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09-08-2009, 08:45 PM
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Bankruptcy battle is off-season distraction: Season Preview

As part of the HFBoards partnership program, I've been granted the permission to post the below article.

For such a young and talented team, the focus on the Phoenix Coyotes should be on the team, but just where the future of the team is remains uncertain.

While the NHL, Blackberry boss Jim Balsillie, and a bankruptcy judge bicker about the future prosperity and location of the club, General Manager Don Maloney had a difficult task this off-season. Maloney was in no position to spend through free agency, but he needed to assemble a competitive team to ice to a fan base that might not be located in Phoenix.

The Coyotes made a pair of trades at the forward ranks, flipping Steven Reinprecht to Florida for Stefan Meyer, while fugitive winger Radim Vrbata was acquired from Tampa Bay.

Matthew Lombardi, acquired in the Olli Jokinen trade, will centre the top line. Lombardi scored 16 points last year with the Coyotes and the team will see how that translates over a full season. Captain Shane Doan is expected to lead the team in scoring.

The Coyotes own a handful of forwards who will all look to improve on last season, including Mikkel Boedker, Viktor Tikhonov, Peter Mueller, Martin Hanzal and Daniel Winnik. Third overall pick in 2007, Kyle Turris, will see more playing time on a regular basis in 2009-10.

Phoenix’s blueline is highlighted by seasoned Ed Jovanovski, Kurt Sauer, and summer additions of Adrian Aucoin and Jim Vandermeer. Defenseman Keith Yandle should see more playing time in his third NHL season.

Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is among the Coyotes most valuable players, while Jason LaBarbera was added during the offseason.

Prediction: 15th in West
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Last edited by DD88: 09-09-2009 at 02:31 AM.
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