Welcome to our offseason initiative — 30 teams in 30 days.
From July 16 until Aug. 14, we’ll be dedicating each day to a new team by recapping the offseason and looking ahead to 2012-13.
There will also be a series of posts looking at key stories, player profiles and burning questions regarding each squad.
Today, we continue with the Phoenix Coyotes.
On the bright side, the 2011-12 season was a campaign of firsts. The franchise won its first Pacific Division title, made its way to its first-ever Western Conference final and generally had its best year ever. The Coyotes also enjoyed a surprising, near-Vezina-level season from Mike Smith, whose signing was dismissed in many corners.
The bad news is that for all that on-ice progress, off-the-ice matters remain gloomy. The Coyotes are scheduled to enter their fourth consecutive season without a true owner, with relocation talks a regular occurrence.
They’ve also encountered tough changes on their roster. Top-line winger Ray Whitney left for Dallas and the Shane Doan saga looks like it’ll drag on deep into the summer. They’ve also lost depth players such as Taylor Pyatt and Adrian Aucoin while adding Zbynek Michalek and Steve Sullivan.
Can the Coyotes keep defying expectations or will they finally fall flat on their faces next season? Stick around PHT today for more on that subject.
PHT Morning Skate: It’s not like they robbed a bank
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”
Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).