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2019-20 Coyotes year in review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK Pretty high. After barely missing the postseason the year before, Kessel came over for the underperforming Galchenyuk. Soderberg  a solid middle six jack of all trades was also added to an anemic offense, hopes were high for a playoff appearance.


FINAL RECORD 33-30-8 11TH in the West


HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON on the night of December 16th the Coyotes made arguably the biggest trade of their existence, giving up draft picks and prospects for Taylor Hall. Two nights later in his first game as a 'Yote, late in the third in a game against the Sharks Hall stole a puck and set up OEL out front who scored to win the game, running the record to 20-12-4. They looked like not only a playoff team but a legit Western conference contender.


LOW POINT OF THE SEASON Same date, December 16th. The trade for hall cost them three prospects and a first and third. After the electrifying win a few nights later, they won a few, lost a few more finally falling out of contention. The worst is Hall is an unrestricted free agent at years end and will likely walk or command a cap breaking deal to stay.


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Sticking with Hall, he scored goals in nine games for the Coyotes, they went 3-6 in those games. 


WHAT WENT RIGHT Nick Schmaltz justified his trade from the Hawks the year before by leading the team in scoring. Canor Garland led the team in goals. Soderberg was very solid. Goligoski and OEL provided a very solid one two punch from the back end. Dvorak bounced back nicely after missing most of the year before. Chychrum finally blossomed on the back end both defensively and on the power play. Lawson Crouse had a fine season in the middle six. The tandem in net, Raanta and Keumper battled injuries but both were near brilliant when healthy.


WHAT WENT WRONG Kessel was pretty much a flop, he did lead the team in power play points but that was it. Keller was awful for long stretches although eh came on late. Stepan clearly lost a step and dropped all the way from the top line to the third. Veterans Grabner and Richardson are clearly in the twlight of mediocre careers. Christian Fischer didnt live up to the year before. Barrett Hayton was given every chance to take a top six center role and was clearly not ready.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS How long does GM Chayka have before he gets the axe? Every year they seem to end up the same, a few points out of a playoff spot with offense being the culprit. Now, what does Taylor Hall do? Resigning him severely limits the team, letting him walk after such high payment to get him will almost certainly start the grumbling. Can Kessel and Stepan bounce back? Without both of them doing so the offense will again be anemic. What the Hell happened to Keller? Will he bounce back? Can they role again with essentially two damn good starting goalies? It has worked for several years as both are brittle when one is hurt the other is usually healthy but how long until discontent from one of them settles in if both are healthy and one has to sit for long stretches?

  Honestly, they look like a team in transition, a new GM came aboard, brought them up to mediocrity and they seem to have peaked there.

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