Looking at a few HUGE cuts by Arizona


Sep 22, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Henrik Samuelsson (15) battles for the puck with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jeff Schultz (55) during the first period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Well, well, well.

In the second round of cuts made by the Arizona Coyotes, Henrik Samuelsson (as well as a few others, but COME ON, HENRIK SAMUELSSON) has been reassigned to the Portland Pirates.


While this dashes my dreams of seeing a Domi-Hanzal-Samuelsson line immediately, though, I can live with this. Just because Samuelsson has been cut doesn’t mean we won’t see him throughout the season- and it also means that they don’t want him getting hurt in any preseason games, since apparently this September is looking like a bloodbath.

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  • In other news, Mark Visentin has also been sent down to Portland. This is most likely because the goalie has already been injured in training camp, and lets be honest- there was never any assumption that he was going to be playing in Arizona this season, particularly in the first few months, anyway. So that’s two more that have bitten the dust.

    In addition to three players being released altogether (Jamie McBain, Krys Barch, and Matt Kassian), a couple more have been reassigned in this second-round cut of thirteen. While most of the remaining names on the list won’t mean much to fans, though, another one of the Fantastic Five has been cut, as well.

    That’s right, guys- Tyler Gaudet will join Samuelsson in Portland for the start of the regular season.

    I’m a little devastated by this one in particular, because everyone loves an underdog- and Gaudet has really been on fire this pre-season. He’s literally the quintissential example of starting from the bottom, coming undrafted to the Coyotes from the Saulte St. Marie Greyhounds after briefly dropping down from the major juniors altogether. Is it wrong that I want to see Gaudet ascend to eventually take over Shane Doan’s throne? Am I alone in this? Whatever, guys.

    In brighter news, this leaves thirty-two players at training camp- including Max Domi (all hail!), Lucas Lessio, and Tobias Rieder. Of the three left, I anticipate Rieder being the next one to go (assuming any of those three go at all), but don’t see this cut being made until the last second. The team still has to trim about eight to ten guys, so let’s see who’s left who could go-

    Jason Hodgman

    This KHL vintage find (okay, he was born in 1988, but still) is on his first season in the United States in about five years, when he saw a mediocre AHL stint with the Toronto Marlies. It seems that Russian hockey has fired him up, but it’s up to Dave Tippett to decide whether he’s been fired up ENOUGH to take a spot from one of the older guys.

    Brandon McMillan

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  • Two goals and four assists in twenty-two games from McMillan last season with the big club. He’s got NHL experience, but it’s likely that this forward eventually skates his way back to Portland.

    Lucas Lessio

    I’ve been unfairly courting the Fantastic Five, but this really could be Lessio’s year. He’s been patiently waiting in the wings to get his shot at a full season with the squad, and it’s likely that his brief NHL stint last year- plus his age- will finally earn this forward a permanent spot on the roster.

    Tobias Rieder

    This long-term project seemed too daunting for Edmonton, I guess, but GMDM and Dave Tippett seem to think Rieder is worth the work. He seems to be ready to assume his role on one of the team’s bottom-six slots, but it’s more likely that Rieder will either be cut in the final round or be kept on as the extra skater this time around. He’s being given the chance to stick around and change that, though, so don’t underestimate this German prospect.

    Max Domi

    Ah, Max Domi. No one’s really sure what to do with this kid, myself included. I reaaallllyyyyyy want to see him make the squad, and it’s clear that Tippett isn’t going to let him head back to London easily. Keeping a nineteen-year-old player for the roster is a crapshoot, though- young, still-maturing skaters can either have breakout rookie seasons, or crash and burn by game 22. I don’t think another year in the OHL can do Domi too much good. If kept in Arizona, though, his season can really go one of two ways- he can either become a Calder nominee, or float his way to the top of a too-large pile of over-hyped skaters who never really make it to where they should.

    Keep an eye out! With less than two weeks till the first puck drop of the season, changes will be coming faster and faster- don’t miss out! For the full list of cuts made in the second round, check out the list here