first nudged her down this road.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
Just in case you haven’t been paying close attention to the paper trail, the Coyotes’ highest paid forwards are now Bolland and former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk.
Bolland, who scored one goal in 25 games for Florida last season, has three years and $16.5 million remaining on his contract. Before the swap with Arizona, the Panthers were seemingly stuck with that financial headache, unable to buy him out of that deal because of injury.
Datsyuk, who has left for St. Petersburg in the KHL, has one year and $5.5 million left ($7.5 million salary cap hit) on the contract he signed with Detroit. The Coyotes secured Detroit’s first-round pick at June’s NHL draft as part of the deal for taking on Datsyuk’s salary, using that selection to choose defenceman Jakob Chychrun.
On defence, the Coyotes also boast the salary of the long ago retired Chris Pronger. Pronger, who owns a $4.935 million salary cap hit and $575,000 salary next season, was acquired, along with Nicklas Grossmann, in last summer’s trade for Sam Gagner.
Add it up and the Coyotes will be paying an eyebrow-raising $11.575 million next season for a trio of players who may never play a game for them.
None of the above is meant as a shot at John Chayka, the 27-year-old general manger of the Coyotes. He was hired largely because of his analytical abilities, looking for creative solutions to financial puzzles while aiming to build the most competitive team possible. He is doing that.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed forward Radim Vrbata to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to sign Radim to a one-year contract,” said Chayka. “He’s a proven goal scorer who will add skill and smarts to our lineup. We look forward to having him back in a Coyotes uniform this season.”
The 35-year-old Vrbata recorded 13-14-27 and 12 penalty minutes (PIM) in 63 games with the Vancouver Canucks last season. In 2014-15 with Vancouver, Vrbata scored the second highest goal total of his career (31).
"I'm very excited to rejoin the Coyotes," said Vrbata. "My family and I love living in Arizona and I'm really looking forward to helping this team win."
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.
The latest edition features Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka:
Just the other day you signed Luke Schenn. You already signed Alex Goligoski this offseason. Obviously you have Oliver Ekman-Larsson. What is the philosophy behind the defense that you're building in Arizona and where do you think it is now in relation to what it was last season?
"The philosophy is fairly simple. It's when we don't have the puck, recover the puck as quickly as possible. There are all kinds of different forms where you can gain possession of the puck, some of them are physical and some of them are non-physical, so I think you need a blend to have both. Once you get the puck back it's to transition the puck. Defense isn't about defending, it's about getting the puck in the forwards' hands and getting the puck moving into the offensive zone. It's about transitioning. That's the philosophy and that's been the theme behind the moves that we're making, let's get players who can get pucks back and get pucks up to forwards in an efficient and effective manner. We think we've taken strides here. We hope there is an improvement. We believe there will be an improvement. Now it's about continuing to look to tweak it. We also have Anthony DeAngelo on the back end. We traded for him and we think he's a real treat for forwards to play with because he gets them the puck in positions where they can be successful and he can join the rush himself. We're hoping for an impact from him at some point in this season. We're hopeful that the whole group can continue to grow together.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed defenseman Luke Schenn to a two-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased to sign Luke to a two-year contract," said Chayka. "He's a good, young defenseman and we feel we can optimize his performance here. He will be a solid addition to our blue line."
The 26-year-old Schenn registered 4-12-16 and 82 PIM in 72 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings last season. The Saskatoon, SK native has recorded 28-100-128 with 409 PIM in 566 career games with the Kings, Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 6-foot-2, 229 pound Schenn was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) by the Maple Leafs in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed Shane Doan to a one-year contract. As per Club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to have Shane back for another year," said Chayka. "No one has done more for this franchise than Shane. He's one of the best captains in the NHL and we are lucky to have him."
The host of Dean Blundell & Co. goes on an epic rant about Shane Doan, “a guy that looks forward to sucking every season.”
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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