The Coyotes have been doing nothing but making huge organizational moves since the Nick Cousins trade on June 16th.
What Does It All Mean?
If you ask someone from outside the Coyotes fan circle, this looks like the start of an upswing.
Changing out the old goalie, whom everyone always said was bad.
Getting rid of the 40 year old Captain who was dragging the team down (and probably should have retired a few years ago).
Firing/buying out a coach who has been doing as much as he could with the rosters he was given should not have gone down that way.
But, when asking Coyotes fans, you will get something way different.
Mike Smith was their All-Star last year, how dare he be traded. He kept the Coyotes in it.
How dare they treat Shane Doan like that, he was the last original member of this franchise! He’s the Captain, he deserves more respect. He’s done everything for this franchise.
Dave Tippett is finally gone, now they can finally build a winning team.
Neither side is right or wrong, until we see what happens in the next few months.
This is just my take on it all.
Mike Smith is 35 and on the sunset of his career, though the move to Calgary does give him a chance to go for the Cup if Calgary can figure themselves out first. He was brilliant last season, but also inconsistent, something Coyotes fans know all too well.
Shane Doan’s situation is hard to stomach, even now. How it was described, a “short business meeting”, adds emotion to the situation. Doan would be 41 years old at the start of next season, his play last season had dropped significantly from the year before, and he had a hard time keeping up with the kids on his line.
I would hate to see Doan sign with another team then have his career ended by an injury, that’s not how you want to end it. Some players have to go out quietly, some want to go out with a bang. Or if you’re Teemu Selanne, you have two retirement tours.
Shane Doan is special to all of us, but with the franchise looking to move forward with a new full-time sole owner, this is something that was going to come up.
The fanbase also started to attack each other because of different views. I still support the Coyotes, because I am a fan of hockey and want to see the team succeed, even if that means losing a beloved player in the process.
The parting of the ways with Dave Tippett could be a good thing. The stale defensive system seemed to hold the younger players back and the offense struggled as well. The firing of Newell Brown should have been the first clue of the writing on the wall for Tippett, but it happened right before the draft.
Speaking of coaching...
The Coyotes are starting to look at coaching options and the name Todd Nelson keeps popping up. You may recognize the name for good and/or bad reasons. Todd Nelson coached this year's Grand Rapids Griffins (the Red Wings AHL team) to win the Calder Cup. Before Grand Rapids, he briefly coached the Edmonton Oilers after they fired Dallas Eakins and was the coach for four seasons of the Oklahoma City Barons, Edmonton’s then AHL team.
He has a history of coaching younger players successfully, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see his name come up more and more in the next few weeks.
GM John Chayka: Reports Coyotes will interview Grand Rapids' Todd Nelson for HC job are premature. AZ hasn't compiled candidate list yet.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 26, 2017
Another name that has been floated by a few people is Sheldon Keefe, the coach of the Toronto Marlies (the Maple Leafs AHL team) as an option. Keefe, like Nelson, has a good track record with young players and systems. It would be an interesting get if the Leafs let the Coyotes talk to him.
Lindy Ruff’s name was around for a while, but it looks like he is off to New York to be an associate coach for the Rangers.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Free Agency starts on Saturday, July 1st at 12 pm EST/9 am PST and it will be interesting if the Coyotes are players on the market or if there will be more trades. The Vegas Golden Knights are looking to move some players around, could the Coyotes snag one of them? Will they be able to land someone during free agency? We won’t know until this Saturday.
Lastly, Thank You.
Thank you all for supporting Five For Howling over the past few months. Our community is growing and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Each share, click, and retweet helps us out greatly.
A huge thank you to the staff; Rose, Alex, Jack, Seth, Brandon, Jason, Carl, and Jessica. This week has been topsy-turvey but everyone pulled together and made things happen.