The Arizona Coyotes have been somewhat of a “dumping ground” in the NHL. They are a team that often takes on contracts of veteran players from teams around the league who are looking to clear some cap space. Older players typically have a big cap hit, but a small actual salary, perfect for a cash-strapped franchise that needs help avoiding the salary floor. Holding that role means plenty of random players have suited up for the the Coyotes over the years.
Number 5- Olli Jokinen
Jokinen moved around quite a bit early in his career. He was drafted by the Kings, who dealt him to the Islanders after 74 games for star Ziggy Palffy. He played a full season in Long Island before he was dealt to the Panthers along with Roberto Luongo in exchange for Mark Parrish. After seven seasons in Florida, he became the franchise’s all-time leader in points before he was dealt to the Coyotes at the 2008 NHL draft. He only suited up for 57 games as a shoulder injury kept his sidelined during the middle of the season. He was traded to Calgary at the 2009 trade deadline, less than a season after he was acquired.
Number 4-Dennis Seidenberg
After floundering with the Philadelphia Flyers organization for four seasons, bouncing back and fourth from the AHL to NHL, Dennis Seidenberg was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes on January 20, 2006 in exchange for Petr Nedved. He finished out the 2005-06 season in Phoenix, scoring 11 points in 34 games. He started the 2006-07 season with the Coyotes, but almost exactly a year after the first trade, he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on January 8, 2007. He finished his Coyotes career with 66 games played, recording 13 points. He would eventually go on to win a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011.
Number 3- Mikael Renberg
Renberg is best known for being one-third of the famed “Legion of Doom” line with the Flyers. He had two separate tenures in Philly, which sandwiched an 88 game run with the Tampa Bay Lightning due to a string of trades we don’t have time to break down in this piece. After slowing down in Philadelphia, he was dealt to the Coyotes just days before the 2000 NHL trade deadline that sent Rick Tocchet to the Flyers. Renberg played in ten regular season games and five playoff games. After the season, he returned to his native Sweden for the 2000-01 season before having a three-season run with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Number 2- Robert Lang
Robert Lang played for eight different teams over his 16-year career, the last of which, was the Coyotes. During the 2008-09 season, he injured his achilles tendon, effectively ending his season, and potentially his career. Days before the start of the 2009-10 season, he signed a one-year deal with the Coyotes. His season was hampered by a lower-body injury, but he still managed to dress for 62 games. His leadership pushed the Coyotes to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, but they were eliminated by the Red Wings in seven games during the opening round. He retired in the off-season after playing in 987 NHL games.
Number 1- Owen Nolan
Nolan is best known for his long tenure with the San Jose Sharks, where he served as captain for five seasons. After getting traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2003 trade deadline, his overall play slipped and injures started to take their toll. Things got tense between the two parties as a contract dispute at the 2004-05 lockout, that again, we don’t have time to get into, soured relations between the two. He took the 2005-06 season off to heal a knee injury. He signed a one-year contract with the Coyotes for the 2006-07 season and proceeded to have a decent season with the second-to-last-place Coyotes. He scored 16 goals and 40 points, good enough for third on the team. He did not re-sign with the Coyotes in the off-season, choosing instead to join the Calgary Flames.
After a long early-career tenure with the Calgary Flames and New York Islanders, Reichel found himself traded to the Coyotes in late March of 1999. He played in 13 regular season games, scoring 13 points, and seven playoff games, scoring four points. Reichel was looking for a big contract in the offseason that the Coyotes, or any other team, wasn’t willing to pay. He fled to the now-Czech Extraliga for two years before returning for a stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Mainly serving as Patrick Roy’s backup in Colorado for most of his early career, inconsistent play saw him get traded to the Montreal Canadiens to serve as Cristobal Huet’s backup. The Canadiens chose not to re-sign him after the 2006-07 season. He signed a one year deal with the Coyotes for the 2007-08 season and joined a goalie carousel. He lost his role in the NHL after just one game to Alex Auld and Mikael Tellqvist, and was subsequently sent to the AHL. The Coyotes later acquired Ilya Bryzgalov from the Ducks and put Alex Auld on waivers. Aebischer was loaned to the HC Lugano in his native Switzerland, where he would stay for the following four seasons. His lone game with the Coyotes was the last of his NHL career.
By: Dan Esche
photo credit: zimbio.com