Some would like to see them mosey on to back to Canada...some have dreams of the return of the Jets, others have Hamilton on their minds...and some insist that another destination in the USA is just a matter of time.
Whatever happens in the courts, there's still the questions of putting a product on the ice.
Yahoo Sports serves up the menu for the Coyotes looking forward:
Inside Shots: Phoenix Coyotes Team Report
Yahoo Sports, June 5, 2009
It would be a logistical scheduling nightmare if the Coyotes did not play in Arizona next season, and that could leave an even worse scenario if the team stays under new ownership that would move the team after one season—a lame-duck franchise that is hard-pressed to lure fans in the best of times.
The judge in the team’s bankruptcy case has put things on the fast track.
A hearing, originally scheduled for June 22, to decide if the highest bidder can relocate the team was moved up to June 9.
Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes wants to sell the team to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who plans to move the team to Hamilton, Ontario. No other official bids have been tendered.
If the Coyotes win in court, an auction for the team is set for June 22. If the NHL prevails, it’s Sept. 10.
The disheartening aspect of the situation is that despite the definite possibility of losing an NHL team, there has been only a minimum of buzz in the Phoenix area.
Season Highlight: The Coyotes defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 on Jan. 20 in front of a home crowd of almost 17,000. It moved them into fifth place in the Western Conference and, and more important, re-energized the fan base. For the first time in quite awhile, the buzz about this team was rising.
Turning Point: Right after the highlight, the Coyotes lost six straight and nine of their next 10. Much like a season ago, a lot of it came down to a bevy of younger players on the roster hitting the wall.
• Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky has been out of sight during the proceedings. But NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he is a “tremendous asset” to the franchise.
• General manager Don Maloney and his staff continue to push ahead with preparations for the draft. “It remains business as usual for us,” he said.
• C Steven Reinprecht may be a victim of a numbers game this offseason. With GM Don Maloney’s vision of acquiring a high-scoring, playmaking center, Reinprecht, an unrestricted free agent, could be on the bubble. Matthew Lombardi and Martin Hanzal will see a lot of playing time, Kyle Turris is expected to be greatly improved, and with winger Peter Mueller likely to return to his natural position, there will be an odd man out.
Quote To Note: “My role at the draft is to search for deals (trading up, trading down, trading established players, etc.), then working with Wayne (coach Wayne Gretzky), Brad (assistant GM Brad Treliving, Keith and his staff to see what deals make sense for the Coyotes.”—General manager Don Maloney
Most Valuable Player: Captain Shane Doan held the team together through good and bad times. He achieved a career high in goals and played the biggest role in helping younger players get acclimated to the NHL. A bull on the ice, he was steady from day one.
Most Disappointing Player: Second-year forward Peter Mueller never seemed to get untracked. For the Coyotes to have had a better run, Mueller was one of the key players who needed to produce. But there might be good news for him—there is talk that he will be moved back to his natural position of center next season.
Free Agent Focus: The Coyotes have four unrestricted free agents, with D Ken Klee and C Steven Reinprecht likely to return. RW Brian McGrattan and D Dmitri Kalinin are longshots, considering the Coyotes’ priority in the offseason likely would be to get another defenseman. Restricted free agents are plentiful, with the emphasis likely on re-signing LW Scottie Upshall and D Keith Yandle and possibly RW Enver Lisin.
• D Kurt Sauer, whose foot injury coincided with the Coyotes’ post All-Star Game slump, is ready to get a new season started. “You’re always excited about get the season started and start over,” he said. “Though we were doing good, it fizzled away. It’s hard to watch teams (in the postseason), knowing you could be playing and have a chance to play for the Cup. It’s hard to take.”
The Coyotes are expected to undergo several roster changes amid the uncertainty of the franchise’s future. All players can do, he said, is concentrate on playing.
“For me, it’s ‘you can’t control that at all,’” he said. “It’s not our job. Do I see what’s happening? Yeah. Can I do anything about it? No. It’s nice to know what’s going on, but it doesn’t matter. They’ll tell you what going on anyway.”
• RW Brian McGrattan was not playing at the end of the season.
So what's next for the Desert Dogs? Will the legal yelping simmer down so the guys can get out there and play?
And if and when the dust settles, can Phoenix rise and find its way to a playoff perch, or are Gretzky's Growlers in the lurch?
You, GM Hockey Members, make the call!
Last edited by davetherave on Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:44 pm; edited 2 times in total