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Hey Jacques, it's Don...I think we changed our mind...want a tall, creepy-looking offensive forward?

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It is with much disappointment that I am writing this post.  Going into the All Star Break, I really thought that this was the year that the Coyotes were not going to be selling everything that wasn't bolted down at the trade deadline...

However, following the abysmal performance of the team since then, it's pretty clear that it's time to SELL, SELL, SELL (move the money into pork backs and orange juice)...

So the question is, who are the untouchables?  Who are the guys that we will personally drive to their new home?

My general thought is that there are 6-7 untouchables on the team: Doan, Mueller, Hanzal, Boedker, Turris, Michalek [and Bryz, probably].

Then there are a few guys that are likely untradeable due to their contracts: Jovo, Fridge.

After that, there are a lot of guys that I like a lot, but I think I'd be willing to see leave if another team blew the 'Yotes away with a great deal: Carcillo, Lisin, Sauer, Lindstrom, Yandle, Winnik, Reinprecht, Tikhonov.  These are all great players, but I'm not sure that they are not replaceable by other pieces in the organization.

Of the remaining guys that might generate some interest (or not), who are we willing to see depart before trade deadline day in 5 days?

Jokinen:  I really wanted this trade to work out...I really, really did.  Giving up Ballard hurt a lot, and for the first few weeks when Jokinen looked like the top-line center he was being brought in to be, I was almost content.  But since the end of December or so, as Jokinen goes game after game without a point (recent hat trick in LA notwithstanding), and our defense is littered with more and more irresponsible plays, I really miss Ballard (and even Boynton).  Can this be cured by getting Jokinen a consistent set of linemates and another year to get comfortable in his role - possibly.  He's certainly looked better since being paired with Mueller and Carcillo for the last few games (their line was a lone bright spot last night in the offensive zone; giving up the 4-1 opportunity that led to Nashville's 4th goal was not good, though).  I'd be listening to any and all offers.  He might be worth a top-level prospect, roster player and draft pick to some teams...I think this is an area that needs to be explored.

D-Mo: After last season, I would've said D-Mo should stay for as long ashe wants to and be our top-defensive d-man.  He was ridiculously good in 07-08.  This year, he's been flying with a lot of different co-pilots on the blueline, and his play has shown it.  I don't think he's gotten comfortable with any of them.  He's a UFA at the end of the season, and I'm not sure even with the hometown discount, he's going to be in Maloney's price range. 

Hale: I will drive him to any destination personally...I believe I can put together a team of people to do this (kind of like passing the Olympic torch).  The less time I need to see Hale on the blueline, the lower my blood pressure will be.  The fact that he takes playing time from Yandle (who needs it if he will fulfill his potential as a top offensive defenseman who is not a complete liability in his own end; think Mike Green potential), the more Gretzky is hurting the team in years to come.  I'll trade Hale for a crate of Gatorade...

Telly: I think Telly's gotten a bum deal the second half of the season.  Not that Bryz has been terrible, but Telly's deserved more playing time.  He's a great competitor, and does all the little things a back-up goalie is asked to.  He's definitely someone you'd love to have on your team...but he's another UFA at the end of the season, and the 'Yotes have a bunch of guys in the minors that may be ready to step up (Tjordman, Montoya, the swedish kid whose name I am blanking on).  Basically, if a team is willing to give up some more defensive prospects and/or draft picks, I think Maloney needs to entertain those offers.

Basically, I think the Coyotes might have a lot of offensive depth coming forward to play a lot of roles.  I am interested to see what guys like Porter, Kolarik and MacLean can do on the big stage.  I am worried about the defense, though.  Ahnelov is waiting in the wings, and Yandle and Michalek are (hopefully) going to be here for a while; Jovo is signed for several more years.  Sauer hasn't looked great since his injury but was fantastic beforehand...I'd be looking for some young d-men to fill this core group out.  I like Klee, but I don't want to see more of him next year.

Those are the thoughts I'm having on this disappointing Friday morning...this season gave us a lot to cheer about (and yes, there's still an outside chance of the 'Yotes ripping off a ridiculous final 20 games to propel themselves into the postseason).  But the pessimist in me says we're still at least a year away...

Apologies Odie if I'm jumping the gun a bit with this...needed to get it off my chest...

Five for Howling is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Phoenix Coyotes and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor(s) of Five for Howling

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