The Arizona Coyotes’ roster seems fairly set according to Cap Geek’s count, yet things get a lot cloudier when one wonders how well some of those players might actually fare in 2014-15. If an abbreviated list of professional tryouts is any indication, the Coyotes could boast one of the most competitive training camps in the league.
Defensemen Jamie McBain and Matt Smaby join forward Matt Kassian as players with tryout invites while the team mulls over a few more, according to AZ Central’s Sarah McLellan.
Here’s a quick rundown of each player:
- McBain (pictured) has 275 games of NHL experience at age 26. He spent most of his NHL career with the Carolina Hurricanes, although he was part of the Buffalo Sabres’ beleaguered defense last season. McBain isn’t that far removed from 30 and 27-point seasons, so it’s reasonable to think he has a shot at redeeming his career. His possession numbers were shaky in 2013-14 in particular, yet that’s probably a common refrain for skaters on that woeful Buffalo squad.
- Smaby, 29, hasn’t played in the NHL since his 32 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010-11. He played for Munich in Germany (DEL) last season.
- Kassian, 27, played 33 games with the Ottawa Senators last season, managing two points and collecting 63 penalty minutes. Obviously there’s probably no expectation that he’ll provide much-needed offensive help, yet he could bring a rugged edge if the Coyotes need it. His rough style might inspire people to wonder if he’s related to Zack Kassian, but that’s not the case.
Interestingly, all three of these players were second-round picks.
In other Coyotes news, the team hired former NHL forward Steve Sullivan as a development coach on Monday.