Saturday, September 23, 2017

Christian Dvorak Jersey Card

The Arizona Coyotes have made a ton of changes this off-season that scream "we are doing everything we can to finally put an NHL team on the ice", and 20 years into the franchise having moved from its previous home as the Winnipeg Jets, and it sure is fishy considering the team is unable to sell season tickets, unable to secure an arena deal anywhere in the state, and was purchased by Andrew Barroway, a hedge fund manager who happens to have personal family ties with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

There is a clause in the Coyotes' minority owners' initial purchase deal that stated the team would be allowed to relocate if it incurred losses of $50M over five years; last year alone, the 'Yotes lost $24M... and I'm fairly certain that what hedge fund managers like to do, first and foremost, is to make money.

The Coyotes cost Barroway, essentially, $150M. The Vegas Golden Knights were one of two teams that applied to acquire a $500M expansion team (i.e. a team with no staff or players) two years ago, along with the potential next iteration of the Québéec Nordiques; no other city will be given an expansion team in the near future out of respect for the time and money Québec has already put in.

However, there is an NHL-ready arena in Kansas City, an NHL-acceptable one in Portland, Oregon that would do until a new one is constructed, two new arena projects in Seattle, and Houston has yet to be utilized properly... You'd think a fully-staffed team with a full stable of terrific young players would net at least $350-400M in this new marketplace...

So, if anything, urgency might be the reason why the team has made all these moves this summer. And they should almost pay off, as I see them finishing fourth in the Pacific Division, ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks... but right outside the playoff picture, with the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets taking the Western Conference Wild Card spots.

Speaking of the Coyotes' young guns, Christian Dvorak was one of three London Knights players drafted by Arizona, with Max Domi and Brendan Burke. He captained the team in 2015-16, leading it to its second Memorial Cup, and also won bronze with Team USA at the 2016 World Juniors.

He has a great shot and combativeness that should enable him to keep piling up numbers at the NHL level while playing in a middle-six role, although he could be teamed with Domi on the first line on occasion a few years down the line, when Derek Stepan is no longer the go-to middleman. Heck, some even see Dvrorak - not Domi - as that eventual #1C.

Here he is on the jersey insert version of card #103 from Upper Deck's 2016-17 SP Game-Used Edition set and Authentic Rookies sub-set:
It shows him wearing the Coyotes' current burgundy home uniform, with a matching jersey swatch he wore in a photo shoot. The card is numbered #67/399.

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