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Coyotes Roundtable: Fix Arizona's power play, fix hockey's fighting controversy, fix the world

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The FFH crew discusses Arizona's awful power play, roster construction, fighting in hockey and more!

Christian Petersen
Who should be replaced when David Moss returns?

Brendan Porter: I'd go with Brandon McMillan. I think the Coyotes need Moss to bolster their penalty kill, and quite frankly I haven't noticed McMillan much this season.

Carl Pavlock: I think Connor Murphy could use more time in the AHL. I think he has been good during stretches, but he is still making a few mistakes that could be fixed with more playing time, especially in Portland. I think he could come back later this year or maybe next year, but I would like to see him get his game sorted out.

Seth Juneac: Before notching two points and looking better Tuesday night, I was in favor of sending Connor Murphy. He hasn't been one of Arizona's best seven defenseman night in and night out and with Gormley called up and holding his own, that may make the most sense. But if Tippett feels comfortable with carrying eight defenseman, than someone like McMillan or Chipchura might make the most sense.

Joey Versen: I'll say Brandon McMillan to answer the question, but does it have to be anyone? Moss isn't a fourth line energy guy. I suppose he's good on the PK and its certainly possible that I don't see what Tip sees when he's is on the ice, but I personally would rather a guy like Tobias Rieder keep getting minutes. While the offense hasn't exactly been on fire, it's been better than it was to start the season with Dave Moss regularly in the lineup.

What can be done to help fix Arizona's power play?

Joey: Their recent struggles are bewildering given how good they looked not too long ago. I wouldn't change a lot personnel-wise, only continue to encourage strong puck movement and putting shots on net. One thing that could be done on a managerial level is to deal for another skill guy like Nail Yakupov, assuming the team doesn't go into fire sale mode.

Seth: I'm not sure what the funk is all about. The only missing piece from last year's power play unit is Mike Ribeiro, and I don't think he was what made the power play really sing. The only thing that can really be done is changing up the rotation. Maybe give Gormley some more power play minutes, or Rieder/Hodgman. All in all, I think that the Coyotes are just under some bad spell and the situation will sort itself out over the next couple games.

Carl: I think the biggest thing that will fix the Coyotes' power play is time. I actually like a lot of what I see, I mostly think the team has been getting a lot of bad bounces. The units are still relatively the same as earlier in the season which were so solid, so I'm not sure it's a personnel thing. I think they're just in a rough stretch that will eventually be evened out.

Brendan: I actually like the movement on the power play still, but I think at the moment the power play runs a little too much through their point men (mainly OEL and Yandle). It becomes extremely predictable if opposing PK units know the angles are always going to be coming from the top of the circle. If their down low assets start taking shots and forcing the PK unit to spread itself out more, then the power play might get back on the right track.

What should a Las Vegas hockey team's name be?

Jaime: Vegas hockey has been associated with the Coyotes in the past as the Thunder and Wranglers. If neither of those work, they can always call them the Pawn Pond Stars.

Seth: I think a serious name kills the Vegas buzz and a name playing off the gambling scene sends a mixed message from the NHL. Maybe the Vegas Knights (with some sponsorship opportunities from Camelot), or the Las Vegas Mirage (desert theme) strike my fancy. I'm not good at naming teams.

Joey: I like how the "Las Vegas Aces" rolls off the tongue.

Carl: The last time I was asked this I went funny so this time I think I'll go serious.  I don't think that a Las Vegas team should have anything associated with gambling. Even though I do enjoy gambling and I think the Las Vegas Aces would be a great name, I think it would come across as too gimmicky. I think the Scorpions or Rattlesnakes would probably be good.

Thoughts on fighting in hockey.

Brendan: I think the lawyers are ultimately going to kill fighting in hockey. The evolution of the game into a faster, more high skilled product has all but eliminated the enforcer role, and I think concussion and substance abuse problems stemming from fighting will eventually cause the league to crack down on it. Unlike the NFL's issues with head injuries, fighting (and one could make a plausible argument about body checking in general) is not an actual prerequisite to being able to play the game. So it wouldn't surprise me to see a future NHL where most forms of physical contact are phased out.

Carl: Its an extremely complicated issue. In general I wouldn't mind if there were less fights in hockey, especially "staged fights," but I do think it is something that is going to happen in the game.  The ACHA has a rule that if you fight in a game you are suspended for the next game, which I actually like because there is still fighting but it is done less often and done for a good reason.

Seth: It's really strange how divided this debate is. The two leagues closest to my home in Huntsville, Alabama are the SPHL (where games often reach double digits in fights) and collegiate leagues (where fighting is strictly prohibited). I think the "enforcer" role is antiquated in today's NHL, but fighting is isn't just a sideshow and has a place. It's around so players can protect teammates and more sinister retaliation can be avoided. "Leaving it all out on the ice" just makes sense to me.

Joey: I've often flip-flopped regarding this debate, but currently I think that fighting does have its place in hockey. Allowing fights to occur rather than risk more dangerous retaliation on the ice in other forms makes sense, but I think the role of the "goon" or "enforcer" should continue shrinking as it has been.