SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. With reporters and cameramen crowded around him in a tight hallway Monday at the Ice Den, the Coyotes' practice facility, Shane Doan was asked just how contentious labor negotiations got between the NHL and the NHL Players Association over the past few months.
"It was actually just a great big kumbaya," Doan said with that familiar, innocent grin. Everyone was happy.
With that, it was tempting to believe that normalcy had returned to the Valleys favorite hockey team. Doan was cracking jokes, Mike Smiths hair was still a talking point and Boyd Gordon was putting himself in harms way on the ice, colliding with Kyle Chipchura and getting his bell rung.
But this will be anything but an ordinary hockey season -- and thats saying something when youre talking about the ownership-starved Coyotes. With just one week of training camp and just 48 games to decide who goes to the playoffs and who goes home, there is a sense of urgency already present before th...