‘Yotes Notes: Hanzal, Stone most likely to be dealt at trade deadline
Martin Hanzal and Michael Stone are the players most often mentioned when the NHL’s trade deadline talk turns to the Coyotes. Here’s another reason to believe both will be dealt by March 1: A league source said the Coyotes and those players’ agent, Craig Oster, have not discussed terms of a new contract since the offseason.
It’s not surprising that the Coyotes might be looking to deal Stone. GM John Chayka all but admitted that the one-year, $4 million deal Stone signed this summer was a prove-it deal. Stone, a 2008 third-round pick (69th overall), had six goals, a career-high 30 assists and a career-high 36 points last season when he led the team with 143 blocked shots and was second in average ice time at 22:27.
Stone had offseason knee surgery, however. The Coyotes wanted to see if that would impact his game, and if he could sustain his production level. He has no goals and seven points this season.
Hanzal’s situation is more complex and may hinge upon the term he is asking as he turns 30 and eyes his last big contract. The Coyotes like what he brings to the table as a matchup center, a net presence and a faceoff man when he plays, but he has not played more than 65 games since the 2009-10 season. The Coyotes also have to be certain their young centers will have the opportunity they need in the upcoming years.
Hanzal is believed to be looking for a bare minimum of three years on his deal, although he could accept a two-year deal if the average annual value was significantly higher. With his skill-set, the belief in NHL circles is that he will have plenty of offers this summer.
The Coyotes recalled big right wing Christian Fischer (6-foot-2, 210 lbs.) from Tucson of the American Hockey League on Friday.
Fischer, a 2015 second-round pick, has been on a tear lately with the Roadrunners. He leads the team in goals with 16 and is second in points to center Chris Mueller (35), with 32. Fischer was named to the Pacific Division team for the upcoming 2017 AHL All-Star Classic and was named the Player of the Week for the period ending Jan. 15. He had three goals and seven points that week.
“I’ve proven that I can withstand this level of hockey,” Fischer said earlier this season. “Every game, I’m making a difference, whether it be getting a point or just on the PK blocking a shot.”
To make room on the roster, the Coyotes re-assigned center Laurent Dauphin to Tucson.
PERLINI IN PERSPECTIVE
Rookie left wing Brendan Perlini scored his seventh goal of the season (in 20 NHL games) in Thursday’s 4-3 loss at Minnesota.
It’s impossible to project what Perlini might have achieved in a full NHL season. Perlini and the Coyotes hockey operations department have admitted the time he spent in Tucson was critical to regaining his scoring touch, and there is also the issue of the rookie wall to consider, but over a full season, Perlini would be on pace for 29 goals.
“He can be an explosive player and he has good finish, and that’s what we’ve seen in his game so far,” coach Dave Tippett said.
There are 37 games left in the season and Perlini is on pace for 20 goals. That is just two shy of the Coyotes rookie record of 22 set by Peter Mueller in 2007-08. If Perlini gets hot, what a story that would be.
— Hanzal missed his second straight game on Thursday because of a family matter but he’s expected back in the lineup on Saturday vs. Tampa Bay.
Lightning at Coyotes
When: 6 p.m., Saturday
Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale
TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus
Radio: ESPN 620 AM
Records: Coyotes — 13-26-6. Lightning — 21-21-5.
Injury report: Coyotes — C Brad Richardson (broken right tibia and fibula) is out indefinitely. LW Max Domi (hand) is week to week. Lightning — F Steven Stamos (knee) is out at least until March. F Brayden Point (upper body) is out until February. F Ryan Callahan (upper body) is out two more weeks. D Victor Hedman (ill) and F J.T. Brown (upper body) are day-to-day. Hedman practiced with the team on Friday in Glendale.
Scouting the Lightning: Even without Stamkos, Tampa has been a disappointment this season. The Lightning were many analysts’ pick to win the Stanley Cup. Starting play Friday, they were three points out of the final wild card spot and had played four more games than the team in that spot, Toronto. … F Nikita Kucherov leads the Bolts with 17 goals and 42 points. … G Ben Bishop has been the subject of trade rumors all season despite better numbers than Andrei Vasilevskiy. …