As Christmas draws ever closer, the Phoenix Coyotes hope to open four things under the Christmas tree.
1. Top-6 Left Winger: This is the big gift. The one in the corner you stare at all morning.
The Coyotes have searched for a LW to play with Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata since Ray Whitney left for the greener pastures (and jerseys) of Dallas in July 2012. Phoenix has trotted out a cavalcade of veterans and young guys at the position, with little success replicating the offensive prosperity.
Many fans thought there was no way to recreate the success of the Czech-line that included Petr Prucha on the LW. Whitney made them soon forget that line existed. There also was a time when fans openly questioned the organization's signing of Whitney. However, things are cyclical and the team will fill that LW hole once again.
A shiny new LW under the Christmas tree would certainly make the Coyotes fans', players' and coaches' Christmas more merry.
2. PK Center: You don't always find that new XBOX or PlayStation under your tree, sometimes you need clothes or other less exciting but practical gifts. No one is throwing a parade when a third line, PK centerman comes to town, but he's exactly what the Coyotes need.
When Boyd Gordon went to the land whose head coach calls fans quitters, he took with him over 50 percent of the Coyotes's PK ice time as a forward. The lack of a direct replacement has increased the PK ice time of Antoine Vermette and Hanzal. Vermette's percentage of PK ice time jumped from 31.5 percent to 43.4 percent. Hanzal's jumped from 14.6 percent to 24 percent.
A suitable replacement here will allow the other two centers to play more even-strength minutes while improving the team's mediocre penalty kill. A Christmas gift Mike Smith is sure to enjoy.
3. Attendance: The gift for the future. The investment gift. A down payment on a new house or car, or the funds to begin an addition to the house or garage. It's the gift that pays off in the future. It wouldn't be a Coyotes Christmas if the family didn't fight about
The Coyotes sit last in attendance with a 15-game average of 12,662; a number lower than last season but higher than previous owner-less seasons. On the bright side, Phoenix is tied for the most home games remaining (26) and attendance has always gone up after the New Year.
Phoenix has a very solid 10-3-2 record at home this season. The biggest gift fans can give the team and its owners this holiday season is merely the gift of your presence at Jobing.com Arena.
4. Mike Smith belt: Every once in a while, you need that instant gratification gift. Something to satiate your needs right now. What better gift than a belt for your goaltender.
Loose pants cost the Coyotes a second point in Buffalo. Tighten up those drawers and avoid any future #ButtGoals.