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Coyotes put best feet forward on Media Day

By - Sep 14, 2017

By Cydeni Carter/For The Sporting Nation

GLENDALE, Ariz.— Despite their many changes to the team and the organization as a whole, the Arizona Coyotes are motivated and enthusiastic about the upcoming season.

The Coyotes held their media day on Thursday morning and Coyotes President of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Chayka and Head Coach Rick Tocchet were in attendance.

Players present included defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, center Derek Stepan and left wing Max Domi.

With there being so many new faces, there is an anxious atmosphere amid the team.

 “It gives everyone a clean slate and a breath of fresh air,” Chayka said.

There has still not been a captain named and the coach is not going to rush into the decision. Veteran Shane Doan was not brought back and recently announced his retirement. The team already has leaders who haven’t been given the “C” on their jersey and Tocchet said “You don’t have to have a “C” to lead.”

“I don’t know when I’m going to name one [captain], I look in that room and I see a lot of leadership in there… It will sort itself out,” Tocchet said. “I’m here to get a guy who is going to lead the room, I don’t care about jerseys for me.”

Tocchet is especially excited for his team and he wants to have his roster set as soon as possible. He said he is anxious to see rookie Pierre-Olivier Joseph go against the experienced players.  

“It will be a nice experience for sure,” Joseph said. “We are actually pretty nervous for the main camp.”

The season is going to be a little different for the Coyotes without Doan and they are trying to figure out how they can fill the void, if it can be filled.

“Not having Shane, [Doan] I think that's going to be the toughest part,” Ekman-Larsson said. "At the same time, I think somebody else has to step up and take that leadership role.”

On the other hand, the Coyotes are really thrilled to acquire new players who can bring new aspects for the team.

Derek Stepan brings a great energy and thinks he can open up the team. He already has a new nick name on the ice, “Talk”, because of the dynamism he brings. 

“I’m excited about the opportunity to get that jersey on and play because think I can do a lot of this things for this organization,” Stepan said.

With the Coyotes taking a step forward with their new group, Domi believes that they are making the right changes and he is certain that they will perform well this year. 

“We are confident that our team got better in the off season and we're moving forward with the right group of guys,” Domi said. “It’s an exciting group and there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for some young guys to jump in here and make a difference and be a big part of this group. It’s going to bring the best out in every guy in that locker room.”

“We’re going to try to win games this year, not two years or three years from now,” Ekman-Larsson said.

The Arizona Coyotes' first game is away on Oct. 5 against the Anaheim Ducks. Their home opener is Saturday Oct. 7 against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. 

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