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HYPE TRAAAAAIN: Derek Stepan

Imported from New York, Arizona has finally gotten their hands on a competent top-6 centerman with the potential to become the guy in all situations.

New York Rangers v Ottawa Senators - Game Five

The Coyotes are back for the 2017-18 season and featuring a roster and coaching staff completely renovated from the dark days of rebuilding.

This is the HYPE TRAIN, a 7-day series focused on giving you 7 reasons to get F*****G JACKED for this season’s road hopefully leading back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Have you ever just come home from school or work, sat down in your favorite chair and stared at the ceiling asking yourself if Dylan Strome can actually be a top NHL center? No? Oh, well, uhhhhh ok that’s awkward.

Well whatever, the Coyotes have had center issues for a while. Martin Hanzal was a great center for a long time, but if you’ve watched where he’s played in Minnesota and Dallas now, you’d know that’s very good 3rd line center. That’s about it. After his departure, the void grew with our only hopes being Christian Dvorak, who’s becoming a pretty decent 2nd center, and perpetually unnoticeable-in-NHL-games-but-world-beater-in-Juniors Dylan Strome.

I ain’t gonna lie. Going into the offseason, I was concerned.

{At this time, I’d like to advise you to turn on this music, then continue reading}

BUT ENTER JOHN “I NEVER SLEEP” CHAYKA, WHO DID HIS BEST IMPRESSION OF DWIGHT FROM THE OFFICE WHEN HE BROKE INTO MADISON SQUARE GARDEN TO SWIPE DEREK STEPAN AND ANTTI RAANTA FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR.

He literally sashayed into Madison Square Garden, took himself a starting goalie and a NUMBER ONE CENTER for two expendable assets.

The best part of John Chayka you may ask is not that he makes Arizona better, but that he’s set the other teams’ rosters on fire after he leaves. Let’s have a live look in at Chicago’s defense and New York’s center depth:

So John Chayka is a wizard. Nothing new there. But what is new is that Arizona NOW ACTUALLY HAS A COMPETENT CENTER AND I’M ACTUALLY YELLING THIS!

Derek Stepan is the Swiss Army Knife of centers. He’s a leader, he wins faceoffs, plays 200 feet and scores around 20 goals a year. Perhaps the most notable part of the acquisition is that Stepan will be providing a physical presence on a team full of speed and scoring touch.

But out of all of those reasons, why should we all be absolutely FIRED UP OVER DEREK STEPAN? Take a peek at who Rick Tocchet has been skating “Step” with.

Derek Stepan was brought to Arizona for the express purpose of getting Max Domi into the 65+ point range and assisting Clayton Keller to a 35-goal, Calder Trophy-winning season.

There, I called my shot.

Clayton Keller will win the Calder. And he will win it because of Derek Stepan. The Coyotes got Keller and Domi an established, responsible center.

So what do you need to make the playoffs? A good goalie, a stellar defense, and a competent top 3 lines. Does Derek Stepan complete that equation?

YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT HE DOES! I WANT MY WHITE OUTS BACK! LET’S GO ‘YOTES AND PRAISE BE TO JOHN CHAYKA FOR THE GIFT THAT IS DEREK STEPAN.