With training camp right around the corner, the Phoenix Coyotes were still thin on the wings. That is until Don Maloney decided to try and fill that hole in the most Don Maloney way possible.
Forwards Gilbert Brule and Guillaume Lattendresse have been invited to training camp. There are a couple reasons why there is potential for these two invites to make Maloney look like a genius. This is exactly the type of no risk high reward move that Maloney has made successful in the past, such as claiming Brule off waivers in the 2011-12 season.
Brule finished the year with 14 points in 33 games for the Coyotes and scored two big goals in their first round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Brule provided a spark on the bottom two lines and didn’t look out of place filling in on the top two lines when a spot opened up due to injury. Maybe the most interesting stat of Brule’s season with the Coyotes was their record with him in the lineup. It’s hard to connect a team’s record directly to one player, but the Coyotes went 27-11-7 when Brule played.
It’s impossible to say Brule is the reason for that record, but it’s equally impossible to say had no part in it.
Earlier this summer Brule confessed a dark secret that has plagued his hockey career for a long time. The purpose of this article isn’t to go into the details of Brule’s personal life. The purpose of this article is to show that if he really does have everything sorted out, and he really is in the best shape of his life, this invite will be a great move by the Coyotes.
Much like inviting one-time junior star Guillaume Latendresse to training camp.
The biggest issue in Latendresse’s career isn’t his skill or his size. Injuries have plagued his entire NHL career. In fact, Latendresse has never played a full NHL season.
If he can stay healthy, and obviously that’s a big if, Latendresse has proven he can score goals. Goals is exactly what the Coyotes need. His career high in goals was 25 and he did that in just 55 game in the 2009-10 season with the Minnesota Wild. Playing with Mike Ribeiro might be exactly what Latendresse needs to resurrect his career.
There are a lot of question marks surrounding this year’s Coyotes team. These two invites just add to those, but the potential is there for this to be one of the best Coyotes teams in the history of the franchise.