Monday, October 23, 2006

Coyotes Mired in Abysmalia.

Tommy Salo Hires Hitman Disguised as Rookie Goaltender

You know your team is hurting when rookie goaltenders are comfortable roaming out of the crease to take runs at your smallish forwards. The Yotes are flat awful - mired in abysmalia (a word I think I've created just for the Coyotes). According to Bruce Garrioch in the Ottawa Sun:

"Phoenix GM Mike Barnett is itching to make a deal. Sources say every player on
the Coyotes is available — including RW Shane Doan and LW Ladislav Nagy, both
soon-to-be unrestricted free agents. Contract talks with Doan before training
camp didn’t go well. The Coyotes may also move C Dave Scatchard..."

David Vest, writing in the Arizona Republic has a piece about how Coyotes brass is dealing with the pitiful play of the club this season. It includes this line:

"[Coyotes CEO] Shumway also said neither he nor [majority owner] Moyes would be
hesitant to make a change at coach or general manager if they felt it

Yeah, right. Fire "the Great One." He'll quit before you all get a chance to fire him. He'll quit cause he hates being associated with a losing effort - even one he helped create. He'll quit and he'll take his money. Momma already prefers LA (or maybe Vegas, depending on the NFL lines that week), and you need his money and his hockey aura more than he needs the Coyotes. GM Mike Barnett is an avowed F.O.G. (Friend of Gretzky), and unless Wayne gets Mike to fall on a sword, the two are joined at the arse and will continue making dubious deals (Owen Nolan, JR, Huge $$$$$$$$ for blueliners, etc).

Garrioch mentions that the Coyotes may be looking at Yanic Perrault or Jason Allison to fill the void created by the loss of Steven Reinprecht. He also indicates that Shane Doan and Ladislav Nagy are potentially available. And those two are about the only marketable forwards on that entire roster. I think Doan has about worn out his worth as team captain, especially after Sean Avery got into his psyche the other night. Talk about negotiating from a position of weakness.

The Coyotes don't need more old and slow guys, they need and infusion of youth, size and attitude. They just need to blow it up and rebuild. Looks like that's kind of what the Kings are doing after they dealt for Jack Johnson and are starting to dangle Craig Conroy.

Anaheim is the class of that division. Dallas is good, but what are the odds that Lindros plays until the All Star break? And how's that clubhouse chemistry working? Mikey Modano is probably loving life without the C - no hurt feelings there I'm sure. The Ducks are mui-balanced - big, mean, skilled, and fast kids and vets at or near their prime. These Coyotes are an ugly combination of old and slow and young and skinny.

Wise Coyote fan, Locked in low4545, says it best in a feedback comment to the Vest article:

"Retreads like Roenick and Nolan won't cut it in the "new NHL" we were
behind the curve when they built the team prior to the lockout, then when they
realized that team wouldnt cut it they then rebuilt again with a defense
orientited team, again this puts us behind the curve in the new nhl yet again. I
see nothing but bad things from this team for YEARS to come with the current
management at the helm."

UPDATE: Phoenix sportstalk host, John Gambadoro, writing on still has some love for Doan:
"Doan could demand a trade and go to a contending team where he would have a
chance to win, maybe the Calgary Flames, his hometown team. He could force the
Coyotes' hands. Although neither side has attempted to negotiate a new deal at
this point, if Doan comes out publicly and say he will test the market the
Coyotes would have to trade him. They are going nowhere fast and maybe trading
Doan could net them something for the future, plus save them some money this
...and harsh words for Coyotes leadership:
"This collection of misfits that General Manager Mike Barnett and Vice
President Cliff Fletcher put together look completely out of place. There is no
chemistry among the players and no cohesiveness in the lockeroom. The players
aren't on the same page with each other or with the coaches. "


Drew said...

I like the new look. Sharp and clean.

Just a question. Does hockey translate well in the southwest? I don't hear much about it, and I'm sure having Gretzky involved helps some.

It's pretty well accepted that attendance follows winning, and in Columbus we've been lucky that fans have been as supportive as they have the past six years (since we kinda suck hard). I didn't know what the hockey climate was like in Arizona.

Take care. Enjoy the non-30 degree weather you're getting this week. :)


CasonBlog said...

Drew - Sorry about taking so long to respond. I think you are right on about winning creating buzz. I've bee to two Coyotes games since I've lived here and there just isn't much buzz. The building is gorgeous. The whole complex they are building around the Glendale Arena is without parallel. Shopping, dining, and that new Cardinals stadium just across the parking lot. Only problem is, it's clear out on the far western edge of the valley - not convenient to Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, etc.

There are kids playing hockey in Phoenix and Tucson and the state is full of midwesterners who moved to the warmer climes. I'm not near enough to Phx to tell how much they are part of the fabric up there. Nobody from Tucson talks about going to Coyotes games. One look at the Arizona Republic will tell you they are page C-14 news in Phx.