Under new general manager Bill Armstrong, the Arizona Coyotes took a very clear path last summer. They shed long-term commitments while providing a cap haven for teams struggling to put together a roster in the current financial situation the league finds itself in. Taking on short-term bad-money contracts like Loui Eriksson, Andrew Ladd, Antoine Roussel, Shayne Gostisbehere, Anton Stralman, and Jay Beagle netted them a whole variety of draft picks, and they’re ready to do it again.
Chris Johnston explained this week on TSN’s Insider Trading that the Coyotes are “eyeing a chance to be an important go-between at this deadline” as other teams deal with a tight cap situation. With plenty of cap space themselves, they could take on more bad contracts or even retain salary in a three-way deal. Notably, however, they can only use that latter strategy once. After retaining money on both Darcy Kuemper and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Coyotes can only be involved in one other retained salary transaction this season. Kuemper’s agreement ends at the end of the year, meaning they could jump back into that ring in the summer.
- While Pat Verbeek eventually landed the Anaheim Ducks general manager job, another assistant GM was apparently close. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that Jason Botterill, AGM of the Seattle Kraken, was a finalist for the Ducks position. It would have been Botterill’s second chance in charge of a front office after his short stint with the Buffalo Sabres, one which did not go well. In three years leading the Sabres, the team finished no higher than sixth in the Atlantic Division and his draft results were certainly mixed. While he did land Rasmus Dahlin and Dylan Cozens, other high picks were used on Casey Mittelstadt (8th, 2017), Marcus Davisson (37th, 2017), Mattias Samuelsson (32nd, 2018), and Ryan Johnson (31st, 2019), all players who have either struggled or been unable to quite make their mark at the NHL level just yet.
- The Philadelphia Flyers officially made a few changes to the front office. Alyn McCauley has been promoted to director of player personnel, while Tom Minton is now the director of hockey operations. McCauley has been with the Flyers for five years as a pro scout, while Minton was previously the director of hockey information and video. Recently, general manager Chuck Fletcher explained that the team is doubling the size of their analytics department and investing more in development staff.