NHL 31 Teams in 31 Days: Arizona Coyotes

The NHL is just 31 days away from the beginning of the 2017/18 season. Over the next 31 days we’ll dive into the 31 NHL teams in alphabetical order, take a look at their previous standings and upcoming season predictions, as well as their key additions and subtractions. Yesterday we looked at the Anaheim Ducks; today it’s the turn of the Arizona Coyotes

2016/17 record: 30-43-9

Key additions: Niklas Hjalmarsson, Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta.

Key losses: Shane Doan, Connor Murphy.

2017/18 prediction: No playoff hockey this season.

The last few seasons have not been kind to the Coyotes, unrelenting off-ice stories have distracted from the team’s underwhelming performances on the rink. 2017 brought changes in the front office and behind the bench. After eight seasons with the team head coach Dave Tippett was replaced by former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Rick Tocchet. Plans for a new house have been shot down, and those relocation rumours refuse to go away.
Arizona’s offseason rebuilding has seen some good talent arrive in Glendale. Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin were sent to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Nicklas Hjalmarsson. The team also helped relieve the New York Rangers’ cap issues but trading Anthony DeAngelo for Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta.
While the new players that the Coyotes have brought in bring great experience, it feels like long term loss for short term gain, something the team doesn’t need. Murphy, Dauphin and DeAngelo combined for just 33 points last season but talented youth is something not to be traded away. The biggest elephant in the room is the loss of 21 year veteran Shane Doan to retirement. The right winger played over 1,500 NHL games for team and wasn’t far away from hitting 1,000 points. On the ice his production levels were starting to dip and the situation got awkward when the Coyotes offered him a role off the ice, but refused to offer a new contract as a player. How the team will react to the loss of its longest serving captain remains to be seen.
This coming season is looking reasonably promising for the Coyotes, by its own low standards. The trades made will benefit Arizona in the short term but not so much moving forward. If I’m being generous with my prediction I’d say the team ends the season missing the playoffs by a place or two, if I’m being very harsh then I’d say the team ends up in Seattle.
What are your thoughts on the Coyotes’ chances this season? Comment below or join in the conversation on Twitter!

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