Arizona Coyotes make history with Ritchie brothers trade

Mar 4, 2023, 12:00 PM
Calgary Flames right wing Brett Ritchie (24) and Los Angeles Kings center Jaret Anderson-Dolan (28)...

Calgary Flames right wing Brett Ritchie (24) and Los Angeles Kings center Jaret Anderson-Dolan (28) reach for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

It wasn’t a blockbuster deal, but the Coyotes did make an historic swap just before the NHL’s 2023 trade deadline this week.

In the NHL’s first brother-for-brother trade, Arizona acquired Brett Ritchie and Connor Mackey from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Nick Ritchie and Troy Stecher.

Brett is Nick’s older sibling. The two forwards were born less than two years apart.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong had a deal in place for Ritchie, and although he was in contact with his player that a trade would go down, Armstrong could not tell him who it was for in case he were to tell his brother.

After the deal was official, Armstrong mused about how the Ritchie brothers should simply swap residences.

“I said (to Nick Ritchie), ‘this is going to be cheap housing. You can go into his house and he can go into your house, and you guys don’t have to move cars or anything,'” Armstrong told reporters.

Brett Ritchie, 29, has eight points (six goals, two assists) in 34 games this season. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Nick Ritchie, 27, has 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 58 games this season, He, too, will become a UFA after the season.

“Everything we asked of him, he (Nick) did,” Armstrong said. “So, I think his brother would be familiar with what Arizona is like and with the quality of living and the quality of coaching, and just how we operate down here. I think that gives us a leg up when his brother comes to town.”

Brett Ritchie is expected to be in the lineup on Sunday when the Coyotes host the New Jersey Devils.

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