Five For Howling Preseason Mailbag: Pads, Prospects and Pain

USA TODAY Sports

We answer your questions about new goalie pads, Rusty Klesla and Max Domi.

What effect will the change in goalie pads have on Mike Smith and goaltenders in general? - Annette

Brendan Porter: I expect that we'll see some minor changes in save percentage, but I doubt we're going to see a massive spike in goal scoring. If anything, we might see more goals scored during the scrums in front of the net when everything breaks down. As long as Mike Smith's positioning and rebound control are solid, I don't anticipate there being a huge problem.

Jaime Eisner: Relatively little. The percentages say a few more goals should go in over the course of the season, however the exact number is difficult to predict. Mid-range to high shots will not be affected at all. Throughout the preseason, Smith (and other goaltenders), have been victimized in the more traditional way, rebounds and top-shelf shots. If shoot-outs are any indication, no one will ever score again.

How do you think Rostislav Klesla's injury affects his trade status if the team wants to acquire another forward? - Thomas

Jaime: The involvement of Klesla in a trade for a forward would likely be of the salary dump variety. It's unlikely that Klesla alone would provide the necessary value to acquire a second line forward. On the flip side, how does his injury affect the Coyotes' willingness to move a young defenseman? The uncertain status of Klelsa may make Don Maloney more hesitant to trade a David Rundblad or Brandon Gormley for forward help.

Brendan: I honestly don't feel like Rusty Klesla was going to be the major piece in a deal to acquire a top-6 forward. The teams that need to rent a defenseman are probably not going to be willing to part with the kind of talent the Coyotes want, and a team that isn't likely going to the playoffs, would probably want a younger defenseman they can keep in their system for a while.

Will Max Domi make the team? - Greg

Brendan: He may stick around for the nine game limit the NHL imposes on entry-level contracts, but I anticipate Max Domi will be sent back to the OHL. All of the Coyotes' most recent experiences with bringing up young forwards right after they've been drafted have been mediocre at best (Mikkel Boedker, Kyle Turris), and total disasters at worst (Viktor Tikhonov). I think they'll take their time with Domi.

Jaime: I concur with Brendan. While it has been nice to see that Domi has not looked too out of place in the preseason, there is no need to rush him. The Coyotes have a nine-game window to play with before having to make a final decision, but the team may elect to promote last year's AHL talent instead. Domi will see plenty of playing time in Glendale in the future, but probably not this season.

What other young guys will see significant NHL time this season? - David

Jaime: Chris Brown, Lucas Lessio, Brandon Gormley and David Rundblad to name a few. All four of those players played a ton of AHL minutes last season with the Portland Pirates. The two forwards, Brown and Lessio, have an easier path to the NHL with the Coyotes in desperate need of forward help. Future injury or ineffectiveness on the Yotes blue line will open up the door for Gormley and Rundblad. Keep an eye on Andy Miele as well, he has had a solid camp thus far.

Brendan: The young guys who have played in the NHL before stand the best chance of sticking around for a while. Brown has good size and could get a role in the bottom six, and Rundblad has very good power play skill that makes him a prime candidate to get on the roster. Lessio has also had a very good training camp and could be an injury call-up at some point during the year.

If you would like to submit a question for our next mailbag (10/7), please email your questions to Five4Howling@Yahoo.com or tweet us using the #FFHMailbag.

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