In the first month of free agency the Arizona Coyotes looked to revamp their defense by signing and re-signing talented blue liners.
The Coyotes have signed Luke Schenn to a two-year contract worth $2.5 million a year. The right-hand shot defenseman has played in over 500 games in the league and has a -24 rating since being drafted in 2008.
The 6’2” 229 lbs defenseman spent last season with both the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings. In his 72 games last season he had four goals and 16 points with a – 2 rating.
However, scoring is not Schenn’s forte, but his physical style of play would be beneficial to any team he’s on. Schenn is not afraid to drop the gloves or throw his body around, which can help the Coyotes; who are currently trying to build a stronger defensive core.
“He’s a good, young defenseman and we feel we can optimize his performance here. He will be a solid addition to our blue line,” Coyotes General Manager John Chayka said in a statement released by the team.
It is evident that Arizona’s objective during this free agency was to strengthen their defense, and they have. The Coyotes signed Alex Goligoski after receiving his negotiating rights in a trade with the Stars. They also received Anthony DeAngelo from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Goligoski had 37 points last season and DeAngelo had 43 points with the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay’s AHL team).
Arizona has also re-signed Michael Stone, Connor Murphy, Kevin Connauton, Klas Dahlbeck and Jarred Tinordi indicating that they want mobile defensemen who can be useful on all ends of the ice.
Connauton, 26, played in 38 games for the Coyotes last season, after being traded from the Blue Jackets. In the 38 games, he had four goals and nine points with a –3 rating.
Dahlbeck, 25, played in 71 games last season and had two goals and eight points with a –5 rating.
Tinordi, 24, played in seven games for the Coyotes last season after being traded by the Canadiens. In the seven games, the former first-round pick did not score any points and had a –2 rating.
Schenn, Connauton, Dahlbeck and Tinordi are all over 6 foot tall and weigh more than 200 pounds, making the Coyotes’ defense one not to be messed with.