Coyotes learn to tune future talk out

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson celebrates his goal with teammate Kyle Chipchura...

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson celebrates his goal with teammate Kyle Chipchura during the first period of their NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto November 15, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

The only time the uncertain future of the ownerless Phoenix Coyotes has come up on the road this season was Wednesday in Winnipeg.

Go figure.

“We were in Toronto last week, and very little was said about it,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said Wednesday. “It’s just the history between the two teams. Very little is said within our group. We won a good game (Tuesday) night, and there was not a word said among the players about coming to Winnipeg. It was just coming to another game, and that’s the way it should be.

“This is a new franchise now, and they’ve done a great job. Mark Chipman and the ownership should be thrilled about the success, just getting it up and running. That’s great for the league, but it’s inconsequential to us. We’ve got a job to do in Phoenix.”

Coyotes captain Shane Doan admitted he was a little envious of the Jets players, because their situation was settled quickly compared with the ownership saga that has dogged the Coyotes.

“There were two or three weeks where it was really talked about and it was done, where we’re at two or three years now. So a little bit of a difference there,” Doan said. “You want it to be settled, and you want it to be done, and as a player you appreciate the fact they got their stable ownership, they got a great organization that has stepped in and the ownership, and it’s all done with.

“And yeah, you look at that and you’re jealous of that.”

Tippett said at the conclusion of last season that he wanted the situation settled. He still does today, but it hasn’t been much of a distraction this season.

“The difference being last year, the last two months of the season, there was an owner (Matthew Hulsizer) that was around our team every day, acting like the owner, like it was held up in Glendale,” Tippett said. “There was much more going on right up to the end of the season, and it’s a much different situation this year.

“Our players all recognize the situation, but there’s been very little said, there’s been very little mentioned about it among the players, so it’s a much different situation.”

RED HOT: Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata has been on fire lately, notching six goals and eight points in his last six games.

“You don’t want to change too much when things are going right,” Vrbata said. “Right now it seems the puck is finding my stick, and I’m finding the back of the net. Chances are happening for me, so you just wanna stick with what you do. But sometimes you have a little more luck than some other times.”

LATE HITS: The Coyotes beat the Jets 4-1 at Jobing.com Arena on Oct. 15. It was Phoenix’s home opener … The Coyotes are 7-3-1 on the road this season, including a 4-1 triumph over Chicago on Tuesday night … Ray Whitney is tied with Vrbata for the team lead with 21 points ... … Coyotes centre Kyle Turris, who held out for the first two months of the season, is expected to make his season debut against the Jets.


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