With the Coyotes within striking distance of a playoff spot, they may not be as inclined to become sellers as some may think. Even if they do try to add, Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic believes that winger Richard Panik is likely to be dealt anyway as it’s unlikely that Arizona will look to bring him back this summer. The 27-year-old is having a decent season with 18 points (10-8-18) in 44 games while averaging 16:43 per night, a career high. Consistency has been an issue but Panik is someone that could slide into a middle-six role for some teams in need of extra scoring depth on the wing. He carries a $2.8MM cap hit this season and will become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Elsewhere in the Pacific:
- The Oilers plan to scale back winger Jesse Puljujarvi’s minutes for the time being, notes Postmedia’s Robert Tychkowski. Head coach Ken Hitchcock indicated that the 20-year-old has struggled to adjust to the increased intensity of the games in recent weeks but at the same time, simply sending him back to the AHL won’t help him with that. Instead, they’ll deploy him on Edmonton’s fourth line for now. Puljujarvi has been part of trade speculation all season long and him dropping down the depth chart likely will keep him at the forefront in that regard.
- The Golden Knights could have defenseman Colin Miller back tonight after missing the last 13 games due to an upper-body injury, reports David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. With more than half of his points this year coming with the man advantage, he’d be a welcome boost for the Vegas power play. A roster spot would need to be freed up to activate him off injured reserve but goalie Malcolm Subban could simply be transferred to IR in the short-term to open up that spot.
- Kings defenseman Oscar Fantenberg missed last game with a lower-body injury but head coach Willie Desjardins told Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times that the blueliner is close to returning. The 27-year-old has held down a regular spot on their third pairing for most of the season while logging nearly 15 minutes a night.