ARIZONA COYOTES

‘Yotes Notes: Max Domi still a core piece of Arizona’s future

Apr 20, 2018, 9:15 AM | Updated: 9:48 am

Phoenix Coyotes' Max Domi, left, gets shoved away from the puck by the Anaheim Ducks' Brandon Monto...

Phoenix Coyotes' Max Domi, left, gets shoved away from the puck by the Anaheim Ducks' Brandon Montour during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Ducks won 3-0. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Coyotes general manager John Chayka said Friday that forward Max Domi is still a core piece of the Coyotes’ future.

“I think you have to evaluate anyone’s season based on the entirety, not segmentally,” Chayka said. “We know that young players have ups and downs, and it’s how these players manage the downs that ultimately determine their success or failure. I think the end of the season showed what Max is capable of and he showed a lot of resiliency.”

Domi had three goals and 18 assists through the first four months of the season, but he had six goals and 18 assists over the final two months, plus one week in April. He had four goals and 18 points in his final 20 games. Domi’s 36 assists were a career high.

“You can sit here and make excuses or find reasons why that happened but I’m not really the type to do that,” said Domi, who wasn’t as impressed with his finish as others. “There’s a mental side to that where you can think ‘OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad’ but when you hold yourself to a high standard and your coaches and teammates hold you to a high standard, it’s tough to take that much of a positive out of this year.

“I wasn’t good by any means all year. I’ve got to find a way to both accept that and work extremely hard this summer to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

When pressed, Domi admitted that the finish gave him something to build on for next season.

“The last 15 to 20 games, I felt like I could make plays again; the confidence was there,” he said. “I don’t know where it was the whole rest of the year but it came back so that was a positive because I was getting a little worried there.”

Domi will become a restricted free agent on July 1. With a range of outcomes over his first three seasons, contract negotiations with Domi’s agent Pat Brisson will be among the more interesting team storylines this summer.

“Now that the season has ended, we have engaged in preliminary discussions with his agent,” Chayka said. “We have had good dialogue so far.”

Domi said he hasn’t given much thought to the talks.

“My old man (former NHL player Tie Domi) always said ‘no matter what is going on around you, whether it’s issues with whoever or you’re not playing well or it’s a contract, you just focus on playing well every single night.’

“I guess it’s time to start thinking about the contract because there are no games left.”

SCOUTING TRIP

Chayka is in Russia to scout and watch the IIHF World U18 Championship, which is being played in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk from April 19-29. The United States is the defending champion.

With the NHL Draft two months away, Chayka is gathering more data.

“It provides a good last viewing of the majority of draft-eligible players,” he said. “It’s always nice to see how the players have progressed over the year, but is still just a piece of the puzzle.”

PANIKS HAVE BABY

Forward Richard Panik and his wife, Nikola, had their first child, Lilien, this week. Everything went well.

The Paniks planned to remain in the Valley for the first month-plus of the offseason before returning to Slovakia for the summer.

Panik was arrested for trespassing after allegedly refusing to leave a Scottsdale nightclub on April 8. The Coyotes issued a statement and have not commented on the incident since.

“We are aware of the incident and are still gathering information as it pertains to the situation. We will have no further comment at the present time,” the statement read.

LOOSE PUCKS

— Chayka confirmed that defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Sweden) and goalie Darcy Kuemper (Canada) are the only two Coyotes committed to playing in the IIHF World Championship in Denmark in May.

— The Tucson Runners beat the San Jose Barracuda, 4-2, in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series in San Jose on Thursday. Adin Hill had 36 saves. Dakota Mermis, Ryan MacInnis, Lane Pederson (game-winning goal) and Dylan Strome had the goals. Game 2 is Saturday in San Jose, in the best-of-five, 2-3 format. The final three games of the series would be April 25, 27 and 28 in Tucson.

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‘Yotes Notes: Max Domi still a core piece of Arizona’s future