The Arizona Coyotes have been making quite a few key moves during this off- season period.
The organization changed the team name to the Arizona Coyotes and added quite a few new players to the team’s roster. The Coyotes were three points shy of another playoff campaign this past season.
Therefore, the new name and new look serves as a way to re-ignite some energy and excitement within the team and give Coyote fans some hope for the upcoming season.
The team has seen the departure of veteran forwards Mike Ribeiro and Jeff Halpern. The biggest loss was forward Radim Vrbata, who has now signed with the Vancouver Canucks.
On the defensive side of things, the Coyotes have lost veteran Derek Morris and backup goalie Thomas Greiss. I don’t really understand the buyout move involving Mike Ribeiro.
Ribeiro’s contract cost is going to count against the Coyotes now, so I don’t understand why the organization didn’t just keep him on the team. Regardless, these guys will all be tough to replace moving forward.
The players the Arizona Coyotes have signed will all be eager to start over and rebound from disappointing seasons. Sam Gagner certainly fits into this category.
With all the talent the Edmonton Oilers have brought in, Gagner was the odd man out. He struggled with injuries this past season but still managed to finish fifth in points at 37 last year.
This is a wonderful opportunity for Gagner to re-ignite his career and carry his new team to success. Under the leadership of veteran Captain Shane Doan, I believe Gagner could easily accumulate 40 points or more this season.
The other intriguing move is the arrival of former Oiler goalie Devan Dubnyk. He was part of the Sam Gagner trade and is now the Coyotes new backup goalie. This guy has had season after season of frustrating and crushing defeats with the Edmonton Oilers.
Last season was no exception as Dubynk posted a 11-17-6 record. However, that’s all in the past now. I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for Dubynk to prove his worth and be a dependable backup for his new team this season.
The Arizona Coyotes also have a number of rookies ready and eager to enter the NHL. Forwards Max Domi, Henrik Samuelsson and Brendan Perlini are just a few examples. Domi is coming out of another exceptional season with the OHL’s London Knights. Domi accumulated an incredible 93 points last season. He’ll certainly get a taste of the NHL this season for the Coyotes.
With all the talent that the Arizona Coyotes have available, I believe they could challenge for a playoff spot again this season. The current roster has a decent mix of experienced veteran players as well as young players.
I can’t wait to see how the Arizona Coyotes do this season. I really hope Gagner has a good first year with his new team.