2008/09: 36-39-7, 79 points (4th in Pacific, 13th in West)
Arrived: Adrian Aucoin (CAL), Vernon Fiddler (NSH), Lauri Korpikoski (NYR), Jason Labarbera (VAN), Jim Vandermeer (CGY), RadimVrbarta (TB), Taylor Pyatt (VAN)
Departed: Nigel Dawes (CGY), Enver Lisin (NYR), Joakim Lindstrom (KHL), Brian McGratton (CGY), Garth Murray (CGY), Brandon Prust (CGY), Steve Reinprecht (FLA)
Not much going on in Phoenix this offseason. But seriously, despite the Coyotes off-ice issues we do know one thing and that is the Coyotoes will be playing this upcoming season in Arizona. This team is full of young talent and are in a similar position as the Penguins of a couple years back and look how that turned out. The Coyotes are likley to find themselves in the basement of the Western Conference at season’s end but that does not mean the team doesn’t have talent. Shane Doan, Peter Mueller, Matthew Lombardi, and Scottie Upshall should carry the bulk of the scoring and the additions of Vandermeer and Aucoin on defence should help out Bryzgalov in net.
FANTASY WORTHY FORWARDS
Shane Doan (RW) – You gotta feel sorry for a guy like Shane Doan. Doan, the only remaining Winnipeg Jet in Phoenix, is surrounded year after year with young, inexperienced players and it seems that when the time finally comes for these players to be comfortable and the Coyotes successful, Doan’s playing days might be over. Doan will turn 33 this year and one must wonder if in the back of his mind he is wanting to be traded to a contender. Fantasy owners of Doan would not oppose that idea as there is no doubt Doan would perform better on a better team, but, for now, as a Coyote Doan is a 30 goal 75 point player making him a strong 2nd right winger on most teams. He will provide you with solid penalty minute numbers and Doan has played in over 70 games in 12 out of his 13 NHL season. He is a real stand-up guy and can captain my fantasy team any day. Doan had RW and LW status last year on Yahoo.
Peter Mueller- Coming off a solid rookie season with 54 points, Mueller had a terrible sophmore season with just 36 points in 72 games. I expect a huge turn around season for the 21 year old and somewhere around 25 goals and 60 points. Mueller can be a valuable depth forward on your team as he had both center and right wing eligibilty last season on most sites. Mueller spent time on the point on the powerplay last season.
Keep an eye on: Matthew Lombardi, Scottie Upshall, Mikkel Boedker
DRAFT WORTHY DEFENCEMEN
Ed Jovanovski – Jovanovski has been the talk of trade rumours for some time and his fantasy owners would have appreciated a trade out of Phoenix last season as his number dropped off significantly. He is still capable of being a 50 point defencemen, but likely not on the Coyotes. Jovanovski can be a serviceable 3rd or 4th Dman on your team and you will reap the benfits if he is traded to a contender. 106 PIMS last season.
Keep an Eye On: Keith Yandle, Adrian Aucoin
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Ilya Bryzgalov –Bryzgalov is going to see a lot of starts this season as his backups are Al Montoya and Jason Labarbera. He started 63 games last year and collected 26 wins. His start total should be up a bit from last season so expect a few more wins. His first year in Phoenix was very impressive (2.43 gaa and .921 sv%), but his number dropped significantly last year (2.98 gaa, .906). Expect somwhere in the middle, making Bryzgalov the backup on your team at best.