Well the All-Star Game is upon us this weekend. Does anyone else think it would be wildly successful if it took place in Las Vegas?
It's hard to tell if the Coyotes have overachieved or underachieved to this point of the season. A mixture of both seems fitting. Rather than analyze the first 50 games, let's look at the future of what the Coyotes need for the playoff push.
1. A new owner that will keep them local: Yes, I know what a novel idea. A few potential owners have been lined up only to be scared off by the Goldwater Institute, City of Glendale, and in part the NHL. Jamison has the know how and experience to make it work in Phoenix. If I am the NHL and City of Glendale, I figure out how to make it work with the Greg Jamison group. He did wonders to not only grow the San Jose Sharks in the Bay Area but also hockey in general in the Bay Area.
2. A legitimate #2 goalie: I am sorry but I don't care how great of a team guy Jason Labarbera is. If he can't help win games, he has to go. Mike Smith has been stellar most nights but he may hit a wall during the final 32 games. The Coyotes need a goalie who can step in and steal a game here and there. Labarbera doesn't possess that ability.
Enter Antero Niittymaki. I am pretty sure he is Kyle Turris' cousin. Why? He wants out of San Jose about as badly as Turris wanted out of Phoenix. He was put on waivers today. Why not take a chance on him?
3. A top 13 forward: Every team claims they need a top six forward, even the Bruins. Gee, life must be hard with such a crappy group of top six forwards, Boston.
The Coyotes need some scoring punch. We have some incredible d-man prospect assets to leverage. Let's use some of them to land a guy who can score. How about Edmonton's Sam Gagner or Columbus' Antoine Vermette? Neither are top flight forwards but either could provide some additional offensive spark. (I'm not sure if that is a testament to them or a detriment to the current roster).
4. Play Paul Bissonnette on a regular basis: Yes, yes. The role of the enforcer is fading away. However, contrary to popular belief, Biz does have some skill. He used to be a defenseman, and a damn good one I might add. In order to make it to the NHL, he had to change his role and position. Anyhow, when given the chance, he has proven he can play close to ten minutes a game. He doesn't take dumb/unnecessary penalties so he's not a liability to the team. He brings a great energy to the line up and plays a physical game. (This really showed when he was in the lineup vs Detroit in the playoffs last season.)