Arizona Coyotes: Three potential free agents still available

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 29: Chris Stewart of the Calgary Flames takes a break in an NHL game on March 29, 2018 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - MARCH 29: Chris Stewart of the Calgary Flames takes a break in an NHL game on March 29, 2018 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /

 When teams have a disappointing season, it is expected that changes will be made. The Arizona Coyotes did just that this offseason, as they brought in some much-needed depth, as well as players in need of a fresh start. The list of new additions is extensive, headlined by the likes of Alex Galchenyuk, Michael Grabner, Barrett Hayton and Vinnie Hinostroza. 

Management and fans of teams always question if the changes are enough to propel a team to the next level, and this will continue until the start of the season. For Arizona Coyotes fans, they should be very excited about the upcoming season following a slew of transactions being made over the course of the offseason.

However, there are still free agents that remain that could offer value to a Coyotes team in need of depth and veteran presence.

   1. Chris Stewart

Many people will balk at this suggestion, however, Chris Stewart is a player who could add a lot of value to a young speedy Coyotes team. Just as Matthews had Martin and McDavid has Lucic, the young core of the Coyotes could use a big, physical power forward to clear space for them and add the much-needed toughness and size they lack.

Stewart playing on a 4th line with Brad Richardson and Lawson Crouse could cause havoc for opposing teams. They are the perfect combination of defense, size, and scoring touch. Stewart has the ability to score 10-15 goals, whilst being one of the scariest players to play against.

  1. Joshua Morrissey

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Morrissey is an RFA, and there is said to be an unwritten rule amongst General Managers, not to offer sheet players. However, at the end of the day, this is a business and you have to do what is best for your team. Morrissey could offer a lot to a young and promising Coyotes team.

The uncertainty in negotiations between the Jets and Morrissey offers the possibility of an offer sheet in the $5.5-$6.5 million/year range going unmatched. That would be a steep price for the Jets when taking into consideration Blake Wheeler and Tyler Myers are both free agents next offseason. Not to mention, Patrik Laine and Jacob Trouba will be due for raises.

Morrissey could add a lot of potential for years to come to a Coyotes blue line which ranked 11th in Goals Against (GA) last season. His speed, defensive ability, low giveaway rate, and offensive upside can be very intriguing for the Coyotes.

  1.    Troy Brouwer 

Much like Stewart, Brouwer would offer the Coyotes an aspect they currently lack, size and grit. The best part is his knack for finding the back of the net and the potential to put up 20-30 points a season. For a player who will play 4th line minutes and be a bottom-six scoring option, that is a bonus.

Brouwer is known for his ability to throw his body around and could make the Coyotes a harder team to play against. Additionally, as a player known for his defensive abilities, he can be used to kill penalties.  This aspect of his game was especially evident during his time with the Blues.

The Coyotes have many young players in need of a roster spot, which is why they would have to choose between Brouwer and Stewart.  It is also the reason why I have Stewart ranked higher.

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Wrapping it up

The Coyotes have a lot to look forward to this year with some exciting acquisitions set to make their desert debut. However, the players aforementioned could provide immense value and a veteran presence for a young Coyotes roster.

With the plethora of young, speedy, scoring forwards, a player like Stewart or Brouwer could add a dimension the Coyotes currently lack. The Coyotes will need to be a harder team to play against and add some grit to their game if they have hopes of having a better season.

On the blue line, Morrissey could add immense value to a paper-thin defensive core for years to come. A top 3 of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Chychrun and Morrissey is a scary thought and would allow the Coyotes to be on their way to a Nashville-esque defense group.