I dropped in on the Coyotes home opener Monday night. The lines were short, seats were available and that’s not a bad thing. I’m hopeful that by the time we get to the end of the day on July 7th, 2022 the buzz and excitement for this franchise will be at a much higher level. We won’t know much of anything until then about the plan that has been hatched. I’m hopeful that Shane Wright’s jersey is being held up in the photo op on that day.
If you’re going to tear something down and build a sustainable product for many years in a new arena, then tear it down and don’t look back. Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong brought in the wrecking ball in the offseason and took apart the coaching staff and roster with names that even the casual fan was familiar with. Problem is, it wasn’t a team that was going to move the needle in the win column. Armstrong took the month of July to stockpile seven draft picks in the first two rounds of the 2022 draft. While you might not agree with trading away the familiar names like Dvorak, Ekman-Larsson , Kemper, etc. I’m on the side of the street nodding in approval. Yes, Armstrong is going to have to hit on many of those draft picks, which is always a crapshoot.
There is an art to tanking. Win too much, you miss out on Wright, who’s been described as a “potentially franchise-changing player”. While I care about what building the Coyotes are going to play at, most of the Valley does not. This is a market where, if they win big, fans will show up anywhere. This franchise just hasn’t won BIG in a long, long time.