This summer promises to be a long one for the Phoenix Coyotes. They missed the postseason, to the surprise of many, leaving them with a long to-do list during this upcoming offseason. Once they know whether or not they’ll be staying in the desert, they’ll have a lot of work to do with this roster.
There are plenty of free agents, both restricted and unrestricted alike, that this team will have to try and handle. Obviously Mike Smith is the priority there, but there are some key offensive forwards and some key role players that need to be re-upped as well. Not to mention the fact that the front office will need to look to improve this club’s offense a great deal as well.
One player who isn’t necessarily a key offensive player, but is still an important element nonetheless, is Boyd Gordon. Gordon fits the bill as a player that the Coyotes will need to work to bring back. He’s not going to help improve their lackluster offense, but he’s a valuable part of this team.
Under Dave Tippett, the Coyotes are a team built around defense. They emphasize a gritty, defense-first style, which has made the likes of Smith very successful in goal. They’re a tough team to play against for that reason. Gordon is part of what makes that formula so successful.
Gordon’s role isn’t that of a top six forward. But he’s a versatile player in the bottom six, capable of playing on the wing but very tough to beat in the faceoff circle when he’s in the middle. He won’t put up many points on the stat sheet, with only 14 this year, but that’s not his job.
His job is to win faceoffs and play defense from the forward position. He won draws, with a 57 percent success rate at the dot. He played defense, including more shorthanded time than any other forward on the roster, and it wasn’t even close. He knows his role and he fills it perfectly.
Gordon had a cap hit of $1.325 million in 2013. One wouldn’t imagine he’d see too large of a raise from that, but teams are hard-pressed for a guy like Gordon that can center in the bottom six and kill penalties with the best of them. Gordon is that guy. The Phoenix Coyotes will have to work to keep him, but it’s very important that they do so.