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We’ve all seen how much NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman loves the Arizona Coyotes and has gone above and beyond in order for the team to remain in the desert despite the terrible market, the arena struggles and the money hole it has turned into. The guy is letting them play for God knows how long in a 5000-seat arena with questionable accommodations for players and staff. He was even in attendance in November for the unanimous decision to move forward with the proposed $2.1 billion arena project, saying that he’s never wavered on his support for the Coyotes staying in Arizona because “this is a great market, there are great fans, and this is a place that we want to be.”
Following Team Canada’s gold medal win at the World Junior championship on Thursday, a feeling of fear appears to have taken over the league when we start thinking about the projected first overall pick in the upcoming draft Connor Bedard, who had a record-breaking run at the tournament.
Former NHLer and now host of the Spittin Chiclets podcast Ryan Whitney put it best when he explained how Bettman could make sure the Coyotes win the upcoming draft lottery in order to get their hands on the first pick and bring Bedard in Arizona, hence, a better market in the desert to watch the young phenom. Especially if Arizona does get this new arena in the works. This is how Whitney puts it with the headline: “Connor Bedard can basically start looking for apartments in Scottsdale at this point.”
Could you imagine?! The former defenseman makes good points, which is scary of course:the Coyotes have never won the lottery since coming into the NHL and never picked first overall despite trades and transactions leading up to drafts.
Imagine how the market in Arizona would grow with Bedard becoming the face of the franchise as he could certainly have an immediate impact in the team and get tickets sold.
Now, I personally feel it would be tough on the young talent to find himself in a poor market like Arizona. That’d also be a lot of pressure on Bedard’s shoulders to support not only the offense on the ice, but the market off of it…
Recent chatter has wondered if Bedard could pull a similar move to Eric Lindros did back in 1991. Back then, Lindros had made it clear before the draft that he would hold out and refuse to play for Quebec, but the Nordiques still selected him first overall. A massive trade took place for him to be moved to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Fans have now been wondering if Bedard could pull a Lindros and choose his own team, as it’s been said more than once how the young forward wants to play only for the Vancouver Canucks…
We get why every and any team in the NHL would want to land Bedard. He leads the Canadian Hockey League with 64 points in 28 games, and the Western Hockey League in goals (27) and assists (37) despite not playing for Regina since Dec. 4, and put up a ridiculous record at the WJC, leading the tournament in goals (nine), assists (14) and points (23). The 23 points are the most by a Canadian in a single world juniors. Sweden’s Peter Forsberg had a record 31 points in 1993, when teammate Markus Naslund had 24.
He is just incredible to watch… and I wanna say : Gary, don’t bury this kid in the desert!