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What's Next for the Coyotes?

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1What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty What's Next for the Coyotes? on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:15 am

davetherave

davetherave
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Amidst all the drama surrounding the fate of the franchise, fans seem to have forgotten that the Phoenix Coyotes began to show signs of being an exciting and competitive team last season. Drawing as many as 17,000 in a city already pronounced as dead for NHL hockey, the Yotes provided some real value for their ticket buyers...and not just in the form of discount packages.

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.

Notes, Quotes

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

Roster Report

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.

Player News:

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.”

Medical Watch:

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

2What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:43 am

wprager

wprager
Administrator
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Hiring a moving truck.

3What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:40 am

Guest


Guest
The sky's the limit.

4What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:21 am

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
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They need a new coach. Gretzky ain't getting it done. Any other coach on any other team would have been canned a LONG time ago.

The problem is, Gretzky being the coach is probably bringing in half the fans there alone...

5What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:57 am

davetherave

davetherave
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The view from Phoenix today:

JUDGE REJECTS SALE OF COYOTES TO CANADIAN BILLIONAIRE
Bob Baum, AP/The Arizona Republic, June 15, 2009

PHOENIX - The Coyotes are staying in Phoenix, at least for now.

A bankruptcy judge has rejected the proposed sale of the franchise to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who would have moved the team to Hamilton, Ontario.
Judge Redfield T. Baum issued a 21-page ruling late Monday afternoon, concluding the June 29 deadline imposed by Balsillie did not allow enough time to resolve the complex case.

“Simply put, the court does not think there is sufficient time (14 days) for all of these issues to be fairly presented to the court given that deadline,” the judge wrote.

The ruling is a victory for the NHL, which had argued Balsillie was using the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to make an end-run around the league's rules over who owns teams and where they are located.

“We're pleased the court recognized the validity of league rules and our ability to apply them in a reasonable fashion,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Monday night. “We will turn our attention now toward helping to facilitate an orderly sales process that will produce a local buyer who is committed to making the Coyotes' franchise viable and successful in the Phoenix-Glendale area. We are confident that we will be able to find such a buyer for the Coyotes and that the claims of legitimate creditors will be addressed.”

But Balsillie, who has failed in two other bids to buy NHL teams, refused to concede defeat, saying he wants to work with the league and move the franchise.

“We look forward to hearing from the NHL soon on its view of our relocation application and an appropriate relocation fee, so as to allow the court to determine if that fee is reasonable,” Balsillie spokesman Bill Walker said. “We still think there is enough time for the NHL to approve Mr. Balsillie's application and move the team to Hamilton by September.”

Walker said the judge's ruling “invited mediation.”

“Mr. Balsillie is willing to participate in such mediation if the NHL is also willing to do so,” Walker's statement said.

Baum called the case unprecedented in U.S. bankruptcy history.

“The legal issues trigger not only bankruptcy law, but antitrust law and commercial law in the context of a professional sports team, as a Chapter 11 debtor, which team has for years incurred, and is continuing to incur, very serious financial losses and problems,” Baum wrote. “No cases have been found that precisely or even closely fit this scenario.”

Walker's statement ignored several aspects of the ruling that were made against Balsillie.

Baum shot down the claim by Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes and Balsillie that failure to allow the team, over the objection of the NHL, to move would violate antitrust law.

“This court can not find that antitrust law, as applicable nonbankruptcy law, permits the sale free and clear of the relocation rights of the NHL,” Baum wrote.

He added, “It is not an antitrust violation for professional sports leagues to have terms and conditions on relocations of its members.”

An antitrust claim requires a “bona fide dispute,” but there is none because Balsillie only sought the NHL's permission to relocate the franchise after it was brought up in court, Baum wrote.

“This court is unconvinced that it should order that the NHL must decide the relocation application to meet the June 29 deadline,” the judge wrote.

Baum also rejected claims by Moyes and Balsillie that while assuming the contract the Coyotes have with the NHL, they can disregard the portion of the agreement that requires the games be played in Glendale.

The judge compared that claim to “a purchaser of a bankrupt franchise in a remote location asserting that it can be relocated far from its original agreed site to a highly valuable location, for example New York City's Times Square ...”

The judge's decision is also a win for the city of Glendale, which had spent $183 million to build an arena for the Coyotes and had contended the franchise could not use bankruptcy to evade its lease.

Baum said that because he was rejecting the motion, he need not rule at this time on whether Moyes and Balsillie could void Glendale's lease.

Glendale officials will comment after lawyers have reviewed the entire document, city spokeswoman Julie Frisoni said.

This is the third time Balsillie — whose company makes the Blackberry — has tried and failed to buy an NHL team. His made previous attempts to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators.

Moyes took the NHL by surprise when he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 5, proposing to sell the team to Balsillie for $212.5 million, contingent on the franchise moving to Hamilton, Ontario.

The NHL said that commissioner Gary Bettman was on his way to deliver a letter of intent to Moyes from Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of baseball's Chicago White Sox and the NBA's Chicago Bulls, to purchase the team and keep it in Glendale.

However, any bid to buy the team will be far less than the offer Balsillie made.

“I think people are going to be shocked when they see the value of this team remaining in Glendale,” Moyes' attorney Thomas Salerno said. “It's going to be materially less than the offer we have on the table.”

Salerno said Moyes is disappointed and is evaluating his options. Moyes says he has more than $300 million invested in the team and would have recouped about $100 million if the Balsillie sale had gone through.

The NHL says four parties, including Reinsdorf, have filed preliminary applications to investigate purchasing the team and keeping it in Arizona. However, if no buyer can be found, the league would look to relocate the franchise.

Moyes and Balsillie contended that the team would never succeed in Arizona and would flourish in hockey-crazy Ontario. But the move raised territorial rights issues because of the proximity of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres.

Baum had raised the specter of a fee due to the NHL and the two teams if the franchise moved.

The Coyotes have lost more than $300 million since the franchise moved from Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 2006, and at least $36 million each of the last three seasons, but the NHL contends the franchise can be viable with better management and more success on the ice.

6What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:51 am

Guest


Guest
Hamilton. This franchise has been a financial black hole since moving to Phoenix. Even Bettman will have to realize that cutting their losses and moving to a more viable location is in the best interests of not only the franchise, but the league.

7What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:01 am

davetherave

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hemlock wrote:Hamilton. This franchise has been a financial black hole since moving to Phoenix. Even Bettman will have to realize that cutting their losses and moving to a more viable location is in the best interests of not only the franchise, but the league.

Given that Hamilton as an expansion franchise rewards the NHL much more handsomely for reasons previously outlined, and that Copps Coliseum isn't NHL-ready, that scenario seems implausible at this point.

There is a brand new facility waiting in Kansas City.

There is also a group in Quebec who have already made overtures to the league to bring a franchise back. They have raised money through the pre-sale of season tickets and corporate suites. The Government of Quebec has already stated it will subsidize these types of initiatives.

From the evidence, the NHL will continue to operate in Phoenix as it seeks to negotiate a settlement with the parties and investors involved, including the City of Glendale.

8What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:29 am

wprager

wprager
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I would love a team in Quebec City. What a shock that would be to the players, though, if Phoenix was moved there. Quebec City in February is not just cold, it's a "mean drunk" kind of cold. It would also mean that a Western Conference team not named the Detroit Red Wings is moving to the East. I think Detroit might have a bone to pick with that one.

But there are enough teams in trouble to Make It Seven (dot ca). Hey, I wonder if Balsillie would support a new team in Quebec (or the 'Peg or in Atlantic Canada)?

Edit: Did anyone spot an Arrested Development joke up in the last paragraph?

9What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:12 pm

davetherave

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Hradek and Rothstein do some digging in the desert to see what the offseason might yield for the Yotes.

COYOTES NEED HELP, ON, OFF ICE
Tumultuous offseason just beginning for Phoenix franchise
EJ Hradek, Andrew Rothstein/ESPN INSIDER, June 23, 2009

Plugging Holes - Phoenix Coyotes


What's Next for the Coyotes? Pho
The Hole: Offense


While the Coyotes were never the worst in any particular category last year, they were below average everywhere. Out of all the weaknesses, the offense was clearly the worst of the bunch, with a -13.2 offensive GVT. Their roster consisted of only one statistically good player last year, right winger Shane Doan, who posted a 14.5 GVT. The next best player on the roster, defenseman Keith Yandle, posted a slightly above average 6.6 GVT. After that, the talent begins to fall off.


The Fix: Trade second round draft pick, C Matthew Lombardi and LW Brett MacLean for LW Jiri Hudler (RFA, Red Wings)

The Coyotes could make a big statement by acquiring a big name in the 5-foot-9 'Czech-native, Hudler. With a 10.9 GVT at the age of 25, he's an above average regular, who would instantly become the second best skater on the team behind Doan. Hudler, who has made around $1 million the past two years, would need a mandatory 10 percent increase in salary as a restricted free agent, so the minimum qualifying offer would be $1.215 million. If Hudler asks for a $2- $2.5 million per year salary for three years upon being dealt, the Coyotes should go for it.

Dealing Lombardi and his $1.817 million salary, third-highest on the team, to Detroit would make the increase in team payroll negligible, and the Red Wings, who have approximately $4 million in cap space, would receive cap relief. Lombardi, 3.4 GVT, isn't spectacular, but he is a decent player. The key for Detroit depends on what they do with their second round selection and top prospect, MacLean, who could replace Hudler's production in several years. MacLean averaged 1.09 points per game in his first draft-eligible year in the Ontario Hockey League, a general sign of future success for forwards, and 1.70 points per game in his last two seasons in the OHL from 2006 to 2008.

E.J.'s Take: I don't see how trading an inexpensive but helpful player like Lombardi, an improving prospect like MacLean and a second round pick to the Red Wings for a secondary forward (Hudler) really helps the Coyotes.


Clearly, this franchise has many issues swirling around it. The Coyotes have taken the right road (finally) when it comes to building through the draft. I would suggest they stay on that course.


If anything, I would think they would want to do whatever they could afford to do to upgrade their blue line. They might make a pitch for 25-year-old Flames free-agent, defensiveman Adam Pardy, who's a big (6-foot-4, 220-pounds), stay-at-home type that would add depth to their group. Likely to be an inexpensive acquisition, Pardy played 60 games for the Flames in 2008-09.

---

Andrew Rothstein is a writer for Puck Prospectus. E.J. Hradek is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Note: A mainstay of Puck Prospectus's metrics is "Goals Versus Threshold" (GVT). The stat blends an array of offensive and defensive figures to measure the value, in terms of goals, a player contributes above what the marginal player would over the course of the season. A marginal player is one that could be replaced with a player of equivalent skill, e.g. from the minors. For instance, Evgeni Malkin had an offensive GVT of +18.9, a defensive GVT of +4.5 and a total GVT of +23.4 for the 2008-9 regular season, meaning that Malkin was worth 23.4 goals more than a marginal player over the course of the season, or worth about 0.3 additional goals per game. In the team context, GVT refers to performance above an NHL average team. For the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings had a +30.8 offensive GVT, a +15.1 defensive GVT, a -21.5 goaltending GVT, for a +24.4 total GVT. Therefore, at even strength, Detroit was 24.4 goals better than the average team.

10What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:03 pm

davetherave

davetherave
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OEL is a Yote.

11What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:05 pm

caissie_1

caissie_1
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Another great pick... Phoenix is stocking up so much young talent... It's about time it starts to pay off.

12What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:45 pm

asq2

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'Yotes have signed Adrian Aucoin.

OEL's a longer-term prospect, so this makes sense to shore up the D in the short-term.

13What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:28 pm

The Silfer Server

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As asq2 said, Aucoin is short term. 1 year, 2.25M is not a bad price... If we didn't have Jason Smith, nor the potential D we hare getting from the Heatley deal, or our younger D, I'd be all for it. hahah, seriously though, I've always liked him. He's slowed down a bit, and has a history of injury problems, but other than that i've always liked him. He's good defensively, has a rocket point shot, and some solid leadership skills.

14What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:34 pm

davetherave

davetherave
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Some interesting UFA pickups for the Coyotes...LaBarbera is a solid #2 goalie; Aucoin is a strong d-man, Vandermeer is reliable; Fiddler, a good all-round forward.

So they have some depth going into the 09/10 season, to go with the young guys like Turris, Boedker, Tikhonov, Mueller, etc and now Ekman-Larsson.

The Yotes played some very good hockey before fading late in the season.

Hopefully they can deliver on that promise next year.

15What's Next for the Coyotes? Empty Re: What's Next for the Coyotes? on Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:21 pm

asq2

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davetherave wrote:Some interesting UFA pickups for the Coyotes...LaBarbera is a solid #2 goalie; Aucoin is a strong d-man, Vandermeer is reliable; Fiddler, a good all-round forward.

So they have some depth going into the 09/10 season, to go with the young guys like Turris, Boedker, Tikhonov, Mueller, etc and now Ekman-Larsson.

The Yotes played some very good hockey before fading late in the season.

Hopefully they can deliver on that promise next year.

Ekman-Larsson is not an NHL-ready prospect. Not even close.

Their defence is still their most questionable point. Prospect-wise, however, it's quite strong. But don't look for Ekman-Larsson to make an impact for quite a while.

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