Yesterday Craig Morgan that two forwards for the Arizona Coyotes are currently listed as “unfit to play”. Not much is known but center Derek Stepan and wing Michael Grabner are currently unable to practice.
Coyotes GM John Chayka reiterated the NHL company line that Derek Stepan & Michael Grabner were deemed unfit to play today.— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) July 13, 2020
Again, teams have been told they must follow the league lead on this.
Chayka called both players' timelines "day to day."
It is unknown how long they will be out and Derek Stepan did skate earlier today.
Both players were keys to the Coyotes’ success in the past, although both have lost their steps in recent years. Derek Stepan’s production appears to have dropped with age, having gone from a 50+ point man to closer to 28 points in 70 games this past season. Michael Grabner’s drop in production appears related to his eye injury in 2018 which limited him to just 41 games.
Despite the drop in production, both players do fill a need for the Coyotes. Stepan leads the team in faceoffs last season, taking almost 250 more faceoffs than Christian Dvorak who was second on the team. His numbers have largely remained steady, with a 47.5% win rate last season.
Although Grabner’s numbers took a hard hit, his work out videos when the season was first suspended showed that he was taking the time to improve himself physically and seemed poised to have an explosive postseason.
Both players have playoff experience, with Stepan alone having played in 97 post-season games. Grabner has played in only 31 playoff games, although that is more than most Coyotes players.
Hopefully, both players can recover and nothing serious happens to them or their families. We will update you as more people become unavailable for play.