I had a chance to speak with Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney during Friday’s practice and I asked him to explain why the team recalled center Andy Miele from the American Hockey League.
|Andy Miele |
“Andy had a strong training camp and he’s been our best player in the AHL and we think he can help us in Phoenix now,” Maloney said. “We need to have more skill and playmaking ability in our lineup so Andy will get his chance. We like his creativity, his puck movement and his power-play ability.”
Miele is expected to join the Coyotes for practice on Saturday and then make his NHL debut on Sunday when Phoenix plays the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center at 5 p.m.
“He’s coming up to play right away and he’ll be in the lineup on Sunday,” Maloney said. “Hopefully he can help us get back on track.”
Miele, who won the 2011 Hobey Baker Award after an outstanding senior season at Miami University, has notched three goals and four assists in four games for the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate in Portland, Maine. On Wednesday, he notched two goals and three assists vs. Manchester.
“He’s been controlling the games he’s played in down there,” Maloney said. “Prior to his five-point game he was hitting posts and creating plays, he just hadn’t had as much luck finishing. He’s certainly shown a skill set that we could use here.”
|Andy Miele in a 2011-12 preseason game. Photo by Getty Images. |
Miele had a decent training camp with the Coyotes and was one of the last players sent to the AHL before the regular season started. After what he saw of Miele in camp and his solid play in the AHL, Maloney is confident the 5-foot-9 center can contribute right away.
“The thing I like about Andy is yes, he’s a first-year pro, but he’s 23 years old,” Maloney said. “And he’s a mature, confident kid. I don’t believe he’ll be up here in awe of the situation or the players. He’s determined to show people that he can play in the league and I’m excited to see him play.”
Maloney added that Miele is not guaranteed a spot with the team for the rest of the season. His performance, Maloney said, will dictate how long he stays in the NHL.
At some point, look for Miele to play on a line with winger Patrick O'Sullivan. The two played together in preseason and gelled nicely. EDITOR’S NOTE:
Contact Dave Vest at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.