The Phoenix Coyotes seem to pretty serious about becoming a real contender whenever the NHL season resumes. They shocked the world and signed Petr Nedved to a three-year deal. Nedved was rumored to be heading to the Oilers, so it seems like the Coyotes swept in and grabbed him.
I’m willing to bet Nedved went to Phoenix to get away from the media. He was constantly under attack in New York. The Canadian press was on his case for wanting to play someplace convenient for his supermodel wife. I think a big part of the attraction of the Coyotes, a team that’s getting better all the time but is still unproven, was that it’s in a market that cares very little for hockey. Plus, he has experience playing in the desert. He spent a season playing in Vegas while holding out on the Penguins. Plus, he’ll be just an hour and a half from LA, where I’m guessing his wife will work out of.
Nedved is yet another great pickup for the Coyotes, though. I imagine he’ll be on their first line and where he’s struggled with consistency before, he’ll probably do very well playing where the media doesn’t feel obligated to criticize him.
With Nedved on board, the Coyotes traded Daymond Langkow to the Flames for defenseman Denis Gauthier and left wing Oleg Saprykin. I guess they wanted a little more experience on the blueline. It would have been cool to see them deep enough to have Langkow on their fourth line, behind Nedved, Mike Comrie, and Mike Ricci. I guess there are budget issues, though.