The Arizona Coyotes are determined to be a different team in the 2023-24 season, and reports suggest they are targeting a big name on defense.
After landing experienced NHL pros such as Jason Zucker and Alex Kerfoot, as well as the return of Nick Bjugstad and Troy Stecher, the Arizona Coyotes are reportedly pursuing defenseman Matt Dumba, per PHNX’s Craig Morgan.
The Coyotes are looking to build a new identity for the 2023-24 season, with a clear determination and target of taking the next step in their ongoing rebuilding process, which began with last season’s surprise improvements despite so many models believing the Coyotes to be the worst-constructed roster in the league.
The departure of Jakob Chychrun was inevitable, albeit disappointing with the future looking so much brighter for the on-ice product, so a new identity needed to be made along the blueline, which began last month with the trade to acquire Sean Durzi from the Los Angeles Kings.
Troy Stecher’s return gives the Coyotes a six-man unit that is NHL ready, with J.J. Moser looking to have been a steal in the second round (60th overall) of the 2021 Draft, the waiver wire acquisition of Juuso Välimäki looking to have been a masterstroke after his impressive 34-point debut season in the desert, and former top prospect Victor Söderström likely being given a genuine opportunity to play meaningful minutes at the NHL level after making 30 appearances for the team last season.
While this is all positive for the team, who could be content to move forward with the group as it stands, it seems that they are still keen to bring in fresh faces that can have a genuine impact and help the Coyotes move forward in a positive way.
Winner of the 2019-20 King Clancy, Matt Dumba is a veteran defenseman who would be a guaranteed top pairing player if he was brought to the desert, showing that the Coyotes genuinely mean business with their plans to be more competitive this year.
The 28-year-old from Regina, Saskatchewan has 598 regular season games under his belt, with 79 goals and 236 total points while averaging 20:37 in ice time across his career with the Minnesota Wild.
He has a strong two-way game, able to put up points where necessary while also being defensively responsible, blocking 699 shots and throwing 816 hits across his career, adding a bit of bite in his own zone.
He has shown leadership qualities that are valued by the organisation, donning the alternative captain’s ‘A’ on his jersey over the past two seasons, and would likely be a candidate for a letter on his jersey again should he opt to bring his talents to the desert.
The Arizona Coyotes will be a changed team in 2023-24, and if they can land a player like Dumba, it will give them even more of a reason to believe that things are heading in the right direction.