Arizona Coyotes: Lost Out By Not Drafting McDavid/Eichel

Arizona Coyotes Lost A Big Chance When They Lost Out Drafting McDavid/Eichel

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if the Arizona Coyotes had drafted either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel? I started to do just that today, when I read about all the attention both “generational” players are receiving by just attending their respective new team’s rookie prospect camp.

Not only did McDavid score FIVE goals in his first scrimmage, Jack Eichel drew over 17,000 fans on a July summer day to see what he can do. That kind of passion and excitement was lost for the Arizona Coyotes when the luck of the draw fell out of their control.

Now, I’m not saying that if McDavid or Eichel were wearing an Arizona Coyotes uniform that would happen here in Phoenix, but we’ll never know for sure, will we?

The other important factor which I’m focusing on is: would the Glendale city council still be trying to evict the hockey club if they knew the team had a gold mine to increase their attendance, and put more tax dollars in the city’s coffers? Doubtful… but, then I haven’t quite been able to surmise the city’s actions thus far, anyway. All I know is, with a potential superstar on the team, it would be a wise business decision to NOT mess with the team’s home where they play the game, and try to reserve time each day to count all their money.

Not only would more fans flock into Gila River arena, the local retailers in the Westgate Center area would receive the benefits, as well. Whenever I’ve gone to sellout games (yes, we DO have sellouts here, contrary to what some may think) the area is popping. The yogurt shop has a line to get into the place. The hamburger joint can’t cook enough burgers to keep up with the demand.

Then, the team gift shop would be overrun with orders for a McDavid or Eichel jersey, and other related souvenirs. I can see nothing but promising financial news for the city and the team, as they would partner in the draw of one of these exceptional talents selling tickets. The scalpers would clean up too!

BUT, (this is where we slip back into reality) you must admit it was fun thinking about the possibilities, and being just one lottery number shy of all this becoming real life is beyond frustrating, and sorrowful.

We have Dylan Strome. I saw him at the rookie prospect camp, and he was no McDavid. He was no Eichel. Will he be an excellent hockey player for the Arizona Coyotes? I think so. I don’t see him performing up to their level — yet. In fact, other players like Domi, Duclair, Perlini, and Dvorack looked better than Strome that day.

So, why couldn’t that one ping-pong ball fall the Coyotes’ way? Wasn’t meant to be, I guess. Now, we struggle along with a court battle as to where the team can call home. Has it been destructive to the team’s aspirations of signing top notch free agents? Co-owner/CEO President, Anthony LeBlanc has stated they have lost in the “tens of millions” over this fiasco arena deal drama.

The question now becomes — will the team and the city lick their wounds and play nice with each other? It’s tough to forget when you’ve been treated poorly to just roll over and encourage the same, or worse treatment another time.

The city has done that to the team, and to draw an analogy — it’s very similar to a hockey player getting slammed illegally into the boards from behind, without provocation… and expecting him to not get that guy’s number for future reference. Abuse is abuse, some can take it, some can’t. The very nature of any NHL hockey player to just roll over and be pounded like that is just not how they roll.

The team’s ownership is not going to take it anymore, either — and they are exercising their rights under a legal and binding agreement in a court of law. It’s just too bad it had to come to this. It has done damage to the team’s image, and that may not be recoverable. It has prevented the team with retaining good, young talent like Mikkel Boedker for longer than a one-year contract. If you were he, would you sign for longer than a year, not knowing where you are going to live, where your kids are going to go to school, etc.?

I know I wouldn’t…