Defenseman Zbynek Michalek
began his third stint with the Coyotes at Training Camp this weekend. He’s hoping that he’s here to stay.
“I don’t want to leave again,” Michalek said after Sunday’s practice at Gila River Arena. “This has always been a special place for me and my family. This was the team that really gave me a chance to become an NHL payer, and I like to play here and live here and raise my kids here. This is a good organization run by good people and that’s why I came back.”
Michalek, 32, signed a two-year contract with Arizona as an unrestricted free agent this summer. He has played 711 NHL games, including 539 for the Coyotes. Only four other defensemen have played more games for the Coyotes/Jets franchise. He’s hoping to keep moving up the list.
|Zbynek Michalek. Photo by Getty Images. |
“I understand it’s a business and that I’m not getting any younger and the trend in the League is for teams to get younger, but I’m not going to go away easily," Michalek said. "I will keep working hard to stay in good shape and hopefully stay healthy so I can keep playing for a few more years.”
Michalek hopes he can help get the Coyotes back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“Last season didn’t go the way everybody wanted it to but I want to be part of the solution this year,” Michalek said. “I see a bright future for this team and I’m happy to be back. Having said that, there's a lot of work ahead of us. You can’t just flip a switch and go from 29th place in the League to first place. There will be some growing pains but I think we’ll be a competitive team, and if we play our way we have to believe that we can beat any team and go from there.”
► The Coyotes have turned to John Scott to be the team’s enforcer this season.
“John has been a good role player in this League for a long time,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “He understands his role, and when you have a younger team you have to make sure you have good veteran players to look after the younger players.”
|John Scott. Photo by Norm Hall. |
Scott, 32, has been with six NHL teams since breaking into the League with Minnesota in 2008-09.
“This is going to be a young team, for the most part, so I think everybody knows my job – to make life easy on them and protect them. It’s pretty cut and dried,” he said.
Scott, who stands 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, began his career as a defenseman but moved to forward while with Chicago. However, he has played defenseman as recently as last season and could slide back into that role if needed by the Coyotes.
Scott has notched five goals in his NHL career with three of those coming last season for San Jose.
“I think the days of enforcers just going out and playing two minutes are gone,” Scott said. “Guys who can’t keep up and can’t play have found themselves without a job. Obviously there are a lot of opinions about me and what I do and how I play, but I think I’m a decent player and I can keep up.”
Scott graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech. He said he plans to go into that field after hockey. He also enjoys cooking and proudly stuffs his own sausage casings.
“I like to eat so I like to make good food to eat,” Scott said. “It works out well.”
► The Coyotes will begin their preseason schedule on Monday when they play the Los Angeles Kings in Bakersfield, Calif. Arizona will be designated as the home team.
The roster for Monday’s game will be released Monday. Per league rules, at least eight “veteran” players must be on each team’s roster. Head Coach Dave Tippett, who will be behind the bench for all six preseason games, on Sunday said Anders Lindback would start in goal.
Monday’s game will feature a 3-on-3 overtime session after the third period regardless of the score. The Coyotes also will play the 3-on-3 overtime session at. San Jose on Sept. 25 and against San Jose again on Oct. 2 at Gila River Arena.
|Christian Fischer. Photo by Norm Hall. |
►The Coyotes closed Sunday’s training camp session with a scrimmage that featured three 15-minute periods and one 3-on-3 period that lasted seven minutes.
The White Team rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Red Team, 4-3, in regulation.
Forward Christian Fischer scored two goals for the White Team. The other goal scorers in the scrimmage were Dakota Mermis (Red), Anthony Duclair (Red), Jordan Martinook (Red), Lucas Lession (White) and Ryan MacInnis (White).
Henrik Samuelsson scored a goal for the White Team in the 3-on-3 session. After Sunday' scrimmage the Coyotes trimmed seven players from the camp roster:
The following players were assigned to their junior teams: Kyle Capobianco, Conor Garland, Adin Hill and Nick Merkley. Meanwhile, the following players were released from their professional or amateur tryouts: Joey Crabb, Maxwell James and Austyn Playfair.
► Captain Shane Doan did not skate again on Sunday after leaving Saturday’s skate because of a lower-body injury. Tippett said Doan’s injury is not serious but he said Doan would not play on Monday or Tuesday vs. LA.