Defenseman Haydn Fleury and Left Wing/Center Ryan Donato
Surprisingly the Seattle Kraken did not offer Donato or Fleury contracts and both are entering free agency. Both of these players would fit nicely on the Coyotes and neither would be looked at as rental players or guys brought in to fill a roster for one year.
Haydn Fleury was once a first round pick (seventh overall pick in 2014, Carolina) and has very high upside still. He is an offensive defenseman who could thrive in the desert if paired with a player like Chychrun or Gostisbehere. Fleury is 6’3 208 lbs and is 26 years old. With all of the speed and skill coming down the pipeline in the next year or two, Fleury could be a big time player on this club. Given his upside he should have plenty of suitors lining up on Wednesday. The Coyotes could outbid pretty much anybody, given their cap situation.
Ryan Donato will go down as the answer to a trivia question (the player who scored the first goal in Kraken history), but has tremendous offensive skill. Donato has great hands, and above average speed, and at 26 is just entering his prime. This past season he scored 16 goals, 15 assists, and 31 points on the expansion Seattle Kraken. If the Coyotes decided to sign Donato, he would fit nicely on the second line, and could play either center or left wing (probably would play left wing). A line featuring Lawson Crouse, Jack McBain and Ryan Donato would provide some much needed secondary scoring.
Donato should have many teams coming at him with contract offers.
As mentioned, the team has many roster holes to fill, and will almost certainly not go after any of the big ticket free agents.
That is OK.
Stay the course, and enjoy the ride. Given the team’s cap situation do not be surprised if the Coyotes pick up another large contract in exchange for draft capital (happens almost every year now- Chris Pronger, Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk , Andrew Ladd) and I am honestly shocked that the Coyotes did not pick up the contract of Shea Weber from Montreal.
The team should focus on signing players that will make an impact on the ice and help develop the younger guys.
Tomorrow will be exciting. Stay tuned!