Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Desert Dogs Ready for Camp

The Coyotes continue to be one of the most interesting teams in the league going into the 2011 season.  They have a coach that reeled in all of the veterans and shooed away all of the youngsters to go grow up, got the team into the playoffs and back into the forefront for all the right reasons and now they have the ability to improve on that season and possibly make some believers out of the skeptics.

Instead of resting on their laurels in the off-season, management has kept the pressure on the kids by signing (and inviting) more veterans to replace some of those who left the team, but it all seems to be working in their favour, as reports are suggesting that the kids are not ready to back down and are going to come for a fight in camp.  Personally, I'm quite excited to see what the results are.

Additions like Ray Whitney and Eric Belanger to this team should provide some great minutes among the forward lines and even better veteran leadership, which was likely one of the most telling reasons why the Coyotes fell in the first round to the Red Wings.

Wojtek WolskiKeith YandleIlya Bryzgalov
Ray WhitneyEd JovanovskiJason LaBarbera
Shane DoanDerek Morris
Lee StempniakAdrian Aucoin
Radim VrbataSami Lepisto
Eric BelangerKurt Sauer
Martin Hanzal
Scottie Upshall
Vern Fiddler
Taylor Pyatt
Petr Prucha
Andrew Ebbett
Lauri Korpikoski
Paul BissonnetteDavid SchlemkoMatt Climie
Ryan HollwegOliver Ekman-LarssonAl Montoya
Brett MacLeanJonas AhnelovMark Visentin
Viktor TikhonovGarrett StaffordJoe Fallon
Kyle WellwoodShane HnidyLouis Domingue
Alexandre PicardBrandon Gormley
Mathieu BeaudoinNick Ross
Colin LongMathieu Brodeur
Justin BernhardtChris Summers
Bracken KearnsNolan Yonkman
Jordan SzwarzJeff May
Philip LaneMaxim Goncharov
Evan BloodoffJustin Weller
Josh LundenMichael Stone
Peter MacArthur
Blair Riley
Mikkel Boedker
Kyle Turris

Salary CapIf this team wasn't impressive in its make-up alone, it should be rather impressive in how much this team counts against the cap. The Summer roster, which sits atop of the other training camp players, has 13 forwards, six defense and two goalies for an annual cap hit cost of $45.7 million. Add on three buyouts to their books and you're still only sitting at $47.4 million, shades over the salary cap floor.  With only one spot left to go, which in all likelihood is the 7th defenseman, the Coyotes will be a nicely budgeted team for whoever ends up owning the team... whenever that decides to happen.

Speaking of the 7th defenseman, I think the big cardboard signs are all pointing and turning and spinning towards Oliver Ekman-Larsson and he might just sneak in as a pretty good defenseman pick-up in the draft this year.  Some of his projections may not be very high in the publications, but if he impresses like some expect, the minutes will get to be there and the points will be too.  Sure, he has a tough group to get through to earn some top end minutes, but I think its a definite possibility from what I've been hearing about him.

No comments: