In addition to officially announcing the contract for Hudson Fasching, the Arizona Coyotes have released details on another signing. The team has inked restricted free agent Michael Bunting to a two-year, two-way contract. Bunting was eligible for salary arbitration, but will avoid it with his new contract.
Bunting, 23, was selected in the fourth round by the Coyotes five years ago, but only just made his NHL debut. The former OHL standout has had several successful seasons in the AHL, including 19 goals and 41 points in 52 games during the 2018-19 campaign. That was good enough for second on the team in both categories, while he easily led the club in penalty minutes with 84. A pesky forward that can both contribute offensively and get under an opponent’s skin, Bunting actually may have a future ahead of him in the Arizona bottom-six.
The question will be whether he can carve out that role this season, since he is no longer waiver-exempt. He cleared twice last season, once just as the season began and again later in February before the trade deadline, and will have to do so again to be sent to Tucson this season. The two-year term on his deal may actually help him clear again with teams hesitant to take on that commitment. He and Fasching both have work to do in order to contend for a spot this fall.