Rookie forward Chris Brown was assigned to the Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League by the Pirates’ NHL parent club, Phoenix Coyotes, on Wednesday.
This is Brown’s second trip to Arizona in the last seven days. He was one of 11 players recalled from Portland by the Coyotes in preparation for a shortened 48-game season following an agreement between the National Hockey League and its players association on a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement.
Brown played in the Coyotes’ lone scrimmage before being assigned back to Portland the following day.
In 40 games, the Flower Mound, TX native has 12 goals, nine assists for 21 points and is second in the team goal scored, behind Alexandre Bolduc, who is currently playing for the Coyotes.
The Coyotes schedule over the next week becomes very hectic as they will play five games in the next eight days, including a stretch where they will play three games in four days, beginning Wednesday with a home game against Columbus, a road game Thursday in San Jose before finishing against the Los Angeles Kings at home on Saturday, making Brown’s assignment to the CHL’s Sundogs by the Coyotes understandable.
The roster move allows the Coyotes to have an extra forward within hour drive of Glendale, Ariz., in case Martin Hanzal and Rostislav Klesla, both listed day-to-day with lower body injures, are not available instead of trying to fly a player from Portland across the country.
It also allows Phoenix to have a player within a short distance without having to make another roster move to make space because the Coyotes are already at the 23-man roster limit with six games remaining on forward Raffi Torres suspension for an illegal check to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during last spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Coyotes made a similar transaction last season with defenseman Maxim Goncharov.