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Meep Mail: Breaking down the Coyotes/Roadrunners goaltender situation

The Coyotes are lucky to have depth between the pipes, but it also makes things a bit complicated.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Boston Bruins Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

I was asked earlier this week about the situation regarding the Coyotes and Roadrunners goaltender situation — or should I call it the Coyotes-Roadrunners-Admirals goaltender situation.

Yep, when completely healthy, the line of succession should look like this: Antti Raanta - Darcy Kuemper - Calvin Pickard - Adin Hill - Hunter Miska - Merrick Madsen. Raanta has been taken out of the picture here, due to his apparent season ending injury. That leaves their top three goaltenders as Kuemper, Pickard and Hill.

Now having three goaltenders on a single team is quite tricky, and rare situation. All three goaltenders are quite capable of being put in game situations, but a rotation between 3 goaltenders isn’t as easy as it sounds. Kuemper is Arizona’s starting goaltender, at least for now, that’s undisputed. The rotation problem comes with how the back-ups go.

Calvin Pickard was picked up off the waivers from Philadelphia for a reason; Arizona needed a capable goaltender when both Raanta and Kuemper was injured. Adin Hill was brought up from the team’s minor-league club, Tucson Roadrunners, for the same reason.

Now that Kuemper is back, what is the “plan of action” for Pickard and Hill? There are a few different scenarios that could work for the organization, but the Coyotes best bet would be to send Adin Hill back to the Roadrunners.

This is probably the most likely scenario because it keeps all three goaltenders within a close distance, in case of a disaster situation — like if Kuemper somehow does down again.

In this scenario, Kuemper and Pickard stay in Glendale, while Hill and Miska are back in Tucson. So where does this leave Madsen? He’s going to need plenty more reps, so staying in Tucson won’t be great for him. So, he’ll likely be reassigned to Norfolk and become the starting goaltender down there. Madsen started the season with the Admirals anyways, so that’s really a non-issue

Plus, if Pickard doesn’t become what the Coyotes want him to become, a true-backup. They can always waive him, call Hill back up to Glendale, call Madsen back up to Tucson and just keep things set there.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they give both Pickard and Hill at least a couple of back-up reps before making the ultimate decision. It will likely turn out as written here, and could very well happen within the week.


To have your questions answered, send them to Rob at meepmailAHL@gmail.com