The Arizona Coyotes’ growing pains are temporary.
The Arizona Coyotes are a disconcerting 14-26-6 after 46 games played of the 2016-2017 NHL season.
Frustrations have grown for fans since the Coyotes notorious playoff run to the Western Conference Finals during the 2011-2012 season.
Growing pains have ensued as the Coyotes rebuilding strategy is now in full force.
There is a lot to be muddled about as a fan, but we must stay optimistic during this difficult time. The Yotes have an impressive pipeline of promising prospects that make the rebuild growing pains a little less painful.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.
As fans, we can look at teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, an Original Six team who has dominated the NHL for the last decade. The Chicago Blackhawks were not always this dominant. Before winning three Stanley Cups in six years, the Blackhawks weren’t making the playoffs. They were in a rebuilding phase similar to the Coyotes.
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In 2006, the Chicago Blackhawks drafted Canadian prodigy Jonathan Toews. The following year, American superstar Patrick Kane was drafted. The tides instantly changed in Chicago with the addition of these elite prospects. The team soon established a win-only atmosphere and the city of Chicago was electric.
A losing culture has simply not been an option for the Hawks since the inclusion of these stars. Around these stars the team established a phenomenal farm system and quite the breeding ground for prospects in Rockford, their AHL affiliate.
In 2008, the Blackhawks finished their season with a record of 40-34-8 amidst their rebuilding efforts. They finished third in the Central Division and missed their fifth straight playoff berth. This season will mark the fifth straight season that the Arizona Coyotes miss the playoffs.
The Future Is Bright
The Coyotes are not far off from the pattern set by Chicago.
Destined for the bottom of the NHL standings this season, the Coyotes are likely to land a high lottery pick in the coming draft. Could we possibly land someone like Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane that fueled the Blackhawks current dynasty?
Maybe. If we don’t? I think we will be just fine.
Our young core of Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Lawson Crouse, Brendan Perlini, Christian Dvorak, Jakob Chychrun, and Anthony DeAngelo have been getting the reps they need at the NHL level. They are only going to get better. Along with this talented group, we have numerous players developing nicely in Junior and the AHL.
As fans, we must stay optimistic and patient with this rebuild. Enjoy the ride Howlin’ Hockey. The future is bright.