Category Archives: Arz. Coyotes

Five players who are likely to be moved at the 2017 NHL trade deadline 

The trade deadline is almost upon us, and so far it is unclear what will happen when it officially rolls around. With expansion on the horizon, trades are at an all time low. The market is stagnant. However, that could change when teams feel the crunch before playoff time. Here are five players likely to move at or before the February 28th trade deadline. 

1. Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche

The ex-Calgary Flames captain bounced around for some time in the NHL before landing a four year contract with Colorado. He has reached the last year of that deal, but things are not going well in the Mile High City between player and team. 

Iginla only has five goals and 11 points in 39 games this season. The 39 year old right winger has lost a considerable amount of speed and skill over the years. 

Despite all that, Iginla can be a valuable asset for a team in the playoff hunt. He provides a great deal of leadership and still has the scoring touch in him that can be revitalized. 

If the Flames stay in the race in the Pacific, a trade back “home” would be quite the story. Montreal makes sense as well.  

2. Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes

Things are not much better in Arizona than they are in Colorado. The Coyotes sit second to last in the league despite having a promising 2015-2016 campaign. 

Lucky for them, they have a number of assets to deal at the deadline, one of them being Martin Hanzal. In the last year of his five year deal, Hanzal, 29, carries a $3.1 million cap hit. 

Although he does not put up a large amount of points, Hanzal is revered for his two-way game. His career high in points came last season with 41. 

Hanzal is the best fit for any team looking for center help at the deadline. Minnesota maybe?

3. Michael Stone, Arizona Coyotes

Stone is another asset the Coyotes hold. He is Arizona’s second best defenseman behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson and he has really solidified himself as a top-four mainstay in recent years. 

Stone would likely be classified as a defensive defenseman. He does not put up goals (he has zero in 27 games this year), but you get what you pay for and know what to expect night in and night out with Stone. 

I could see a team like Columbus or Edmonton being interested in Stone’s services.  

4. Ryan Spooner, Boston Bruins 

Spooner has had trouble finding his groove since entering the NHL with Boston, who don’t want to lose him for nothing on waivers. 

Spooner was a second round pick in 2010 and had a promising season with Boston last year tallying 49 points, but this season only has 19 points in 40 games. 

A big reason for this may be his shift to wing. With the likes of David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci down the middle, it has been tough for Spooner to gain a consistent center spot in the lineup. 

Spooner still has loads of potential and could thrive in the right situation. The price for him wouldn’t be high, but you certainly won’t get him for pennies on the dollar. 

Possible suitors include Vancouver and Carolina. 

5. Cody Franson

After holding out all the way until training camp when he was a free agent a few summers ago, Cody Franson eventually decided to sign a two year deal with Buffalo. That deal is now ending, and with the Sabres at the bottom of the standings, Franson may become subject to trade rumors. 

Franson’s time in Buffalo has not been anything to write home about. In 85 total games, he has five goals and 21 assists. However, he can still be utilized as an effective defenseman in a bottom-pair role on the correct team. 

Franson is an effective puck mover and is not too far removed from solid seasons with Toronto. 

He probably will not cost much from Buffalo, so it may be worth the risk. 

The Rangers could look at him, as could the Capitals. A Toronto reunion, if they stay in the race, would be interesting as well. 

The trade deadline is 52 days away. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles 

Five Players Off to Disappointing Starts in 2016-2017

As every new season rolls around, there are bound to be players that come in hot and players that come in cold. Most of the time these come as surprises, especially for teams paying big money for players that start the season slow.

1. Justin Williams, Washington

At 35 years old, Williams is at the tail end of his career. After seven seasons and two Stanley Cup wins in Los Angeles, he signed a two year, $3.25 million per deal with the Capitals in hopes to give them the extra push in the playoffs to make it past the second round.

So far this season, Williams has two goals and four points in 21 games. He is on pace for 16 points, which would be down 36 from 2015-2016. Washington needs Williams to start producing immediately. Currently playing on a line with Lars Eller and Zach Sanford, becoming an extra layer of scoring would help push the Capitals up the standings and win their second consecutive Metropolitan Division title.

2. Anthony Duclair, Arizona

After an impressive rookie campaign in 2015-2016, Duclair has fallen off a cliff early this season. Acquired in the Keith Yandle deal with the Rangers in the spring of 2015, the Coyotes envisioned Duclair as a future top-six mainstay, but now are reportedly listening to offers on him.

In 21 games this season, Duclair only has one goal. On pace for only a handful of goals, Duclair is not doing much to help Arizona improve after last season, as they are currently tied for last in the league.

The Coyotes forward core is primarily young, with the likes of Max Domi, Christian Dvorak, Lawson Crouse, and Laurent Dauphin making up a large majority of the group, so inconsistency is expected. But, Duclair has been here before and has a 20 goal season under his belt. Arizona needs him to turn his season around if they want to turn theirs around as well.

3. Andrew Ladd, New York (I)

Signed to be John Tavares’ left winger for he next half-decade, things have not gotten off on the correct foot for Andrew Ladd and the New York Islanders.

Ladd has bounced around on all four lines and subsequently only has two goals in 21 games. He played with John Tavares for around ten games and had no goals, but it may be time for another trial run, seeing that he is going to be wearing blue and orange for a long time.

If Ladd can find his groove next to Tavares, Nelson, or Cizikas, it would be a huge plus for the Islanders. Currently in last place with Arizona, they’ve taken a huge step back after two straight 100 point seasons.

4. Jimmy Hayes, Boston 

Hayes has struggled since being traded to Boston from Florida, but this season has been far worse than the previous. He has one goal and no assists in 21 games and has been a healthy scratch on occasion.

Hayes has one year left after this year at $2.3 million, but his future with Boston appears uncertain. A trade does not seem out of the question at this point in time. Hayes is 6’5 and a good skater for his size, and at his current contract there may be a few takers. A scenario change may be good for him to get back on track.

5. Jiri Hudler, Dallas

Hudler signed a one year, $2 million deal with the Stars this offseason, which appeared to be a very team-friendly deal at the time. However, in the four games Hudler has played when he has not been injured, he has zero points and zero shots on goal.

Hudler has been regressing since being almost point-per-game with Calgary in 2014-2015. If he can return to that form, he would become a very valuable asset for the Stars, either on the roster or on the trade market.

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Report: Tobias Rieder considering KHL move 

Tobias Rieder, a current restricted free agent of the Arizona Coyotes, may be spending next season overseas.  Read the rest of this entry

Eight teams that should protect four defensemen in the expansion draft 

In next summer’s expansion draft, teams have two options in which to protect their players. One is protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. The other choice is protecting eight skaters and one goalie. The former gives you more players to protect but you risk losing a top-four defenseman, whereas the latter allows you to hold onto that fourth (or fifth, if you so please) defenseman, but you are losing out on protecting two top-six forwards. It is a calculated risk that teams have to weigh, and there are eight teams that should choose to take the second option and protect four defensemen.  Read the rest of this entry

Trade Possibility: Martin Hanzal

Continuing to reform their team, the Arizona Coyotes may be moving on from another veteran. Martin Hanzal, drafted 17th overall in 2005, has played all 557 of his career games with the Coyotes and has 287 points in that time.
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Colorado’s Barrie generating tons of interest 

Recently, reports came out from Elliotte Friedman that Tyson Barrie is likely to be moved by the Colorado Avalanche this summer.  Read the rest of this entry

Ladd deal to Chicago has potential to work out for both clubs 

The next big domino of the NHL trading season fell on Thursday night, when the Winnipeg Jets traded captain Andrew Ladd to Chicago for Marko Dano and a first round pick. Other assets were involved, like Jay Harrison and a conditional pick, but the latter was the lump of the deal. 

This will be Ladd’s second stint with Chicago, the city where he won a Stanley Cup in 2010. Ladd was a victim of the first of three large cap crunches Chicago has gone through. 

Both teams make out well on this trade, that is if Chicago wins the Cup again. The Blackhawks brought in Ladd to play along side Jonathan Toews, a spot formerly occupied by a number of players including Ryan Garbutt for a short period of time. 

The package coming back to Winnipeg sets them up quite nicely as well. Marko Dano, although bouncing around a lot from team to team, is a solid player with the potential to be a top-six forward. The Jets also add another first round pick, likely in the 24 to 30 range. The Jets are loaded up front for the future with the likes of Scheifele, Connor, Dano, Lemieux, Petan, Ehlers, Roslovic, and Armia. 

This deal sets up the market for the upcoming days. Beside Loui Eriksson, and maybe Mikkel Boedker depending how desperate teams are, Ladd was probably the priciest option out there. Actually, as the trade rumors came through, I was writing something up saying that teams that lose out on Ladd could potentially go after the similar but cheaper option in Jamie McGinn from Buffalo. Florida and Pittsburgh could be on that. 

We will likely see more trades come through before the deadline, which does take some of the excitement out of Monday, but it’s fun to see trades regardless. 

Other updates: 

-Like the Jets, other teams up north are gathering offers for some of their players before deadline day. Edmonton has been aggressively shopping Justin Schultz. Don’t be surprised if that gets done within 24 hours. Montreal has looked at options for Weise but nothing yet, that’ll probably wait for Monday. 

-A Loui Eriksson trade will likely have to wait until Monday at around 3 o’clock to come in. Boston doesn’t mind holding onto him either. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

No shortage of trade interest in Arizona’s Boedker 

It is widely believed that Arizona forward Mikkel Boedker will be traded before or at the February 29th NHL trade deadline. The Austrian native has 37 points including 13 goals in 56 games this year. 

Boedker, 26, has been with the Coyotes organization ever since he was drafted eighth overall in the 2008 NHL entry draft. Of the players in that draft, Boedker ranks tenth in points, behind Stamkos, Karlsson, Eberle, Doughty, Stepan, Bailey, Pietrangelo, Ennis and Carlson. Boedker has played all 439 of his career games with the club. 

Boedker is reportedly (via Bob McKenzie) looking for a five or six year deal at or north of 5.5 million per season. Although Boedker is currently the highest scoring forward on the team, Anthony Duclair, Max Domi, and Tobias Rieder amongst others are right there knocking on the door and will need more ice time in the near future. Not to mention, they’ll all need new deals smack in the middle of Boedker’s wanted five or six years. 

Boedker’s scoring touch and speed could help a lot of teams for a playoff run. Pittsburgh and Chicago have been the rumored interested, but more teams likely have silently expressed interest or will express interest in the next ten days leading up to the trade deadline. 

The Rangers could be one team that may take a crack at him. With a closing window, they should try to get the Cup within the next two to three years and Boedker would help their cause this year. 

Montreal would be a team I’d usually expect, but it is highly unlikely, barring a good run, that they make the playoffs. That takes them out of this sweepstakes. 

Another good fit could be the Florida Panthers, but a lot of forwards would look nice there. 

The list goes on and on, because Mikkel Boedker will be a nice asset in play at the trade deadline. Not every team will be willing to or able to cough up what Arizona wants, but there will be no shortage of inquiries. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Trade Winds: one more month until the NHL trade deadline 

The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and is now about one month away. Teams are beginning to see whether or not they want to sell their players at the deadline meaning the speculation will continue to increase. 

The Buffalo Sabres are still shopping Tyler Ennis but to no avail yet. He has been disappointing this year and with a crowded top-six of young players in Buffalo, he may not have a spot. Due to his high salary, some will have to be retained. Jamie McGinn is also being looked at around the league, but Buffalo likes him. Could he pull a Matt Moulson and sign back with Buffalo in the summer after being traded? We’ll see. 

The Canucks have been looking around the league for potential suitors for Radim Vrbata and Dan Hamhuis. The latter has had injury problems this year, however Vrbata would be a nice pickup for a team in the playoff hunt. Someone like Florida, Nashville, or one of the New York teams could have interest in the forward. 

The Coyotes are very reluctant to move Mikkel Boedker although nothing is impossible. The Danish left winger is due for a big pay increase from his current 3.75 million.

You wonder what the deal is with Yevgeni Medvedev and the Flyers is. He is a good defenseman and would be great for a playoff run for any team but the Flyers are still in the thick of the playoff race themselves. The Flyers also have an influx of young defensemen coming up through the system which could make Medvedev expendable. 

Keith Yandle continues to be shopped but nothing as of yet. It might be in best interest for the Rangers, given their closing window, to get this playoff run out of him. 

Columbus is expected to be very aggressive at the trade deadline. Although they have no big unrestricted free agents, certain names could be moved out such as Kerby Rychel. The David Clarkson contract has been thrown out there but to no takers. 

The Islanders seem to be at a gridlock with Travis Hamonic and Kyle Okposo. Hamonic’s trade won’t come until the offseason and the Islanders don’t want to give up Okposo for futures so they may end up keeping him and risk losing him to free agency. 

The Jets have equally looked around for Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. Nothing is out of the question for the deadline for either player. Ladd is the more feasible option for the team, however. 

Don’t be surprised if the Anaheim Ducks make another move prior to February 29th. Likely a defense for offense move. 

More to come as the trade deadline draws nearer. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

The John Scott madness should rightfully and finally end fan voting for the all-star game 

I’m sure being the most loved goon in the league is kind of cool in a sense, but I do feel bad for John Scott. 

He is that guy. The worst player in the league that the fans have decided to vote for to make the all star game because the NHL still allows for any player to be eligible. 

Pretty crazy that we’ve gotten to this point. Fan voting hasn’t been a smashing success in the past, and last year’s winners – five Chicago Blackhawks and Zegmus Girgensons – proved that. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Girgensons move, in part because he’s a good young player, but it proves how rigged the vote can be. 

John Scott is the culmination of all of this. A man who has 11 career points in 280 games (over eight seasons) is about to skate in a three on three tournament with the NHL elites. 

All things considered, it’s probably good that this happens. Maybe this will be the end of fan voting for good. I’m not a big supporter of the actual all star game myself (the skills competition is great), but maybe the three on three tournament will change that. If the NHL, the coaches and general managers, or the players even voted on who they wanted in the game, it would have the potential to be awesome. Pavel Datsyuk, Erik Karlsson, and Steven Stamkos against Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and John Carlson sounds sweet to me, but fan voting will continue to get in the way of that and a majority of other ideas. 

It’s time for the NHL to let it go. A great idea in principle can be ruined by internet trolls so easily. An event the league puts so much effort into should be treated as the best, even if not all the fans like it. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

McDavid’s Injury Opens Up Calder Race

The 2016 rookie class was always a good one, but things have changed dramatically in the Calder race during these past 24 hours. On Tuesday night playing Philadelphia, Connor McDavid crashed into the end boards after losing an edge and getting tied up with Michael Del Zotto. McDavid left the game and was later pronounced out ‘months’ with a broken left clavicle. Slated to be the next ‘Great One’, McDavid’s injury opens the door for other rookies to step in and seize the Calder. 

The obvious new pick is Jack Eichel. Eichel just turned 19 last week and was drafted one pick behind McDavid. Eichel’s size makes him a dominating presence although he only has four points (all goals) through his first twelve games. There’s plenty of time for him to turn it around and he’s already on a good path even if the scoresheet doesn’t show it. 

Max Domi has also made waves in his first season, keeping up with Connor McDavid and notching 11 points in 11 games for the Coyotes. The polar opposite of his dad, Max has shown signs of brilliance offensively and will combine with Anthony Duclair to be a lethal force for this season and beyond. He probably won’t continue at point-per-game numbers, but he’ll certainly be high up in the rankings for Calder votes. 

Forwards Oscar Lindberg (NYR) and Artemi Panarin (CHI) have also gotten off to solid starts. Each have played 12 games and Panarin has 11 points while Lindberg has 9. They’re both long shots, but they’ve put up solid numbers to start the year and who knows where they’ll end up if they keep up on that pace. 

Dylan Larkin has also been lighting up the scoresheet with 9 points in 12 games for Detroit. The 2014 draft pick was the first Red Wings teenager to score on his opening night since Steve Yzerman in 1983. He may see reduced ice time once Pavel Datsyuk which will hurt his statline. 

Colton Parayko, Nik Ehlers, Jared McCann and Ben Hutton all have also gotten off to good starts. 

McDavid could still easily come back and take it, but his injury opens the door for some of these young players to swoop in and take the prize. My guess from this point forward would be either Domi or McDavid. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Trades Highlight Day Two of 2015 NHL Draft

Although nothing will out-do the hours leading up to the draft yesterday, day two was no bust on the trade front. The GMs worked tirelessly to improve their teams whilst trying to find gems in the later round of the draft. Day two saw the trade of Cam Talbot finally, but still no Patrick Sharp or Phil Kessel. 
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