Record: 25-50-7 57p (8th in Central)
Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
G – Carter Hutton (Retired), F – Phil Kessel (VGK), F – Jay Beagle, F – Loui Eriksson, F – Antoine Roussel, D – Anton Stralman, F – Alex Galchenyuk
F – Zack Kassian, F – Nick Bjugstad, D – Josh Brown, D – Troy Stetcher, D – Patrik Nemeth
It’s going to be an interesting one in the desert this season as the Coyotes move from Gila River Arena to Arizona State University where they’re attendance will be the lowest in the league and not because of lack of ticket sales, but because of attendance cap restrictions. However, that might not be a bad thing for the basement dwelling Coyotes as they don’t look much improved from last season. They do have a pipeline of future talent that they are building up for a brighter future once they move into their hopeful new home in Tempe in a few years. Also how will this new venue and smaller crowds affect the Coyotes this season and in future season?
Departed from the Coyotes is ironman and point producer Phil Kessel, who had a rough season statistically but that can’t really be blamed on him for the lack of offense this team produced last season, and in is Zack Kassian, who’s at best a fourth line grinder. The acquisition of Nick Bjugstad is an improvement over Jay Beagle at center, and should probably slot in at the first line center spot so youngster Barrett Hayton can continue to develop on the second line. Travis Boyd is at best a third or fourth line center.
The Coyotes defense looks a bit better than last season with the signings of Troy Stetcher and Josh Brown, but offense will still be a primary concern for the Coyotes. The other question for the Coyotes will be between the pipes. Will Karel Vejmelka be able to handle the number one role again this season, and will the supporting cast behind him be good enough to keep the Coyotes in games this season? It’s going to be interesting for the Coyotes.