It seems to be the opinion of a large part of the NHL fanbase in general, not necessarily a majority, that the Phoenix Coyotes aren’t exactly the most lovable of organizations. There is no shortage of folks out there that love a good Coyotes loss and wouldn’t mind seeing the Coyotes move elsewhere.
Why is that? We don’t see that type of vitriol being cast in the direction of the league’s other clubs in non-traditional markets. Is it something they did or said? Well, in short, yes. Keep in mind, this is mainly based on some observation and not necessarily my own opinion.
The large part of the hate being sent in the direction of the Coyotes on a regular basis is likely due to two things: their current ownership situation and several players on their current roster. Folks don’t like the idea of the league owning a team and the fact that it has tried so hard to keep this team in the desert, when all indications are that it just isn’t working out (not completely true).
But for the most part, it just seems to be this collection of personalities that the Coyotes have on their current roster that may explain why people have such an urge to throw some hatred toward this club.
The Coyotes are obviously a gritty team. They play a game that is predicted on defense and physical play. It worked for them last year, as they managed to reach the Western Conference Finals. But some players tend to take that whole “grittiness” aspect and go a bit over the top.
Raffi Torres is one of the most hated players in the game, for obvious reasons that don’t need any real detail. We know his history and his “style”. But it doesn’t end with Torres. Kyle Chipchura is a noted goon. Derek Morris has a mouth that never stops running. People have disliked Mike Smith since his theatrics involving Andrew Shaw in last year’s postseason. Not to mention his regular public displays of frustration.
Again, observations to try and explain the attitudes towards the Coyotes.
Then there’s the captain, Shane Doan. A classy veteran. A class act on and off the ice. Just an all around nice guy. Yet, he’s not. Doan routinely cruises around the ice with elbows a blazin’, looking for trouble. He has a highlight reel of hits that one could consider dirty, yet carries this reputation of nothing but class. People aren’t really fans of the hypocrisy that is Shane Doan.
This is a team with a discipline problem. They started the season off taking bad penalties, improved it a bit, and now have one of the worst power play to penalty kill ratios in the entire league.
It’s a cast of characters that rivals the likes of the Vancouver Canucks in that people just plain don’t like them, based off of a few bad apples. It’s not that the Coyotes are a bad team. In fact, they’re actually a pretty good team, with plenty of lovable players (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, …etc.).
The hatred that many fans have for the Phoenix Coyotes doesn’t stem so much from anything else, other than the undesirable personalities that currently grace this roster. That’s not to say that the Coyotes should immediately dump them all in order to improve their image. I’m simply attempting to offer a little more insight as to the enigma that is the Coyotes organization, and the attitudes from outsiders towards it.