Tag: Philadelphia Flyers

Shane Doan

It’s Arizona Coyotes day at PHT


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

The Arizona Coyotes struggled both offensively and defensively last season, and as a result they finished 29th overall with a 24-50-8 record.

Their 11-25-5 record at Gila River Arena was their worst home record since moving to Arizona 19 years ago.

Arizona finished 29th overall scoring 2.01 goals-for per-game and allowed 3.28 goals-for per-game good for 28th overall.

“Not only couldn’t we score last year, we couldn’t defend,” GM Don Maloney told NHL.com.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson led the way offensively with a career-high 23 goals and 43 points in 82 games for the Coyotes in 2014-15. His 23 goals were the most by a defenseman last season. The 24-year-old also represented Arizona at the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus.

Up front, Sam Gagner led all Coyotes’ forwards with 15 goals and 41 points – both were his highest totals since the 2011-12 season while a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

Mike Smith carried the load in goal making 62 appearances going 14-42-5 while posting a 3.16 G.A.A. and a .904 save percentage.

Off-season recap

The Arizona Coyotes solved their off-ice dispute over a lease agreement with the City of Glendale last month. The new deal will keep the Coyotes at Gila River Arena for at least the next two seasons.

Not surprisingly, the team is already pushing to have the deal extended.

As far as on-ice moves go, Maloney brought back Antoine Vermette after trading him to the Chicago Blackhawks prior to the trade deadline. Arizona also signed free-agent forwards Steve Downie and Brad Richardson.

On the blue line, the Coyotes brought back Zbynek Michalek, who was dealt to the St. Louis Blues at the trade deadline. Arizona also acquired Nicklas Grossmann in the trade, which also landed them the contract of Chris Pronger.

In goal, the Coyotes signed Anders Lindback to back up Smith.

“I think we’ll play better defense in front of [Smith], which is important,” Maloney said. “I think we’ll have a better structure in front of Mike so he doesn’t feel like he has to be all-world every night and he can just do his thing.”

Report: Veteran Russian d-man Nikulin eyeing NHL move


Interesting story out of the KHL — Ak Bars Kazan blueliner Ilya Nikulin is reportedly mulling a move to the NHL.

More, from the league’s English website:

In Kazan, fans are following Nikulin’s bid for an NHL deal with interest: many are still hoping that he might come back ‘home’ to Tatarstan if things don’t work out across the Atlantic, but [head coach Zinetula] Bilyaletdinov himself is looking to the future.

“I can understand why players like Medvedev and Nikulin want to try and play in the NHL,” he told Sovietsky Sport during the current pre-season tournament in Nizhny Novgorod. “It’s a good league, and it’s an honor to play there. I’m sure Ilya [Nikulin] will make the right choice and will get his contract over there.” 

“Medvedev” is 32-year-old Yevgeni Medvedev, who spent his entire professional career playing in Europe, most recently with Kazan, before signing a one-year, $3 million pact with the Flyers in May.

Nikulin, 33, was the 31st overall pick at the 2000 draft — taken by Atlanta — but never appeared in a game for the Thrashers, or North America for that matter. He played with Dynamo Moscow for the early parts of his pro career before moving to Kazan, where he’s been since 2005.

It remains to be seen what, if any, interest NHL teams have in Nikulin, or how much he has left in the tank. He is a regular on the Russian national team and is coming off a good offensive year with Kazan, scoring 13 goals and 28 points in 58 games.

PHT Morning Skate: Crosby, MacKinnon donate 2015 Worlds checks to hometown youth hockey

Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon

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.

Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon gave their winnings from the 2015 IIHF World Championship to promote youth hockey in their home of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. They were both members of Canada’s gold medal winning team. (NHL.com)

Sun Devil Athletics are teaming up with the Arizona Coyotes to bring college games to Gila River Arena. (Coyotes.nhl.com)

Examining Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek’s contracts. (CSN Philly)

Devin Slawson sees Edmonton, Washington, and Columbus as three teams that have the potential to take a big leap forward this season. (The Hockey Writers)

Speaking of the Oilers, here’s a look at what Connor McDavid means to the franchise in the short and long-term. (CBS Sports)

Patrick Sharp sees similarities between the Dallas Stars and what the Chicago Blackhawks were like when they were on the cusp of breaking out. (Dallas Morning News)