The Coyotes are hopeful center Alexander Burmistrov is able to make his debut with the team on Friday when they play the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
Arizona claimed the 25-year-old Russian off waivers on Monday, and he skated with the team on Wednesday morning in Vancouver before its 3-0 loss to the Canucks. He couldn't play in the game because standard work visa issues weren't resolved in time, and he did not accompany the team to Anaheim on Thursday.
It's possible the work visa issues will get resolved in time for Friday's game, but not likely. Burmistrov most likely will have to wait to play his first game with the Coyotes until Saturday at home vs. the New York Islanders.
He's eager to get going, and skating with his new teammates on Wednesday was a good first step.
"I haven't been skating for three days already and haven't played for a month," Burmistrov told reporters on Wednesday. "So that's great to skate around with the team, know the guys on the ice and know what they can do and try to show them what I can do."
The Coyotes need help at center. Burmistrov is a player they've had their eye on for a while.
"I've watched him quite a bit," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "I watched him at the World Championships. There is some skill there. It's just a matter of translating it to on-ice success. Some of it depends on how much ice time (he gets) ... I like to look at it as a clean slate coming in. If you dissect things from his old team you get an idea, but you've got to come in and put him in a role here. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't."
Burmistrov was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft. He has scored 30 goals in 298 NHL games, all with Atlanta/Winnipeg. This season, he got lost in the shuffle in Winnipeg and notched just two assists in 23 games. He was a healthy scratch for 10 consecutive games before the Jets put him on waivers on Sunday.
"It's a big opportunity for me," Burmistrov said. "I think this is a new chapter, new page for me. (I'll) start 2017 with a fresh start. I'm really excited. My friends (and) everybody know I was waiting for that chance. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself, I just want to go out there and play my game and help the team."
• The Coyotes have lost eight games in a row and they scored just 13 goals in those games, including zero vs. Vancouver on Wednesday night.
"We had some offensive zone time," goalie Mike Smith said. "We just don't do enough with it. We make it way too easy on the opposing goalie. I don't know how many times we hit him in the middle of the chest. There's no rebounds, no guys in front. We're close, but we're not there. If you want to win, you've got to be there. You can't be off to the side. You can't be a step behind. You've got to be there."
Smith was asked what he thinks it will take for Arizona to end the losing streak.
His response: "A lot of things. It's going to take hard work. It's going to take doing little things right on a consistent basis. It's going to take discipline. It's going to take looking at yourself in the mirror and figuring out a way to get out of this."
Video: Mike Smith discusses Coyotes' 3-0 loss to Canucks
• Defensemen Alex Goligoski and Luke Schenn both played in their 600th NHL game on Wednesday. Schenn led all skaters with five hits, but he was called for hooking Brandon Sutter on a breakaway in the second period and Sutter scored a goal on the corresponding penalty shot to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead.
"He made a quick move there and it was a desperation play," Schenn said. "Those things happen, and you obviously give him credit on the penalty shot. He made it count."
Video: Luke Schenn discusses Coyotes' 3-0 loss to Canucks
• Defenseman Michael Stone played a game-high 26:02 and blocked seven shots vs. Vancouver to bring his season total to 59. He leads the team with 2.3 blocks per game.
• Captain Shane Doan, who has scored just four goals in 38 games, told the team's flagship radio station he's disappointed in his performance this season.
"As bad as we've struggled, if I'm better we have a better chance to win, so I've got to be better," Doan told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM before Wednesday's game. "I'm not holding up my end of the bargain ... I wish I was scoring and contributing more than I am right now."
Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' 3-0 loss to Canucks