Coyotes finalize roster: Strome, Keller, Fischer and Rinaldo make cut
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Coyotes announced their final roster on Tuesday morning and there were no significant surprises.
Arizona assigned goaltender Marek Langhamer and forward Mario Kempe to Tucson of the American Hockey League. Defenseman Jakob Chychrun (knee surgery) will be placed on injured reserve, bringing the Coyotes to the NHL-compliant 23-man roster by Tuesday’s 2 p.m. (Arizona time) deadline.
The moves mean rookie center Dylan Strome, rookie forwards Clayton Keller and Christian Fischer, and offseason signing Zac Rinaldo made the roster.
Rinaldo still must serve a five-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cedric Paquette late in the 2015-16 season. Rinaldo played the 2016-17 season in the AHL so he has not served any games of his NHL suspension.
“I have a lot more goals throughout the season but I came here to make the team so obviously it’s step one,” Strome said. “I’m looking forward to the rest.”
Both Strome and Fischer got their feet wet with NHL cameos last season, but Fischer said that did not diminish the moment.
“I got to call my parents and tell them and they were probably even more excited than me,” he said. “Sometimes at night you just sit there and think, ‘wow, this is the NHL.’ This is honestly what I’ve been dreaming about since I started playing hockey. Right now, I’m just kind of living in the moment, but heck, we play in Anaheim in two days to start the season so it’s exciting.”
Kempe, 29, chose to sign a $650,000 minor-league deal with the Coyotes rather than return to the Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League where he said he had multiple, more lucrative offers. He will likely get recalled to Arizona at some point this season.
Here is a look at the Coyotes’ opening night roster as they prepare to begin the season against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
# — suspended
* — injured reserve