Former Coyotes find new teams as NHL free agency begins

Jul 1, 2017, 11:22 AM | Updated: 12:23 pm
From left to right: Martin Hanzal, Alex Burmistrov,
 Peter Holland (AP Photos)...
From left to right: Martin Hanzal, Alex Burmistrov, Peter Holland (AP Photos)
(AP Photos)

As NHL free agency got underway on Saturday morning, deals were abundant as players were signing left-and-right with teams across North America.

Deals were expected for players like defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and forward Nick Bonino, but the Coyotes started their day by signing free agent defenseman Adam Clendening. Meanwhile, plenty of former Coyotes found new homes as teams scrambled to fill voids in their lineup.

Here’s where Arizona’s former players have ended up in 2017 NHL free agency:

Martin Hanzal to Dallas

The 30-year-old, 6-foot-6, 226-pound center is a former first-round pick by Arizona but was traded to the Minnesota Wild late last season after 10 seasons in the desert.

Hanzal reportedly inked a three-year, $4.75 million deal with the Dallas Stars.

In 10 NHL seasons, the left-handed shooter has 117 goals and 196 assists with a minus-23 rating. He averaged 18:35 in ice time with Arizona last year.

Radim Vrbata to Florida

Vrbata, 36, played for the Coyotes three separate times for a total of seven seasons. With 15 total NHL seasons under his belt, Vrbata totaled more than 30 points in a season 11 times, most recently doing so last year with 20 goals and 25 assists with the Coyotes.

He heads to the Panthers for a reported $2.5 million, plus another $1.25 million in performance incentives.

The Panthers have some holes to fill on offense, having recently lost Jonathan Marchessault (30 G, 21 A in 2016-17) in the expansion draft, Reilly Smith (15 G, 22 A in 2016-17) in an expansion draft trade and Jaromir Jagr (18 G, 30 A in 2016-17) to free agency.

Josh Jooris to Carolina

Jooris, who came to the Coyotes off waivers from the Rangers in the middle of the season last year, reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes for $775,000.

The 26-year-old has played parts of three NHL seasons with Calgary, the New York Rangers and Arizona. In 42 games in the desert last year, Jooris scored 3-7-10 with a minus-3 and 13:13 average time on ice. He also registered 49.1 percent in faceoffs.

Peter Holland to Montreal

Peter Holland also joined the Coyotes midseason in 2016-17. The 26-year-old center has also played with the Ducks and Maple Leafs, and has 25 goals in 174 career games.

On Saturday, he landed with the Montreal Canadiens on a two-year deal. That pact is a two-way deal the first year and a one-way deal the second year, according to SportsNet.

Jamie McBain to Tampa Bay

McBain had been on a one-year deal with the Coyotes last year and played just three games with the NHL club.

The 29-year-old defenseman has previously spent time with the Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings.

Alex Burmistrov to Vancouver

Like Jooris, Burmistrov was a waiver claim by Arizona last season and came to the desert after five seasons in the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets organization (interrupted by a two-year stint in the KHL).

He proved to be productive on offense as a 25-year-old center, scoring five goals with nine assists in just 26 games.

The Vancouver Canucks signed Burmistrov on Saturday for $900,000.

Chad Johnson to Buffalo

Johnson’s most recent stint with the Arizona Coyotes lasted just 15 days, as the 31-year-old netminder came over in the Mike Smith trade on June 17. But Johnson did play four games with the then-Phoenix Coyotes in the 2012-13 season.

But this time around, he was just filling a spot for the expansion draft.

“We acquired Chad as a need to fill an expansion protection void,” Chayka told Craig Morgan. “That was the intent.”

He signed with the Buffalo Sabres — a team for which he played in 2015-16 — for one year and $2.5 million.

Johnson was drafted in 2006 by the Pittburgh Penguins and has since spent time with the Rangers, Coyotes, Bruins, Islanders, Sabres and Flames.

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