When you play your first game of the season against a team so late, you're bound to have your second game of the season against them not long after. This time, we've got Brendan Porter from Five for Howling to answer our three questions.
1. With Raffi Torres gone, who's going to step up and be the worst human being on the Coyotes?
Worst? Surely you mean best. In actuality, I imagine the role of agitator will be played by Kyle Chipchura. He's also a very physical player who is just fine mixing it up and occasionally dropping the gloves. Plus he also can chip in (pun totally intended) on offense, which means he's not dead weight on the 4th line.
2. What's your grade for the Coyotes' trade deadline moves?
Despite the general freak-out on the Twitterverse from Coyotes fans, I'd say the Coyotes front office did a pretty good job. Matthew Lombardi and Steve Sullivan were not generating consistent points for the Coyotes and didn't really fit into the scheme, and it was unlikely any of the three were going to re-sign after becoming UFAs at the end of the year. So the Coyotes got something for them instead of nothing.
The other reason I thought this wasn't a bad day for the Coyotes is that they kept most of their important pieces in place. Boyd Gordon, the master of defensive zone faceoffs and shot blocking, remains on the team, and so does Keith Yandle. The team as it stands now looks a lot like the one that was in the Conference Finals last year, at least on paper.
3. Ok, I've got to ask the obvious. IF the Coyotes get moved, where would you rather they go and what will it do to your hockey fandom? Will you follow the franchise or pick a new team?
In the unfortunate event that the Coyotes do end up calling somewhere else home, I'd prefer it to be Seattle. Seattle is a great city, and if you've ever seen a Seattle Sounders game, has some really passionate fans. Plus, 99% of the garbage and verbal abuse that Coyotes fans have had to put up with these four years has originated in the Great White North, so the vindictive side of me would like nothing more than to deny Canada an eighth team, at least until the NHL decides to expand.
Without an NHL team here, I would likely start following individual Coyotes instead of another team. I really want to see guys like Shane Doan, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Dave Tippett win a Stanley Cup; after they retire, who knows?
Thanks, Brendan. Don't call me Shirley.