Possible Free Agent?
It may not be on the minds of most NHL fans but there are plenty wondering where the Phoenix Coyotes will play next season. I’ve had multiple sources tell me it’s been very quiet and basically the franchise is literally floundering in the desert.
Some believe it’s already been determined Phoenix will move to Quebec City before next season although that remains unconfirmed.
Multiple people tell me if they do leave Arizona, Head Coach Dave Tippett may elect to go elsewhere.
Is there a better coach in the NHL than Tippett? Ask any player who has played for him and they’ll likely tell you no. There aren’t too may guys who get as much out of a limited roster as this guy does. What he’s been able to do with this franchise is borderline miraculous.
Tippett is in the final year of his contract and sources say he is not close to signing an extension. If he were to become a free agent in the summer he’d be in the driver’s seat. There are probably playoff teams who would fire their coach today if it meant bringing Tippett in to replace him. If Phoenix were to relocate he would certainly have an excuse to go somewhere else.
How good would this guy be if he was under an ownership group that spent real money? I’m not sure there’s a better coach at getting guys to buy in.
Sources say if the team stays in Arizona he would be ok with staying put.
Alex Steen skated today for the first time after missing the last eight games with a concussion. He is questionable to play Thursday night but I’d personally be surprised if he did. Steen tells me he now knows what it feels like when players say they feel “foggy.”
Andy McDonald had his best day of skating Tuesday in Montreal according to Ken Hitchcock. Once he “sheds the red” fans can start to look towards a McDonald return. That day could come very soon.
The Blues have sent Evgeny Grachev to Peoria to make roster space for a D-man in case Barret Jackman can’t go Thursday against Vancouver. Jackman received some therapy today after taking a hard hit from Montreal D-man P.K. Subban. Cade Fairchild is a likely scenario to receive a callup.
D-man Kris Russell is skating and inching closer to returning from his groin injury.
Speaking of Russell, congratulations to his twin brother Ryan who recently played his first NHL game with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ryan Russell is a 4th line center/winger.
Kent Huskins is also skating and expects to start practicing in the next few weeks. He’s missed several weeks following ankle surgery.
Ken Hitchcock believes his team has out-chanced the opposition 70% since he arrived in St. Louis.
Sources confirm Mike Raynor and Jim Campbell are once again expressing interest in joining a Blues ownership team. Their only option is to join the Stillman group who leagues sources confirm has entered an exclusive period to buy the team.
Sources say St. Louis Cardinals President Bill Dewitt III would also be part of this group if they do in fact join up with Stillman.
There’s talk of Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko being traded to the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow in exchange for an undisclosed amount of cash. Tarasenko is expected to sign with St. Louis after the conclusion of the Men’s World Championship in the spring.
Blues Director of Amateur Scouting Bill Armstrong is my guest tonight on Blues Buzz. The show can be heard on am 590 KFNS in St. Louis.
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