The Arizona Coyotes missed out on the postseason this year by a mere four points. While a success overall for the rebuilding club, the Coyotes struggled greatly on offense. The team’s 209 goals for were tied for third-worst in the NHL and their 16.3% power play success rate was sixth-worst. Behind stellar goaltending from Darcy Kuemper and strong team defense, the team largely got the job done, but they need to improve their scoring if they want to take the next step.
It’s thus no surprise that both Richard Morin of Arizona Republic and Craig Morgan of The Athletic write that Arizona will be looking to add a prominent scoring forward this summer. GM John Chayka would seem to agree:
I think to understand what we need to do to improve is pretty simple: We need to score more goals. I think anytime someone’s going through and trying to diagnose what you need to do to take that next step, that’s not the complicated part or complex part. I think what we need to understand and work through is, how do we score more goals? How do we create more offense, while maintaining that fundamental foundation of being a good stingy, defensive team.
Among the top options – albeit unlikely – for the Coyotes on the free agent market would be Columbus Blue Jackets stars Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene, Buffalo Sabres’ standout Jeff Skinner, or any of the New York Islanders’ trio of Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Brock Nelson. All of these forwards are prime talents, but may not be available to Arizona. Both Skinner and Lee are expected to re-sign with their current teams, as could Eberle or Nelson, while Panarin and Duchene are likely outside the Coyotes’ price range. More accessible free agent scorers could include Ryan Dzingel, Gustav Nyquist, Wayne Simmonds, or Brett Connolly, one or two of which would be a major boost to Arizona’s offense.
Morgan also adds that several cap-strapped teams could be forced to move talented forwards, leaving the Coyotes in places to scoop up valuable players at a discount. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, and Tampa Bay Lightning are all in a tough spot, leaving the likes of Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers, Mathieu Perreault, Ondrej Palat, J.T. Miller, or Alex Killorn possibly up for grabs.
Either by signing or trade, the Coyotes are likely to add a prominent forward or two and are expected to target wingers rather than centers. Arizona will be a team to watch this off-season as they target several of the aforementioned top names.
It’d be nice if they could ever acquire scoring forwards like Dylan Strome.
Could probably add Phil Kessel to the list
Didn’t they already have him
Ya that’s the joke goalieguy
If the Pens decide to change up the mix just to change up the mix…
Phil Kessel for Derek Stepan.
Contracts are very similar.
Goalie you will have to forgive JD he’s a Sens fan. Blackhawks were smart to acquire Strome to play with his former Erie Otters linemate Debrincat. Good move for the Hawks.
JD is that your stand up or sit down routine?
related to article, wonder if the leafs might look into Jason demers. a RD with some term but cheaper cap hit.
Ya reallly… actually read both and you can figure it out. Why would they want him he’s no good. They have numerous younger cheaper defenceman in the minors which they will have to in order to balance the cap issues they will have going forward still needing to lock up #16!
so what exactly do they trade for nothing? not too many teams will take on a full salary. plus the leafs do need a rd and not a rookie. will those guys help but there are likely 2-3 openings on this d and I’m sure they aren’t going into next season with 3 under 20 dmen in their top 6 all with no NHL playoff experience.
Price wtf I never implied they would make a trade you did. They could but they have Liljegren whose a right handed shot Duszak too, Subban,Hollowell,Oleksy,Loverde,Lindgren all cheaper options then Demers. They need to use the cap space to resign Marner and whatever space is left will allow them to make moves / trade Nylander. Babcock needs to go as well. Zaitsev also needs to be traded! 7.85 mil in Gardiner, Hainsey and Marancin off the books leaves room to make moves. As well as 650,000 for Ennis. Hutchinson 1.3 mil too. Can’t gain experience If you don’t A) Get there B) Play.