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‘Yotes Notes: Tikhonov Returns to Draft Team

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

In a move made to add depth at forward, especially at right wing, the Coyotes on Sunday claimed forward Viktor Tikhonov off waivers.

Tikhonov, who played 11 games for Chicago this season, is expected to join the Coyotes in St. Louis on Monday, where they will conclude a five-game trip on Tuesday.

This will be Tikhonov’s second stint with the Coyotes, who picked him 28th overall in the 2008 NHL Draft. He notched eight goals and eight assists in 61 games for the Coyotes in 2008-09 and then, after spending parts of two seasons with the team’s affiliate in the American Hockey League, opted to play four seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League before returning to the NHL this season. He had zero points in 11 games with the Blackhawks, who placed him on waivers on Saturday.

General Manager Don Maloney said he tried to re-sign Tikhonov as an unrestricted free agent last off-season and is thrilled he is joining the team now with forwards Shane Doan and Joe Vitale on the injured-reserve list, and prospects Henrik Samuelsson (ankle) and Jordan Szwarz (foot) injured long-term.

“We know Viktor well and feel he can add depth and versatility to our lineup,” Maloney told “He is an intelligent player with good hands and strong defensive instincts. There are no hard feelings whatsoever from his earlier time with us or his decision to sign with the Blackhawks. We are happy to welcome him back to Arizona.”

Tikhonov, who is the grandson of Viktor Tikhonov, the legendary Soviet hockey player and coach, will wear sweater No. 9 with the Coyotes this time around. He used to wear No. 41 with the Coyotes, but goalie Mike Smith wears that number now.

To make room for Tikhonov on the roster, the Coyotes placed Doan on the injured reserve list retroactive to Nov. 21. Doan missed Sunday’s game – his seventh in a row – because of a nagging lower-body injury.

• Despite leading Carolina 4-3 with less than five minutes to play on Sunday, the Coyotes dropped to 0-10-1 in the 11 games in which they’ve trailed after two periods.

“We had the lead on a few occasions and you’ve got to bear down and find a way to get those points,” center Antoine Vermette said. “… We were due. Tonight was obviously a big game for us. We gave ourselves a chance but we didn’t handle it the way we wanted."

• Zbynek Michalek played in his 564th game with the franchise, tying him with Randy Carlyle for second place on the team’s games played list for defensemen. They also are tied for seventh place on the overall games played list.

• Defenseman Stefan Elliott notched a goal and an assist for a two-point game – matching a career-high. He was also plus-3.

• Defenseman Michael Stone took seven of the team’s 23 shots on goal.

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