Legal squabbles between the Board of Trustees of Portland, Maine’s Cumberland County Civic Center and the ownership group of their primary tenant, the Portland Pirates, have relegated the team to the northern reaches of Maine for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, on the ice, the Phoenix Coyotes AHL affiliate finds themselves in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings.
Teams define themselves by U.S. Thanksgiving, according to conventional wisdom. This rule of thumb could apply to players, as well. By late November, there are no more predictions or expectations. Prospects are what their performance says they are.
In 1995, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tie Domi knocked New York Rangers defenseman Ulf Samuelsson unconscious with a sucker punch that is still considered one of the dirtiest plays in recent NHL history. This year, their sons could be the ones connecting, on scoring plays rather than right hooks.
The Phoenix Coyotes prospect pool is loaded with players who are already playing professional hockey. Most of these players are playing for the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate team, the Portland Pirates. With the Pirates recently clinching a playoff spot, these prospects will gain valuable post-season experience early on in their careers.