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Phoenix Coyotes Preseason Countdown: 29 Days

In today's Countdown we look at a former Coyote who is still a part of the Valley hockey scene.

Christian Petersen

Before the Dave Tippett era, the last time the Phoenix Coyotes made the playoffs was the 2001-02 season. One of the players who joined the Coyotes that year was left winger Brian Savage. He would end up scoring 29 assists in his time with the Desert Dogs.

Savage's first NHL team was the league's preeminent franchise: the Montreal Canadiens. Savage held a couple of significant distinctions for the Habs: he was the first Canadien since 1917 to record six points in a road game and he also was the first Hab to record a hat trick in the Bell Centre.

He came to Phoenix midway through the 2001-02 season after being acquired from Montreal in exchange for Sergei Berezin. Unfortunately, at that point in his career, he had developed a reputation for starting the season strong and fading as the year went on; it became so prominent that he actually garnered the nickname "Mr. October", a nickname that is well suited for baseball but not so much for hockey.

Despite only playing three seasons in Phoenix, Brian Savage is an important part of Arizona hockey. When the team moved from America West Arena to Glendale Arena (now Arena) in 2003, Savage was the first Coyote to score in the new barn. After retiring in 2006, Savage continued to live in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. For a time, he co-owned the now defunct New Mexico Scorpions in the Central Hockey League, and he continues to coach youth hockey in the desert.