Upon hearing the recent news that the Calgary Flames were buying out the final year of former Coyote defenseman Michael Stone’s contract, I reflected on just how quickly things can change in hockey. Once a promising young blueliner on the Coyotes roster, Stone was limited to just 14 games last season, wrapping up a mediocre showing in Calgary, scoring 5 goals and adding 11 helpers in 115 games. His (mis)fortune also got me thinking about how other Coyotes have fared since leaving the desert, so, in honor of Stone’s goal total, I took a look back 5 years at the 2014-2015 (recently renamed) Arizona Coyotes roster. Let’s see what they’ve been up to.
Mark Arcobello - After a hectic season, in which Arcobello skated for four teams (the Oilers, Predators, Penguins, and Coyotes), he managed to spend the following season in the same city, signing a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, he spent a majority of the season with their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, scoring 59 points in 49 games. Since then, he has spent the past three seasons playing for SC Bern of the National League (NLA) as a point-per-game player.
Mikkel Boedker - A midseason deal to the Colorado Avalanche ended Boedker’s time with the Coyotes in 2016, although he would only play 18 games with his new club before hitting free agency. Signed by the division rival San Jose Sharks, Boedker failed to build on his 51 point performance in 2013-14, barely surpassing that in two seasons with the Sharks. Ultimately, he was traded to his current team, the Ottawa Senators, in the deal that made Mike Hoffman a very brief Shark. In 71 games last season, Boedker put up some of his worst goal scoring numbers (7) since joining the league while putting up a respectable 35 points.
Alexandre Bolduc - The former captain of the Coyotes’ then-farm team, the Portland Pirates, only played 3 games for the big club in 2014-15, which is enough to qualify for this list. It’s also the last North America has seen of Bolduc, who has spent the following year on three different Russian squads, eventually making his way to Germany. Continuing his sojourn westward, the 34-year old Bolduc spent the year with the Nottingham Panthers of the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), where he put up 26 points in 45 games.
Kyle Chipchura - The former first round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens spent 5 years in the desert, mostly as a checking winner and occasionally as a glove dropper. For all Chipchura’s passion and backchecking ability, his departure from the Coyotes following the 2015-16 season was also his departure from the NHL, suiting up for Bratislava Slovan in the KHL, putting up a respectable 26 points in 59 games. He spent the following season in the KHL with the Kunlun Red Star before returning to Bratislava for the 2018-19 season, notching 6 goals and 14 assists in 61 games.
B.J. Crombeen - Acquired from the Lightning as a piece in the deal that brought former Edmonton Oiler Sam Gagner, Crombeen played 58 games with the Coyotes in 2014-15. The bruising enforcer retired at the end of the season after 8 years in the league and now has a career in finance. Interestingly enough, he got his degree through the University of Phoenix while he was still playing in the league.
Craig Cunningham - After joining the Coyotes from the Boston Bruins’ system in 2014-15, Cunningham spent the majority of 2015-16 with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL, scoring 46 points in 61 games. The following season (with the Coyotes’ new affiliate Tucson Roadrunners) was marked by tragedy, as a ventricular fibrillation caused the Roadrunners’ first captain to suffer an acute cardiac arrest during the pre-game skate against the Manitoba Moose. Cunningham’s recovery has been highly documented and he now serves as a scout with the Coyotes.
Shane Doan - After a dismal 2014-15 season, Captain Coyote doubled his goal total, hitting the back of the net 28 times. Despite the bounce-back season, 2016-17 would prove to be disastrous, with Doan finishing with the lowest point totals (shortened seasons excluded) since 1998-99. Despite wanting to return to the Club and serve as the league’s longest active tenured captain, management had other plans, resulting in a cooling of relations and the end of an era in Coyote history. This past February, the Coyotes retired #19 before a game against the team with whom he began his long career, the Winnipeg Jets.
Martin Erat - Martin Erat was a well respected speedy winger over his many years with the Nashville Predators, consistently putting up roughly 50 points a season. However, he became best known as a part of one of the worst trades in modern NHL history, as Washington traded Filip Forsberg to acquire Erat’s veteran services. The move backfired, with Erat scoring a lousy two goals in 62 games with the Capitals, before being traded to the Coyotes. He never did bounce back to his 50-point ways, finishing the 2014-15 season with 32 points before bolting to Omsk Avangard of the KHL. After one year with the club, he has returned to his homeland, skating 3 seasons with Brno Kometa of the Czech League, where he’s been a point-per-game player.
Sam Gagner - One of many Oilers to suit up for the Coyotes over the years, Gagner was traded to the Coyotes just one year into his 3-year extension with his former club. In his only season in the desert, he put up a respectable 15 goal, 41 point performance before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for Nicklas Grossman and Chris Pronger’s contract. Since departing the Coyotes, Gagner has played for 4 different NHL clubs, only once surpassing his totals with the Coyotes (with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2016-17). This past season, he was traded by Vancouver back to a much better Oilers team than he left in 2013-14. However, he only managed to play 25 games for his current/former team, picking up 10 points in the process.
Tyler Gaudet - A career checking forward in the AHL, Gaudet only suited up for two games in 2014-15 with the big club, going pointless in his NHL debut season. The following year, he skated in a career-high 14 games with the Coyotes, scoring his first and only NHL goal. 2016-17 would be his final year in the NHL, skating in 4 games for the Coyotes and 48 for the Roadrunners before being traded to the Nashville Predators, whose farm team (Milwaukee Admirals) he has spent the last two seasons with. Signed last month by the Toronto Maple Leafs, it appears that he may get another kick at the can.
Martin Hanzal - Originally drafted by the Coyotes in 2005, the hulking center only managed to skate in 37 games during the 2014-15 season. Unfortunately, his large frame was never able to protect him from a slew of injuries that saw him play just 180 games over the next 4 seasons (328 games). In addition to his reputation as an injury-prone player, he also demonstrated fresh-faced Coyotes GM John Chayka’s trade savvy, garnering a first, second, and conditional third round pick from Minnesota at the trade deadline. After an underwhelming performance in the Twin Cities, he signed a three-year deal with the Dallas Stars, playing in just 45 games over the past two seasons.
Justin Hodgman - If this name doesn’t ring a bell, it would be hard to blame you. Hodgman played just five games for the Coyotes in 2014-15, spending the majority of the season with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. Following that, he split the season between the Chicago Wolves and Orebro HK of the Swedish Hockey League. Another split season followed in two different European circuits before Hodgman’s return to North America in 2017. He returned to his old team, the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Comets (formerly IHL), where he put up 56 points in 50 games last season.
Rob Klinkhammer - “The Colonel” as he was often called has logged a lot of miles over his hockey career. Before joining the Coyotes in 2012-13, he had spent time in the Blackhawks and Senators organizations. Traded midway through the 2014-15 season, he played 10 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins followed by a two-year stint in Edmonton. After a 2015-16 season in which he scored a lone goal in 14 games, he headed to Minsk Dynamo of the KHL where he was traded the following season to Kazan Ak-Bars, scoring 19 goals last season.
Lauri Korpikoski - The 2014-15 season would be Korpikoski’s last in Sedona Red, ultimately going to every former Coyote’s favorite place, Edmonton. The honeymoon didn’t last, however, and he spent the following season as a regular for the Dallas Stars before being traded to the Blue Jackets, where he was held pointless in nine games. His NHL journey ended there, as Korpikoski headed to Europe, skating in 19 games for Zurich SC of the Swiss League and most recently, in only 4 games for TPS Turku of the Finnish Elite League (Liiga).
Lucas Lessio - Lessio’s 26 games with the Coyotes in 2014-15 would be the most he’d ever play in the NHL. They’d also be his last with the Coyotes, being traded the following year to the Montreal Canadiens, where he snuck in 2 points in 12 games. After not being re-signed, Lessio headed overseas, suiting up for 6 different clubs over the next three seasons, ending his latest season with Hradec Kralove of the Czech League.
Jordan Martinook - The former second round pick of the Coyotes in 2012 made his NHL debut in the 2014-15 season, going goalless in 8 games. After that, he was a regular for the Coyotes, renowned for his impressive two-way play. Much to many fans’ chagrin, he was dealt last offseason to Carolina where he set career highs in coals and games played for Markus Kruger, who was dealt shortly after to Chicago.
Tye McGinn - Not to be confused with former Coyote Jamie McGinn, Tye played in 18 games for the Coyotes in 2014-15 before joining the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. He played two games with the big club, spending most of the season with their AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch. He spent two more seasons there before returning to the desert with the Roadrunners in 2017-18. He was last spotted playing for the Chicago Wolves after a 26-game stint with the Manitoba Moose.
Brandon McMillan - The one player who elicited a “who?” when perusing this list, the former Anaheim Duck actually spent two seasons with the Coyotes, finishing his time off here with a 50 game stint in 2014-15 before being traded to the Canucks. A 1 goal performance in the playoffs would cap off his time in the NHL, with McMillan spending the next year with Ingolstadt ERC of the German Hockey League. He headed even further east the following season, joining the KHL, where he has spent the last three seasons, most recently with Riga Dynamo.
David Moss - The long-time Calgary Flame took his trade to the Coyotes in 2012-13 and would spend three seasons in the desert, never returning to his former 20-goal days. At the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, Moss left the NHL for good, joining Biel HC of the Swiss League before announcing his retirement in October 2016.
Tobias Rieder - The speedy winger made his NHL debut with the Coyotes in 2014-15, scoring 13 goals in 72 games. He kept up a similar scoring pace over the next few years before being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings. Hitting free agency, he signed with the Edmonton Oilers, going goalless in 67 games and becoming the franchise’s latest whipping boy.
Henrik Samuelsson - The 3 games Samuelsson spent with the Coyotes in 2014-15 would be the only NHL games our former first round pick ever played. After two years on the farm, Samuelsson split the both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons between the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
Brendan Shinnimin - Much like his Coyote brethren above, his time with the Coyotes in 2014-15 would be his only taste of NHL experience, notching a single assist in 12 games. He spent the following season with the Springfield Falcons before departing foe Europe, playing in three different leagues over the next three years. Appearing to have settled a bit, he has spent the last two seasons with Vaxjo HC of the Swedish Hockey League.
Jordan Szwarz - After skating in 9 games with the Coyotes in 2014-15, Szwarz spent the entire 2015-16 season with the Springfield Falcons before joining the Boston Bruins organization in 2016-17. After a year with the Providence Bruins (AHL), he would get a brief call-up stint in Boston, scoring 3 points in 12 games. 2018-19 would offer no call ups, and Szwarz spent the entire season with the Providence Bruins, registering 46 points.
Antoine Vermette - The longtime Ottawa Senator eventually found his way to the desert in 2011-12, where he remained until he was traded to Chicago toward the end of the 2014-15 season. He started off miserably for the Blackhawks, registering 3 points in 19 games before scoring some big goals during their Stanley Cup win. He ultimately returned to the Coyotes, bringing his faceoff skills and veteran savvy while contributing 38 points. His return was short-lived, and he headed to the Pacific Division rival Ducks, where he registered 44 points over two seasons after the final year of his contract was bought out. In January of this year, Vermette announced his retirement, boasting the 9th best faceoff win percentage since the NHL began tracking the data in 1997.
Joe Vitale - Another in a long list of checking forward, Vitale brought his craft over to the Coyotes in 2014-15 after four years with the Penguins. In his first game the following season, Vitale got into a fight with the Bruins’ Kevin Miller, sustaining a fractured orbital bone and concussion, which ultimately cost Vitale his career. His contract was traded to Detroit as a part of the Datsyuk package at the 2016 NHL draft. Since 2018, he has served as the St. Louis Blues’ radio color commentator.
Andrew Campbell - After splitting the season between the Coyotes and their former AHL affiliate in Portland, Campbell headed east with Arcobello, signing with Toronto. His 6 games with the Maple Leafs that season mark his last in the NHL, although he has carved out a niche as a veteran presence on the blueline, serving as captain of the Marlies for two seasons before returning to the valley to captain the Tucson Roadrunners in 2017-18. Last season, he spent the year with Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs, finishing his season -1, the first time he was a minus player in the AHL since the 2009-2010 season.
Klas Dahlbeck - Despite playing in 19 games with the Coyotes in 2014-15, Dahlbeck would have to wait until the following season, in which he played 71 games, before registering his first NHL goal. He matched his goal total (2) with the Carolina Hurricanes the following season, having not been retained by the Coyotes. He played another partial season with the Hurricanes before joining CSKA Moscow of the KHL this past season. In 55 games, he registered 11 points.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Who? Just kidding. The only player on this list to remain with the Coyotes, OEL set a career high in points (55) in 2015-16 while establishing himself as a top-pairing blueliner. Recently named captain after remaining vacant for a season following Shane Doan’s retirement, the Coyotes’ defenseman has remained relatively consistent, missing only 13 games over the past 7 seasons while contributing 40+ points per year. His 8-year, $66M extension kicks in this season.
Brandon Gormley - Another Coyote first rounder, Gormley’s 27 games with the Coyotes in 2014-15 would be his last, splitting the following season between the Colorado Avalanche (26 games) and their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage (39 games). After splitting the next season between two other AHL teams, Gormley headed to the Swedish Hockey League and split the latest season between the Swedish and Finnish hockey circuits. With each club, he has scored two goals.
Zbynek Michalek - The shot-blocking aficionado plied his trade well in the desert for several seasons, but was dealt to the Blues for a Playoff run in 2014-15. He returned to Arizona, hitting 70 games played for the first time in five years before spending the majority of the following season in Tucson, his first taste of the AHL since 2004-05. Without an NHL contract, Michalek returned home to play in the Czech league, spending a season with Sparta Praha before joining Brno Kometa last season. For the first time in his career, he was held pointless for an entire (albeit shortened) season.
John Moore - After spending some time with the Blue Jackets and New York Rangers organizations, Moore was acquired mid-way through the 2014-15 season. His 19 game tryout with the Coyotes wasn’t enough to convince management to bring him back, so Moore joined the New Jersey Devils, setting career highs in goals (12) in 2016-17 and games played (81) in 2017-18. He was signed last season to a 5-year, $13.75M deal with the Boston Bruins, where he experienced a modest reduction in points.
Connor Murphy - The young defensive defenseman played his first full NHL season in 2014-15, finishing a career worst -27. He followed it up with a career high 6 goal performance in 2015-16 while matching his point total the following season. Prior to the 2017-18 season, he was traded to the Blackhawks for current cream of the crop defensive defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. After a few healthy seasons, Murphy’s latest with the Blackhawks was shortened to 52 games in which he registered 13 points.
Dylan Reese - After spending time in multiple team’s systems, the Harvard graduate played a single game for the Coyotes, finishing with a -1. He had greater success with the Portland Pirates, scoring 40 points in 72 games. After another season in the minors, Reese spent two seasons with HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish Hockey League. He did not play last year.
Philip Samuelsson - The other Samuelsson brother, Philip played 4 games for the Coyotes in 2014-15, spending most of the year in Portland. He played another 4 games the following season, again spending the majority of the year in the AHL (this time, with the Falcons). However, this was to be the end of his splitting time with the big club, as he has spent the last three seasons entirely in the AHL, first with the St. John’s IceCaps, then the Charlotte Checkers, and most recently with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
David Schlemko - After making his NHL debut with the Coyotes in 2008-09, Schlemko slowly worked his way onto the Coyote roster. In 2014-15, however, he was on many rosters. A brief two-game stint in the AHL was paired with 20 games for the Coyotes, 5 games with the Dallas Stars, and 19 games with the Calgary Flames. Clearly a fan of road trips, Shlemko left the Flames, traveling east to sign with the New Jersey Devils. After a year with them, he headed west to San Jose. Following a year there, he was heading east again, signing with his most recent club, the Montreal Canadiens, where he was held goalless for the first time since his 3-game league debut.
Michael Stone - The catalyst for this article, Stone was a mainstay on the Coyotes blueline for a number of seasons before being dealt to the Flames in 2016-17. Although he was renowned for having a sneaky wristshot, he never surpassed the 10-goal mark with either club and had some of his worst offensive seasons with the latter. After going goalless in 14 games this season, well, you know the rest of the story.
Chris Summers - At this point, it may not be surprising to hear that another Coyotes first round selection has spent the majority of his career in the AHL, and Summers is no exception. His 17 games with the Coyotes in 2014-15 would be his last, being dealt to the Rangers, whom he would play 6 games with over the next season and a half. His NHL journey ended there, as Summers has spent the last three seasons in the AHL, most recently for the Penguins’ affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Keith Yandle - One of the better puck-moving blueliners the Coyotes have had, Yandle was traded during the 2014-15 season to the Rangers along with Summers, above, for John Moore, Anthony Duclair, and some draft picks. The Rangers ultimately did not retain his services and after a full season with the club, he signed a 7-year, $44.45M deal with the Florida Panthers, where he’s coming off career high assist (53) and point (62) totals.
Louis Domingue - Once thought to be our goalie of the future, Domingue made his NHL debut with the Coyotes in 2014-15, sporting a .911 SV% in 7 games. He saw considerable more action the following two seasons, keeping a similar save percentage to his debut season. Another 7 game stint in 2017-18 went disastrously for Domingue, whose GAA ballooned to 4.33 while his SV% dropped to .856. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning mid-way through the season, where he has returned to his .911 SV% over the past season and a half. He has one more year left on his deal with the Lightning.
Devan Dubnyk - After a terrible, no good year in 2013-14, where Dubnyk split time between the Oilers and Nashville Predators, Dubnyk resurrected his career with the Coyotes in 2014-15. Filling in admirably while starter Mike Smith battled injuries and consistency, many wondered whether he would usurp Smith as a more cost-effective starting option. Fans didn’t have much time to ponder the thought, however, as Dubnyk was dealt to the Minnesota Wild, who inked him to a 6-year, $26M extension. His latest season was statistically his weakest with the Wild, although former GM Paul Fenton’s dismantling of the roster can likely account for the slight dip in performance.
Mike McKenna - Perhaps the forgotten goalie in the shuffles of 2014-15, McKenna came to the Coyotes after stints with 3 other NHL clubs and numerous minor league teams. His single game with the Coyotes in 2014-15 would be his last until 2017-18, when he played 2 games with the Dallas Stars. Most recently, he played 10 games for the abysmal Ottawa Senators before being traded to Philadelphia, playing 1 game before being sent to the Fleyers’ affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, where he sported some of his worst AHL numbers to date.
Mike Smith - Remembered fondly for his performance during the Coyotes 2012 Playoff run, Smith posted his worst numbers with the Coyotes in 2014-15 (.904 SV%, 3.16 GAA). The following season he was limited to just 32 games, although his numbers returned to normal. After one more season with the Coyotes, Smith took his puckhandling abilities to Alberta, where he just finished up one of his worst NHL seasons. Signed to a 1 year, $2M contract this offseason by Edmonton, they’re hoping he has another bounce back year in him.
That’s a wrap, folks. After reviewing the list and seeing just how many former Coyotes were relegated to minor or European leagues following their tenure in the desert, you have to give former coach Dave Tippett a lot of credit for sticking things out and making the roster as competitive as possible. What are your thoughts? Do we owe Tippett a thank you card? Any players on this list you forgot about? Any you think could suit up for the Coyotes again? Any favorite memories of one of the above players? Share below.