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AskFFH #3: Arizona Coyotes go camping

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We answer some of your burning questions heading into training camp.

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Arizona Coyotes training camp is finally upon us! There are so many young players and exciting storylines to follow. In this edition of #AskFFH, we tackle some of your questions about what to look for heading into the 2015-16 season.

Answered by Carl Putnam, FFH Editor Emeritus

Yes, I expect him to be on the opening day roster. The Coyotes currently only have six defensemen on their roster at the moment.

Unless they make another trade, it's highly unlikely those six don't see the vast majority of the playing time this season since their minor league system is not full of guys who are likely to push for a spot this season. Neither are the two guys they are bringing in on PTOs, though Keith Aulie may look okay in comparison to the competition he faces, including a fellow left handed shot like Dahlbeck.

Dahlbeck appeared to impress the Coyotes brass last season after he arrived via trade from Chicago based on comments General Manager Don Maloney made over the summer. The fact they kept the young Swede while letting John Moore exit via free agency and Brandon Gormley via trade also says something.

As for how many games he plays? Assuming he stays relatively healthy, I'll go with 73, which is the same number of contests Connor Murphy played in last season. The number says as much, if not more, about the Yotes dearth of quality blueliners than it does about the young defenseman.

Downie

Answered by Carl Pavlock, FFH Staff Writer

Maybe. I think everyone has their doubts about Downie, he has a history of playing extremely undisciplined hockey in his career so there are plenty of reasons to think he will not be able to turn it around. I would say that it is impossible except one player in recent history proves it can happen, Matt Cooke.

Besides the incident involving Tyson Barrie, Matt Cooke has changed his game around and has been a better hockey player. If Matt Cooke can make a change then Steve Downie should be able to play disciplined hockey. Whether he actually will is a completely different story, but he can.

BONUS QUESTION!


Answered by Brendan Porter, FFH Managing Editor

So the first question was asked pre-Joey Crabb PTO, but the answer doesn't change even with Crabb in camp. It's very common for teams to invite veteran players to training camp to try and push their current roster to earn their spots on the team.

Arizona has done it before, with players like Jamie McBain (2014), Matt Kassian (2014), Guillaume Latendresse (2013), and Gilbert Brule (2013). On occasion, players on PTOs make the team. Usually though, they get released before the season starts. That's likely what's going to happen this year.

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The second question is a very tough one. On one level, the Coyotes invested a mid-first round pick in Brendan Perlini, while they only used a supplemental second rounder to select Christian Dvorak. So on those terms, the Coyotes would be more interested in seeing Perlini succeed.

Realistically though, the Coyotes also likely have a better sense of the kind of skill they have in Perlini than Dvorak; Perlini played two seasons (albeit injury-shortened) in the OHL, while Dvorak's magnificent Draft +1 campaign came after a brutal leg injury that severely hampered him in 2013-14, even when he did play.

Ultimately, Perlini is bigger, stronger, and has played more. While training camp could change my mind, I think Perlini gets the nod over Dvorak, perhaps as early as opening night of the regular season.

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Thanks again for those questions Coyotes fans! We will be back right before the season opener on October 9th!