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Jim Schoenfeld


C - Jeremy Roenick, Bob Corkum, Mike Stapleton, Juha Ylonen, Daniel Briere. LW - Keith Tkachuk, Greg Adams, Jim Cummins, Mike Sullivan. RW - Rick Tocchet, Dallas Drake, Shane Doan, Jocelyn Lemieux. D - Keith Carney, Gerald Diduck, Jyrki Lumme, Teppo Numminen, Oleg Tverdovsky, Deron Quint, Michel Petit. G - Nikolai Khabibulin, Jimmy Waite.


Dallas Drake, rw (concussion, day-to-day 11/6).


Traded Cliff Ronning, c, and Richard Lintner, d, to Nashville for future considerations; sent Brad Isbister, rw, to Springfield (AHL); sent Bryan Helmer, d, to Las Vegas (IHL); activated Jocelyn Lemieux, rw and Michel Petit, d, from injured reserve.


10/25 at Anaheim      T 2-2
10/26 at Colorado     W 5-1
10/28 at San Jose     W 4-2
11/01 at Los Angeles  W 3-0
11/06 Detroit         W 3-1


Pacific Division    GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA   
  Dallas            11   7   2   2    16   29   23   
  Phoenix            9   6   2   1    13   27   15   
  Los Angeles       14   5   6   3    13   30   33   
  Anaheim           12   3   5   4    10   26   27   
  San Jose          12   2   6   4     8   28   31


by Bob Chebat, Phoenix Correspondents

On Saturday, Oct. 31, Phoenix Coyotes GM Bobby Smith shocked local fans and perhaps his colleagues by sending center Cliff Ronning and highly touted prospect defenseman Richard Lintner to the expansion Nashville Predators for future considerations.

Local speculation was that the promising future of Daniel Briere was being hindered by a lack of playing time. Ronning was in the final year of his contract and scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The move opened up the center position on the second line with Rick Tocchet and Greg Adams, and now Briere is playing regularly.

The fact to consider, however, was that the Coyotes were determined to keep the team payroll where it was a season ago, between the $26 and $27 million mark. When Keith Tkachuk signed a one-year extension during the preseason, his new deal included a raise this season of $1.3 million, a raise that escalated payroll over the $28 million mark. Ronning's salary of $1.35 million seemed to be expendable, and put the team back to within their budget. Ronning was off to a good start with two goals and five assists. Since moving to Nashville, in two games he has yet to score.

Lintner, who will turn 21 on Nov. 15, was a fifth-round pick of the Coyotes in the 1996 entry draft. The 6- foot-3, 194-pound defenseman scored 15 points (six goals) in 71 games with Springfield (AHL) last season.

In other news, the Coyotes are off to their best start since the 1982-83 season as the Winnipeg Jets. In a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, Nov. 6, the Coyotes bettered their record to 6-2-1, and placed themselves firmly in second place behind the Dallas Stars in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

Head coach Jim Schoenfeld has adopted a five-man rotation for his defensive corps, using Oleg Tverdovsky, Teppo Numminen, Keith Carney, Jyrki Lumme, and Gerald Diduck. Each player is seeing about the same amount of ice time each night, and they are playing very well, having allowed a league-low 15 goals in nine games.

Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick are atop the scoring pile as expected since being paired up on the top line. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is appearing to be in all-star form early as well. Since allowing four goals on opening night against the Ottawa Senators, Khabibulin has allowed only 10 goals in seven other contests, and not more than two goals in any of them.

The schedule for the Coyotes has been a strange one early in the season. So far they have played in back to back games only once, and the rest of the games have been separated by a minimum of three days off. When December starts, the Coyotes will enjoy only one more three-day break until the All Star Game, after which they will not see another one until the first week of April.

New Arena on the Horizon?

The Phoenix Coyotes have joined forces with The Ellman Companies and are attempting to make a new, 20,000 seat arena part of a redevelopment project in south Scottsdale. The existing mall features 609,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 3200 parking spots. The new project will have a variety of features, including the following highlights:

154,000 sq. ft. Home Improvement Center
14 to 16 screen Multiplex Cinema
60,000 sq. ft. grocery store
100,000 sq. ft. of new restaurants
600,000 sq. ft. of retail stores and shops
150,000 to 200,000 sq. ft. conference center
500-room hotel
20,000 seat multi-purpose arena
45,000 sq. ft. public ice rink
240,000 sq ft. of office space
43,000 sq. ft. health facility
14,000 free parking spaces
New car wash

The project will not use taxpayer dollars to pay for it, however the companies involved will be seeking a tax break after the project is complete. This means a portion of the sales taxes that the project itself generates will be used to pay back the parties involved.

The surrounding neighborhoods have been questioned and as of the latest tally, were in favor of such a redevelopment project by 80 percent to 20 percent. The southern section of Scottsdale known as Los Arcos on the corner of Scottsdale and McDowell Roads, was at one time the hot spot in the Valley. Since the explosion of northern Scottsdale, the area in question has been neglected and is considerably run down.

The Coyotes are stressing that this project was scheduled to happen with or without them, and should not be looked upon as an arena draped in a shopping plaza, but rather as a way for them to participate in a project that will help redevelop the south part of Scottsdale and solidify their future in the Valley of the Sun.

Team officials will be participated in a presentation Nov. 9 at the Scottsdale City Hall. People were encouraged to come and show their support for the project. Apparently, convincing the city of Scottsdale is the only bridge left to cross in order for this project to move forward. The Coyotes expect an official decision to be made by February.

The Coyotes are currently in the third year of a five-year lease at America West Arena in Phoenix. AWA was opened in 1993 and is also the home of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury professional basketball teams, Arizona Rattlers arena football team, and also hosts several concerts and other events throughout the year. AWA is a beautiful building with many great amenities and features, however when hosting an NHL hockey game, there are approximately 4,300 seats with some sort of obstructed view.

The new arena would be unique, seating 20,000 people for hockey, and having a free parking lot, as well. It will be built right into the retail experience, and the plaza and main concourse will be an active part of the project. A team store will also be included with access from both the arena and the mall. Another plan calls for the arena to be centered in the middle of the site, and sinking lower in the ground to reduce the impact of the scale while keeping it within local height ordinances.

This all sounds too good to be true. A new plaza that will include an arena, and yet the taxpayers will not have to pay for it up front. The only thing standing in the way is the city of Scottsdale. If anyone on the board or council could say no to such an endeavor, one that would revitalize a dying part of their community at no expense to them or the taxpayers, they are truly insane and need to be removed from office. However, this is Arizona, and usually that means no matter what the case is, someone will have something negative to say about it before it is over and done with. Stay tuned...

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