Since reaching the Western Conference Final in 2012, the Arizona Coyotes have not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs and bottomed out last season with the second-worst record in the NHL.
But general manager Don Maloney believes a return to better days is not far away.
Here are three questions that could bring them back sooner rather than later:
Will Mike Smith regain his old form? Smith had 14 wins in 62 games last season (14-42-5), his lowest save percentage (.904) in four seasons with Arizona, and his highest goals-against average (3.16) of his career. Smith was 38-18-10 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.21 GAA when the Coyotes made the Western Conference Final. Despite his struggles, coach Dave Tippet said numerous times last season Smith will remain the starter. But will newcomer Anders Lindback get a chance at the No. 1 job of Smith's difficulties continue?