Some teams are clearly in win-now mode while others are rebuilding. Some are on the way up and others on the way down. Then there are those stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place and ProHockeyTalk’s James O’Brien suggests that the Coyotes qualify for that latter category with a team that falls shy of contending but can’t do much to try to rebuild either. Without their first-round pick from the fitness testing violation penalty, the idea of blowing things up loses a lot of its luster but it also takes away the opportunity to also dangle it to try to add to the roster. Their cap situation isn’t particularly strong either and they don’t have the ability to take on bad contracts as they once did. As a result, it may be a little while before new GM Bill Armstrong can really put his stamp on his new team while he waits for more than $30MM in expiring contracts to come off the books.
More from the Central Division:
- Blackhawks center Dylan Strome could see his negotiations delayed following the departure of his agent Mark Guy, suggests Ben Pope of the Chicago-Sun Times. Guy has left Newport Sports Management after spending more than 20 years there to move to the auto industry. Both GM Stan Bowman and head coach Jeremy Colliton have indicated a willingness to re-sign Strome but until the restricted free agent finds new representation, those talks will probably have to be shelved for the time being.
- Jets winger Kristian Vesalainen has been viewed as a forward with top-six potential since being drafted back in 2017 but he hasn’t lit it up much since then and lacks the all-around game to play on a lower line. Accordingly, as he told Jason Bell of the Winnipeg Free Press, he’s using his time on loan to HPK in Finland to prioritize shoring up his play on his own end in the hopes of earning an opportunity to break camp with Winnipeg in a limited role. The 21-year-old had 12 goals and 18 assists in 60 games with AHL Manitoba last season.