Phoenix Coyotes Preseason Countdown: 13 Days

Dilip Vishwanat

Today we look at number 13 Ray Whitney and if the void he left will ever be truly filled.

Thirteen days remain until the start of the preseason and there is still little news on Mikkel Boedker. Hopefully today can be luckier than what most 13s are known for. But it wouldn't be the first time the Phoenix Coyotes potentially lost a key forward; just a year ago they lost a number 13 to Dallas, Ray Whitney.

Whitney was a powerhouse for the Yotes; 77 points in 82 games, plus his playoff performance, proved that. When an assist was needed, he was there. Just ask Shane Doan. Had it not been for the now 41-year-old forward's quick thinking, Doan still might not have a hat-trick.

In the 2012-2013 season Steve Sullivan was supposed to fill that gap, but outside of his initial performance at the beginning of the season, he didn't quite shine like the team hoped he would. This lead to Sully becoming the recipient of a trade to New Jersey, where Sullivan possibly ended his career depending on what happens over the next few weeks. Then, once again, the wing was left lacking.

In fact, since Whitney left via free-agency, the closest the Coyotes have come to filling the void was the signing of Mike Ribeiro....who is a center. Rumors that Mikhail Grabovski could move to Phoenix, and with some position shifting on either his or someone else's part, ended two weeks ago with a three-million dollar contract to the Washington Capitals.

So where do the Coyotes stand now? If Boedker signs, prospects are good. Henrik Samuelsson looked great at the prospect camp as well as Max Domi. But, losing Boedker could throw the entire system out of whack; more so than even losing the Wizard did. So where does that leave the Desert Dogs? Between a rock and a hard place, with what might be a tough contract on one side and reliance on potential NHL rookies on the other. All brought to you in part by the loss of dear number 13.

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