I have watched nearly every Coyotes game this season. The St. Louis Blues game on March 2, 2014 was positively painful as the team disintegrated in the third period and blew a lead. Does that suddenly make me an expert? Gosh, far, far from it. Yet even the most uneducated fan recognizes the team’s lack of consistency from game to game. In one game they are brilliant. In the next it’s as if they don’t know each other. What seems to be happening now is more than a lack of consistency. It’s as if a malaise has settled over the team destroying its chemistry.

Everyone has assumed since 2009 that stable ownership would offer certainty to the players and would remove the team’s collective anxiety causing them to play with more confidence. Yet in 2012 while under the ownership of the League’s front office and with no ownership surety the team made the play offs and won the divisional title. Is throwing money at the problem the solution? Don Maloney and Dave Tippett operated on a shoe string that year and pulled it off. They had no choice. They were magicians.

In the face of disappointing team play this year, the year of stable ownership, ffn the face of disappointing team play nce. Yetary 28, 2014 game against the Colorado Avalanched acquire new ones. hat was it wian chirping has begun – but in a subdued fashion as no one wants to anger or alienate the new owners. The collective fan solution seems to be to get rid of some players and acquire new ones. Candidates identified after the February 28, 2014 loss to the Colorado Avalanche are Schlemko, Stone, Riberio and Smith. The team’s core has remained intact throughout the years of uncertain ownership drama  – Doan, Hanzel,Virbrata, Bissonette, and Yandle, to name a few. Instead of removing and replacing players the real question is, what has happened mentally and collectively to this core? There is evident frustration and anger. Witness some of Doan’s public remarks about the team’s abysmal play. One would think it has spilled over into the locker room – oh, to be a fly on THAT wall.

It’s too late to right the ship this year. Maloney and Tippett have to identify the mental poison and apply the antidote. That takes time. Unfortunately this year’s poor showing will affect the bleeding bottom line of the owners and of the City of Glendale. How long can either entity sustain the financial loss? In the case of the owners they would have you believe it’s not a problem for them but it most certainly is for Glendale. Glendale entered into the ownership deal relying upon the new owners’ promise to partially reimburse (the estimate was $9 million) the city for the management fee of $15 million a year through “enhanced revenues.” All estimates are that this figure will not be met – not even close to it.

On a different note: The owners just hosted Jewish Heritage Night. Great. I would expect to see Christian, Muslim and Buddhist Heritage Nights as well. If there is no recognition of other faiths, don’t we call that discrimination in this country?

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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