Yes, even Santa brings gifts to NHL hockey teams... but what would he bring to the 2018/19 Arizona Coyotes?
1.) A healthy team... or at least not any more injuries
If you follow the Coyotes you've got to be aware that they are playing games without many starting players and have had injuries resembling a MASH unit.
As if playing without your starting goalie (Antti Raanta) wasn't bad enough, losing a starting defenseman (Jason Demers) and forward (Christian Dvorak) just adds insult to injury.
The team has tried to supplement the forces by bringing up some pretty good replacements in Adin Hill, Conor Garland, Mario Kempe, and Michael Bunting to fill in the gaps.
It's just not the same as having the starters in the lineup to play important games and hopefully get to the playoffs for the first time since 2011/12.
Perhaps Santa can work some magic and heal two other forwards like Michael Grabner (penalty-killing expert and short-handed goal-scoring phenom) and popular Vinnie Hinostroza. Adding their scoring prowess has got to help the team to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
2.) Continued scoring from Alex Galchenyuk
We were all very excited about 'Gally' joining the team, and then he wasn't able to start the season due to one of those mysterious 'lower body injuries.'
Once he got into the lineup everyone was comparing how well Max Domi was doing for the Montreal Canadiens and the pressure was on Galchenyuk to produce.
I mean giving up Domi may still seem to be a mistake since he is burning up the NHL with 35 points in 37 games including 14 goals.
While Galchenyuk hasn't done that bad either with 14 points in 26 games, including five goals we expected more from the big guy.
Perhaps he is warming up to that notion since in the last game before the holiday break he collected two goals, including the shootout winner in helping defeat the San Jose Sharks 4-3.
Both goals were assisted adeptly by his crafty line mate Clayton Keller who is starting to resemble his idol Patrick Kane more and more every game.
3.) The Coyotes aren't MOVING!
For once and all... can the rumors of the Arizona Coyotes moving now to Houston subside? I mean they are here for at least another year since they have not canceled their year-to-year lease to play at Gila River Arena... and they have no other place to play.
While that sounds very temporary (welcome to the Coyotes' yearly drama) it still signifies that this team is NOT moving... at least for now.
Whether the situation in Houston calls for the perfect realignment of the Coyotes to the Central Division or that the team just can't draw fans here in the desert... the fact remains they are still the ARIZONA COYOTES.
Until and IF something else changes that, the rumors and tales of them moving are just that... rumors and tales.
4.) Can we get a superstar to put this team on the map?
Almost every NHL team has a superstar or a budding candidate who can step in and score 30 goals.
When you research where the present Coyotes' players fall into place as far as scoring goes, the results will shock you... well maybe not.
Clayton Keller ranks 94th in scoring in the NHL. He is followed by Oliver Ekman-Larsson who is 167th, and Derek Stepan who comes in at 185th.
It gets worse.
When you compare Coyotes' players for goals scored Brad Richardson leads the team with 10 and is ranked 94th in the league. An unlikely candidate since he has never scored more than 14 goals in a season. He is followed by Christian Fischer (141st) and Derek Stepan (148th) who both have tallied eight goals.
Remember when the Coyotes had a player named Radim Vrbata? It was way back in the 2011/12 season when he scored 35 goals. The team hasn't had a player to eclipse that 30-goal mark since.
Just for jollies, I researched how many other teams haven't had a 30-goal scorer dating back that far and after trying quite a few teams wasn't able to find many teams in that regretful category.
Well... okay I did find the 2011/12 Buffalo Sabres who had a 30-goal scorer in Jason Pominville. But not too many quality teams have not had a scorer, someone who can dominate and turn games around.
I hear that for some unforsaken reason Vladimir Tarasenko is on the trading block and wouldn't he look good in a Coyotes' uniform? Let's face it he can light up the scoreboard and has had four 30-goal or more seasons in his seven-year NHL career. Add to that his three seasons of 70+ points and you have a superstar who would shine in the desert.
Santa may need to complete a loan to be able to pay Tarasenko's $7.5 million contract thru the 2022/23 season, but hey it's Christmas and we all know Santa can work some magic.
5.) A new arena
Wouldn't it be just grand if the Coyotes could get a new arena? I mean there hasn't been much chatter about that for a long time.
All we hear lately is that the Phoenix Suns' clueless owner Robert Sarver is insisting on a new arena for his NBA team since the relic of a building his team plays in is like 26-years-old.
He even used the overused threat of possibly moving the team to Seattle or Las Vegas to hopefully blackmail the city council into yet another renovation of the arena they use presently.
It makes much more sense to have the Suns and Coyotes share a downtown arena than each team wanting a shiny new one, right?
Not if you talk to Sarver. He's dead against it... and why?
Since the failed plan of partnering with ASU, no new news of an arena being built for the Coyotes has been discussed. With yet another change in ownership for the NHL team perhaps a new owner has a solution. The team needs an arena where it's fans can get there and fill the building on a regular basis.
Something's got to give. Or, we could possibly lose both teams to relocation and be crossed off the list of cities with all four major sports.
That would be a shame.
Do you agree with what Santa decided to leave under the Arizona Coyotes' Christmas tree? Let us know in the comments section below.