June 20 Random Notes On Our Yotes

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Things about the Arizona Coyotes and the NHL  that crossed my mind this past month –

Some of my thoughts, some info, and notes from the past month about our Arizona Coyotes and the National Hockey League.

A lot has happened since my last visit and the next couple of weeks are going to be very busy for the Arizona Coyotes and the other 29 NHL teams.

1.  The purchase and relocation process to move the Yotes AHL affiliate from Springfield to Tucson has finally been approved by the AHL and they will start play in the AHL”s Pacific Division this fall.  Tucson City Council has also approved a new arena lease with the Arizona Coyotes and the Tucson Convention Center. Congrats to Tucson. 

2.  Arizona Coyotes, Max Domi (Canada) was a Gold Medal winner at the 2016 IIHF World Hockey Championships in Russia last month.  It’s always a great experience to play in these tournaments and especially for young players . Congrats to Max.   

3.  New Assistant GM, John Chayka and the rest of the Coyotes brass hold the 7th and 20th overall picks in this Friday’s NHL Entry Draft and many are still wondering if they are going to make a play for the 1st overall pick currently held by Toronto?  

4.  Tobias Rieder, Michael Stone, Connor Murphy, Jared Tinordi, Kevin Connauton, Klas Dahlbeck and Louis Domingue will be part of the Coyotes busy summer as all are set to become restricted free agents on July 1.  I would think that all seven players will be offered contracts and will be a part of the Yotes future.

5. The Arizona Coyotes have opted not to sign prospect Connor Bleackley who was acquired from the Colorado in the Mikkel Boedker trade last February.  The Avs selected Bleackley with the 23rd pick of the 2014 draft and he will now be eligible to re-enter the 2016 NHL Entry Draft this Friday.  The Coyotes will receive a 2016 supplemental second-round draft pick as a result.

6.  I wonder if there’s any chance London Knights forward Matthew Tkachuk could fall into the Coyotes laps at pick number 7.

7.  Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak and his London Knights are Memorial Cup Champions.  In spite of what Gary Bettman says, the Memorial Cup is the hardest trophy to win in all of the team sports and Dvorak was a major contributor to their success.  (7 goals but actually 8 IMO)  Congrats Christian.     

8.  The final rosters have been announced for this September’s World Cup of Hockey and the Arizona Coyotes will have four representatives; Martin Hanzal and Zbynek Michalek (Team Czech Republic), Tobias Rieder (Team Europe), and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Team Sweden).

9.  Why do some hockey fans think the Arizona Coyotes would overpay and give up 3 or 4 blue chip prospects to get Auston Matthews?  Just because he’s from Scottsdale, AZ isn’t a good enough reason to make a bad hockey trade.  

10.   Last Friday, the hockey world mourned the loss of Gordie Howe aka “Mr. Hockey”.  Gordie Howe came out of retirement at the age of 45 to play hockey with his two sons, Marty and Mark with the WHA’s Houston Aeros and although he had lost a couple of steps he was still the smartest player on the ice.  Mr. Howe will always be remembered as one of the greatest players of all-time but more importantly, he will always be remembered as being a gentleman.

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11.  Outside of the “top prospect” player interviews, does the NHL Combine mean anything?  Who gives a crap about how many pull-ups a kid can do?  At least the NFL Combine does drills that are actually applicable to football. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the NHL Combine.  Why copy something for the sake of copying something?  I’d rather watch a John Deere combine working the fields than this useless NHL publicity stunt.

12.  To no one’s surprise, the Arizona Coyotes have signed Assistant Coach Newell Brown, to a to a multi-year contract extension.  The Yotes also promoted Steve Sullivan to the position of Director of Player Development.  Two solid moves IMHO.   

13.  It looks like the expansion to Las Vegas is a done deal.  NHL teams are already receiving info on what the parameters of the expansion draft will look like.  Of course, nothing is official until it is voted on at the BOG meetings on June 22.  

14.  Thank God it’s over!  I don’t know about you but I don’t think hockey should be played in June.  IMO, the NHL should start the regular season in September so we NEVER have to see a hockey game in the month of June again.  BTW, Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup if anybody cares?   

15.  Since I just mentioned it, we might as well vote on it. 


Should the NHL season start earlier to avoid games in June?

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16.  This is one of the NHL/NHLPA’s better ideas.  The “Free Agent Interview Period”.   

From Article 15:

Commencing the day after the NHL Entry Draft (but no later than June 25) until June 30, Unrestricted Free Agents may meet with potential new Clubs, but may not sign a new “Standard Player’s Contract” until the opening of the RFA/UFA signing period on July 1.

17.  In an interesting move, the Arizona Coyotes have acquired the negotiating rights to pending UFA defenseman Alex Goligoski from the Dallas Stars.  The Stars will receive a fifth-round draft choice in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft from the Yotes.  The Coyotes own his rights until July 1 and if a new contract isn’t reached the 30-year-old defenseman will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA).

18.  The Coyotes launched a “Name the Team” contest for their AHL affiliate in Tucson and the winner is ….. The Tucson Roadrunners!

19.  Countdown to the 2016 NHL Entry Draft:  5 days (1st round on June 24th) in Buffalo, N.Y.   

20. Countdown to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey:  90 days (Sept. 17) in Toronto, Ont.  The final rosters of 20 skaters and 3 goalies are posted here >>> Rosters    

 If you would be interested in doing an Arizona Coyotes podcast, please contact me.  

Arizona Hockey Talk is looking for Arizona Coyotes, ASU Sun Devils, and local minor hockey writers.  If you or somebody you know is interested, please contact us.


If you have any thoughts on any of these questions please let me know. 

Thanks, Mitch

Use the “Comment Section” below.

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  1. It is nearly time for the draft party.
    The franchise wasted time and energy getting the AHL team down here and its nearly July and still no announcement as to a new arena.
    These two things were a distraction from the only real problem the franchise has.
    Everybody knows what that is.
    Las Vegas, a city which no professional sports franchise was allowed to hold meetings or be seen at, now is a legitimate destination for pro sports teams.
    It’s too bad.
    A terrible sports city, we can see the influence of casinos and legalized sports gambling at work here.
    Supposedly, they had 13,500 pre season ticket holder names for their hockey team.
    I don’t believe it. Some mob boss probably forges the names.
    I’ll bet there aren’t 500 season ticket holders here in Phoenix.
    That is a REAL shame.
    That should have been the focus over the course of months after the end of another losing season.
    But, we were distracted. AHL teams in Tucson and arena relocations.
    The time crunch has started for Ari Segal and John Pierce.
    I hope these guys have time to end the humiliation of cellar dwelling in attendance.

  2. Mitch Kasprick says

    the 13,500 number is people who put down a $100 deposit … that’s not much of a financial commitment IMO.

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