clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Who's Hot, Who's Not: Hodgman, Bettman, Biz & Co.

With the regular season set to begin tomorrow, we take our first weekly look at the Arizona Coyotes and around the hockey world to determine who is hot and who is, in fact, not.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Hot:

1. Justin Hodgman

While the pre-camp short list of potential newcomers to the Arizona Coyotes squad didn't include this Ontario native, an inspiring string of preseason performances, including four goals in six games, landed the centerman a spot on the opening night roster. Yotes fans hope to see the same level of tenacity and production carry over into the regular season.

2. 22-14-44

Of all the potential line combinations displayed during preseason play, that of Brandon McMillan, B.J. Crombeen and Joe Vitale may have been the most promising. Not simply a group willing take the body, the Canadian and two Americans were also able to generate a significant amount of offense.

3. IceArizona's wallet

If the potential deal for Andrew Barroway to purchase a 51 percent stake in the Coyotes comes to fruition, IceArizona, who originally bought the team for $170 million in 2013, would make a nice profit given the franchise's current $305 million valuation. They would also still own 49 percent of the team. Not a bad deal.

4. Youngsters' shootout moves

Although they won't be suiting up for the Yotes on Thursday night at Gila River Arena, Max Domi and Henrik Samuelsson both got chances to show off their stick skills during preseason shootouts. Check out Domi's move in the interview below, if you haven't already:

5. The OHL's London Knights

Although Domi certainly created some buzz during his time in camp this time around, the Yotes coaching and management ultimately decided he should continue to develop at the junior level. Knights fans could be heard rejoicing upon hearing the news that their 93-point scorer from last season would return for another year.

The Not-so-Hot:

1. The Coyotes "youth movement"

Many Coyotes fans hoped (expected, even) that a few young players might make this year's opening day roster in an attempt to jolt the offense. Those hopes were effectively extinguished when Domi, Lucas Lessio and Tobias Rieder were all cut from camp on the same day, proving once again that young Coyotes players will not be rushed to the spotlight.

2. Third-line center

If Sam Gagner does in fact join Martin Hanzal and Martin Erat on the second line as a winger, the 3C spot will become a nightly adventure for the Coyotes coaching staff. Most would not consider Kyle Chipchura, a likely candidate, talented enough to assume the role and the minutes. Vitale fits too nicely on the fourth line, and Hodgman would really need to break out as an offensive threat to secure the spot.

3. Gary Bettman's haters

As SB Nation's Joe Yerdon put it in his article on October 3rd, "Gary Bettman may just be a genius." The NHL's commissioner effectively secured the fate of the Coyotes franchise, even if its future home remains uncertain, by attracting Barroway as a potential new investor. He will undoubtedly still be booed at public appearances, but he now has one less problem with which to deal.

4. Paul "BizNasty" Bissonette

The former Coyote and fan-favorite was recently released from his professional tryout with the St. Louis Blues, leaving the 29-year-old Canadian's NHL future unclear. Perhaps more free time will create an influx of quality twitter content? Regardless, we here at FFH wish him the best.

5. Mark Donnelly, Canucks anthem singer

In case you missed it, Donnelly put on a memorable performance of "O Canada" before a BCHL game in Vancouver on Friday night. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure: