The future of the Phoenix Coyotes has been in the air for the past few seasons, but with a new agreement with the city of Glendale, the Coyotes will stay put for the following 5 years. With the future finally certain for the Coyotes, they can move on and worry about hockey and building a Cup contending team, which they’ve done well despite the issues with ownership thus far.
The Coyotes 2012-2013 season came up short on the ultimate goal, and they scored only 51 points at season’s end putting them 4 points out of the final playoff spot. The Coyotes finished the season with a record of 21-18-9. Phoenix didn’t go down without a fight, but ultimately lost their chances to get in with a devastating 4-0 loss in Detroit to the Red Wings
on April 22nd.
The Coyotes offense and defense were both sound this season, just not quite sound enough to help the other out at the right times. The offense accounted for a total of 125 goals, while the defense accounted for 131 goals going the other way. The powerplay was a dismal 14.8%, and the penalty kill wasn’t much better ringing in a percentage of 79.9%. The special teams have to improve in Phoenix if they want to win more games. The Coyotes ended the season as the 7th most penalized team in the NHL.
Antoine Vermette and Shane Doan led the Coyotes with 13 goals a piece this season. Vermette, added 8 assists to total 21 points on the season. Doan had 14 assists for 27 points, good enough for second best on the team. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle led the Coyotes on the blueline, Ekmon-Larsson grabbed a team high 21 assists. While Yandle kept up the pace adding 20 assists, on top of 10 goals on the season. Yandle led the team with 30 points at season’s end.
Dave Tippett signed an extension early on in the offseason, committing the next few years of his career to the organization whether it stayed in Glendale or made the move to Seattle. The Coyotes made sure to sign goalie, Mike Smith to a long term contract after the season. Smith signed a six year contract worth about $5.7 million a season. The Coyotes then wasted no time swooping up free agent Mike Ribeiro from the Washington Capitals for 4 years at $22 million.
The Coyotes had made the playoffs for three straight seasons, despite not having the greatest team. Good coaching got them into good situations. Two seasons in a row the Coyotes were knocked out in the Quarterfinals by the Detroit Red Wings before making a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2012 where they lost to the future Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. The Coyotes are looking to get back once again after reloading this offseason. Phoenix is in arguably the league’s toughest division, playing against the Kings, Ducks, Sharks, Canucks, Oilers, and Flames. It will definitely be a fun division to keep your eyes on next season.