Now that it looks like the Phoenix Coyotes‘ ownership situation is closer to getting resolved, the team may soon be able to start signing some of their free agent players. While a new deal for goaltender Mike Smith is by far the most important task this offseason, there are a few other forwards and a lot of prospects who still need new deals. One player that will force the Coyotes to make an interesting decision is Andy Miele, who hasn’t had much of a chance at the NHL level but has been a reliable scorer at all other levels.
Miele won the Hobey Baker Award in 2011 after scoring 24 goals and recording 71 points for the Miami University (Ohio) Redhawks, and signed with the Coyotes as a free agent that April. He’s turned in back-to-back seasons of 50 points or more for the Portland Pirates of the AHL, and has appeared in eight games for the Coyotes over the past two seasons. Miele has zero points during his time in the NHL, although he hasn’t really gotten much of a shot. It doesn’t seem like the Coyotes are willing to give him top-six minutes, and if that’s what he needs to start scoring in the NHL then he may be better off elsewhere. Miele is a restricted free agent this summer, and if the Coyotes think there’s potential for him to translate his 19-goal, 53-point scoring ability in the AHL to the NHL level they would be wise to bring him back and give him a little more time.