James Tanner: Coyotes Resume Countdown To Draft – Make Weird Callup


The Coyotes resume their 2014-15 season with mixed feeling tonight in Philadelphia.

Well, I can’t offer you any insight into their feelings; what I mean is that my feelings are mixed. A week ago, after the Coyotes lost their sixth game in a row for what felt like the sixth time (I am assured that it wasn’t) the remaining 36 games seemed like they would drag on forever as once again, a Playoff race is not in the cards.

However, that was before the All-Star break happened. And, like a well off first-world person complaining about something as frivolous as a slow internet connection or a long line at the bank, I realized things could be worse.

Sure, 36 games of losing and waiting for trades to happen is pretty crappy, but it turns out that a week without hockey is worse. Standing outside, freezing, I had to turn to internal thoughts like a normal person since there was no hockey news, no boxscores, stories or hockey pools to track.

Imagine having to spend time with my wife during the evenings instead of watching the Coyotes lose another one? (Note that last part is a joke, I just wanna see if she reads this thing or not!!)

So, anyways, the boys are back and like when your kid brother goes away to camp and there’s no one to beat up for a while, you realize you actually like playing with him.

So what can we expect from our team that currently sits 16 points out a Playoff spot?

Well, I am going to guess not much. Some tough losses and some trades are the best we can hope for. Maybe, if we’re super lucky, the Oilers will pass us and we will get to draft one of the top picks (and then trade it for David Runblad?).

Entering this game, Boedker (spleen) is of course still out. The Coyotes have made a strange roster decision though. Before the break they sent down a few players to keep playing while the team was off, but instead of recalling Gormley – who is a big part of the future of this club – they recalled Andrew Campbell – who is not.

While Coyotes GM Don Maloney noted that Campbell was the best defenseman of the Pirates lately – who cares? Nothing you can do in the minors can equate to NHL game experience and why not play your top prospects in zero-pressure NHL games?

I mean, the Coyotes schedule the rest of the way has all the meaning of the Pre-season, so instead of rewarding a 26 year old, former third rounder who in all likelihood won’t be here longterm, I feel they should give some big minutes to Gormley who they – one assumes – hope to one day partner with OEL what projects to be one of the best Dpairings in the future of the NHL.

Whatever. The Coyotes do not make typical roster decisions and for that maybe we should be thankful. They like to go their own way and who am I to say differently? Ultimately, it’s just something to think about. I mean, is it better to reward a dud and make your top guys work for it or trade off discipline in favor of getting your best guys some potentially great experience?

It’s a philosophic question worthy of Kierkegaard or Kant.

Or, well, maybe Just Kouleas.

Thanks for reading.

—NOTE: Lunch is ready, I’ll be back in a half hour with the finale to my all time top ten album countdown.

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