The Arizona Coyotes were busy on the first day of free agency, signing five players on Wednesday.
It’s no secret that the Coyotes had holes to fill after a 24-50-8 record with 56 points and Coyotes general manager Don Maloney joined Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM to discuss the moves.
“We were missing a couple of centermen, defensemen, a backup goalie, and some toughness,” Maloney said. “I think we got all that.”
The Coyotes signed centers Antoine Vermette and Brad Richardson, goalie Anders Lindback, defenseman Zbynek Michalek, and forward Steve Downie.
“We know we are in a transitional period, but you have to surround those people with quality veterans,” Maloney said.
After the addition of those veterans there are still open spots in the lineup according to Maloney.
“We’re really leaving 2 or 3 forward spots available,” Maloney said.
Maloney is looking towards some of the Coyotes younger talent for those spots.
“I think Max [Domi] is ready to play and we need that skill set,” Maloney said. “We need what [Anthony] Duclair, [Henrik] Samuelsson, or even [Brendan] Perlini do.”
Joining that young core for the future is the No. 3 overall pick of this year’s draft Dylan Strome, someone who Maloney has had an eye on for a long time.
“We had a bullseye on him for sixth months,” Maloney said.
The trade offers coming in for the No. 3 overall selection were there and had some allure according to Maloney.
“The offers were so enticing,” Maloney said.
“At the end of the day we know this guy is going to be a terrific player for us.”
Overall, Maloney is pleased with what the Coyotes added on Wednesday.
“I really couldn’t be happier,” Maloney said. “We have a chance to compete next season.”