The Wait Continues for the Coyote Kids

Ryan Ma




Let's revisit the end of the 2004 campaign, which was the year before the lock-out. The Blackhawks, Capitals, and Penguins finished the year ranked 28th, 29th and 30th respectively. The Blue Jackets finished 27th followed by the Coyotes at 26th, so to make things a bit easier let's just say they were essentially in the same boat four seasons ago. Following that campaign and a few subsequent years, the Capitals revamped with Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom. The Penguins revamped with Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Jordan Staal. The Blackhawks followed a similar path and picked up a few studs in Cam Barker, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The Blue Jackets added Derrick Brassard and Jakub Voracek, while the Coyotes haven't been too bad as they followed suit by drafting a few doozies in Kyle Turris, Mikkel Boedker, and Peter Mueller. So the main question on my mind is – why has Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh and  Columbus essentially improved themselves into Stanley Cup contending/winning franchises, while Phoenix is still floundering?


More importantly, why have the stars on the other teams become such huge fantasy studs, while the young pups in Phoenix are still struggling to register a blip on the fantasy radar?


My initial thoughts were that maybe it could be related to the head coaching position. Washington went through Glen Hanlon before changing to Bruce Boudreau. The Penguins went through Michel Therrien before changing direction with Dan Bylsma. Chicago went through Denis Savard before leaning on Joel Quenneville on their post-season run this past year, while the Blue Jackets went through the same with Gerald Gallant to a more defensive-minded Ken Hitchcock. Only the Coyotes have kept one head coach since 2005. Could this be one of the reasons why the Coyotes are still struggling, while the others are flourishing?


Let’s delve a little deeper because there has to be more to it than a simple head coaching change. We’ll compare the ice-time of all of the star players mentioned above in their first four years in the NHL.





Third Year

Fourth Year