The Yotes are a bubble team this year, but over the next couple years, I expect them to be a very, very up-and-coming team. They are full of offensive talent all over the place. Young guys too. Mara, Tanabe, and to a lesser extend, Vaananen are offensivly skilled defensemen. Nagy and Doan are obviously greatly skilled forwards, but how about young Branko Radivojevic? This kid is going to be a very good 2nd line forward someday. Gratton isn't young, but he's not old either. Langkow the same.
What the Yotes need the most is A) good goaltending, and B) they need their defense to mature. If these Eric Brewer rumours are true, I would think that the Yotes should be first in line to pick him up (if Lowe deals him inter-conference). They are the kind of team who should be really pining for one more young, top 4 defenseman.
Doan is having a "monster" season. Ditto for Nagy.
Boucher and the team have just recorded 4 consecutive shut outs with ridiculously little discussion.
They are one of the youngest teams in the league.
So, how good are the Coyotes? An average team at best? Or a young, improving team?
I like them alot, I am a big fan of basically every player on the team (even Chris Gratton, yikes, lol) plus the hold my favourite (well, its probably a tie with Leopold) NHLer in Daymond Langkow. This team could be very very good. As Miz said they could use one more solid D though. But a Burke deal could bring that if Boucher is for real.
Picked them for the 8th spot in the west pre-season.
Regardless of how they finish this season, Gretzsky & Co. are accumulating a lot of nice talent both on the NHL level and in the pipeline. He's copying, to an extent, the tried and true formula that worked on his Edmonton dynasty teams as a player: big, rugged backline and major speed up front. Plus he has a bundle of young, huge (size) talent down the middle. No #99, Kurri Messier or Anderson among the bunch :p , but I still like their chances for success, and nearer-term.