Arizona Coyotes are looking to deal and have major decisions to make by the deadline
The Arizona Coyotes have had a bad season and it seems like they will be moving out some veterans come the trade deadline. There was some hope that this team could compete this year, however the Coyotes never got going. The team struggled, but that doesn’t mean the team is fundamentally flawed. It seems that the organizations idea is to retool not rebuild.
Areas That Need Improvement
Offense: The Coyotes are 26th in the league in goals for. This team has never been heavy on offense, but it looks like the club could use an infusion of skill to take some pressure off of their defense. For them to address this area they will be looking for a player who is not a UFA at years end.
Goaltending: Mike Smith has been horrific this year and is a big reason that the team is having issues. The Coyotes are 28th in goals against. The blame doesn’t fall squarely on Smith as Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle have had weak seasons. Smith has played in 27 games, but has a putrid .885 Save Percentage to accompany a 3.52 Goals Against Average. That save percentage leaves him ranked 64th among NHL goalies.
Don Maloney, the Coyotes GM told the Arizona Republic recently “When it doesn’t come together, you have to look at it and say, ‘You know what? We have to change our focus and our plan and what we did and find a way to get better.” Maloney continued “Everybody’s trying to do something that makes sense, and that’s why you don’t see any deals because it’s very hard to find fits…But that’s the job, too. You have to work it and find it.”
For Sale: The Fourth Period has reported that the Coyotes would be willing to move the following for the right price.
Antoine Vermette– Vermette leads the Coyotes in points and is really the only solid center on the market. He has been linked to several teams around the league.
Keith Yandle– Yandle always comes up, but this year they may actually move him. The Yotes and Bruins have apparently talked about him. If the Coyotes move him they will want NHL ready talent.
Martin Erat– Erat has 18 points in 41 games this year, but could still help a team in need of a veteran. Don’t expect him to go for much more than a pick.
Arizona is a budget team. If Mike Smith has lost his job, would they consider moving his big $ deal? If so, a smart gamble for…someone…?
— Dan Tencer (@dantencer) December 24, 2014
Of course this is just spit balling, but its hard to imagine that Mike Smith is safe since he has struggled so much.
What Could The Coyotes Look For?
This team needs to improve their offense 5 on 5 and could stand to add a goalie to push Smith. The Coyotes should look into Jordan Eberle, Torey Krug, Carl Soderberg, Lars Eller, and Marcus Johansson. In terms of Goaltending they should look into Cam Talbot or perhaps Malcolm Subban.
*Reminder, I’m not saying any of the players above are actively being shopped, I have seen their name thrown around here or there, but mainly I selected them because I feel there the kinds of players the Coyotes could use.*
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