Let’s talk trades, shall we?
As it stands, the Phoenix Coyotes are a bubble team this season at best. I’m not bashing the team, but being realistic. They’re not giving their defense the leads it needs, and they are finding ways to let points slip through their fingers. It’s simple.
So, where’s the problem? As I see it, there are two. The first is the hole left by Rostislav Klesla, who wasn’t the same player after a big preseason hit by Los Angeles Kings forward Jordan Nolan. Phoenix has missed his stay-at-home presence on the blue line since he was sent down to the American Hockey League. But they shouldn’t move for a heavy D-man unless an incredible deal makes itself available. They have plenty of youth coming up.
The second (and the most glaring) is the lack of a top-six left wing to skate with Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal. They’ve needed one since Ray Whitney departed the Valley in free agency two years ago. This is the fix the Coyotes need now.
If they want to make the playoffs, general manager Don Maloney needs to get on the phone and make a few trades. There aren’t a lot of options out there, but he’s been known to work miracles. Of course, he has to be cautious about buying too high. The last thing he wants to do is to cost the new ownership unnecessary money for no reward.
In the slideshow below are my top trade targets for the Coyotes along with the likelihood they put on a Phoenix sweater this season. Keep in mind, these are deals I think would benefit the team and make an impact. I don’t want to see the team throw another Band-Aid player in the left wing slot.