The Arizona Coyotes have not been a relevant hockey team since facing off against the L.A. Kings for a chance to go to the Stanley Cup in 2012. I remember watching that series as a Yotes fan, and the one thing I couldn’t stand was Dustin Brown and his arrogance along with his lack of ability to grow facial hair. Looking back that far the fans were still singing their praises of “Captain oh Captain” to the one and only Shane Doan. This upcoming season though, the Yotes are looking to be relevant once again.
Last year they missed making a wild card appearance by only 4 points, despite being absolutely riddled with injuries. The Yotes thought they suffered their biggest loss when goalie Antii Raanta was ruled out for the remainder of the season after just 28 games. Darcy Kuemper stepped in and did one hell of a job as a backup to Raanta. The season wasn’t always pretty but the Yotes fought hard and almost found themselves in a wild card spot, this upcoming season, they don’t want the wild card, they want the division.
With new ownership in the front office, self-made billionaire Alex Murelo will take over the reigns and look to put the Yotes in a position to win. On top of new ownership the Coyotes went out and got themselves a goal scorer with Right Wing Phil Kessel. Last year Kessel put up a total of 27 goals, not a single Coyotes player even hit 20 goals.
Kessel is joining the likes of Captain Oliver Ekman Larson, and rising star Clayton Keller whom the Coyotes signed an 8 year extension with this offseason.
Along with ownership, and talent, General Manager John Chayka has certainly brought a new element into the culture of the Coyotes. At only 30 years old, Chayka has drawn a lot of attention around the league with his ability to help turn this team around and his ability to be a true leader within that front office in Arizona. Ultimately, time will tell if this Coyotes team can take things to the next level, but one thing is for sure, the future looks bright for hockey in the desert.
Photo Credit: NHL.com
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