2009 preview: Phoenix Coyotes

How can fans continue to support this team, knowing that a) they could be moved at any time and b) they have the longest playoff drought in the NHL? And it doesn’t look to end anytime soon. While this will be a young, competitive team, the smart money is on them going through a disastrous year.

Story of the season: There’s really only one story in Phoenix this year. Will the off-ice situation affect the on-ice product? It already has, with head coach Wayne Gretzky not showing up to training camp and then stepping down a week before the season begins.

Former Habs: None, apparently.

Blog to follow: Five for Howling

TV commercial break:

Pool Picks:Radim Vrbata. His numbers increased every year for four straight years before an injury-plagued season in Tampa Bay last year. Look for Vrbata to hover around 60 points.  Stay away from: Matthew Lombardi. Sure his stats from last season looks good (46 points in 59 games), but this is a team in turmoil, and last year was a bump in the statistics. I think Lombardi will finish with about 35 points.

Award nominees: Radim Vrbata for the Masterton trophy.

Expected Finish: Fifth in the Pacific, 15th in the West

Cheerleader: This is Brittany. She’s a member of the Pack, which is an on-ice dance team for the Coyotes.

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