Photo Credits: Christian Petersen
The change from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Arizona Coyotes was not the only offseason change for the desert team. The team name was also not the only name change, considering the arena was renamed to the Gila River Arena, after a 10 year run as Jobing.com Arena. Could this be the fresh start they need?
New faces, young and old, were acquired in the offseason to help accomplish the ultimate goal for the Coyotes. New Rookies such as Brendan Perlini could be just the rookie spirit that the changing team needs. Acquiring veterans like Sam Gagner and Joe Vitale gives the team depth and experience that any line can benefit from. Backup goalie Devan Dubnyk gives the teams’ Olympic goaltender a quality second man, possibly allowing for a break when needed. With the loss of many key players such as Radim Vrbata and Mike Ribeiro, the team has a lot of questionable spots to make up for.
These additions in cahoots with the players who have stayed put, like captain Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal gives you the physicality you need and offensive effectiveness coming from the blue line. Defensively, the Coyotes are contenders for some of the best in their division. With key pieces Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, their defense excels. The last year, though, had a lacking defense. They allowed way too many goals, and left the goaltender to fend for himself. They left him exposed, causing the teams’ unfortunate demise, and the team getting knocked out of the wild card slot by a mere two points in the 2013-14 season.
So many factors go into the effectiveness of a team. Every year, a new team wins the Cup. Each year is a fresh new start for teams all around the league. Could the offseason changes for the Arizona Coyotes be what they need to be a round 4 playoff contender this season?