GLENDALE – Forward David Moss will be back in the lineup for the Coyotes this season. For a short time last summer, it appeared that would not be the case.
Moss became an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and eventually agreed to play for a team in Switzerland. That’s when the Coyotes leaped into action and re-signed the 32-year-old to a one-year contract.
"I give Dave Tippett credit because he pulled me aside and told me he really felt strongly that David was an important piece to our team - if the (salary) number made sense," General Manager Don Maloney said. "If we learned anything from last year it’s that our mix and chemistry have to be right. He’s a big part of that. He’s a good person and a good team person. I know words like ‘mix’ and ‘chemistry’ are overused at times, but if you don’t have high-end talent you have to make sure that your role players understand and accept their role and I think he does."
Moss and the Coyotes negotiated his contract while he and his wife Erinn were on their tropical honeymoon in Turks and Caicos. The couple married on July 4.
"The team needed time to figure out what it was going to do, and I knew going into free agency it was going to be a long process," Moss said. "They needed to see where they were at financially. I was patient, but I always wanted to come back here. I really like playing here. I believe in the direction the team is going. I don’t think we’re far from the playoffs. At this point in my career, that was a big part of my decision. I want to play for a team with a good chance. There is great leadership here and that gives us a real good chance."
Moss notched eight goals and 14 assists in 79 games last season. He also ranked among the team’s top-10 in takeaways (6th, 32), hits (7th, 120) and blocked shots (8th, 49).
Tippett lists Moss among the team’s ‘glue’ players; the ones who lead and succeed by doing the little things and paying attention to details.
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"He does a lot of things very well in a game," Tippett said. "I’m sure he would, and I would, like to see him get rewarded on the scoresheet a little more, but a lot of the things that he does well aren’t calculated on the scoresheet."
He added, "Last year he was our best winger on the right side. When we’re trying to get a puck out late in a game, he would be the most reliable guy there. (He does) things like that - things that don’t go heralded but things that help you win. Plus he’s a really good person."
Moss is having a strong preseason. In his first three games he has notched two goals and one assist, and is plus-3.
"My goals are to try to be consistent every night and to put in an honest effort and work hard," Moss said. "I think if you do those things the individual stats will come."
Maloney is hopeful Moss can carry momentum into the regular season.
"He looks leaner and he looks quicker here in training camp,” Maloney said. "We’re really excited about David."