Chayka News Doesn't Overshadow the Fact Coyotes Will Play Important Games
The Arizona Coyotes haven't played a meaningful game in years.
The fact is, for much of the last 10 years, the Coyotes have been eliminated from playoff contention by the end of October.
The last two seasons have been different, and the main reason is because of goaltending, and in typical Coyotes fashion, even that has its down side.
The Coyotes have gotten about 80 games of Hart Trophy/ Vezina Trophy goaltending from Darcy Kuemper over the last two seasons.
If he stayed healthy, the Coyotes are entering the playoffs twice with a player playing the game's most important position, at the game's highest level.
But, since Kuemper couldn't stay healthy, his excellent work was just enough to prevent the Coyotes from doing some real damage in the draft lottery.
A professional league with a salary cap demands that you draft a franchise player at the top of the draft to have any real hope of being an annual contender. It is the most Coyotes thing ever that they finally have a player performing at a truly elite level and he actually hurts them.
If you had Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews at the head of a core that included Hall, Dvorak, Keller, Kessel, OEL, Soderberg, Chychrun, Hayton and Kuemper you'd be pretty damn excited about the future of this team.
But they don't have that, and as such they are a mediocre team that will go as far as Kuemper takes them.
The irony of course is that without Kuemper the Coyotes are about a hundred times more likely to have picked up said franchise player over the past two seasons.
The shutdown did the Coyotes a favor since they otherwise would have missed the playoffs completely and had a low shot at a top pick.
Now they get to play at least three games of meaningful hockey, and if they lose they have a one in six chance at getting the player they've dreamed about for years.
In a league that goes to often ridiculous lengths to prevent the appearance of tanking, the Coyotes deserve some credit for not doing so (though in my opinion they definitely should have).
So my point here is that ultimately, it doesn't matter who the GM of the team is. The off-ice drama was a fun distraction during a time when there are no sports but we can't let it distract us from the fact that not only is real hockey coming back, but that the Coyotes will play their first important games since 2011.
Good riddance to John Chayka, but geeze, I don't see what's so bad about a guy trying to move up in the world. Bring on the games (which I don't even watch!)