Over the course of the next month, Konopkaesque will review each player who suited up for the Wild this season, with a few exceptions. 1) They had to play at least ten games during the season and/or playoffs (sorry, Brett Bulmer, Carson McMillan and John Curry) and 2) they had to finish the season as part of the organization, which ironically excludes the man for whom this blog is named, among others.
So, without further blathering, here’s today’s subject:
Charlie Coyle, C, Age 22
Remaining contract (per capgeek):1 year, $900,000 (RFA in 2015)
Games: 70 (Regular Season) 13 (Playoffs)
Goals: 12 (Regular Season) 3 (Playoffs)
Assists: 18 (Regular Season) 4 (Playoffs)
+/-: -7 (Regular Season) -2 (Playoffs)
PIM: 33 (Regular Season) 6 (Playoffs)
ATOI: 17:05 (Regular Season) 17:50 (Playoffs)
What Did He Do?: Coyle’s power game was primed for success even before the season started, as he ended the playoff campaign of 2013 as the preferred running mate of Koivu and Parise. While the opportunities increased, Coyle’s scoring rate didn’t necessarily improve. Expanded for 82 games, he would have posted 31 points in his rookie year, and just 35 this season. While this is certainly not cause for alarm or rash action, it is also difficult to categorize Coyle as an unqualified success, though he appears to have escaped criticism-free. Certainly helping his cause was the fact that he played superbly in the playoffs, posting seven points and wreaking havoc on the forecheck in both series. When it was revealed after the season was over that he was playing with both shoulders separated, his play seems even more impressive.
What to Expect if You’re Expecting: At the heart of the core of “young guns” whose progress could either make or break the team next season, Coyle, along with Granlund, Niederreiter, Brodin and Haula, emerges as one of the key figures this summer, and for contractual reasons, beyond. All four of those players are not only expected to fill key roles on a consistent basis, but they are also due for raises as pending restricted free agents after next season, prompting some debate about what to do next. If Coyle stays, and continues to play top-six minutes, he will need to unlock some sort of consistent scoring to continue to be valuable. If the Wild want to make a big splash in the trade market, Coyle could be quite the dangling chip.
Trade Prospects?: Using the “how drunk would Chuck Fletcher have to be” scale outlined earlier, I would have said W.C. Fields a few weeks ago. Now, it seems possible, given that the return would likely be a proven big-time scorer. Essentially, Fletcher has to weigh a veteran with a track record against what he thinks Coyle can become. Without knowing what would be coming the other way it is impossible to determine whether or not trading him is the right call, so it’s a wait and see game.
Season Highlight: In the long run, nothing Coyle did on the ice will likely top this bit of social media gold:
As far as actual in-game highlights, does two goals in less than one minute do it for you? Would you be more impressed if you knew it happened with Jason Zucker and Dany Heatley on his line? No? You cynical bastard:
We also found out what his signature penalty shot move was: