Tag: Joe Vitale

St Louis Blues v Arizona Coyotes

Coyotes’ Vitale leaves game vs. Flyers with an upper body injury

Arizona Coyotes forward Joe Vitale suffered an upper body injury during tonight’s game in Philadelphia and will not return.

Vitale suffered the injury late in the first period. He played just 4:39 while winning 5 of 8 face-offs.

The 29-year-old had three goals and six points to go along with 28 penalty minutes and a minus-6 rating in 44 games entering tonight’s action.

Arizona is already without Mikkel Boedker, who had his spleen removed prior to the All-Star break.

If Vitale’s injury forces him to miss time, the Coyotes would be down to 12 forwards on its active roster.

New owner Barroway bracing Arizona for rebuild

PNI coyotes main 0102

Recently, Coyotes GM Don Maloney unveiled the vision Andrew Barroway — who took over as Arizona’s majority owner last month — has for the future of the team.

“I spent the weekend with Andy at the All-Star Game and really got a sense of who he is and what he’s all about,” Maloney said, per Fox Sports Arizona. “He really does want to do this right.

“He wants to build for the long term and he understands that there is some suffering involved to do what you need to do to build a winner that is sustainable.”

Acknowledgement of potential suffering is intriguing. Remember when former Sabres GM Darcy Regier alluded to it in Buffalo during the start of Buffalo’s rebuild?

“It probably needs an understanding from our fan base that what Terry [Pegula, Sabres owner] is asking of us is to try a lot of things,” Regier said in the spring of ’13. “He is in search of creating a Stanley Cup champion.

“It may require some suffering.”

Regier, of course, was fired just a few months after making that statement, only to resurface last July in — surprise! — Arizona, where he’s currently embedded as assistant GM.

At this point, all signs point to a major rebuild in the desert. Beyond the quotes above, Arizona has just five players under contract beyond 2015-16 (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Mike Smith, Martin Hanzal, Lauri Korpikoski, Joe Vitale) and a slew of young prospects looking to make the leap, led by World Juniors standout Max Domi.

This makes the Mar. 2 deadline all the more intriguing. The Barroway transaction closed quicker than some speculated (reports suggested it wouldn’t be done until the end of the season), which has afforded Maloney an earlier opportunity to figure out what ownership wants, and how to execute it. The names of Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle have been prominent in rumors and the club has another chip to play in veteran d-man Zbynek Michalek, a UFA at season’s end.

Some think it would behoove Arizona to re-sign some of these players, especially a productive veteran presence like Vermette. But based on the message Maloney’s getting from Barroway, spending money doesn’t sound like it’s a key part of the plan.

“We want to stay as flexible as possible,” he explained. “If we need to grow this thing and run at a low payroll for a couple years, so be it.”


Jones, Monahan lead Flames to fourth straight win against the Coyotes

Sean Monahan #23 of the Calgary Flames is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 4, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
(October 3, 2013 - Source: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images North America)

David Jones and Sean Monahan each had a goal and an assist and Joni Ortio made 27 saves as the Calgary Flames handed the Arizona Coyotes a third straight loss.

Arizona has also lost four straight to the Calgary Flames.

Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano had Calgary’s other goals while Dennis Wideman and Lance Bouma each had to assists in the win.

Mikkel Boedker had the lone Arizona goal and Mike Smith made 21 saves in the loss.

Joe Vitale had an excellent chance to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the second, but Ortio managed to reach out to make the save.

The two teams meet for a fifth and final time on April 9.

Video: Coyotes’ Vitale shows nice hand-eye

Joe Vitale

No one is going to remember Arizona Coyotes’ center Joe Vitale for his goal-scoring prowess, but the 29-year-old showed off his excellent hand-eye coordination Wednesday night batting home the rebound off his own shot past Calgary Flames’ goaltender Joni Ortio.

Have a look:

The Coyotes fell 4-3 to the Flames in the annual Hockeyville game, which was played in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

Vitale, originally a Pittsburgh Penguins seventh-round pick (195th overall, 2005) signed a three-year $3.3 million contract with the Coyotes in the offseason.

In 163 NHL games, Vitale has eight goals and 35 points all with Pittsburgh.

Related: Video: Leafs’ Kadri scores a nifty goal

It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT

Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Pittsburgh Penguins

Another year with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in their prime turned into another year without a Stanley Cup.

The Penguins got an MVP season out of Crosby, who was head and shoulders above everyone last season, but wound up getting bumped out in the second round of the playoffs by the New York Rangers. Making matters worse, the Pens had a 3-1 lead in the series until Henrik Lundqvist turned into brick wall.

Crosby struggled in the postseason and not just because of Lundqvist and Sergei Bobrovsky’s heroics. A rumored wrist injury may or may not have slowed him down. He also didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates. Outside of Malkin, Jussi Jokinen, and Matt Niskanen others failed to show up. James Neal, Chris Kunitz, and Kris Letang all had lackluster performances.

The Pens got a breakout season from 19-year-old Olli Maatta on defense and managed to dance around a stroke to Letang during the regular season to have a solid year on the blue line. Niskanen’s big season helped soften the blow of losing Letang and Paul Martin was steady as well.

In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury was steady as anyone putting up a .915 save percentage both in the regular season and playoffs. While he’s always easy to point the finger at when things go south, he wasn’t Pittsburgh’s problem last season. A lack of strong forward depth, especially in the wake of losing Pascal Dupuis for the season, and defensive injuries helped make life a lot harder than it had to be during the season and worse still during the playoffs.

Offseason recap

If was a summer of front office changes for the Pens. Both GM Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma were sent packing and in came former Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford as well as first-time NHL coach Mike Johnston from the WHL Portland Winterhawks. After bowing out to the New York Rangers, that was the last straw for Penguins ownership.

The Pens also made big changes on the ice as well as they traded Neal to Nashville in exchange for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik bolted for the truly greener pastures of Washington to join the Capitals. They also let Jokinen, Tanner Glass, and Joe Vitale walk in free agency.

Pittsburgh may have made the sneakiest splashes of the offseason landing former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and former Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie on one-year deals. Blake Comeau, along with Spaling, will also help their bottom six be not as easy to push around.