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Friday's Coyotes Tracks - making his way back

For better or worse, Mike Smith is inching towards a return. Details in today's edition of the Tracks.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coyotes News

Mike Smith Practicing with Arizona Coyotes - TSS
The Arizona Coyotes have been without starting netminder Mike Smith for nearly half the season now, as the veteran underwent surgery to repair a core muscle.

Leafs and Coyotes headline Craig Button’s list of top NHL-affiliated prospects – ProHockeyTalk
William Nylander tops them all.

Coyotes sue Mix 1 for violation of sponsor agreement - News
IceArizona, the ownership group of the Arizona Coyotes, filed a lawsuit Jan. 7 claiming Mix 1 Life had violated a sponsorship agreement. IceArizona is seeking payment due under the original agreement.

News From Around the Hockey World

New York Islanders 5 (EN), Los Angeles Kings 2: First-period burst fuels 3rd straight win - Lighthouse Hockey
The New York Islanders had five different goal scorers as they cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Kings, their third consecutive win.

Blackhawks vs. Stars 2016 results: Patrick Eaves' hat trick downs Chicago 4-2 - Second City Hockey
Dallas cuts Chicago's Central Division lead to one point.

Ovechkin hat trick leads Capitals over the Wild 4-3 - Hockey Wilderness
In search of a miracle win that could break the slump, the best finisher in the league found the back of the net three times as the Washington Capitals continue to stand atop the league standings...

Karri Ramo hurt in the Flames 6-5 SO win over San Jose - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Ramo left in the 3rd period and did not return. He will not be in the Flames lineup tomorrow against the Coyotes.

Game Recap: Oilers 5 - Leafs 2 -- McDavid and Eberle Lead the Oilers to Victory - The Copper & Blue
Eberle scored three goals. McDavid had five points. The Rexall Place fans went home happy.

Jackets Complete Comeback in Shootout Win - The Cannon
The Blue Jackets overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to beat the visiting Ducks in a shootout victory at home.

Jets Mauled By Bruins 6-2 - Arctic Ice Hockey
They even took the pick-i-nick basket...

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously) – ProHockeyTalk
Also: Matt Beleskey vs. Tyler Myers.

NHL Blog Council: Putting Sidney Crosby's resurgence into perspective -
Also, who won the Dion Phaneuf trade?

After acquiring Phaneuf, are Sens now gunning for Drouin? – ProHockeyTalk
Rumblings seem to suggest yes.

Inked: Ryan Murray Signs Two-Year Extension - The Cannon
The Blue Jackets locked up one half of their top defensive pairing as Ryan Murray signed a two-year extension on Thursday.

The Montreal Canadiens can still make the playoffs, but they have no margin for error - Eyes On The Prize
The Habs still have an opportunity to make the playoffs despite having suffered a historically awful stretch

Ehrhoff Clears Waivers, Heads to Ontario Reign - Jewels From The Crown
A lot of our friends wanted him, but a lot of NHL GMs didn't. Mysterious.

Steven Stamkos mum on no-move clause plan as trade deadline approaches | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Steven Stamkos holds a lot of the power in his current contract situation with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

WATCH: Travis Konecny scores before anyone even knows what's happened - Broad Street Hockey
Konency is on pace for over 100 points in the OHL this season.

Dallas Stars Might Not Pursue Defense Via Trade - Defending Big D
The Dallas Stars are a perplexing defensive puzzle. Though improved, the unit still falls short of true excellence. Sooner or later, a move of some kind will be made. No two players will feel the impact of whatever resolution the Stars decide more than Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers.

The NHL redesigned its website and everyone hates it -
The league's latest failure to its fans? Its own website.

Chicago to host 2017 NHL Draft, per report - Second City Hockey
For the first time in the draft's 53-year history it will be held in the Windy City.

Nashville Predators NHL Trade Deadline Part 1: The Trade Targets - On the Forecheck
If the Predators are so inclined to make a trade before the deadline, there are some options available to them.

Sharks recall Mirco Mueller - Fear The Fin
The Swiss defender is back with the Sharks.

The Final Howl

WATCH: Capitals' Tom Wilson got swallowed whole by the Wild's bench -