Sunday, July 13, 2008

Top 10 Phoenix Coyotes of All Time

The Coyotes have had some great players in their history starting back in 1979 when the organization came into the NHL as the Winnipeg Jets. This is going to be a two part thing with the second article coming at some point after this one. Not sure when but here are 10-6.

10. Alexei Zhamnov: Zhamnov was a catalyst at center for the Winnipeg Jets in their later years and led the team in numerous offensive categories during the 1994-1995 season and had his best years of his career with the Jets.

9. Phil Housley: Certainly one of the best American born players of all time,Housley definitely deserves to be on this list. He only played 3 years but ended up with 259 points in a Jet uniform and was an anchor for their power play all three years. 

8. Nikolai Khabibulin: The best goaltender in Jets/Coyotes history comes in at number 8. His dominating play led the Coyotes in their early years to the playoffs until he was traded to Tampa where he won a Stanley Cup. While not a leader in any statistical category, his 126 wins are 2nd all time (1 behind Bob Essensa) and his Goals Against Average of 2.75 is one of the better marks in the history.

7. Teemu Selanne: It is a shame that Selanne left Winnipeg after almost 4 seasons. His rookie year remains the best rookie year in the history of the NHL with 76 goals and 56 assists for 132 points. An absolute remarkable year that hasn't been broken yet. While this was his best year with the Jets, it still puts him on this list. It is too bad that he was traded.

6. Shane Doan: The only remaining Jet on the Coyotes roster is now the captain and slowly climbing the ranks as one of the greatest players in Coyotes history. He is 4th on the career points list and 5th on the goals list. He is one of the best captains this organization has ever had and could end up being their best ever, especially if he can lead the team to its first ever Stanley Cup.

5. Jeremy Roenick: My favorite player to this day comes in at number 5. He came to Phoenix from Chicago and was an instant sensation to Phoenix. In essence, he brought Phoenix Coyotes hockey to life with his play and his attitude. He ranks 8th in all time points for the Coyotes franchise. Without him, the Phoenix Coyotes don't have the kind of start and popularity they had back in their early years. 

4. Keith Tkachuk: He came to Phoenix from Winnipeg and continued his scoring ways in the desert. The last season in Winnipeg he scored 50 goals and the first year in Phoenix he topped that with 52 goals. He ranks 2nd in goals with 323 and 3rd in points with 623. He was a captain and certainly another big piece to a successful start in Arizona for the Coyotes.

3. Thomas Steen: This choice and the next one were the hardest to put in their spots but Thomas Steen comes in at number 3. A career Jet, Steen ranks 2nd on the all time points list and probably would have ended up in first if not for an injury plagued career. He was a captain for the Jets and is one of the few to have his number retired.

2. Teppo Numminen: Teppo comes in at number 2 and is the best defenseman the franchise has ever had. He has the most games played for the franchise with 1098. He ranks 5th on the all time points list with 534 but was more known for his defensive play and despite playing in the most games on a team that had some very bad years, he maintained a +42 in all of his years as a Jet which is second all time. His number 27 will certainly be retired one day by the Coyotes.

1. Dale Hawerchuk: The best player in the history of the Coyotes/Jets franchise is Dale Hawerchuk. He is the career leader in points and goals for the franchise. He was a captain and managed to score 100 or more points in all but one of his seasons as a Jet with his highest point total being 130 points (57 goals, 77 assists). He managed to score all these goals and points on mostly mediocre teams and were the best years of his career. Dale set the mark for all Coyotes players to reach and hopefully someday break.

1 comment:

Debbi said...

Like the way you went way back to the Jets days..