With hours left in the countdown to free agency let's take a look at what the Coyotes needs are on the wings. Sure, we still classify between left and right wings, but coaches don't seem to care much for the most part. THey just put wings wherever they feel like it seems now a days so we'll look at the whole lot. Here's the list and once again, RFAs are considered signed in this instance.
Who They Have:
Shane Doan - Duh. The man will have to be the man again as he's the top player on the forward lines. Hopefully he can have a high scoring year after two middling seasons in which he had long goalless streaks.
Ray Whitney - The Wizard may be up there in years, but he did exactly what they signed him to do once he got going last season. He started slow, but then everyone saw the amazing passes that seemingly shouldn't have made it to where they did right to open players for goals. He's a great setup guy and power play specialist.
Lee Stempniak - Kind of disappointed after a great season's end in 09-10. He pitched in some goals, but on an offensively challenged team the Coyotes need him to pitch in more than 18 this time around.
Taylor Pyatt - Really impressed the coaching staff and fans this year with his play in front of the net. He's a big guy and when he gets in front good things happen. He's not just a big body though as he found the open areas and had some sniper like shots.
Lauri Korpikoski - PK specialist and never a shorthanded surprise. He's an RFA, but shouldn't be overly expensive. GMDM and Dave Tippett both liked the way he played especially at the end of the season when off ice he had to wear a boot due to injury but still skated as hard as he could when the time came.
Paul Bissonnette - He might get some more ice time this year with the overall shortage of depth on the team, but he'll still be called on to do his job laying big hits and taking the odd guy out. Still, I hope Coach Tippett give him minutes if he's in the lineup rather than just playing 3 minutes and leaning on other players too much.
Mikkel Boedker - Probably impressed the coaching staff more than any of the young guys this time around. He dug in the corners effectively, was strong on the puck and won all those little battles Tippett goes on about. He's a nice puck handler and is dangerous if given any open ice.
Brett MacLean - Still needs skating help but is skilled at finding any way he can at making the puck go in the net. He hasn't scored his boatloads of junior and minor league goals in pretty ways, but deflects pucks, jams them in, whatever he has to do to put points on the board.
Viktor Tikhonov - If he doesn't bolt for the KHL this is certainly the year he gets up to the NHL. With the Coyotes weak at most other positions wings won't be the priority over the next couple days and weeks. He along with Boedker would make a good grinding 3rd line with the right center.
Radim Vrbata: We all know he's YotesGurl's choice, but there's little chance that he's getting 3 million dollars again. That along with the fact that he's had his best professional years here in Phoenix should be a sign that he might stay. That being said, the list of right wings is a little short this year and as we've seen, GMs are signing people to crazy deals. He could test the market to see if there's a team to pay him like Tampa did a couple years back.
Marek Svatos: He's a middle of the road kind of guy, but is young enough that he could get a deal and scores enough for GMDM to take a chance. Maloney misses on those chances once in a while, but generally finds a diamond here or there.
Tanner Glass: Inexpensive and can play some center. He might be destined to stay on the 4th line, but he'd at least add some depth that has some NHL experience.
Ville Leino: He's going to be a little more pricey, but if GMDM could some how lure him to the desert the team could use a guy that can get 20 goals and 50+ points. Still hasn't signed in Philly so there's hope.