Category Archives: Arz. Coyotes

Initial Recation: Hjalmarsson and Saad/Panarin trades 

The host city for this year’s NHL Entry Draft, Chicago, made a gigantic splash early on in the day. 

Shortly after the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs, general manager Stan Bowman promised change. Clearly unhappy with being swept out in the first round, change is exactly what Stan Bowman brought. 

The first move he made was trading defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona in exchange for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin. Although initially believed to be a salary cap move, the Blackhawks wound up only saving approximately $300,000. 

Trading Hjalmarsson was surely a difficult endeavor for Bowman. The Swede has been one of the most underrated defensemen in the league for quite some time now. 

Connor Murphy is a formidable NHL player but he is not at the caliber of Hjalmarsson, at least not yet. To be fair, Murphy is younger and carries more of a certainty with his cost (signed for five more years at $3.85 million). Hjalmarsson only has two more seasons left on his current deal before he hits unrestricted free agency. 

Dauphin, once considered a top prospect, has fallen off a bit, but he still holds the capability of being an NHL regular. Whether he plays in Chicago or Rockford next season remains to be seen. 

However, with no disrespect towards Murphy or Dauphin, this is a great trade for Arizona. Hjalmarsson will serve as a good mentor and experienced winner on a young Coyotes squad. Plus, obviously, he is a fantastic defender. 

The Blackhawks were not done yet though. A few moments later, rumblings from Elliott Friedman indicated a swap involving Brandon Saad and Artemi Panarin was in the air. With a few extra moving parts, the deal did eventually go through. 

The final result was Columbus getting Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte and Chicago getting Brandon Saad (back) and Anton Forsberg. Low picks were also swapped. 

It is hard to get a read on this trade. Panarin and Kane had chemistry, but you could put almost anyone on Kane’s line and they will click given Kane’s skill set. 

The overarching theme here, I believe, is that the Hawks were looking for someone to play with Jonathan Toews. He and Saad were dominant in the few years they were together. After consecutive disappointing years by Toews, maybe this will give him the boost he needs. 

As for Panarin, he was just set to begin a new deal with Chicago. He is set to earn $6 million for the next two years before hitting unrestricted free agency. 

This is a trade that will be looked at in hindsight after seeing how Saad and Panarin perform on their (technically) new teams. 

As for the other pieces, Motte will likely slot in the bottom six for Columbus. Forsberg will have the chance to compete for a backup spot in Chicago. 

Stay tuned for more draft coverage. 

Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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Predicting Protected Lists: Arizona Coyotes 

Unlike the Ducks, the Coyotes are in a solid spot in terms of expansion. GM John Chayka does not have the best forward group, and therefore Arizona might have a few spots open up front to acquire and protect players via trade. 

The only player on the Coyotes with a no-movement clause is Alex Goligoski. Despite a first disappointing season in Arizona, he would have likely been protected regardless so the clause is not an issue. 

In terms of other defensemen, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is easily protected. Connor Murphy, a young and promising defenseman who recently captained the United States at Worlds, is likely to be protected as well. 

Due to their weakness up front, the Coyotes could wind up protecting four defensemen for the expansion draft. The other defensive protection spot could go to one of two of Luke Schenn or Kevin Connauton. If I had to make a guess, I would say Schenn gets the nod. 

Because in this scenario the Coyotes are protecting four defensemen, they only have four forward spots to use. They have a few unrestricted free agents (like Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata), so they are not issues. 

They have a few restricted free agents to worry about, but no one of huge significance that they might lose. 

The Arizona Coyotes expansion draft protection list could wind up looking like this:

Forwards: Anthony Duclair, Jamie McGinn, Tobias Rieder, Jordan Martinook

Defense: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Connor Murphy, Alex Goligoski, Luke Schenn

Goalie: Mike Smith 

In terms of players the Coyotes could lose, Louis Domingue, Kevin Connauton, and Brad Richardson are possible bets. 
Should they acquire another forward or two to protect, the Coyotes would switch to the 7-3-1 protection scenario instead of 8-1. 

Next team: Boston Bruins

Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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.

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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.

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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