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Coyotes monthly mailbag: You asked, I tried to answer

Craig Morgan Avatar
November 21, 2022

Coyotes fans have come to expect alternate ledes from me in these mailbags. Today’s topic is covers of songs that equaled or surpassed the original.

What led me down this path? The discovery that perhaps my favorite Amy Winehouse song is a cover, not an original. More on that in a second.

Anybody who knows anything about music knows that one of the best covers of all-time is Aretha Franklin’s cover of Otis Redding’s 1965 release, “Respect.” I’m a huge fan of both artists and both versions are good, but it’s hard to argue that Aretha owned this song more than Otis.

While Bob Dylan’s original version is much folksier and memorable in its own right, Jimi Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” is iconic.

Back to that Winehouse cut. Turns out some band called The Zutons actually wrote and sang the song, “Valerie.” No offense to The Zutons, but their version ain’t even close.

Winehouse’s version of this bop is on a playlist of mine called “Favorites.”

At the risk of extending this too far, here are two more covers that I think exceeded the original.

The Who vs. Green Day: “A Quick One While He’s Away”

And then there’s “Blue Moon,” which was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934, performed by a gazillion artists, but none better than the Cowboy Junkies.

I’m sure that you have your own thoughts, and I’m sure that I have left out a ton, so let me know in the comments section below: What are the best covers of original songs?

Let’s get to your Coyotes and ASU-related questions. I think there were 50 in total, but this was the most questions that I have received for a mailbag via Discord. I’m wondering if you are all fearing the demise of Twitter.

From Discord

The team usually handles the lion’s share of this responsibility. Work visas have become far more complex in recent years, however, due to COVID-19, staffing issues, changes in policies, etc.

Not sure what you mean by “on ice.” If you mean he might be the guy that comes out, I don’t think so. They’re pretty happy with him overall, but it’s far too early to form judgments on his future. The sample is too small.

I think if you’re looking at players who could come out of the Coyotes lineup with Jakob Chychrun back, start with Dysin Mayo and Patrik Nemeth.

It’s good to see Aku Räty making some progress with Tampereen Ilves. The Coyotes development staff has noticed, but consistency and a larger body of work are needed before the team makes any contract assessment. He has only played 17 games.

I would count on it. The thinking all along with Josh was that he would spend at least three seasons at ASU; maybe four. I have not heard anything to suggest that thinking has changed and there are still plenty of areas of his game that he can hone at ASU.

Beyond that, Josh loves the college experience. He is really enjoying his time at ASU.

One legal source told me that: “It’s a constitutional amendment, so I assume that it applies to every governmental authority, including municipalities.”

However, I am also told that this would not impact the Coyotes. The City of Tempe is not planning to increase any taxes. This deal constitutes a different structure.

I think this could be a good project for the PHNX_Coyotes crew to tackle during a down time. Keep reminding us!

I do enjoy being close to the ice, although when fans stand to cheer it obstructs my view. The former vantage point allows me to see the game in an entirely different way. I do think that many media who covered the first four games at Mullett Arena enjoyed the experience and came away with a more rounded perspective. How long will the Mullett novelty last? That’s what I wonder.

As for the press box, there is no chance that the media will ever be that close in a new arena. Those are expensive views. They’re not going to give them away for free to media members. We’ll be back in the highest reaches. And that’s fine.

I know that it has been suggested by some media that such a scenario could play out. Of course, those same media members have not done the requisite reporting to find out. Having asked around, I don’t think that there is any chance that those players will say no to the Coyotes.

Guenther could still get power-play time (although the returns of Nick Schmaltz and Jakob Chychrun will make that more difficult) and sometimes jump up in the lineup.

Remember what I told you previously about Guenther? The Coyotes could very well keep him under 40 games this season so that he does not accrue a season toward unrestricted free agent. He will be a healthy scratch tonight in Nashville and I think you’ll see him in and out of the lineup. I think he will play in the World Junior Championship and I could see him taking a two-week conditioning stint in Tucson upon his return. I suspect it’s going to be a mix of experiences for Guenther from here on out.

That’s a hypothetical that the Coyotes aren’t going to answer. I’m not sure that they would even provide that sort of information anyway. That’s a deep dive into someone’s financing, but you can bet that they have planned for numerous contingencies that may arise.

That’s an esoteric question that has no black-and-white answer. I know that André Tourigny values what Fischer brings to the room and the overall attitude/approach of the team. Is that enough to ensure his future if he produces at his NHL averages? I don’t know. That will depend on what else the Coyotes have in the pipeline and how much they think they need Fischer’s voice. If he produces at a higher rate, that also alters the picture.

I can tell you this: I hope he never leaves. He’s a fantastic interview, a fantastic person and I know that when national media got the chance to talk to him during the first four games at Mullett, most came away with the same impression. He’s a terrific ambassador for this franchise.

I don’t have an actual list because the Predators, unlike a lot of teams, do not divulge that information. That said, any team that is interested in Chychrun is going to have at least one pro scout in attendance for the next several games; maybe an executive as well. Teams are going to want a detailed and updated book on Chychrun before pulling the trigger on such a major deal.

As for the locker room, I wouldn’t want to speculate on that. Hockey players are generally very forgiving and Chychrun has some friends in there. I’m not sure it will be that big of a deal but I can’t say for certain.

Not at this time. The team considers this year’s third jersey a nice variation that they are excited to wear, but there are no plans to change from their standard Roadrunner logo and colors.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Mailbag.jpeg
Illustration by Bea Wyatt

From Twitter

Definitely not, Howler. That illustration above this tweet was created for my old Substack site, azcoyotesinsider.com, by longtime Coyotes supporter and friend, Bea Wyatt.

I understand copyright laws, you’re too expensive, and yes, I know that you wear pants, which we all appreciate. Bea’s coyote is more of a free spirit; maybe even a nudist.

I am answering all three of these at once because they cover the same ground.

There is no question that Barrett Hayton’s productivity to start to the season has been a disappointment. He trained hard this summer, lost weight, looked great in the preseason and then it did not carry over into the regular season.

I asked André Tourigny about it recently and he thinks that Barrett is just pressing too hard to live up to his expectations. I’m not going to judge a player after 16 games but there is no doubt that he needs to get going soon.

Tucson is not a possibility because he would have to clear waivers. Another team would almost certainly claim him. As for a trade, why would you trade an asset whose value is severely depressed? I think they need to let Barrett play himself out of this.

Thanks, Dale. You handled that expertly.

I dunno. I guess you could say Nick Ritchie and Shayne Gostisbehere, but that calls for a lot of speculation, both on the trade front and then on the willingness to return after they have experienced another team. Who can predict how that will all shake out?

To answer this question I refer you to the spectacular parable at the beginning of this linked story, courtesy of GM Bill Armstrong.

In essence, it lays out the myriad seasons of a player’s development, and the importance of not getting too excited or too concerned when a small segment of that development veers off the slow and steady climb.

Here is a detailed explanation of how the PairWise rankings are calculated, and how they apply. Getting swept at Clarkson obviously did not help ASU’s cause.

He was certainly one of the missing pieces, but the Sun Devil offense has gone AWOL this season and that is not something that I expected to see. ASU is a middle-of-the-pack offensive team, averaging just 2.4 goals per game, which ranks 27th in NCAA Division I out of 62 teams.

That’s almost a full goal less than the Sun Devils averaged (3.3) last season. Semptimphelter is among the national leaders in save percentage but the Devils have to find a way to generate more offense, and they have to be better on the road. They are 1-5 in away games (1-0 in neutral-site games). They won’t make the NCAA Tournament at that pace.

As I already told you, it’s an abomination. I’m all for creativity, but not creativity just for the sake of creativity. This is just gross.

He has 81 points in his past 83 games. At the very least, he is living up to that contract.

You must be a PHNX member. If you are a member, go here: https://www.gophnx.com/lounge/

I don’t think the league got that far along because they didn’t know the entire story and they hadn’t had time to vet it in order to make such a determination.

I don’t think so. My understanding is that nothing has changed on that front. He wants out and both sides are working to make that happen.

I have not conducted a poll. Anecdotally speaking, I think they like them. I know some fans like the purple ones better but I also like the orange ones.

I would expect that to happen at some point, given the constant shifting of lines that is a reality of life in the NHL. For now, we’ll see Keller back with his old running mates: Nick Schmaltz and Travis Boyd.

Trust me, GMs and scouts are well aware of what Gostisbehere can bring to a team. Assuming he stays healthy and keeps producing, there will be a market for him at the deadline.

It sounds fun, but I’m not sure that André Tourigny is a fan of playing with no goalie. If you need two points badly, it’s worth a shot, but the Coyotes are under no such pressure.

Time will tell, but all three of the players whom you mentioned have skill sets that could fit into those roles, and all have shown flashes of being productive players in those roles.

Here’s what’s going to happen, The Coyotes are going to collect the signatures to send it to a referendum. Current referendum laws require those signatures. The council will still vote on it next week, which will provide a clear indication of their feelings about the project. I expect them to approve it, but it is the voters who will decide the fate of the project, not the council.

Kudos to the Coyotes for doing the legwork and showing their commitment to the city by putting it to the voters. This obviously provides council members cover if the citizens decide that they don’t want it.

Here’s another thing to consider. By getting the signatures collected and referring it to referendum now, the vote can occur in May. Had this process not been completed now — given the 180-day notice required by law — the referendum could have been pushed to August if another group stepped in to oppose it and push it to referendum. The current approach speeds up the timeline.

I wrote about Söderström a few weeks ago so this linked story should provide you with some clarity.

There is no exact number, but I would think that teams would want to see him play a healthy amount of game before pulling the trigger on that deal. I’d be surprised if it’s less than 10 games. Maybe somewhere around 20?

It certainly doesn’t help, given all of the other stops and starts in his collegiate career due to COVID-19 and injuries. He does get an extra year of NCAA eligibility due to COVID-19, which cancelled the 2020-21 Ivy League season, but he needs to play and develop. Right now, it’s hard to make an assessment.

Farinacci’s injury is a long-term injury, but he is expected to play again this season; perhaps by Christmas.

As I noted above with other prospects, it’s good to see their progress, but it is far too early to guess where they might be next season. It’s a long season and they will need to sustain their level of play before that determination is made.

That said, I can tell you that the management, development and scouting staffs have taken notice of Artem (or Artyom) Duda’s elevation to CSKA Moskva. He’s a great skater and he is holding his own at that level already. They are very excited about him. I wrote about him last month.

Team president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez has insisted that, given the higher ticket prices at Mullett Arena, they will make more money than they did from ticketing in Glendale. We’ll see how that plays out, and I also wonder about the ancillary revenue that they are not getting from parking or naming rights or corporate sponsorships. It’s hard, if not impossible to envision them making a profit in this situation, but they are hoping to mitigate their losses while they keep their eyes on the greater prize down the river.

I wonder if you can find this on the DraftKings sportsbook app.

There’s always a chance, but as I said above, that calls for too much speculation on too many variables at this point.

It is the real deal.

The guy that I wrote about on Sunday, Matias Maccelli.

I thought Maccelli needed more AHL seasoning. I was wrong.

Top photo of Amy Winehouse via Getty Images

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