- The Arizona Coyotes announced they have recalled forward Michael Carcone from the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL. Carcone, who is entering the second year of a two-year, two-way deal, had only just cleared waivers yesterday. The 26-year-old winger is a veteran of six AHL seasons, and just made his NHL debut last year for Arizona where he contributed four goals and two assists in 21 games. Clearing waivers may not feel like a great sign for a player, however given Arizona’s current state as well as Carcone’s track record of AHL production and his NHL contributions last season, he should still be able to find opportunities going forward.
The Arizona Coyotes were waiting to see which goaltenders would end up on waivers at the end of training camp, and they’ve found one they like (for now). Jonas Johansson has been claimed off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The other players from yesterday have all cleared.
Johansson, 27, had signed back with the Avalanche after playing this waiver merry-go-round last year, but will have to pack his things again. After being claimed by the Florida Panthers on December 13, 2021, he ended up playing in just two games for his new organization. He was being paid to stay in the NHL and serve as a backup, but the Panthers would routinely bring up Spencer Knight to actually play the games.
That’s sort of been the theme of Johansson’s career to this point. Since first being brought up in the 2019-20 season, he has just 32 appearances in the NHL, and no more than nine for a single team in a single season. Now, even as he goes to Arizona, he likely can’t unpack.
There’s no guarantee that Johansson is on the Coyotes’ roster by the time the season rolls around. As training camps close and roster crunches occur, they could just as easily select another netminder off of waivers. If he ends up back on, the Avalanche would have a chance to bring Johansson back and send him directly to the minor leagues, as long as they were the only team to put in a claim.
For now, he is part of the Coyotes organization and will potentially slot in as the team’s second NHL netminder. While many assumed Ivan Prosvetov would assume that role, he is still waiver-exempt and can play big minutes at the AHL level to continue his development, if they wish.
- In another piece of information reported on today’s Insider Trading segment, TSN’s Darren Dreger shed some more light on the current situation with Jakob Chychrun and the Arizona Coyotes. Chychrun recently spoke on his desire to be traded to a contending team, and Dreger has reported that leaguewide trade interest in Chychrun is “intensifying.” Dreger specifically names the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and Columbus Blue Jackets as suitors for Chychrun, and notes that the Coyotes are apparently more willing to “take on a contract or contracts” in order to facilitate a deal. Given the issues the above-listed teams are facing with the flat salary cap, it seems that the biggest barrier to a Chychrun deal will be the complicated cap situation of the involved teams rather than the trade compensation package that will need to be agreed upon.
Waivers will officially open today, meaning teams around the league can start cutting eligible players with the purpose of sending them to minor league clubs. While the full list will come out at 2 pm ET, some have already started announcing their initial placements. You can see all of the day’s cuts here, but we’ll also keep track of just the waiver portion in this post.
Los Angeles Kings
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
This page will be updated throughout the day
As we now get closer and closer to the start of the regular season, some of the top selections of the 2021 and 2022 drafts will be sent back to their junior teams to continue developing. Making the NHL is a difficult task, and with CHL players under the age of 20, the AHL is not an option due to age restrictions. Today, the Arizona Coyotes have sent Conor Geekie back to the WHL’s Winnipeg ICE, where he will remain for the rest of the season. The team has also sent undrafted netminder Anson Thornton to the Barrie Colts.
Geekie, 18, was the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft, after his outstanding 2021-22 season that saw him score 70 points in 63 games with Winnipeg. He and Matthew Savoie, the ninth overall pick (Buffalo), drive one of the most exciting offensive teams in junior hockey, and should make the ICE a contender once again this year.
Standing 6’3″ but with a game focused more on skill than size, Geekie projects to be a long-time asset down the middle for the Coyotes. At this point in the rebuild, there is no benefit from rushing a player like him, meaning a trip back to junior was always in the cards. Still, it will be interesting to see what kind of forward momentum he can build this year after already dominating most nights as a 17-year-old.
Notably, since he only turned 18 in May, Geekie will not be eligible for the AHL in 2023-24 either, as he will still be under the 20-year-old cutoff. That means the ICE could potentially get him for two more years, should he fail to make the Coyotes again next fall. For now, he’ll likely be a candidate for the Canadian Word Junior team in December, and a top performer all year in the WHL.
We’re just one day away from the official start of the NHL’s preseason calendar, with a unique slate of games scheduled for tomorrow. In addition to the Boston Bruins paying a visit to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues will face-off against one another from Wichita, Kansas in a neutral-site contest. Perhaps most interesting are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, who seem to have pulled a page right out of the baseball playbook with the team’s playing a split-squad, day-night doubleheader including a 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm puck drop in Toronto. With all that action, there are several notes from around the league worth mentioning, primarily related to the opening of camp and the beginning of games, which we will keep track of here:
- It appears the Arizona Coyotes have sent 2022 first-round pick Maveric Lamoureux back to juniors ahead of training camp (link). Given the defenseman’s age and raw skillset, as well as Arizona’s position in their rebuild, it wasn’t likely Lamoureux was going to make a major impact in camp and the team likely felt he was best served by heading back to the Drummondville Voltigeurs now rather than later.
It appears as though Andrew Ladd’s career may be coming to an end, as Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports reports that the veteran forward has failed his physical due to lingering knee issues. He will be placed on injured reserve, which has a much greater impact than just taking him out of the lineup.
When the Arizona Coyotes agreed to take on Ladd’s contract from the New York Islanders in the summer of 2021, the trade included some very interesting conditions. Basically, if this exact scenario happened – Ladd still under contract for 2022-23, but not able to play – the Islanders would owe the Coyotes a 2023 third-round selection. If the veteran forward retired prior to this season or played even a single game, the pick wouldn’t be transferred.
The trade already brought two second-round picks to Arizona, one of which was used on overaged defenseman J.J. Moser, who stepped almost directly into the Coyotes lineup after being picked 60th overall in 2021. Moser had 15 points in 43 games while averaging nearly 19 minutes a night and figures to be a key building block for Arizona moving forward. Ladd himself even provided some valuable minutes, scoring seven goals and 12 points in 51 games last season after an impressive comeback.
Adding another third-round pick to the deal, while giving up nothing but money, certainly seems like a pretty nice haul for the Coyotes, who have collected draft picks better than any team in the league. Over the next three years, Arizona now holds 19 picks in the first three rounds alone. That’s after they picked three times in this year’s first round, twice in the second, and twice in the third.
If it is the end for Ladd, it comes after making it to an impressive milestone at the end of last season. The 36-year-old has played in 1,001 regular season games, scoring 256 goals and 550 points. He raised the Stanley Cup in both 2006 and 2010, first with the Carolina Hurricanes and then with the Chicago Blackhawks.
One of the ongoing talking points this summer when it comes to the Arizona Coyotes has been the future of Jakob Chychrun. A trade has been expected for some time now, yet with training camp opening this week, the defenseman is still a part of the organization that drafted him 16th overall in 2016. Recently, general manager Bill Armstrong discussed the situation and called Chychrun a “pro’s pro” in regard to how he has handled all of the speculation.
Today, Chychrun spoke directly with the media, including PHNX Sports, about what has happened so far. The team approached him at the beginning of last season about whether he wanted a trade to a more competitive situation, and Chychrun (after discussing it with his family) decided to take them up on the offer.
I don’t want these years to keep going by, and be ten, twelve years in the league not having a real good chance or shot at, not only at the playoffs, but winning the Stanley Cup…
…I think the team understands that mutual position right now for me to get moved on to a situation with a chance to win, a team that is fighting for the Stanley Cup. And for them here to get assets. I understand how rebuilds work, and I think it could be mutually beneficial.
The candid nature of Chychrun today was surprising, yet it wasn’t much of a shock to hear that he is looking for a more competitive atmosphere. The Coyotes have leaned heavily into a rebuild, trading away nearly all of their successful players from recent years, and now look set to ice a roster mostly made up of NHL cast-offs or reclamation projects. The likes of Andrew Ladd, Zack Kassian, Nick Ritchie, Nick Bjugstad, Patrik Nemeth, and Shayne Gostisbehere are all expected to be regulars, not exactly the Stanley Cup contender that Chychrun mentions.
That said, it’s hard to know exactly when a deal will be reached. This situation is similar to one that played out in Colorado a few years ago, when Matt Duchene had made it clear that he didn’t want to go through another season with the Avalanche like the 22-win 2016-17 campaign. There were rumors all summer about where he would go but when training camp arrived, he showed up and went about his work. Duchene played 14 games for the Avalanche before a deal was worked out with the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators, one that ended up bringing back Samuel Girard and several other pieces (including one that became Bowen Byram).
That’s the mutually beneficial part, as a trade of Chychrun is likely to collect several important assets for the Coyotes, ones that can help them more down the road than he will be able to–despite still being just 24. With three years (including this one) on his deal, the team should be able to demand quite a haul of futures.
One complicating factor may be Chychrun’s health, which, according to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports, is still a question mark. The defenseman had bone spurs removed from his ankle in the summer in addition to wrist surgery, and there is not yet a timeline for getting back on the ice.
With training camps almost underway, the Coyotes have finally taken care of their last restricted free agent, announcing the signing of center Barrett Hayton to a two-year contract. While the team didn’t release the financial details, Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports reports (Twitter link) that the deal will carry an AAV of $1.775MM while CapFriendly provides (Twitter link) the breakdown:
The 22-year-old was the fifth-overall selection by Arizona back in 2018 and while he has shown some improvement since then, it’s safe to say that he hasn’t yet lived up to that draft billing. Last season, Hayton spent most of the season with the Coyotes, recording 10 goals and 14 assists in 60 games while averaging over 16 minutes per game; all of those numbers were career-highs. He also got into four games with AHL Tucson where he only managed a single assist.
Injuries have limited Hayton as well in the early going as he only has 94 career NHL appearances under his belt over his three professional seasons, notching 13 goals and 18 assists. His numbers haven’t been much better in the minors either as he has managed just seven goals and nine assists in 35 AHL contests. But he’s still young enough to believe that his best days are still ahead of him.
This bridge contract allows both sides a little more time to assess Hayton’s long-term future. His days of waiver exemption are now over so he’ll be up with Arizona for the entire season for the first time and he’ll likely have a spot in their top six again in 2022-23. If he can take some strides offensively over the next couple of years, he’ll put himself in line for a nice raise in 2024 and cement himself as part of their long-term plans. He’ll be owed a qualifying offer of $2.13MM in 2024 to retain his rights as a restricted free agent, this time with arbitration eligibility.
- While Karel Vejmelka impressed at times last season, describing the Arizona Coyotes’ goaltending situation as anything but wide-open would be a mistake. The team didn’t make major additions in their crease this summer, adding Jon Gilles on a minimum deal and Christopher Gibson on a PTO, but that wasn’t for a lack of trying. Craig Morgan of PHNX.com cites sources to report that the Coyotes “targeted” goalie Charlie Lindgren on the open market before he ended up signing with the Washington Capitals. Lindgren earned a three-year $1.1MM deal, a contract that surprised some in both its cost and length due to the fact that Lindgren was an AHL goalie last year, albeit a brilliant one. That contract should be less of a surprise now though as its clear there was competition to secure Lindgren’s services.