Former Los Angeles Kings forward Patrick O’Sullivan (@realPOSULLIVAN) joins me on this weeks One Puck Short Podcast to discuss the Cup contenders and key stories heading in to the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs.
We also look at Arizona’s decision to dismiss general manager Don Maloney, while I break down Nazem Kadri and Morgan Reilly’s new contracts in Toronto.
“That will never happen”.
Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney on rumours the club would trade number one D man Oliver Ekman-Larsson in order to net the first overall pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Simple. Done. Shot down. Over.
That it needed Maloney to come out and say it speaks volumes though – a wild rumour gaining some sort of traction via desperate fans in markets starved of success.
But this one seemed like something particularly special.
While this year’s Norris Trophy appears to be a shoot out between Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty, Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson is quietly putting together a career year at the Gila River Arena.
The 24-year old Swede has already equalled his previous best points total (44) with 26 games still remaining on the Coyotes schedule, and is enjoying a growing reputation around the NHL.
But the Karlskrona native is ‘at risk’ of becoming one of those unique players that stands to be considered among the games elite, but never receives the accolades to go along with it.
It’s fair to say not everyone was thrilled that John Scott was elected Pacific Division Captain for the 2016 All Star weekend.
The 33-year old topped a fan vote, largely off the back of campaigns by The Steve Dangle Podcast and Marek vs Wyshynski Podcast, and while some thought it was a fun element to an increasingly meaningless weekend for the majority of fans other felt it compromised the integrity of the All Star Game.
The problem is, the integrity of the All Star Game was already under question.
Home of two of the NHL’s powerhouse franchises, Pacific Division clubs also boast some of the finest prospects in the league and is bracing itself for the media tsunami Connor McDavid’ arrival is set to bring.
Whilst it may mean there are only two clubs with a serious chance of winning the Stanley Cup this season, the potential on display is tremendous and the Division may be about to get seriously interesting.
Just as the Coyotes seemed to be turning a corner off the ice, they fell off a cliff on it.
Ranked 29th overall; only Buffalo sit below Arizona in the standings, after a terrible campaign has seen them slide from 89 points last season to 54 this term.
The silver lining to this tale of misery is a legitimate shot at drafting one of the two best prospects to come along in years, giving a young Yotes team hope for the future.
With rumours surfacing that Andrew Barroway’s proposed purchase of the Arizona Coyotes might fall through, the embattled franchise looks to be facing an uncertain future once again.
Three straight post season appearances, including a Pacific Division title and run to the Conference Final in 2012, suggested things on the ice were (generally) improving – but financials woes have continued to dog the club.
Now, with the organisation slumping on the ice and Barroway allegedly on the verge of pulling out, the knives are out for the Arizona Coyotes again.