With just five weeks remaining until the puck drops for the opening of the Phoenix Coyotes' preseason, we take a look at former Coyote Ladislav Nagy and his best season (point wise) with the team. A season that included a then-career-high 35 assists.
Two lockouts and an arena ago, a Coyotes star had the best professional season of his career. During the 2002-2003 season, left winger Nagy was riding high with 35 assists, trailing just behind Mike Johnson and then alternate captain Shane Doan.
The 02-03 season was Nagy's second full season in the NHL. He played 80 games and scored a career-high 57 points (aided by the 35 assists); a mark he would never surpass.
While this may seem like ancient history, in fact I probably would hardly remember his name if it weren't for the autographed photo I have hanging on my wall, Nagy gives us some insight into what we have to look forward to in the season to come. How? Two simple words: Mike Ribeiro. Ribeiro is coming off one of his best NHL seasons offensively, scoring 49 points, including 27 of them on the power-play. What can we expect from him this season? Probably not a point per a game, but just as Nagy was a key player for the Coyotes then, Ribeiro can be for them now.
To conclude the story of a now lost Yote, Nagy was traded in 2007 to the Dallas Stars and signed with the Los Angeles Kings that off-season. But, what brought Nagy's likely star-bound career to an end was injury; varied and persistent, he never played more than 55 games. He now plays for HC Košice in Slovakia, a long way away from where he was a decade ago in the Valley of the Sun.