The Arizona Coyotes are hoping to add scoring help this off-season, but have limited room to work with. The ’Yotes currently have $74.4MM committed to 20 players for next season, leaving them with an estimated $8.6MM in cap space. That number will increase once Marian Hossa can be placed on long-term injured reserve, but most of their space will be used to re-sign RFA’s Nick Cousins, Lawson Crouse, and Josh Archibald and possibly UFA Richard Panik. So how can they bring in some additional scoring help on the cheap? TSN reports that GM John Chayka is very interested in the European free agent market right now. Chayka has been in Slovakia scouting the World Championships and appears to have his eye on a few of the participants. One player he did miss out on is Anton Wedin, who instead chose to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks last week. Yet, Chayka claims there are still options out there. If the Coyotes can secure a talented import forward with an entry-level contract, that may be the best way to add affordable scoring help this summer.
- A promising player leaving North America for Europe is collegiate forward Ludvig Hoff. With one year of NCAA eligibility still remaining, the University of North Dakota winger has nevertheless decided to turn pro. Hoff is headed home to Norway, as the Stavanger Oilers announced a two-year contract with the 22-year-old. Stavenger is already a perennial contender in the Get Ligaen, the top league in Norway, but were still very excited to be adding Hoff. The team’s GM, Pal Higson, called Hoff “undoubtedly one of the most exciting younger players in Norwegian hockey” in the team’s release. Hoff recorded 36 points over three seasons at North Dakota as a bottom-six forward but has the potential to be more effective in an increased role with the Oilers.
- A player staying in Europe is former Atlanta Thrasher and Winnipeg Jet Carl Klingberg. A second-round pick in 2009 who starred for Sweden at two World Junior Championships, Klingberg entered the NHL with big expectations. However, in five seasons with the Thrashers/Jets, he failed to truly crack the lineup, playing in just 12 NHL games total and recording one lone point. Klingberg returned to Europe in 2015 and has been playing for EV Zug of the Swiss NLA since 2016. This season, though limited by injury, was the best per-game production of Klingberg’s career, fueling some speculation that the 28-year-old forward might take another whack at the NHL. Instead, Zug announced a new two-year deal to retain Klingberg, which likely implies that he has little intention of making a return to North America.