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Arizona Coyotes trade Zbynek Michalek to St. Louis Blues

Let the rebuild continue.

One day after trading nine-year veteran Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers, the Arizona Coyotes have traded one of his former blueline mates.

The Coyotes sent defenseman Zbynek Michalek and a conditional 2015 third round pick to the St. Louis Blues Monday in exchange for prospect Maxim Letunov.

“I appreciate everything they’ve done for me,” Michalek told Sportsnet. “It’s been a great place for me and my family to play. I’ve really enjoyed it here.”

Letunov has posted 53 points this season, good enough for third-highest in the United States Hockey League. He was drafted 52nd overall by the Blues in 2014.

“Maxim is a big, skilled center with excellent upside,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said in a press release. “He will play at Boston University next season who do a great job developing players. We are excited to have him join our organization.”

The 32-year-old Michalek has spent eight of his 10 NHL seasons in the desert.

“We would like to thank Zbynek for all his contributions to the Coyotes over the years,” Maloney said. “Z is a fierce competitor and a great person and we wish him all the best in the future.”

This season, Michalek is 12th in the league with 130 blocked shots and has scored two goals and six assists.

In his career, the Czech native has played in 696 games, posting 38-129-167. Michalek is a free agent at the end of the season and is expected to supply the Blues with depth in their defensive corps, although he has missed the last six games with a concussion.


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