Rob Klinkhammer: The most Phoenix Coyotes player that ever was?

Christian Petersen

It hasn't taken long for Rob Klinkhammer to establish himself as the poster child of what Phoenix Coyotes hockey is all about.

It isn't too difficult to discern what the Phoenix Coyotes' shtick (for lack of a better, less interesting word) is as an organization. As a franchise that had been without an owner, and had the constant threat of relocation hanging over their heads, the Coyotes boast a few key traits that make them what they are.

As a team, the Coyotes play with a gigantic chip on their shoulder. This is echoed in their play from game to game and from shift to shift. They're a defensive team, relying on hard-nosed play in order to be successful. In filling that system, they've relied primarily on bargain bin pickups and developing young folks, but mostly the former. There is not a more shining example of that than Rob Klinkhammer.

While Klinkhammer is still a relatively new face to the Coyotes and their fans, he's a guy that had been toiling in the minors for the last several years, prior to finally earning a shot in the desert last year. Originally a member of the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Klinkhammer managed to appear in only one game at the NHL level across three seasons with the organization.

In 2011-12, Klinkhammer was traded from the Blackhawks to the Ottawa Senators for a seventh round draft pick. Even with Ottawa, he managed to show his face in only 15 tilts. It wasn't until last summer, when Klinkhammer signed a one-year pact with the Coyotes that he would finally manage an opportunity. Of course, the lockout helped to delay that, with Klinkhammer making his season debut on March 9th.

Since that point, Klinkhammer has managed to fit right in and stick with this Coyotes lineup. He's become a key piece of a Coyotes team that needed the extra help in the offensive end. But that isn't where Klinkhammer's contributions end. He's exactly the type of player that you'd expect with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Klinkhammer isn't exactly an offensive force, but he's been a solid contributor with 21 points in 48 career contests with Phoenix. He's averaging a touch over 13 minutes per game this year, including a bit of time on the penalty kill. That's in addition to the physical game he brings to the mix, with his 6'3" frame adding 74 hits in 26 games thus far in 2013-14 season.

In Klinkhammer, the Phoenix Coyotes have found a player off the scrap heap that has managed to carve out his niche with this club. He plays that gritty style of game that this organization has become so well known for. In short, there are few players that have come to define 'Phoenix Coyotes hockey' as well as Klinkhammer has, even in such a short time.

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