GLENDALE – The Coyotes practiced on Sunday morning and then departed to Vancouver to begin a two-game preseason trip.
Thirty-two players made the journey, one day after team management trimmed 13 players from the Training Camp roster.
Among those cuts were two mild surprises – forwards Tyler Gaudet and Henrik Samuelsson.
"I thought both of them had excellent training camps," General Manager Don Maloney said. "It was a somewhat difficult decision to send them out to Portland (AHL), but we looked at the calendar and realized we start our season in less than two weeks and we have a lot of players to sort out here."
|Henrik Samuelsson. Photo by Getty Images. |
Both first-year pros, Maloney said, simply need experience playing with and against men. Head Coach Dave Tippett agreed.
"They're going to be good NHL players," Tippett said. "We have to make sure they get all the steps in place…They shouldn't be discouraged about going down and getting started there."
Both Maloney and Tippett said that while neither would start the season here, fans can expect to see them both back in Arizona soon, perhaps at some point in 2014-15.
Samuelsson impressed management with improved skating and mobility.
"I thought the pace of his game was night and day from last year’s training camp," Maloney said. "I saw 100 percent improvement in that area."
Gaudet turned heads at camp with an all-around game.
"He skates well and he thinks well," Tippett said. "There's a lot of parts of his game to like. But in his position (center), there's a lot of details to learn."
• Vancouver is the first stop on the trip. The game vs. the Canucks is set for Monday at 6 p.m. AZ time. NHL Network will join the game in progress , at 7 p.m., after its broadcast of Philadelphia at the New York Rangers concludes. The second game is Wednesday at Edmonton.
• With only three preseason games left before the regular season, look for Tippett to intensify evaluations with regards to line combinations and defensive pairings.
"We've given the younger players a great deal of opportunity the last week with so many games and played a lot of players in a lot of different situations," Tippett said. "But now this trip turns to start getting our team in order."
Look for forward Sam Gagner to play wing instead of center at some point this week.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to see all 13 players cut from the roster on Saturday.