Jen: Why is it the Coyotes are always the talk of the season because of the ownership situation and not the fact that they do surprising things on the ice, like, you know, winning the Pacific Division last year?
Jaime: I think the problem starts with the amount of hockey writers who pick the Coyotes to miss the playoffs in the preseason. By the time those writers come around, the regular season is nearly over and there have been several ownership twists. Because every aspect of the ownership saga has been played out publically, everyone waits for the next shoe to drop.
The other factors revolve around time zones and players. The Coyotes (like the Ducks) play at 9-10 p.m. Eastern and therefore a lack of deserved attention for many of the teams out West. The other factor is the lack of star power. Shane Doan may be known around the league but, he is no longer one of the three best players on the team. Contributions from Radim Vrbata, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and others get less media attention because the "average fan" does not now who they are.
Jen: Who is the heir apparent to Shane Doan? When do you think he hangs up the skates either with just the Coyotes or all together? Is there anything we can do to help him along?
Jaime: The heir apparent in the immediate future would be Keith Yandle. The much-maligned defenseman currently wears an "A" and is typically sent in (with Doan) with the media following a loss. Future? Ekman-Larsson may get the gig when he gets to his mid-20s.
I think Doan will play three more seasons after this one. Doan specifically requested 4-year deals in the offseason and, knowing Doan, he will do all he can to honor that contract.
He may retire if you guys capture one of his horses and put a retirement ransom for him to get it back. It may backfire though because, like Liam Neeson, he will find you. He did beat the Mantracker. He may also elect to pull a Teemu and never retire. [Ed. Note: Noooooooo! - JN]
Jen: After Wednesday's game, the next time the Ducks and Coyotes meet is the last game of the regular season. Where do you think both teams will be? Playoff bound? Hanging on the edge? Or will it be a meaningless game?
Jaime: I think both teams will be in that 3-7 range where a Pacific Division Championship and playoff seeding will be on the line. I think both teams will also be scoreboard watching when the Los Angeles Kings play their final game. The winner may win the division while the loser is relegated to open on the road against that division winner.