There has been a lot of hockey in 2013. The entire 2012-13 and part of the 2013-14 campaigns (86 games) have been played in this calendar year. The Phoenix Coyotes' ownership saga finally came to an end and the team's brain trust remained intact. As 2013 draws to a close, we look back at 10 moments that defined the year that was in Coyotes hockey.
1. January 6: Lockout Ends
Take down that podium boys, its life as a Twitter star is now over.
2. January 20: Pacific Division Banner Drop
The banner may have come down cockeyed, but the sold out crowd at Jobing.com Arena didn't care. It was the first banner the Coyotes could call their own after winning the Pacific Division in 2012. The ceremony was better late than never despite losing the game to Chicago. In retrospect, no one else could beat the Blackhawks in regulation until March.
3. March 12-19: Scoreless Streak of 245:33
The low point of the year. It's bad enough to lose seven games in a row, it's even worse to go more than three games without scoring. From Rob Klinkhammer's goal at 10:55 in the third period on March 12 to Shane Doan's goal at 11:28 of the third period on March 19, the Yotes went 245:33 without managing a single goal.
4. April 3: Steve Sullivan, Raffi Torres and Matthew Lombardi are Traded
The Coyotes were sellers at the trade deadline, moving three forwards for draft picks or, in the case of Lombardi, a minor leaguer. Sullivan was a one year experiment that didn't pan out. Lombardi was unable to recapture the glory he showed playing with Scottie Upshall in 2009 and 2010.Torres never recovered from his 21-game suspension and the team chose to part ways.
5. May 24: General Manger Don Maloney Re-signed
Since coming over from the New York Rangers in May 2007, GMDM's record with the Coyotes is 249-182-65. Maloney is responsible for drafting current Coyotes players: Mikkel Boedker, Michael Stone, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Chris Brown, Jordan Szwarz, Connor Murphy and Lucas Lessio. He has also orchestrated trades for Radim Vrbata (twice), Lauri Korpikoski, Derek Morris, Rostislav Klesla, David Rundblad, Antoine Vermette and Zbynek Michalek.
His finger prints are obviously all over the Coyotes as he rebuilt the franchise from cellar dwellers in the post-Tkachuk/Roenick era, to a perennial playoff contender. Keeping GMDM should ensure a quick return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
6. June 21: Coach Dave Tippett Re-signed
Since arriving just before the start of the 2009-10 season, Tippett, like Maloney, has turned the team's fortunes around. Tippett is 175-106-51 since join the Coyotes. The tandem ended the team's seven-year playoff drought. In his first season with the team, Tippett's squad won 14 more games than the previous year's team coached by Wayne Gretzky.
Tippett's return was somewhat in doubt during the offseason, but his return should keep the Yotes in playoff contention every year.
7. June 30 - July 1: Smith Re-signs; Ribeiro Joins
The Coyotes have been fairly lucky when it comes to finding cheap goaltenders. Ilya Bryzgalov was claimed off waivers, and Mike Smith came to the desert for $4 million over two seasons. Smith's strong play, especially in the 2011-12 regular season and playoffs, earned him a six-year deal this offseason. Phoenix paid a premium, but they finally locked up a goaltender long-term.
One thing the Coyotes almost never do is sign the biggest free agent on the market. But, Maloney decided to make a splash on July 1, signing Mike Ribeiro to a four-year deal. The Coyotes needed and got an offensively gifted forward to insert in their lineup. The signing signaled an imminent sale of the team to IceArizona.
8. August 5-6: IceArizona Purchases the Coyotes
The big day. A day many thought would never come. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman between George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc of IceArizona, officially announcing the sale of the team. Coyotes fans breathed a sigh of relief as the half-decade nightmare was officially over.
9. October 3 - November 16: Great Home Start
Phoenix took full advantage of every home game they had to start the season. A quarter of the way through their home schedule, the Coyotes held a 9-0-1 record in the friendly confines of Jobing.com Arena.
10. October 19: Goalie Goal
The moment of the 2013-14 season has already happened. Smith's goal in mid-October against the Detroit Red Wings was one of the most exciting moments in Coyotes history. The fact that he did it with .1 seconds left, makes it even more remarkable.
Photos in order by: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images), Christian Petersen (Getty Images), Jasen Vinlove (USA TODAY Sports), Derek Leung (Getty Images), Christian Petersen (Getty Images), Christian Petersen (Getty Images), Christian Petersen (Getty Images), Jaime Eisner (Five for Howling), Christian Petersen (Getty Images), Matt Kartozian (US Presswire)