The Coyotes have traded a third round pick and Kevin Connauton to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Carl Soderberg.
Soderberg is 34. He is a good player, but he is 34. He also carries a $5 million cap hit in the final year of his contract.
The Coyotes already have a ton of bottom of the lineup players, and in the NHL you win games with elite players, not because you have a slightly better third or fourth line.
This is a curious trade because the Coyotes are not one Carl Soderberg away from contention, and they have comparable players on their team already.
Let us be generous and say that Keller, Galchenyuk, Schmaltz and Hayton can all play top six minutes. That means the Coyotes need to get 2 first line quality forwards to have any hope in hell of competing (And Keller will have to become elite).
For the bottom six they've already got: Dvorak, Stepan, Grabner, Richardson, Hinostroza, Fischer, Nick Merkley and Connor Garland.
Personally, I'd want the upside of Merkley and Garland and so there really is nowhere to play Soderberg that also sees the Coyotes ice a good team (because it will mean they didn't get those two needed forwards, and/or are passing on the upside of younger players).
Again, Soderberg is definitely an upgrade on some of their bottom six guys - if he doesn't decline, which is asking a lot, then he's better than Richardson for example.
But is he take on five million bucks and blow a third rounder better?
He is not.
The more I think about this trade, the more I don't really like it. Or at least, I don't understand what they are thinking. Perhaps they're planning on dumping off Dvorak for a winger and want the centre. I don't know.
Bottom line: it's pretty wasteful to spend five million on a third line centre.
The Coyotes definitely upgrade their team here - Soderberg is way better than Connauton - but it's a curious move just the same.
Only way this really makes sense is that they are taking a calculated risk that the rarely injured Soderberg is healthy all year long and can be flipped for a profit at the deadline.