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 Wolski||Keith Yandle||Ilya Bryzgalov|
|Ray Whitney||Ed Jovanovski||Jason LaBarbera|
|Shane Doan||Derek Morris|
|Lee Stempniak||Adrian Aucoin|
|Radim Vrbata||Sami Lepisto|
|Eric Belanger||Kurt Sauer|
|Paul Bissonnette||David Schlemko||Matt Climie|
|Ryan Hollweg||Oliver Ekman-Larsson||Al Montoya|
|Brett MacLean||Jonas Ahnelov||Mark Visentin|
|Viktor Tikhonov||Garrett Stafford||Joe Fallon|
|Kyle Wellwood||Shane Hnidy||Louis Domingue|
|Alexandre Picard||Brandon Gormley|
|Mathieu Beaudoin||Nick Ross|
|Colin Long||Mathieu Brodeur|
|Justin Bernhardt||Chris Summers|
|Bracken Kearns||Nolan Yonkman|
|Jordan Szwarz||Jeff May|
|Philip Lane||Maxim Goncharov|
|Evan Bloodoff||Justin Weller|
|Josh Lunden||Michael Stone|
If 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.