Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where The Coyotes Stand

With the news of Wayne Gretzky stepping down from the head coaching position in Phoenix, I decided to go ahead and see what their training camp roster was looking like. Yes, it has very little to do with the coaching decision, but it'd have to be done anyways.

The Coyotes have 30 players left in camp this week, this after camp invitee, Ryan Hollweg, was optioned down to San Antonio of the AHL. There was no indication that he signed any deals, so there wasn't much for a news post.

Shane DoanEd JovanovskiIlya Bryzgalov
Matthew LombardiAdrian AucoinJason LaBarbera
Peter MuellerKeith YandleAl Montoya
Scottie UpshallZbynek Michalek
Martin HanzalKurt Sauer
Mikael BoedkerJim Vandermeer
Taylor PyattSami Lepisto
Petr PruchaDavid Schlemko
Vern FiddlerMatt Jones
Lauri KorpikoskiShawn Heshka
Kevin Porter

Daniel Winnik

Radim Vrbata

Joel Perrault

Jeff Hoggan

Brett MacLean

David Spina

New faces on the Phoenix roster include Taylor Pyatt, Vern Fiddler, Lauri Korpikoski (pictured), Jim Vandermeer, Adrian Aucoin and Jason LaBarbera. The Coyotes have done a good job in finding players that will more than likely fit into the straight-forward look that the team is working towards. Not all of the players are young, but with that experience, should come some teaching tools. It will be interesting to see who will be still on the roster when it's all said and done, just before October 1st.

Salary CapDespite who will or won't be on the roster, the team has a self-imposed budget, especially with all of it's current turmoil. The 30 players that are listed above come in way below the salary cap ceiling at the moment, much like the Islanders are. The current approximate cap hit for the Coyotes is $46.2 million, even further below the Islanders and their 30 players. The Coyotes would be in a great position to take on some talent from other teams who are struggling with the cap, but since they are without a firm ownership group, there is very little money available to help themselves and maybe another team.

Now, with all of these budget issues, it isn't to say that the Coyotes won't be competitive. They do have plenty of talent on that roster, it just comes at a significantly lower cost. Also, depending on who is going to end up coaching the Coyotes, it could mean that there is going to be some system changes, hopefully for the better. Any coach that goes into Phoenix will have to develop a system that their budget players can play, play well and succeed at. That's about the only way to move forward in the right direction.

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