Author

Craig Morgan

Browsing

His Coyotes teammates call Nick Bjugstad “Byoogie,” a nod to that troublesome J in his Norwegian surname.  Coach André Tourigny drops the J and calls him “Boogie” because it rolls a little more easily off his French-Canadian tongue.  Bjugstad’s Florida Panthers teammates used to call him “Rotisserie Chicken” because he couldn’t find parking one night when he was meeting them…...

Not a Subscriber? Become a Diehard today!

​Sign Me Up!

Already a member?

Don't forget to log in!

I’m making a New Year’s resolution for 2023. I’m not going to freak you out over the possibility of the Coyotes not landing Conor Bedard, Adam Fantilli or Leo Carlsson in the upcoming NHL Draft. The odds of the Blackhawks (18.5 percent), Blue Jackets (13.5 percent), Ducks (11.5 percent) or Canadiens (11 percent because they own Florida’s pick as well as their own) are not so appreciably better than the teams outside the top spots that you would call them a lock. Seriously, the Blackhawks have less than a 1-in-5 chance of landing Bedard.  The team with the worst record has won the lottery just four times in the past 12 seasons while a team outside the top three has…

As the year 2022 takes its final lap, it feels like a good time to celebrate Arizona hockey. The Coyotes just completed a season series sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Valley product Auston Matthews, giving them four straight wins over the Leafs. https://youtu.be/siCHqm1PqdU The Arizona State men’s team was getting ready to open a stretch of 10 straight games at Mullett Arena as it began its push toward an NCAA Tournament berth. Two weeks ago, oodles of college and junior scouts descended on the Valley for the Tier 1 Elite League National Midget Showcase, a tournament featuring 60 teams and 120 games spread across four Valley ice arenas in Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe.  The poster boy for…

Michael Carcone hopes that history will repeat itself — even if the circumstances of his recall are the result of misfortune for a friend whose footsteps he’d like to follow. Last season, Matias Maccelli was leading the Roadrunners in points and was well on his way to setting the franchise’s single-season points record when Coyotes’ injuries led to his recall. Maccelli played 23 games and earned a permanent spot on this season’s team. Unfortunately for Maccelli, he suffered a lower-body injury in a win against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday that will shelve him for about six weeks. With Liam O’Brien also week to week with an upper-body injury, the Coyotes were down to 10 forwards when the holiday…

I have long believed that the entire period between Christmas Eve Day and New Year’s Day should be a national holiday. Business leaders probably don’t agree. The US is so hyper focused on productivity and work ethic that it fails to consider the benefits that more balance might be create. An entire week off probably sounds like blasphemy. Some smaller...

Not a Subscriber? Become a Diehard today!

​Sign Me Up!

Already a member?

Don't forget to log in!

The Coyotes could have packed it in before the first puck dropped on the 2022-23 season.  They had every excuse. They were forced to play in a 5,000-seat arena because the City of Glendale was no longer interested in a year-to-year arrangement for this ill-conceived, ill-tempered marriage. The roster that GM Bill Armstrong assembled was widely viewed as one of the worst in the salary-cap era, with The Athletic offering this assessment: “This team was designed to fail, and they were designed spectacularly for that vision. That was the case last season, too, but the 2022-23 edition of the team is even more hopelessly desolate.” The late start on finding a new home and building the necessary team spaces forced…

As colleague Steve Peters has noted, the November edition of the PHNX Coyotes prospect report felt like the Euro edition — and a mouthful for readers, who had to memorize the pronunciations of EHC Red Bull München defenseman Maksymilian Szuber, IK Oskarshamn defenseman Emil Martinsen Lilleberg and Madison Capitols forward Miko Matikka. It’s the holiday season so I kept it...

Not a Subscriber? Become a Diehard today!

​Sign Me Up!

Already a member?

Don't forget to log in!

When LA Kings president Luc Robitaille invited executives from the NHL’s western-based teams to successive meetings in Denver and Vancouver, he had an AHL goal in mind. “We all had clubs out west, but all of our AHL affiliates were out east,” said Seattle Kraken assistant GM Rick Olczyk, who was then with the Edmonton Oilers. “It added cost and travel and it took away from the development and accessibility of our players.” https://www.gophnx.com/2022/12/14/seattle-kraken-agm-rick-olczyk-joins-the-show-to-discuss-the-teams-success-and-the-opening-of-its-new-ahl-building-in-coachella-valley/ In 2014, the Calgary Flames affiliate was in Glen Falls, New York; the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate was in Oklahoma City; the Vancouver Canucks’ affiliate was in Utica, New York; the San José Sharks’ affiliate was in Worcester, Massachusetts; the Colorado Avalanche’s affiliate was in Cleveland; the…

When the Sun Devils reached the midpoint of their season last weekend in New Hampshire, a casual glance showed a 9-10 team that was 2-8 on the road (1-0 in neutral-site games) and now sits No. 27 in the PairWise Rankings. The NCAA Tournament field of 16 felt far away. A closer inspection reveals just how close ASU is to postseason contention, however. Of the Devils’ eight road losses, three have come in overtime (Minnesota-Duluth, Bemidji State, New Hampshire) and two more came in the final two minutes of regulation, one with 16.7 remaining in regulation at Clarkson, the other with 1:58 remaining at Denver. There has also been controversy. The Sun Devils had a goal disallowed late in regulation…

Before a Friday meeting at Mullett Arena, the last time the Coyotes had beaten the Boston Bruins was Oct. 9, 2010 in Prague, Czechia, when they won 5-2 behind two goals from Czech native Radim Vrbata. It made sense then that it was another Czech who ended the Bruins’ 19-game winning streak against the Coyotes. Karel Vejmelka made 43 saves in perhaps his best performance of the season, and Lawson Crouse scored his second goal of the game with 13.5 seconds remaining as the Coyotes overcame a 46-16 shot disadvantage to beat the NHL’s top team, 4-3. The win was just Arizona’s second in its past 12 games and it came on the heels of an 8-2 loss in Edmonton that…

>
X