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Barnett not to blame for Phoenix plight

While I agree with Ken Campbell's comments about the history of the Coyotes in his In The Slot column in the July 6 issue, he did contend that former GM Mike Barnett "ran the roster into the ground."

One should note that Mr. Barnett inherited a team from Bobby Smith that had no chance to succeed. In Mr. Smith's years as GM, 1997-2000, the Coyotes drafted only three players who played any significant time in the NHL (at least one season), out of 33 players (nine percent) drafted.

So, when Mr. Barnett took over, he was forced to try to construct a competitive team without a foundation of prospects to start with. In his years as GM, Mr. Barnett drafted 10 players who have played at least one season in the NHL, out of 42 drafted (23 percent), leaving his successor with a much better foundation on which to build a successful team in the future.

While some of Mr. Barnett's moves did not work, it is not hard to argue that he left the team in better shape than when he received it.

Here's hoping that we get the opportunity to see the Coyotes finally step up and grab the spotlight in Arizona.

Stuart Judge, Glendale, Ariz.

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