After making two major trades on NHL Entry Draft day, is GM John Chayka done? He still has some needs to address.
Arizona Coyotes could move a goalie
Since the NHL Expansion Draft is over, and the dust has settled, it is interesting to note that the Arizona Coyotes have three goalies now. They acquired goalie Antti Raanta in the trade with the New York Rangers where they also received center Derek Stepan.
They still have backup Louis Domingue who was exposed to the expansion draft, but was not selected by the Vegas Golden Knights. Earlier, the Coyotes traded their starting goalie, Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames, receiving Chad Johnson in return.
They protected him in the expansion draft, and still own his rights until July 1, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. So, with the consensus being that Raanta will be the starting goalie and Domingue the backup, that means they could deal Johnson away.
There are still some teams needing a goalie.
Like the Philadelphia Flyers. Could the Flyers be interested in taking Johnson off of Chayka’s hands?
The Dallas Stars are reportedly placing backup goalie Antti Niemi on waivers for the purpose of a buyout. With the signing of Ben Bishop and backup Michal Neuvirth, Niemi became expendable. Fans will need a program to get adjusted to all the goaltending changes when the new season begins again.
So what else do the Arizona Coyotes need?
They could use another right-shooting defenseman, although after obtaining left-shooting Niklas Hjalmarsson from the Chicago Blackhawks. Hjalmarsson is adept at playing both the right and left sides, but it still would be nice to have a right shot from the blue-line now that Connor Murphy is gone in that Chicago trade.
The only blue-liner with a right shot now is Luke Shenn. They traded away Anthony DeAngelo to the Rangers. They could also bring up Kyle Wood from their AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners, who is a right-hand shooting defenseman. They have options.
One name which may be of interest to Chayka is Cody Franson of the Buffalo Sabres. He’s not only a right handed shot, he’s huge. He has a NHL size body at 6′-5″, 224 pounds. He’s also an unrestricted free agent in five days. He carries a $3.325 million salary cap hit, and would probably want an increase signing with a new team.
They could also use a right wing, and will investigate signing their leading scorer last season, Radim Vrbata to another contract. He becomes an unrestricted free agent on Saturday. Vrbata has publicly stated that he wants to stay in the Valley, and he would fill that right wing void.
They may also give young prospect Christian Fischer a longer look, as he has the same body type as a departed Shane Doan. If he can fill that right wing slot, Vrbata coming back will only be a bonus.
The team also has Jamie McGinn, who has played right wing before, and Jordan Martinook, who also needs to be signed, as he is a restricted free agent by weeks’ end. He can play left or right wing, and even filled in at center last season. He’s a penalty killing expert, and a pure hustle player.
Mostly, the Coyotes need their young prospects to excel
This will be an important season for many of the young prospects to start excelling so this team can get going. Players like Dylan Strome, Clayton Keller, and Christian Fischer need to step up. Then, second-year prospects like Lawson Crouse, Christian Dvorak, Jakob Chychrun, and Brendan Perlini need to take it to the next level.
They’re also in need of a new Head Coach, as Dave Tippett and the team decided to part ways. They need a Head Coach who can mentor and develop all the young players on their roster.
It was reported by Sarah McLellan of azcentral.com that the Arizona Coyotes are extending qualifying offers to Martinook, Anthony Duclair, Nick Cousins, Tyler Gaudet, and Marek Langhamer. Other players who were not offered qualifying offers were also announced, and they will become unrestricted free agents.
The Arizona Coyotes opened their rookie summer camp… and I do mean SUMMER, with temperatures near 114 degrees. It was reported that the ice surface was less than desirable at the AZ Ice in Peoria, AZ. Apparently, getting the ice to stay frozen is quite difficult with temperatures as excessive as they have been.
Yet, it’s hockey in June, in the HOT desert.
Nothing like it.
What do you think the Arizona Coyotes should do to become more competitive? Please comment below.
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