“It’s not being talked about around the league, but we had a pretty good summer, finally,” said Phoenix Coyotes veteran forward Shane Doan while on Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo show Thursday.
Since the Coyotes last took the ice, the team was sold to a new ownership group that plans to keep the franchise in Glendale, Ariz., and it has re-signed several key players and attracted high-profile free agents — most notably center Mike Ribeiro, formerly of the Washington Capitals.
“For our ownership and for our team to have the ability to go out and (sign Ribeiro) was probably as big as getting the owners,” Doan said.
Doan said that if the Coyotes players were asked at the start of summer which free agent they would most like to see join the team, many of them would have said Ribeiro. Doan credits that signing as showing that the Coyotes are a viable team and committed to being competitive.
“With the way the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) is set up now, it’s so important to have a destination that people want to come to,” the Coyotes captain said. “And Arizona is a place that guys want to play. And if you can build the reputation of being a place where players want to come, it is only going to give you an advantage in the grand scheme of things.”
The 33-year-old Ribeiro has put up 186 goals and 426 assists in his career. He was 10th in the league with 49 points during the strike-shortened 2012-2013 season.
During the busy offseason, the Coyotes also signed forward Brandon Yip and and goaltender Thomas Greiss while re-signing key players such as Lauri Korpikoski, Mike Smith and Mikkel Boedker. The team also reached agreements on contract extensions with head coach Dave Tippett and general manager Don Maloney.