Greeting Phoenix Coyotes fans. In this week's edition of the Roundtable we discuss the franchise's past and race for the playoffs. We are joined by special guest Mike Grose. Mike is the co-host of the Bertrand Berry Show on The Fan AM 1060 which can be heard on weekday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. MST as well as Calling All Sports Weekend with Kevin McCabe on Saturdays from 10a.m.-1p.m. Mike can also be found on Twitter.
Jeremy Roenick is entering the Coyotes' Ring of Honor this coming weekend. Do you have a memory of the prolific center during his time in Phoenix that stick outs?
Mike Grose: I don't know how you can think of JR and not remember that he played with a broken jaw after that devastating hit by Derian Hatcher late in the 1999 season. Coming back the way he did to try and help team during the playoff series against the Blues speaks to his toughness. Probably the second toughest guy in Phoenix sports history behind Anquan Boldin. Additionally, a lot of people forget that JR had 70+ points that year. This team hasn't produced a 60 point from a player, let alone 70, for the last couple of seasons. He just brought a lot of star power to the team when they first arrived in Phoenix.
Jordan: JR's first stint in Arizona predates me and his second stint didn't exactly leave a good memory on the board. I'll always live JR though for his candor off the ice, NHL 94 and the game/series winning goal in OT against Toronto on the Sami Kapanen play. Just YouTube it.
The Dude: I actually did not regularly follow the Coyotes while Roenick was playing so unfortunately I don't have any memories of him. I am interested to watch his highlights though.
Carl: Mike and I have similar thoughts on this question. My biggest memory is the Derian Hatcher hit which broke Roenick's jaw. I'm convinced if it wasn't for the Hatcher hit the Coyotes would have easily beaten the Blues and won their first playoff series in the Valley. Though JR returned for game seven of the Blue series it was too late and he was not the same player he normally was. Seventeen days of eating/drinking out of a straw didn't exactly have him in peak condition.
If you could bring back one player who played for the franchise to help the current team reach the playoffs this season who would it be?
Mike Grose: This team has lost so many one goal games this year I cannot help but feel that if they would need someone who can bring points to the table. So, I would undo one of the worst trades ever and bring back Danny Briere. Although he has been a little banged up lately, his 30 points so far this year would still be fourth on the Coyotes. Plus, bringing him back would undo one of the worst trades ever! Chris Gratton? Really?!?
Jordan: Bring back Briere - easiest decision ever. He shores up the center position and gives you a legit goal scoring threat. Plus he is pretty good with the man advantage. Whitney and he could be scary on the ice together.
The Dude: Kyle Turris. Just kidding. For this question I will refer to my longtime friend HowlofRevel who has been following the team longer than I have and knows more about Coyotes former players. Daniel Briere, he's been pretty good this season with 13 goals and 17 assists, including two power play goals. He also has two game winning goals and scored a hat trick last month. It would be nice to have someone who can get goals, especially power play goals. He's also plus one so far this season which is good.
Carl: The open ended nature of this question allows me to go way back and suggest someone many people might not even think of. The best player to have ever played for the franchise, NHL Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk. During his playing days he was no nonsense center who could also rack up points. People tend to forget how good he was because he played during the Gretzky/Lemieux era and in smaller markets like Winnipeg and Buffalo.
Which team, currently below the seventh spot in the Western Conference, should Phoenix fear the most and why?
Mike Grose: Minnesota, Colorado, and Dallas last made the post-season in 2008, so you figure that something has to give with those teams. As I write this, I would have to say the Dallas Stars would worry me the most if I were the Phoenix Coyotes. This time of year you look at games in hand and the Stars have played the fewest number of games among those teams right around that eighth spot. They also have the most wins in regulation in that group of teams. Phoenix and Dallas still play three more times this year, so we'll see if I am right.
Jordan: The Wild. They've been on such a bad stretch and if they can get back to playing reasonably good hockey, they've got a dangerous team that always plays the Coyotes tough.
The Dude: I would say Dallas. They have the most wins of any team below 6th place, and they have played two less games than the Coyotes. They also have a winning home record and they have 15 more home games left on their schedule. They also are 2-1 against the Coyotes. The Yotes are looking for points and their conference is a good place to start.
Carl: The Avs are a bit too inconsistent for my taste, though I must say I've started to fear them more with Gigure in net. I don't believe the Wild are deep enough, but if they get Koivu back and stay healthy they could surprise me. The Flames are enigma. I'm going with the Stars. In my opinion, they are the most complete team in the bunch, plus they have games in hand on all the other squads. In addition, including tonight's game, Phoenix plays Dallas three more times this season. Those three games could determine the eighth spot.