(Photo: Arizona Coyotes)
There has been much speculation as to what moves the tanking Arizona Coyotes would make with the approaching trade deadline, and they finally made several blockbuster trades in the final days of the deadline.
With an imploding team, and a playoff spot not even being an option, the Coyotes were obviously ready to make some big moves. When the new owner Andrew Barroway was instated, it was clear that he had plans to change the team and with the help of General Manager Don Maloney, they have done just that.
Vermette to Chicago
Anotine Vermette was arguably their biggest trade piece. The power forward has the capability to be a high goal scorer, and with the recent injury of Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, Vermette makes sense. Whether or not Vermette will just be a rental or not will be decided this summer when he is available for free agency, but he is a great addition for the moment. According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times Vermette centered a line with wingers Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad.
Vermette had 36 points (13 goals, 22 points) this season with the Coyotes and has the potential to do so much more with a powerful offensive line.
In return for the veteran forward, the Coyotes obtained Klas Dahlbeck a 23-year-old Swedish defenseman. He has played for the Blackhawks’ AHL team the Rockford IceHogs where he’s had four goals and seven assists in 48 AHL games, and one goal in four NHL games with the Blackhawks this season.
In addition to Dahlbeck, who will be a versatile addition to the Coyotes, Arizona got a first round pick from Chicago.
Yandle to New York
In a blockbuster trade with the New York Rangers, the Coyotes traded Keith Yandle and Chris Summers (along with a fourth round draft pick) for forward Anthony Duclair, defenseman John Moore, a first round draft choice in the 2016 Entry Draft and a second round draft choice in the 2015 Entry Draft.
Keith Yandle led the Coyotes with 41 points this season (4 goals, 37 assists) 63 games. Summers collected 0-3-3 in 17 games with the Coyotes in 2014-15.
“Keith Yandle was a terrific player and leader for us,” Maloney said. “We would like to thank him for all his contributions to the organization over the past nine seasons. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.”
At 19 years of age, Duclair has recorded 7 points this seasons with the New York Rangers in 18 games. His latest career highlight was playing alongside Coyotes prospect Max Domi in Team Canada’s gold medal win during the World Junior Championships.
“Anthony Duclair is a dynamic, skilled forward who has size, speed and offensive talent,” Maloney said about the acquisition. “He will be a valuable addition to our organization.”
John Moore was also added to the Coyotes roster in the trade with New York. An original Columbus Blue Jackets first round draft pick, the 24-year-old has collected 6 points and 19 penalty minutes in 38 games with the Rangers.
“John Moore is a young, strong skating, puck moving defenseman who will solidify our core group on the blue line,” Maloney said.
Michalek to St. Louis
Zbynek Michalek was one of the other Coyotes that’s been on the trade radar for some time now. Though he is currently suffering from post-concussion symptoms and hasn’t been on the ice since the incident, the Coyotes still got something for him. Michalek had 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) and 12 penalty minutes in 53 games with the club this season
In the trade, the Coyotes let go of the defenseman and a conditional third round draft choice for St. Louis Blues prospect Maxim Letunov. Letunov is opting to play for Boston University before he begins his career in the NHL. This is a great addition to the Coyotes for the future. They wanted young players and they’ve got them.
“Maxim is a big, skilled center with excellent upside,” Maloney said. “He will play at Boston University next season who do a great job developing players. We are excited to have him join our organization.”
In further efforts to revamp their team, the Coyotes went to waivers to find some new additions. After picking up Mark Arcobello off of waivers from the Penguins a few weeks ago, the Coyotes have seen luck in their addition from a waiver pick-up. Claiming Tye McGinn and Craig Cunningham will hopefully work in their favor.
Craig Cunningham, a forward who played in 32 games with the Boston Bruins this season has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) and 2 penalty minutes. In 21 games with the Providence Bruins, he has 15 (5 goals, 2 assists) points and 8 penalty minutes.
Tye McGinn, another forward, was picked up off of waivers by the Arizona Coyotes from the San Jose Sharks. In 33 games, McGinn has 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) and 11 penalty minutes. In 69 total career NHL games, McGinn has registered 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists).
The Coyotes made one more minor trade for the day moving minor-league defenseman Mark Louis to the New York Islanders for goaltender David Leggio. Leggio has not seen a game with the Islanders this year, but has a 7-13-0 record with a 3.93 goals against average and a .861 save percentage in 23 games with AHL team the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
All of the draft picks
Don Maloney and the Coyotes new way of building seems to be in youth. With strong young players like Max Domi already in their system, and a good amount of draft picks, their rebuild is on it’s way to being extremely successful in the long run. There are a number of quality players such as Boston University’s Jack Eichel and the Ontario Hockey League’s Connor McDavid. The draft pick accumulation is the way to go if you want to build from the young players.
In this years draft, the Coyotes have 2 first round picks, 2 second round picks and 2 third round picks. In 2016, the Coyotes already have 2 first round picks and 1 second round pick. Seems to be that the teams goal of ‘young players’ has really been taken seriously in this trade deadline.
All said and done
When it’s all said and done, the Coyotes took an interesting, but proactive stance on their trades. Players like Vermette are probably not going to stick around in free agency, and acquiring high draft picks and valuable prospects is better for the team in the long run. Though you hate to see a guy like Keith Yandle go, again the picks and players you can get gives them more options during the offseason. The Coyotes will retain 50% of Yandle and Michalek’s salaries.