The Arizona Coyotes: My Take on the Trade Deadline
To say that the NHL trade deadline was active is like saying it gets hot here in the desert over summer. My android cell phone was burning up — literally! It couldn’t keep up with all the news.
This particular move — at least, the dealing of Vermette — had been rumored for the last month or so. It affected Vermette’s play so much that he had only two goals over that period of time — but he’s headed to a winning team with a legitimate shot at the Cup, which would be a first for Vermette. That has to ease his anxiety a bit.
He’s been on teams throughout his career that haven’t advanced too far in the playoffs — the ’06-’07 Ottawa Senators lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Anaheim Ducks, and the Coyotes themselves fell to the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Finals in 2011-2012 — so this is a new experience for him.
The Blackhawks receive a solid centerman in this deal, as Vermette is both a two way player and a strong faceoff man with a winning 58.3% ratio. He can be iced on the power play, kills penalties and skates the full surface of the ice. On a team with a better defense and goaltending, his numbers will likely flourish. He has to be excited at the prospect, and I don’t blame him.
The Yandle Trade
Following that up, though, was the deal that really floored me — made with the N.Y. Rangers.
Don’t forget, GM Don Maloney spent ten seasons as a member of the New York Rangers’ front office — serving as the team’s Vice President of Player Personnel and Assistant General Manager — and still has some connections with the Rangers.
He worked his magic in this deal, though, trading Keith Yandle and Chris Summers — along with a 2016 fourth-round pick — to his former employer, bringing back highly-touted defensive prospect John Moore, forward Anthony Duclair, a 2015 second-round pick, and 2016 first-round pick.
This was a blockbuster trade — which, according to Maloney, was presented to him by the Rangers. He was listening to offers for Keith Yandle, and this one stuck out as a long-term good deal.
I think this is a great trade for both teams. The Rangers want to compete for the cup now, and needed an elite power play quarterback — which they got in Yandle. After nearly drinking from the cup recently without success, the Rangers needed to take the next step to succeed — and they may have done that by landing Yandle.
The Coyotes, on the other hand, are rebuilding. They’re trying to get faster, and they’re trying to get younger. They accomplished that with great success in acquiring “Tony D” — who was an enigmatic linemate of Max Domi’s during the World Junior Championship. This trade means nothing but good things for the future of the franchise.
Zbynek Michalek’s Deal
The final trade was another we were all expecting, with Zbynek Michalek getting dealt to the St. Louis Blues for offensive prospect Maxim Letunov. The Russian prospect will attend Boston University, and will be a work in progress.
Worst case scenario, the St. Louis Blues will get a third round pick instead of Michalek, who’s been battling concussion issues recently. In the case that Michalek plays, though, it’s a player for prospect swap — and a good one at that.
In a move to supplement the recently depleted roster, GM Don Maloney claimed forwards Tye McGinn and Craig Cunningham off waivers, then acquired goaltender David Leggio from the New York Islanders for defenseman Mark Louis to replace Louis Domingue in Portland. Both McGinn and Cunningham are fourth round picks from the 2010 entry draft, and help the Coyotes maintain NHL depth until the prospects are ready to come up.
There, I think I’m done. Whew, what a trade deadline this was ! !
Hold on to your Coyotes hats fans — next season should be lots of fun, and hopefully a lot more winning. My hat is off to GM Don Maloney, who pulled more rabbits out of hats than can be imagined. Is this team better for it? We aren’t sure yet — but it certainly looks that way.
I don’t know about you, but I will be counting down the days until training camp later this year to see this almost completely retooled Coyotes. If you thought the 2011-2012 roster was fun, you haven’t seen anything yet.
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