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Arizona Coyotes assign D Aaron Ness to AHL Tucson

Aaron Ness #42 of the Arizona Coyotes in action against the Calgary Flames during the first period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on December 10, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes announced on Wednesday that defenseman Aaron Ness was reassigned to the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL).

Ness was the extra defenseman during Monday night’s game in Winnipeg and last played on Feb. 25 against Florida. The 29-year-old has played in 24 games for the Coyotes this season and averaged 12:32 time on ice.

Meanwhile, defenseman Jakob Chychrun has been on injured reserve, and Ness’ assignment to Tucson could be an indication that Chychrun is ready to play. If that’s the case, it’d be a boost for the Coyotes, who are hanging by a thread in the playoff race as a crowd of teams fights for two Wild Card spots.

Chychrun has played 63 games for Arizona this season and has 12 goals with 14 assists, averaging 22:26 per game. He has been in a top-four role all season but has often looked like the Coyotes’ best defenseman as Arizona enters Wednesday with the second-fewest goals allowed in the Western Conference.

The Coyotes play the Vancouver Canucks at home on Thursday.

As of Wednesday morning, the Coyotes were in fifth place in the Western Conference Wild Card and three points behind fourth-place Minnesota. Winnipeg, Vancouver and Nashville were all ahead of Arizona, too, and three of the four teams in front of the Coyotes in the Wild Card standings have one more game remaining than Arizona.

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