As the preliminary games prior to the World Cup of Hockey continue, September 17th and the start of Arizona Coyotes rookie camp inches closer.
Watching Team North America dominate Team Europe has a way of getting one excited for Arizona Coyotes hockey.
In fact, Todd McLellan’s team (featuring Coyotes’ Head Coach Dave Tippett as an assistant) is a bit of a blueprint for what fans might expect from the Yotes in the near future.
That might seem like a strange proclamation to outsiders when they consider the guts and grind-em-out Coyotes teams of old.
Looking deeper into the Coyotes pipeline and new General Manager John Chayka’s personnel moves, however, you see a lot of speed, smarts, and skill. Just like the kids on Team North America.
The Arizona Coyotes are chock full of “tools in the toolbox” for Tippett and Chayka to use in molding a Stanley Cup contender. Everyone knows this. The question has often been how long will it take the kids to round into shape.
It may just be the optimist in me, but watching Team North America makes one believe that if the talent and will are there, it could happen a lot sooner than we anticipated if these kids are given the opportunity.
And I believe they will be.
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In an NHL that is shifting hard away from grit and grind and goons, having a handful of talented youngsters who can score and possess the puck is more valuable than ever before.
The Coyotes don’t have just a handful, however. They have a bushel.
Starting Saturday, they will begin the competition to see which names get to light up Gila River Arena. This will be the second straight year big names come through the pipeline.
It’s going to be an annual tradition.
Arizona Coyotes News and Links
The Arizona Coyotes team roster will likely be comprised of a greater portion of younger talent than in years’ past. I feel much better about that after watching Team North America’s young stars dismantle Team Europe.
Pavel Datsyuk, Dave Bolland and Chris Pronger will have their cap numbers honored by the team, commemorating almost $29 million in combined dead cap space and exactly zero games played together.
Other Local Sports
When the NFL schedule was released in April, Sunday night’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots turned into a coming-out party.
The Arizona Cardinals were a mixed bag in their 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots.
Cardinals coaches insisted last week that safety Tyrann Mathieu was completely recovered from a knee injury and would play his usual role Sunday night against the Patriots. Turns out, that was mostly true.
Just hours before the Arizona Cardinals were set to open their 2016 regular season, news broke that the season might be Larry Fitzgerald’s last as an NFL player.