Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/19/14

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 23: Head coach Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes reacts in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Detroit Red Wings during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 23, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 4-1 to take a 3-2 series lead. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


Heartbroken, hurting, and frankly pissed off.

If you look at the faces of this Phoenix Coyotes team, they were clearly upset by last night's outcome. This rag-tag bunch of veterans, journeymen, and a few choice young players capable of playing in such a demanding system, were all forced to pack their bags and start their offseason.

The group of players currently assembled, we can only assume, will not all stay with Phoenix next season. Do the Coyotes, as an organization, have a proper core to build around? Moreover, can that core attempt to replicate this season's success?

With the Coyotes, the core starts with head coach Dave Tippett. Many predicted his team would not clinch a postseason berth, or even defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. However, Tippett found a way to not only win the division, but come within three games of the Stanley Cup Finals. As we explained before the playoffs began, this Coyotes club wins on the strength of their system, and Tippett's system is iron clad.

In order to build on this impressive season, my suggestion would be to lock Tippett into a lifetime contract. But in all seriousness, the ending result is nothing to take for granted. Tippett got his team to work hard in every game and, to simply outwork their opponent. A staunch work ethic coupled with heightened hockey intelligence allowed the Coyotes to shock the league-- something Tippett seems capable of doing year after year.

"I think the amount that this team gave to get us to this spot I don't think should be taken lightly or forgotten easily," Tippett said in his post-game press conference. "This is an incredible group. How hard they worked to get here should be well recognized."

Several times this Coyotes team showed their resiliency. Their postseason began early as they had to fight for both their postseason berth and the Pacific Division down the stretch. And after finishing the season with five consecutive wins, the Coyotes took the division, by only two points, for the first time in franchise history.

But their quest did not end there. They defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in six games with their only two losses coming in overtime. The Coyotes then followed their impressive first round win by defeating the heavily favored Nashville Predators in five games. As our fearless leader explained, the Coyotes deserved to advance.

Regardless, this unlikely competitor fell short to the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings dominated most of the postseason and, because of the Coyotes, almost lost consecutive games for the first time since April 5th, making the Coyotes' defeat a bit easier to swallow.

"There will be some frustration for a few days," Tippett added. "But ultimately I think our players should look back and feel good about a lot of the things that they accomplished this year."

Nearly every veteran skater is an unrestricted free agent during this upcoming offseason. Guys like Shane Doan, Taylor Pyatt, Michal Rozsival, Adrian Aucoin, Daymond Langkow, and Ray Whitney can all choose to remain in the desert, or take their talents elsewhere in an attempt to exploit a weak free agent market. And if these veterans choose the latter option, the Coyotes would still roster a pretty decent core of young skaters.

"We have a lot of young players that this experience has been unbelievable for," Tippett explained. "Players Boedker, Ekman-Larsson, that this will help them grow, continue to strengthen our organization."

Both Boedker and Ekman-Larsson took significant strides in their game this season. They join Keith Yandle, Mike Smith, Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and inevitably Shane Doan as the team's core to build around. And when you supplement those players with solid skaters like Lauri Korpikoski, Antoine Vermette, Boyd Gordon, and Rostislav Klesla, next year's team shouldn't be too much of a downgrade.

Making the Western Conference Finals is a feat in its own right. For the Coyotes to replicate their success of this season, they will need to maintain their hard-working attitude for yet another season. With this thought process in mind, we might not have seen the best of this Coyotes group.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Chiefs place franchise tag on Justin Houston

What a Marcus Mariota trade might look like

Ndamukong Suh to hit free agency, no franchise tag

Report: Rasheed Sulaimon was accused of sexual assault

MLS 2015 season preview

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Report: Bucs to keep Vincent Jackson under current contract

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Did Duke ignore Sulaimon sexual assault allegations?

Ten takeaways from this week's NFL offseason action

What to expect on franchise tag deadline day

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

Nuggets break team huddle with countdown to end of season

WATCH: James Harden kicks LeBron in the groin

Jim Harbaugh tells Madonna he respects her toughness

Are the Oakland Raiders finally trending up?

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.