With the team comfortable at both goaltending and defense, the Arizona Coyotes are expected to be add to their forward lines this offseason. Don’t be surprised if Arizona looks into the free agent market this summer and attempts to grab itself a top-six forward, according to AZCentral’s Richard Morin.
A team with ample cap space, Arizona has spent the last few years building through the draft and then this past season made multiple trades to upgrade its roster, acquiring the likes of Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Richard Panik. The scribe writes the franchise, especially after an impressive second-half run, might look to dip its feet into the free agency market. While acquiring center John Tavares is not a likely scenario, the team might be able to snag an elite winger such as James van Riemsdyk, Patrick Maroon or Rick Nash.Â The team will have a couple of their own free agents they must sign, including veteran Brad Richardson, Zac Rinaldo, Kevin Connauton and Luke Schenn (as well as try to extend defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson), but the team should have the assets to upgrade their offense.
Morin does also admit that general manager John Chayka might also go back to the trade route as well, but at the same time, the team believes they will see an uptick in production from rookie Clayton Keller and now believe that prospect Dylan Strome is ready to handle full-time duties in the NHL.
- While the Los Angeles Kings are expecting back defenseman Jake Muzzin from injury, the Vegas Golden Knights might get back an injured player of their own as head coach Gerard Gallant said winger David Perron is a game-time decision, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s David Schoen. Perron, who has been out since Mar. 26 with an undisclosed injury is expected to return and start on the team’s third line if he returns to the game. “There’s a chance he might play tonight,” Gallant said.
- Adam Vingan of the Tennessean writes the Nashville Predators might be getting Calle Jarnkrok back from injury soon. The forward hasn’t played since Mar. 13 due to an upper-body injury. He scored 16 goals this year as a bottom-line forward.
- Orange Country Register’s Eric Stephens reports that Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler is not expected to go on the team’s road trip to San Jose. Fowler has been out with a shoulder injury since early April.