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C Frederik Gauthier signs 2-way deal with Arizona Coyotes

Frederik Gauthier #33 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 29, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes signed center Frederik Gauthier to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday, the team said.

Gauthier, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2015-20, joined Arizona for training camp.

A first-round pick by the Maple Leafs in 2013 (23rd overall), Gauthier appeared in 61 games last season, finishing with seven goals and five assists.

The 6-foot-5, 239-pound center has posted 13-18-31 in his five-year NHL career.

Gauthier was among a handful of Coyotes who were waived on Monday, according to AZCoyotesInsider.com’s Craig Morgan.

NHL teams will be forced to cut their rosters on Tuesday, but they are also navigating a unique offseason in which they will be afforded taxi squads and altered rules to keep enough players eligible to play through the pandemic.

Teams get to have four to six players on taxi squads after they clear waivers, essentially expanding the size of the team beyond the 23-man limit when teams submit their rosters to the league on Tuesday.

Players on taxi squads can be put on the active roster as late as 5 p.m. ET on a game day, giving clubs a better chance of having four lines, three defensive pairings and two goaltenders even if rosters take a hit because of COVID-19 protocols. Teams must have three goaltenders available among the 29 players.

While taxi squads will benefit teams trying to navigate the season, general managers will wrestle with whether they should keep prospects to play sparingly in the NHL or if sending them to compete regularly in American Hockey League games is better for their development.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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