Phoenix Coyotes: 5 Most Memorable Players in Team History

Isaac SmithAnalyst IOctober 19, 2012

Phoenix Coyotes: 5 Most Memorable Players in Team History

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    The Phoenix Coyotes have been in Arizona for just 15 years, but already they are starting to gain prominence under head coach Dave Tippett.

    Three straight playoff seasons have helped the once-under-the-radar Coyotes become part of the conversation as one of the top teams in the NHL, while making it to the Conference Finals last year.

    But last season aside, let's rewind the years a little bit and find the most memorable players in the Coyotes' brief history.

5. Raffi Torres

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    Raffi Torres has an undesirable honor of being on this list for the wrong reasons.

    Torres might be the most despised hockey player in the game right now.

    He was fined for elbowing Jan Hejda on December 29th and then received a two-game suspension for his charge on Nate Prosser.

    Torres' biggest claim to "fame" (if you want to call it that) was his hit and subsequent 25-game suspension on Marian Hossa.

    Torres has since received a four-game reduction (via the Toronto Sun) in his ''sentence" of sorts, but he will still sit out the first eight games of the 2012-13 season when and if the season ever starts.

    Although very useful as a checking forward, Torres' inability to control his hitting technique cost him a lot this season—especially in the playoffs.

4. Paul "BizNasty2point0" Bissonnette

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    Paul Bissonnette, known as "BizNasty" by many due to his Twitter account, is one of the most entertaining personalities in the NHL today.

    Bissonette currently has over 335,000 followers on Twitter and his topics covered range from hockey, to politics, to social phenomena, to women and life in general.

    Bissonnette has played just three seasons and 120 games with the Coyotes, while scoring just five goals and two assists over that span, but already he seems to be making a mark both on the ice with his fights (229 PIM with the Coyotes) and off the ice with his tweets.

3. Ilya Bryzgalov

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    Ilya Bryzgalov didn't really gain any national attention until he signed a nine-year, $51 million contract with the Flyers last season.

    But the former Phoenix goalie helped the Coyotes clinch a playoff spot in 2010-11 for the first time since the 2001-02 season as well as helping the Coyotes eclipse the 100-point mark in the standings for the first time in team history.

    The Coyotes, coached by a defense-first bench boss in Dave Tippett, asked "the Bryz" to come up with a lot of key saves throughout that season as well as in 2010-11.

    Both seasons saw Phoenix make the playoffs, but the 'Yotes lost both times in the first round to the Detroit Red Wings.

    Bryzgalov gained media attention (via during the 2012 Winter Classic between the Rangers and Flyers for his off-ice comments during HBO's 24/7 series.

    It is important to note that Bryzgalov wouldn't have had this chance if he wasn't a star goaltender in Phoenix first.

2. Jeremy Roenick

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    Jeremy Roenick played two stints with the Coyotes. From 1996-2001 and the 2006-07 season.

    Roenick put up 379 points in 454 games with the Coyotes and also registered 596 penalty minutes over those seasons, with never less than 100 penalty minutes a season in his first stint with Phoenix.

    Roenick (one of the best personalities in the sport of hockey) has never been afraid to voice his feelings about anything, and he is a memorable player that played with the Coyotes when the team was new in Phoenix and helped get hockey going in the desert when the Jets moved from Winnipeg.

1. Shane Doan

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    Shane Doan has been the captain of the Coyotes since the 2003-04 offseason and has played with the Coyotes every single season since their move from Winnipeg.

    Having said that, it makes sense that he is the all-time franchise leader in games played (1124), goals (311), assists (460) and penalty minutes (970).

    As the face of the franchise and despite the fact that he could have gone elsewhere this offseason as an unrestricted free agent, Doan chose to stay with the Coyotes for far less money than he was asking for on the open market, signing a four-year deal worth a reported $21.2 million (via

    Doan is one of the grittiest forwards in the NHL and he is widely considered as one of the top leaders through his play on the ice and his vocal presence off the ice.

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