The Coyotes play the Panthers tonight and the Panthers are an exciting young team to watch. They may have a bad reputation, but seeing Jonathan Huberdeau and Sasha Barkov should be a treat, as well as Bjugstad and the young defensive trio of Ekblad, Kulikov and Gudbranson.
Like the Coyotes, the Panthers are an exciting young team, but only time will tell if the Panther’s strategy of actually playing their kids is better, or if, like the Coyotes, it’s best to let them percolate in the minors.
Either way, the teams will meet to night at the Gila Monster arena and hopefully it will be a good game to watch. Smith will be in net and just maybe we will get to see the recently recalled Justin Hogdman gets into his first NHL game. He’s 26 and so a bit of a late-bloomer maybe, but he’s got some skill and the Coyotes could use it, especially while Hanzal is out. Does this mean no more BJ Crombeen? We can only hope.
The main thing I wanted to talk about today is trades. The Coyotes have a lot of good defensemen and the Flyers and Bruins could both use one. The Bruins traded Johnny Boychuck a few weeks ago to fight their salary cap issues and now Zdeno Chara is out for several weeks.
The Flyers have also lost Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald to injury. Both are out at least a month. The upshot is that both teams are probably desperate for a defenseman and the Coyotes should step up and make an offer.
The Coyotes and Bruins make interesting trade partners. The Bruins are only about $2 million under the cap. The Coyotes have defensemen and cap space, so this is a perfect match.
The Coyotes should send the Bruins Zbynek Michalek and his $4 million cap-hit to the Bruins in exchange for Chris Kelly’s cap hit, Prospect Ryan Spooner and a Boston’s 2015 first round pick.
Boston would get their defenseman, and they’d be able to afford him. In exchange Arizona would get a top offensive prospect and a middle round draft pick. Even better, with Michalek traded, the Coyotes would have a much better chance of drafting high in one of the best drafts in recent memory.
As for Philly, they would probably have interest in Connor Murphy. He is a young, solid defenseman with the ability to be a star in the NHL. The Coyotes should offer him to the Flyers in exchange for Braydon Schenn.
Schenn is exactly what the Coyotes need – a big, young potential number 1 centre. A 1-2 punch down the middle of Schenn and Hanzal would be very hard to matchup against and give the Coytoes the kind of size and depth at centre needed to compete in the Western Conference.
The thing about these two trades is that if they happened – which, obviously, it’s highly unlikely – the Coyotes would still be looking good on the back-end. Just bring up Gormley and start playing Summers more.
Whether or not these are even realistic ideas is beside the point. The Coyotes need to explore moving some of their position of strength for help in other areas and they should definitely be trying to catch at least one of these desperate teams in their time of need and see if they can’t make a favorable trade.
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This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.