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Arizona Coyotes recall Christian Fischer, Kyle Capobianco

Christian Fischer #36 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck past goaltender Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on December 20, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes recalled forward Christian Fischer and defenseman Kyle Capobianco from AHL Tucson on Wednesday, completing moves that were foreshadowed by general manager John Chayka on Tuesday.

When the Coyotes announced their opening night roster on Tuesday, the day that the NHL mandates teams submit their rosters, Arizona had omitted both Fischer and defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin, two players who were part of the team last year.

When asked why this was the case, Chayka provided separate explanations for each player.

“The main thing with the opening day roster is for us to maximize our financial flexibility,” Chayka said Tuesday about Fischer. “In order to do that, there’s a lot of different mechanics to do that. … So the plan is Christian Fischer will re-join our team.

“He had an exceptional camp. … He really pushed the pace in practices and in games. … So this was not performance-related with Christian at all.”

In other words, Fischer not being on the submitted roster on Tuesday was merely for financial purposes and was part of getting under the salary cap. The team was expected to place Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve on Wednesday, which would free up the space to recall Fischer and another defenseman.

In the case of Lyubushkin, however, it was different.

“For Ilya, we felt like it was an opportunity for him to go down and get some reps,” Chayka said. “We just felt like he hasn’t played a lot of hockey in the last year. He came into camp. He didn’t have the camp we would’ve liked out of him. So this was a chance for him to kind of reboot.

“He’ll go down, get a lot of opportunity, a lot of ice time, get a lot of minutes down there but still a big part of our team and our future.”

Capobianco played two games for the Coyotes last year and suffered a season-ending injury in the second one. He also played 40 games for AHL Tucson, scoring seven goals and 32 points in the process. He was drafted in the third round in 2015.

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