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Who's Hot, Who's Not: Looking forward

While the idea of a 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff bid continues to fade for the Coyotes and their fans, the future is starting to look surprisingly bright.

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The Hot

1. Domi distracts from All-Star weekend

You've probably seen it multiple times already, but for good measure, watch once more. Coyotes prospect Max Domi completely disrespected the OHL Sarnia Sting and their goaltender last Friday night, and it felt so good.

2. OEL's hands

Although he finished the 2015 NHL All-Star Game itself with a -5 plus/minus and only one assist in a 17-12 loss to Team Toews, Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson led Team Foligno by example in the previous night's skill competition. After a beautiful puck-handling performance in the Gatorade Skills Challenge Relay and scoring two goals in as many attempts on Roberto Luongo in the Discover NHL Shootout, OEL commented, "It was just fun to be on the ice...I would like to do that again."

3. Trade speculation

As Brendan Porter noted in an article yesterday, the Coyotes haven't made much noise at the deadline in recent years. But given the team's current state and the cutoff approaching, one can't help but wonder if this is the year the Yotes make serious moves as part of a greater rebuilding effort. Antoine Vermette will likely be the first to go, but he is far from the only movable asset.

4. Mike Smith's return

In their first game back following All-Star festivities, the Coyotes suffered a 4-3 shootout loss in Philadelphia to the Flyers. While the team looked better than before the break, perhaps the most encouraging performance came from Mike Smith, who stopped 39-42 shots while making a handful of acrobatic saves to earn the Coyotes at least one point.

5. Behind-the-net magic

Watch Charlie Coyle overskate the net but still somehow manage to put the Wild up 2-1 against the Oilers.

The Not-so-Hot

1. Seven in a row

After dropping last night's contest in the shootout against the Flyers, the Coyotes losing streak was extended to seven games, with only two points coming from OT/SO losses in that same stretch. Yet with this year's draft class looking the way it does, maybe streaks like that aren't the end of the world.

2. The All-Star Game defensive dilemma

The record-high total 29 goals scored in Sundays NHL All-Star Game highlights a problem that the game and its counterparts in other major American sports leagues encounter on a yearly basis: is it possible to make a televised game watchable even when players play with extremely low intensity in an attempt to avoid injury? While the live experience is always highly touted, TV viewership has declined in recent years with no signs of a resurgence.

3. Brodeur hangs 'em up

Legendary goaltender Martin Brodeur, who had recently signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues, is set to announce his retirement and join the Blues front office. Brodeur has both the most wins and the most shutouts in NHL history, with respective totals of 691 and 125.

4. Clutter-busted

Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders was fined $2,000 for embellishment as announced by the league today. Clutterbuck had already received a warning in December, and was fined under NHL Rule 64 which was designed to punish players for diving and eliminate it from the game.

5. Ovechkin leaves All-Star Draft car-less

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin spent most of Friday's All-Star Fantasy Draft campaigning to be Mr. Irrelevant, which would have earned him a consolatory motor vehicle, but his planned failed when he was drafted third to last by Team Foligno. It was revealed later on, however, that Ovi in fact was planning to give the car to Ice Dogs, a Northern Virginia youth hockey program for special needs players. Honda plans on giving Ovechkin a 2015 Honda Accord despite his draft day misfortune.