Now that their ownership situation is stabilized, will the Phoenix Coyotes get busy in the trade market?
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Joe Yerdon reports Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney is still searching for scoring depth. “We still have three forward positions available for either finding someone in a trade, signing a free agent, or somebody like a Max Domi or a Henrik Samuelsson comes to camp and wins a job”, said Maloney. “We have very good flexibility right now, but If we can find another bonafide top two NHL player that’d be our preference.”
Yerdon suggests Maloney could address that by trading a defenseman. He believes Oliver Ekman-Larssen isn’t going anywhere, but noted Keith Yandle and Derek Morris popped up since last season in trade rumors, especially Yandle. The Coyotes won’t add much payroll, however, as their budget will remain in the league’s lower-third.
In another piece, Yerdon again cited the strength of the Coyotes blueline corps, suggesting they could draw upon that at some point to acquire a scoring forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Coyotes dive into what’s left in the UFA market, as they still have to re-sign LW Mikkel Boedker. They’ll probably give their prospects a look during training camp, but could be forced into the trade market at some point if their scoring doesn’t improve. Forget about moving Ekman-Larsson. They didnn’t re-signhim last season to a six-year, $33 million deal for a reason, and it wasn’t to improve his trade value.
Yandle, however, was constantly mentioned since last June as a trade candidate. If the Coyotes keep struggling offensively, expect Yandle’s name to remain a fixture in the rumor mill this season. It would also be a “dollar-for-dollar” trade, or the Coyotes might ask a trade partner to pick up part of the salary of a scoring forward they’re trying to acquire.