The Phoenix Coyotes have long been the redheaded stepchildren of the NHL. Berated, derided, bemoaned and largely ignored by NHL media proper, the only news you ever hear about the Coyotes is that their fans suck and that they are moving to Canada (I’m giving you the stink-eye, Winnipeg).
Never projected to even win a game in the regular season, the Coyotes surpassed all successes in franchise history with their performance in the post season. Third round, anyone? Pretty good for a bunch of guys, who according to the media, can’t hold Crosby’s jock to the laundromat. To add insult to injury, constant speculation as to whether the team will have an owner has lead Shane Doan (team captain) to consider offers outside of the Coyotes.
Now, with Phoenix once again being threatened with losing the team, the media piles on with doomsday predictions of Mike Smith, crapping the bed due to staff changes in the Coyotes lineup.
“Smith is an excellent goaltender, but he may lose a lot of close games that last year the Coyotes would have won off a clutch goal scored by Ray Whitney. If the Coyotes can not replace the offense lost, Smith may have his work cut out for him all year.” – Tom Urtz Jr.
This quote makes me twitch. First of all, Mr Urtz, please see fit to piss off. Ray Whitney (one of my favorite players and one who will be sorely missed) isn’t the only Coyote who can score goals. Vrbata. Boedker. Ekman-Larsson and even though he had a bit of an off season, Yandle. all names that should have some street cred, but don’t because they aren’t on a high-visibility team.
Which makes me wonder, why aren’t the Coyotes a high-visibility team? Why isn’t the impending purchase by Jamison (former owner of the Sharks) met with more excitement and less open hostility? Why, after such a stellar season by the Coyotes and especially Mike Smith, is the negative speculation at a fever pitch? When do the Coyotes get their due? When does Mike Smith get his?
The drama continues over at camp Coyotes and all we fans can do is chew our collective fingernails, and wait.