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Today, we’ll take a look at the Phoenix Coyotes as the first team in our 30 Teams in 30 Days series as we start to look ahead to the 2013-2014 season. We’ll start with the teams that aren’t in the playoffs then work through others as they’ve been eliminated. Complete stats are at the bottom of the article.

Team Name:Phoenix Coyotes

Record: 21-18-9 51 points, 4th in Pacific, no playoffs

Player of the Season: Radim Vrbata F

Vrbata played just 34 games but still finished second on the team with 12-16–28. Of his 28 points, 12 of them (2G, 10A) came on the power play and he finished with a +6 rating.

Breakout of the Season: Oliver Ekman-Larsson D

OEL, as he’s called, posted solid numbers with 3-21–24 on the blue line and averaged a team best 25:06 ATOI. The young Swede is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come and needs to be owned in all dynasty leagues. He has the potential to give fellow blueliner Keith Yandle a run for his money as the best defenseman on the team. Yandle finished 10-20–30 with a +4 and 10 points on the power play (5G, 5A).

Disappointment of the Season: Zybnek Michalek D

Big Z was more like a big zero this season for the Coyotes. He appeared in 34 games and posted all of two assists this season with a +4 rating while rolling up 21:18 ATOI.

Team Analysis: The Phoenix special teams left an overall sour taste in the mouth this season. The power play had issues getting going and finished 25th (14.8%) while the penalty kill let one in once every five times (79.9%) the team was shorthanded.

The Coyotes were very inconsistent as evidenced by a stretch in March. They scored 10 goals in a three-game run against the Blues, Stars and Kings. After that stretch, they went 0-5-2 and scored eight times in that seven-game winless streak that cost them a playoff shot. True to Coyote fashion, they broke out with a six-goal first period and beat
Nashville 7-4 to get back in the win column.

2013-2014 Story Lines: Will the ownership issues get resolved? The saga has dragged on for years and years now. Hopefully this thing gets done soon and stability finally comes back to the desert.

How will the Coyotes fare in goal next season with two aging goaltenders? Mike Smith should be the lead man between the pipes at age 31 while Jason LaBarbera would be his 33-year old backup. We saw Martin Brodeur of the Devils look good at times for an over-40 goalie but that won’t necessarily translate to the Coyotes. Smith should still put up good numbers but his age might cut into how much work he sees. Smith also missed time with injuries so his health will be a big factor in determining how far the Coyotes go in 2013-2014.

Will Phoenix find a star? The Coyotes had good balance with five players scoring at least 10 goals in the sprint of a season. The downside is that it makes it tougher to figure out which one of them to own. They lack the dynamic centerpiece of other teams which dampens their fantasy value as a group. You can count the number of 30-goal scorers on two hands that the team has had in the last two decades so the team has never had a true sniper.

2013-2014 Fantasy Guys to Have:  Smith, Yandle, Ekman-Larsson, Vrbata, Shane Doan.   

Martin Hanzal, Mikkel Boedker and Derek Morris are more marginal options for re-draft leagues.

2013 Phoenix Coyotes Team Stats

PLAYER GP G A PTS +/- PIM ATOI PPG PPA SHG SHA SOG SPCT
Keith Yandle, D 48 10 20 30 4 54 22:15 5 5 0 0 130 7.7
Radim Vrbata, RW 34 12 16 28 6 14 18:19 2 10 1 0 106 11.3
Shane Doan, RW 48 13 14 27 6 37 18:03 0 3 0 0 129 10.1
Mikkel Boedker, RW 48 7 19 26 0 12 18:29 3 4 0 0 83 8.4
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D 48 3 21 24 5 26 25:06 0 8 0 0 101 3.0
Martin Hanzal, C 39 11 12 23 2 24 18:32 4 3 0 1 93 11.8
Antoine Vermette, C 48 13 8 21 -3 36 18:15 3 0 0 0 91 14.3
David Moss, LW 45 5 15 20 3 21 15:33 1 1 1 0 82 6.1
Kyle Chipchura, C 46 5 9 14 1 50 9:42 0 0 0 0 37 13.5
Boyd Gordon, C 48 4 10 14 0 8 15:01 0 2 0 1 59 6.8
Steve Sullivan, C  33 5 7 12 -8 20 14:22 2 4 0 0 48 10.4
Raffi Torres, LW 28 5 7 12 -1 13 13:00 0 0 0 0 40 12.5
Derek Morris, D 39 0 11 11 -6 36 21:24 0 3 0 0 68 0.0
Lauri Korpikoski, C 36 6 5 11 -3 12 17:07 1 1 0 0 83 7.2
Rob Klinkhammer, LW 22 5 6 11 7 10 12:14 1 0 0 0 34 14.7
Michael Stone, D 40 5 4 9 2 16 16:41 1 1 0 0 50 10.0
Rostislav Klesla, D 38 2 6 8 0 22 17:38 0 0 0 0 44 4.5
Matthew Lombardi, C  21 4 4 8 0 4 14:08 1 1 0 0 39 10.3
Paul Bissonnette, LW 28 0 6 6 2 36 5:25 0 0 0 0 13 0.0
David Schlemko, D 30 1 5 6 8 12 17:13 0 0 0 0 35 2.9
Nick Johnson, RW 17 4 2 6 3 0 9:57 1 0 0 0 23 17.4
Chris Conner, RW 12 1 1 2 3 2 11:23 0 0 0 0 15 6.7
Zbynek Michalek, D 34 0 2 2 4 14 21:18 0 0 0 0 42 0.0
David Rundblad, D 8 0 1 1 -5 0 13:44 0 0 0 0 9 0.0
Andy Miele, C 1 0 0 0 1 0 9:02 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Chris Brown, C 5 0 0 0 0 2 7:38 0 0 0 0 6 0.0
Chris Summers, D 6 0 0 0 -3 9 12:39 0 0 0 0 5 0.0
Alex Bolduc, C 14 0 0 0 -4 2 7:38 0 0 0 0 17 0.0