Still more speculation over the Coyotes future and the impact upon Ilya Bryzgalov, Keith Yandle, Ed Jovanovski, Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Jim Gintonio reports Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney believes his team will be returning to Arizona next season. Gintonio noted if a new owner can up the payroll for next season Maloney can better deal with his free agents, notably goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and defenseman Keith Yandle, who are his top targets to re-sign. Roster changes however will be coming as Maloney, unhappy over his club being swept by the Detroit Red Wings, will seek better chemistry. Sarah McLellan meanwhile listed Maloney’s free agent priorities as Bryzgalov, Yandle, Radim Vrbata and Eric Belanger. Unless Ed Jovanovski agrees to a pay cut the Coyotes could let him walk this summer, plus they could keep Vernon Fiddler if there’s enough money left over. RFAs Kyle Turris, Mikkel Boedker, Lauri Korpikoski and Brett MacLean have all earned raises.
CBC.CA: During the second intermission “Satellite Hotstove” on Saturday, analyst Glenn Healy reported hearing if the Coyotes move back to Winnipeg, they’ll ask team captain Shane Doan if he wants to follow them there, and if he doesn’t, they could find a place “like L.A.” to play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Doan rumor is an interesting one. He has one season remaining on his contract and given his reputation as a stand-up guy it’s natural to assume he’d follow the team back to Winnipeg, where he began his NHL career. Still, it would only be proper for management to give Doan the option, considering how he’s remained loyal to the franchise for all these years. If the Coyotes stay put it wouldn’t be surprising if Jovanovski agreed to take a significant pay cut to return, as he and his family live in Arizona year-round. The Coyotes have less than $30 million invested in 13 players for next season, and should the cap floor increase to $46 million they could afford to re-sign most, if not all, of their key free agents, but Maloney would love not to have to operate near the cap floor in the upcoming season, and even an increase of payroll next season to $50 million could go a long way to making his job easier.