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Thursday's Coyotes Tracks - the freeze is on

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We are in the middle of the NHL's Christmas Break, but there's still plenty to talk about. Stories in today's edition of the Tracks.

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Coyotes News

From the editor's desk: will the Arizona Coyotes stay in the playoff hunt? - Five For Howling
Conventional and advanced stats say no, but the Arizona Coyotes may be in the right place at the right time to sneak into the postseason.

Coyotes Sign Garland to Entry-Level Contract - Arizona Coyotes - News
The 19-year-old Garland currently leads the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in scoring with 21-59-80 in 33 games.

News From Around the Hockey World

Auston Matthews, Zach Werenski highlight USA's World Junior roster -
Team USA's roster is set for the 2016 World Junior Championship, which begins Saturday. Here's five things to know about the U.S. roster.

Goals Galore As Canada Beats Sweden In Final Pre-Tournament Game - Eyes On The Prize
It wasn't a showcase for goaltenders, but in what was an exciting final tune up for the main tournament, Canada beat Sweden 7-6.

Top 10 most controversial people of 2015 (Puck Daddy Year in Hockey) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: (Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)

Patrick Sharp: 'It's tough to play against your friends' - Second City Hockey
Sharp didn't really seem to like playing against the Blackhawks for the first time in a decade.

Rangers’ Diaz signs with Swiss team | ProHockeyTalk
He'll finish out the year with the organization, however.

College Hockey News: 'Czyk Him Out
It was an empty-net goal -- nothing fancy -- that gave Penn State senior Tommy Olczyk his first collegiate hat trick. He had scored the first two goals, helping the Nittany Lions beat Princeton.

So, about that Wayne Simmonds-to-Montreal trade rumor ... - Broad Street Hockey
Rumors have been floating around all day that Wayne Simmonds has been traded to Montreal. Yeah, about that...

Projecting a salary cap future with Steven Stamkos - Raw Charge
Seeing into the future is one of the most difficult parts of being the General Manager of any sports franchise. For Steve Yzerman and staff, it's all the more important to do so before signing Steven Stamkos.

Hockey hooligans? Swiss pro team's bus attacked by rock-throwing fans -
According to reports out of Switzerland, the Geneve Servette hockey club's bus was attack by rock-throwing fans while leaving after a game against HC Lausanne.

Doughty ‘surprised’ by how bad Pacific Division’s been this year | ProHockeyTalk
"Typically our division is one of the tougher ones."

Hockey Needs More Americanization, Las Vegas Will Help |
Canadians are afraid of the Americanization of hockey, when they really should be asking for it to be more Americanized.

The Final Howl

Carol Stream girl with autism meets her hockey idols: the refs - Daily Herald