Coyotes mostly quiet as trade deadline passes, but help is on the way

Feb 25, 2019, 3:46 PM
(Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)...
(Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)
(Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Coyotes didn’t fit neatly into the “buyer” or “seller” category on trade deadline day Monday, more-or-less standing pat as they sit within striking distance of a playoff spot.

Even though the Coyotes’ season has been plagued by an uncanny volume of injuries to key players, they’ve stayed afloat in what’s been a less-than-stellar crop of contenders in the Western Conference wild card race. The wide-open playoff battle has made way for Arizona to stay in the thick of things, but general manager John Chayka didn’t mortgage the future to get his team over the hump.

Instead, Chayka took waiver-eligible center Jordan Weal and flipped him to the Montreal Canadiens for Michael Chaput, who was already in the minors. It takes a center off of Arizona’s NHL roster just in the nick of time for Christian Dvorak to rejoin the team after his conditioning stint in Tucson.

“It was more of a minor move, just creates some flexibility for us, allows us to get a player in Tucson, help that group out,” Chayka said via “Obviosuly, with the injuries we’ve had up here, we’ve been stealing players from them. But it also gives us some depth at the NHL level in case we need it, as well.”

Dvorak, who has been injured all season, is the Coyotes’ trade deadline day addition, giving a boost to the center position with 20 games to go.

There were two things that the Coyotes were surely cognizant of going into deadline day: They have almost no pending unrestricted free agents going into in the offseason, and their injuries at key positions don’t help their chances at a deep playoff run (if they qualify for the postseason at all). With that in mind, it made little sense to be all-in for this season. Building for next year was the patient, prudent thing to do.

But it’s for those same reasons that it didn’t make sense to sell, either. The Coyotes have improved upon their 2017-18 season to take a step in the right direction this year. They also added a promising young forward in Nick Schmaltz and have had an elite penalty killing group. There’s reason for optimism going forward.

“Nothing came together that we felt was on-plan and for what we’re looking to do here, both short-term and long-term. I think it’s a vote of confidence for our group,” Chayka said. “I think it’s a group that you saw last night, this group plays hard for each other and has some special things going on. We were only going to add if we thought it was a significant upgrade.”

Defenseman Jason Demers and forward Michael Grabner could be the next ones in line after Dvorak to make their return, though a clear timeline for their return hasn’t been defined publicly. But in that sense, the Coyotes could have late-season additions with just what they have internally.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Coyotes

Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammate Juuso Valimaki #4 after scoring a...
Arizona Sports

Clayton Keller breaks Coyotes’ point streak record with spinning goal in loss vs. Avs

Clayton Keller extended his points streak to 12 games, and no other player since the franchise relocated has hit that mark.
1 day ago
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes talks during the first round of the 2022 Uppe...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Armstrong admires team fight as draft lottery position unfolds

The NHL’s top record was done by midseason thanks to Boston, but the chase for the worst mark remains up for grabs in the final three weeks.
2 days ago
Team Owner, Chairman and Governor Andrew Barroway of the Arizona Coyotes greets fan during a red ca...
Arizona Sports

NHL suspends Coyotes minority owner after arrest for strangulation charge

The NHL said it is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway and has suspended him indefinitely.
2 days ago
EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 22: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against Nick Schmaltz...
Associated Press

Connor McDavid’s 60th goal gives Coyotes OT loss to Oilers

The Arizona Coyotes dropped their second loss in a road back-to-back after Connor McDavid scored his 60th goal of the year in overtime.
5 days ago
The spot light shines on Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes after he scores a goal against th...
Associated Press

Coyotes’ 4-game winning streak ends after loss to Jets

The Arizona Coyotes had won six out of their last seven games and four straight before a loss to the Jets on Tuesday.
6 days ago
Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller celebrates with center Nick Schmaltz (8) after scoring a ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Fanatics to replace Adidas as NHL jersey provider in 2024-25

Fanatics is taking over as the NHL's jersey provider beginning in 2024-25. Adidas has made NHL jerseys since 2017.
6 days ago
Coyotes mostly quiet as trade deadline passes, but help is on the way