As the NHL Awards Watch for the 2021-22 season begins, there's only one award that has a clear frontrunner.
No, not Connor McDavid for the MVP.
Bill Armstrong for general manager of the year.
The general manager of the year should be the one that best accomplishes the task at hand. In most cases, that means challenging for the Stanley Cup. In the Arizona Coyotes' case, that means ensuring the best possible odds of landing a top pick in the 2022 NHL draft by performing a gut renovation of their roster, while creating the least competitive group possible above the NHL salary floor.
To that end, Bill Armstrong appears to have done the best possible job imaginable.
The Coyotes are 0-9-1 with a goal differential of minus-29. There will be no goaltender stealing games down the stretch to spoil the tank, as their goaltenders have posted a .874 combined save percentage, including injured veteran Carter Hutton, who has posted a .741 save percentage.
We're in awe of the Coyotes. They're the perfectly crafted organism meant to dwell in the NHL's basement. And that's frankly award-worthy.
Here's the NHL Awards Watch for November. This is informed speculation, taken from conversations around hockey and with voters, regarding the current contenders for each award. We asked a dozen of them to give us their current favorites for this month's edition.