Putting The Arizona Coyotes Offseason Moves Into Perspective


The Arizona Coyotes had a lot of work to do this offseason and they wasted no time in filling out their roster with a flurry of moves early in free agency.

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Just a quick recap of the team’s notable acquisitions, they signed Steve Downie, Zbynek Michalek, Antoine Vermette, Anders Lindback, Brad Richardson and traded for Boyd Gordon and Nicklas Grossmann.

These aren’t flashy deals and these players aren’t the final pieces needed to make the team into a legitimate contender. Now, I call these acquisitions notable because of how last season ended.

To put it bluntly, last season was a complete train wreck. Arizona struggled in just about every facet of the game. At times, it was embarrassing. As they crawled through the season, a glimmer of hope began to shine. Arizona was in a race with Buffalo to the bottom of the standings in hopes of landing a generational player in Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. Someone whose presence alone, could turn an organization around both off and on the ice. That’s exactly what the Coyotes needed.

But alas, despite finishing 29th, Arizona missed out on both generational players in the draft. In a season defined by failing, the Coyotes failed at failing when they were unable to secure one of the top two picks in the draft.

What does losing out on generational talent have to do with the Coyotes offseason acquisitions? Well, it’s simple. Although they picked third, Arizona ended up with a soon to be great player in Dylan Strome. Strome is not quite NHL ready, but he’s also not too far off. The same could be said for most of the Coyotes prospects.

Max Domi and Anthony Duclair are all but guaranteed to make the Coyotes roster for the upcoming season. There are a few players on the fringe that may make team like Brendan Perlini, Christian Dvorak or Henrik Samuelsson. Aside from those players, Arizona still has more after them that are on the way. Guys like Ryan McInnis, Laurent Dauphin, Brendan Shinimin and now Dylan Strome, just to name a few, or waiting in the wings.

It’s going to take time for all of these prospects to develop and then be successful in the NHL. There is no need to rush them. Arizona is in a rebuild and this is part of the process. It would be unwise for the team to just fill out the roster with nothing but prospects that are not done developing. The Edmonton Oilers took that approach and it hasn’t worked at all.

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The players General Manager Don Maloney brought in will not turn the team into a playoff contender, but that’s okay. Just look at the length of their contracts, most of them are locked up for one or two years. Richardson is the exception with a three year deal, but still, it’s nothing too long.

These players were brought in to stabilize a team that was in free fall. They added a little more of a veteran presence for a soon to be young team. Their short contracts serve a purpose as well. Because of the short deals, the prospects still growing now have a little more time to develop. As these contracts end, the prospects should be ready to move up and take over.

The rebuild will be a gradual process, introducing the prospects slowly over time as they mature instead of all at once whether they are ready for the NHL or not. This path won’t be reached over night, but it is the right way to do it. The team has a good foundation and the future is very bright.

It’s never fun when we fans have to sit through a process such as this, but right now, it’s necessary and the end result will be more than worth the wait.

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