Last week, the Coyotes were tied for 12th in the West. I sat with my wife and discussed the future of the team. Mike Brophy, opinion writer for Rogers Sportsnet and not my favorite, was on NHL Home Ice Sirius XM and talked about Shane Doan. He thought it would be best for GM Don Maloney to trade Shane at the deadline to let Shane chase the Stanley Cup. His reasoning was that Shane could come back to the team next season as he will be an unrestricted free agent. His next line was that 11 fans would miss him in the desert. Scott Laughlin, the host of Power Play on Home Ice, started backpedaling and asked for the angry emails to be directed to Mr. Brophy. Of which I sent one and the courageous Mr. Brophy did not respond.
My next thought was to think through what would be best for Shane. He has served his time here. I could not think of a better ambassador for hockey in the desert or a stronger man who could handle the pressure. Little to no media coverage. Almost three years of ownership issues, courtroom drama, constant wondering and questioning about the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes. Shane wins the Messier Leadership Award, and what does he do? He stands at the podium and makes a pitch for free agents to come to Phoenix. He gets his first career hat trick and what does he do while waiting to be called out as first star of the game? Signs autographs for kids in Toyota Club. I came to the conclusion that Shane deserves the chance to go somewhere and win the Cup. Let him pick his destiny.
Then the Coyotes went out and beat San Jose, Detroit, and Dallas convincingly. They moved from tied for 12th to 9th position. They have a chance to leap into the 8th spot and be tied with Minnesota. All they have to do is win their 4th in a row and Calgary needs to come in flat and tired after beating San Jose last night. By the way, Calgary is one point behind Phoenix.
Olli Jokinen got his hat trick last night. Short of him hitting the McDonalds at Desert Ridge on the way to tonight’s game, he will not produce again for a few games. Mika Kiprusoff played well last night, winning his 300th game and becoming the 27th goalie reach that milestone. He is expected to start tonight.The following is from the Calgary Flames website. I copied it because I thought it was unique. I’ve never seen another team’s website do this.
Hanzal, who should nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the forward with the best defensive game, will get another tough assignment tonight. Jarome Iginla, who has been hearing rumors of being traded the past two years, will have to suffer the fate of not scoring tonight thanks to his former Kamloops teammate Shane Doan. Olli will feel the rath of the big German like a Panzer division rolling into France. Meaning, there is nothing that Olli can do. Hanzal will have his way with him and dump him on the ice when he is finished.
Prediction. Coyotes 3-2. Vrbata will rip another goal, adding to his team leading 25. Look for 4th line contribution from Buele and 3rd line Langkow. Both are more physical than their Flame counterparts and in need of scoring. Derek Morris will look to continue his one game scoring streak.
For Mike Brophy, I want him to see the lines of fans for Shane at the Coyote Carnival. The man gets his own booth the lines are so long. Go to any valley rink and see how many kids have Doan jerseys or pick 19 as their number. They’ll be issued a different player number, but they put 19 on their helmet. We want to be like Shane. It is easy to sit in Toronto and look down upon hockey in non-traditional markets. Easy and cheap. Opinion writers should be better.