The best and worst Coyotes trade deadline moves
GLENDALE, Ariz. — John Chayka is currently navigating the first NHL trade deadline of his career as Coyotes general manager. Only time will tell if he will have as much success as he did this summer when he landed defensemen Jakob Chychrun, Anthony DeAngelo and left winger Lawson Crouse.
With one week remaining before the March 1 deadline, we went back through the Coyotes’ (not Jets’) previous trade deadline moves to pick three winners, three losers and three incompletes.
1. March 10, 2003: GM Mike Barnett traded center Daniel Briere and a 2004 third-round pick to Buffalo that ended up being effective defenseman Andrej Sekera for center Chris Gratton and a 2004 fourth-round pick that ended up being forward Liam Reddox.
What they lost: Briere had 28 goals and 65 points the next season for Buffalo, 32 goals and a career-high 95 points in 2006-07, and totaled 233 goals and 546 points after he left Arizona. Sekera is currently playing on Edmonton’s second pairing and has totaled 44 goals and 214 points in 625 NHL games.
What they gained: Gratton played the rest of that season and one more with the Coyotes, scoring 11 goals and 30 points. At least the Coyotes later traded him to Colorado along with defenseman Ossi Vaananen and a second-round pick for defensemen Derek Morris and Keith Ballard. Reddox never played a game for the Coyotes but played 100 for Edmonton, totaling six goals and 24 points.
2. March 6, 2001: There will be some disagreement on this one, but GM Cliff Fletcher traded holdout goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to Tampa Bay for defensemen Stan Neckar, Paul Mara, wing Mike Johnson and a second-round draft pick.
What they gained: Johnson had a pair of good seasons with the Coyotes in 2002-03 (63 points) and 2005-06 (54 points). Neckar played two more unmemorable seasons in Arizona, Mara had a couple 40-plus point seasons but his career declined dramatically after 2006. That was OK, but…
What they lost: Khabibulin was a 2002 NHL All-Star and won a Stanley Cup with Tampa in 2004. The Coyotes lost a franchise goaltender.
3. March 4, 2014: GM Don Maloney acquired forward Martin Erat and forward John Mitchell from the Washington Capitals for forward Chris Brown, defenseman Rostislav Klesla and a fourth-round selection in the 2015 draft.
What they lost: Not much. Klesla’s career was all but over after an unpenalized cheap shot from L.A.’s Jordan Nolan in a preseason game. Brown has two goals and three points in 23 NHL games.
What they gained: Not much, and that’s why this trade ranks among our top three. The Coyotes were on the cusp of playoff contention at the time of the deal but Maloney did little or nothing to improve the team, opening a rift with coach Dave Tippett that only grew wider the following season when Arizona fielded a challenged roster. Mitchell never played a game for the Coyotes. Erat had 11 goals and 37 points in 96 games over two seasons with Arizona. He now plays in the Czech League.
1. Feb. 22, 2012: Maloney traded a second-round pick in 2012 (goalie Anthony Stolarz), a fifth-round pick in 2013 and goaltender Curtis McElhinney for center Antoine Vermette.
What they lost: Other than a second-round pick, nothing really. McElhinney has been a marginal NHL backup.
What they gained: A strong two-way center with excellent faceoff skills who helped lead the Coyotes to the Western Conference Final. Vermette had five goals and 10 points in 16 playoff games that season and became a staple in the middle.
2. March 3, 2010: Maloney sent forwards Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter to Colorado for Wojtek Wolski.
What they lost: Mueller never regained his rookie year form when he had 22 goals and 54 points. After part of another season in Colorado and part of another in Florida he played in the Swiss and Swedish leagues before returning to the AHL this season. Porter is with the Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre Scranton.
What they gained: Wolski was a point machine in the Coyotes’ playoff push. In 18 regular season games, he had six goals and 18 points. He followed that up with four goals and five points in a seven-game, playoff-series loss to Detroit.
3. March 29, 2013: Maloney traded forward Kale Kessy to Edmonton for forward Tobias Rieder.
What they lost: Kessy, 24, has yet to crack an NHL lineup and is currently playing in the ECHL.
What they gained: Rieder is in his third season with the Coyotes and has established himself as a strong two-way player and penalty killer. In 210 NHL games, he has 40 goals and 82 points.
Honorable mention: March 3, 2010. Coyotes acquired forward Lee Stempniak for defenseman Matt Jones and fourth- and seventh-round picks in 2010. Stempniak had a whopping 14 goals and 18 points in 18 regular-season games to help the Coyotes go 13-3-2 down the stretch and record a franchise-high 107 points. The only reason he doesn’t make our top three is because he went stone cold in the playoffs, managing just two assists in a seven-game series loss to Detroit.
March 2, 2015: Maloney traded Vermette to Chicago for defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and the Blackhawks’ first-round pick (Nick Merkley). At the time this looked like a steal and it looked even better when Vermette re-signed with the Coyotes in the offseason. In effect, the Coyotes gave up nothing. What remains to be seen is if they got anything. Vermette had a terrible year last year and the Coyotes bought him out this summer. At the start of the year, they waived Dahlbeck and Carolina claimed him. Merkley suffered a torn ACL but has started to regain his form (19 goals, 49 points in 50 games with Kelowna of the WHL). If he can make it to the AHL next season and become an NHL player, the Coyotes will still win this deal.
March 1, 2015: Maloney sent defenseman Keith Yandle, defenseman Chris Summers and a 2016 fourth-round pick to New York for right wing Anthony Duclair, defenseman John Moore, New York’s first-round pick (traded to select D Jakob Chychrun) this summer and a second-round pick last summer that was flipped for two third-round picks (G Adin Hill, LW Brendan Warren). Yandle has 29 points this season for Florida while Duclair was demoted to Tucson of the AHL, but Chychrun could end up being a top-four defenseman, Duclair could regain his scoring touch and Hill could be the Coyotes’ goalie of the future. If even two of those three pan out, this may rank as the greatest deadline deal in Coyotes history.
Feb. 28, 2016: Maloney traded forward Mikkel Boedker to Colorado for forward Alex Tanguay, center prospect Conner Bleackley and defensive prospect Kyle Wood. Boedker had four goals and 12 points in 18 games for the Avs, but signed with San Jose this summer where he has six goals and 19 points in 58 games. Tanguay had four goals and 13 points in 18 games for the Coyotes, but he retired. The Coyotes did not sign Bleackley, but the compensatory, second-round pick they acquired by not doing so was traded to Detroit to help them draft Chychrun so the deal partially hinges on his development and mainly on Wood, a right-handed defenseman who has 10 goals and 34 points in 45 games with Tucson.
Coyotes at Blackhawks
When: 6:30 p.m., Thursday
Where: United Center, Chicago
Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM
Records: Coyotes — 21-30-7. Blackhawks — 37-18-5.
Season series: Blackhawks lead, 2-0.
Injury report: Coyotes — LW Lawson Crouse (IR, lower body) is day to day and could play. Center Brad Richardson (broken right tibia and fibula) is on injured reserve. Blackhawks — None.
Scouting the Blackhawks: Chicago is 7-1 in February, has won its last seven road games and is getting contributions up and down the lineup, giving it the look of a Cup contender once again. … C Jonathan Toews had three goals and five points in a win in Minnesota on Tuesday. He has 11 goals and 30 points in 30 games since returning from a back injury in mid-December. … RW Richard Panik has five goals and 10 points in his last nine games. … Chicago is one of the rumored landing spots for Coyotes RW Radim Vrbata and C Martin Hanzal, if they get traded.