Beside the play of top-line defensemen Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, it has been a relatively forgettable year for the Arizona Coyotes. The team is firmly out of a playoff position and well off-pace to match last season’s total of 89 points, which landed them ninth in the Western Conference. Arizona’s AHL team, the Portland Pirates, is middle-of-the-pack but holding on to a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Three rookies have played significant roles for the Arizona Coyotes this season. On the blue line, a pair of former first round selections in Brandon Gormley and Connor Murphy seem to be settling in as NHL regulars, and former Edmonton Oilers pick Tobias Rieder has earned top-nine minutes after starting the season in Portland of the AHL.
A year removed from finishing last in the AHL with just 61 points, the Portland Pirates, primary affiliate for the Arizona Coyotes, have shown respectable improvements this season. Through 35 games, the Pirates are 19-15-1, scoring 87 goals and allowing 82, having won their last four games.
Some major changes took place in the German Ice Hockey Federation’s hierarchy this summer, with the new management wanting things to change from the ground up. Long-time German Ice Hockey Federation employee Franz Reindl was selected as the new DEB President (Deutsche Eishockey-Bund), gaining 73.5% of the vote from the summer’s General Assembly. With that, he replaced Uwe Harnos, who made it known before the vote that he would no longer be a candidate for the position he had held since 2002. Read more»