Joe Vitale undergoing more tests, will miss Coyotes’ road trip

Oct 18, 2015, 2:40 PM | Updated: 3:35 pm
Boston Bruins' Kevan Miller, right, connects with a punch during a fight against Arizona Coyotes' J...

Boston Bruins' Kevan Miller, right, connects with a punch during a fight against Arizona Coyotes' Joe Vitale (14) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Coyotes forward Joe Vitale was undergoing further tests for an upper-body injury on Sunday and will not accompany the team on its five-game road trip to New Jersey, New York, Ottawa, Toronto and Boston.

Vitale was a healthy scratch for the Coyotes’ first four games this season, but played in Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Bruins at Gila River Arena because rookie forward Jordan Martinook was out with a lower-body injury.

Vitale played well until he got in a fight with Boston defenseman Kevan Miller early in the second period. Vitale took several big punches to the face and appeared to be having some difficulty with both his jaw and his eye as he sat in the penalty box. He eventually went to the training room and did not return. The Coyotes did not provide further details on the nature of his injury, but general manager Don Maloney said Sunday that it looked like Vitale would be out a while.

“He was really good, playing out of position,” coach Dave Tippett said of Vitale, who is a right-handed shot, but played left wing. “Hopefully, Martinook is ready to go on the road trip.”

The Coyotes signed Vitale to a three-year deal before the 2014-15 season at an average annual value of $1.117 million. He moved from center to wing this season after the team signed centers Antoine Vermette, Brad Richardson and Boyd Gordon in free agency, but Martinook, the team’s second-round pick in 2012, beat him out for a spot in the regular rotation.

Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter

Penguin Air

Arizona Coyotes

Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the New York Islanders  at the UBS Arena on...
Kellan Olson

Lawson Crouse believes in Arizona Coyotes’ long-term vision, core

Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse spoke on his long-term commitment to the organization and what he sees for it in the future.
3 days ago
Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game at Gila River Are...
Arizona Sports

Lawson Crouse, Arizona Coyotes agree to 5-year extension

Agreeing to an extension before an arbitration on Monday, Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse will make $4.3 million on average each year.
3 days ago
Logan Cooley, #3 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL D...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Logan Cooley to play for U.S. at World Junior Championship

Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley -- the 2022 No. 3 pick -- will represent the United States at the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship.
4 days ago
Head coach of the Cleveland Monsters John Madden looks on from behind the bench against the Laval R...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes hire assistant coach John Madden

John Madden joins Andre Tourigny's coaching staff after spending the last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks as an assistant.
16 days ago
Zack Kassian #44 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Armstrong: F Zack Kassian perfect fit for new style of ‘Coyotes hockey’

Among the many moves the Coyotes made during the NHL Draft, the sneaky acquisition of veteran forward Zack Kassian could be very important.
19 days ago
Conor Geekie is drafted by the Arizona Coyotes during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at...
Alex Weiner

Coyotes’ draftee Conor Geekie sets goal to make impact in 1st season

Arizona Coyotes first-rounder Conor Geekie says he believes he can make the NHL in Year 1 and have an impact.
23 days ago
Joe Vitale undergoing more tests, will miss Coyotes’ road trip