As trade talks heat up, one player that certainly seems more likely than not to be finishing the season on a different team is veteran defenseman Alex Goligoski. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports that the Arizona Coyotes are listening to offers for Goligoski and are expected to move him before the trade deadline in six weeks. Goligoski was also listed at No. 22 on The Athletic’s Trade Deadline Board and labeled “the most attractive” of Arizona’s five impending free agent defensemen.
Goligoski, 35, is in the final season of a five-year, $27.375MM contract that he signed with Arizona back in 2016. Although Goligoski has enjoyed some of his best seasons over the course of the contract, Seravalli states that there have been no extension talks with the Coyotes and Goligoski is expected to hit free agency this summer. With Arizona currently at .500 and sitting in sixth place in the West Division, looking unlikely to contend for a playoff spot, Goligoski is worth far more as a trade chip than he is remaining on the roster.
The Coyotes, uniquely in need of draft picks this year, stand a good chance of getting a nice return for Goligoski. Seravalli believes that there is already interest in the mobile defenseman and that interest could grow as the deadline grows closer. Goligoski brings experience and ability to any team willing to give up the pieces needed to get him. And while his contract carries a $5.475MM AAV, Goligoski is only making $4MM in actual salary, which could appeal to teams that are being careful about their finances. Seravalli also points out that teams are impressed by Goligoski’s ability to eat minutes, even late in his career, as well as his versatility as a left-shot who is equally comfortable on the right side. All these factors could produce a wide pool of suitors of Goligoski in the coming weeks.