The Arizona Coyotes have had a year to forget, but brighter days may be on the horizon. It is never fun when teams have to dump players to improve, but it is a little better when you have assets to dump that will bring a return. Teams like New Jersey have aging players to dump, that will bring less of a return than what the Coyotes have. The Coyotes are at a point where they may have to give to get. They are in need of young offensive prospects, and the time to retool is now.
The Coyotes have what many teams are in need of. They have a solid top four blue liner in Keith Yandle. Yandle is a 29 year old defenseman that has posted 26 points in 40 games played this season. He has been a very solid defenseman though out his career. In 535 NHL games Yandle has put up an impressive 296 points. With one year left on a 5.25 million dollar contract, Yandle will likely bring a solid return. His value continues to increase, based on the fact that many NHL teams are in desperate need of top defenseman, and no one wants to give that up.
Another asset that he Coyotes have is Antoine Vermette. The big forward will be a great rental player for a team making a playoff run. Vermette is in the last year of his contract, and has made no progress in resigning with the Coyotes. He currently makes a modest 3.75 million, and is 32 years old. Vermette has posted 10 goals, 17 assists for 27 points this year in 40 games played. His value would be much higher if a contract could be agreed to with his new club, so that will be a factor.
Martin Erat is an aging forward that is also very much in play for a trade. The once scoring star for the Nashville Predators may be a good fit for a team making a playoff push. He has posted 18 points in 40 games this season. He is currently in the final year of a 7 year $31.5 million dollar contract.
Arizona General Manager Don Maloney will busy leading up to the March 2nd NHL Trade Deadline. It has already been reported that the Boston Bruins have inquired about the services of Keith Yandle. It looks as thought the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers may also be interested. It is expected that movement in Arizona will take place, and it just may come sooner than on deadline day. The Coyotes are looking to add some young scorers, and bolster there prospect pool.
QUICK TRADE TALK:
- Minnesota is questioning their goaltender stability. They are currently determining if they should wait for Kuemper to heal, and Backstrom to regain his form, or bring in a player to help them in the short term. Talk that Antti Niemi, Martin Brodeur or Cam Ward (no trade clause) could fill this void. I don’t think anyone should rule out James Reimer. He would fit this bill perfectly, and would be a solid one/two with Kuemper for the future.
- The Carolina Hurricanes are off to a horrid start, and the thought that Eric Staal would be dealt may just be more of a reality than many thought. Teams rumored to have interest are Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary.
- Will Ryan O’Reilly be a Colorado Avalanche after the trade deadline? Based on talk the Avalanche are willing to deal O’Reilly, but they are looking for defensive help in return. Teams such as Toronto, Calgary, and Washington have expressed interest, and now the Montreal Canadiens have entered the mix. Montreal has the defensive depth to make this happen, but are they willing to take on the $6.2 million dollar contract that O’Reilly has. I just do not see anything happening with all this talk.
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