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If the Coyotes Want to Win, They've Got to Be Creative

January 23, 2020, 5:18 PM ET [9 Comments]
James Tanner
Arizona Coyotes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Nothing is guaranteed, but a team threatening to win the division after ten years of futility has pretty much got to go for it, right?

The Coyotes - with injuries to both their starting goalies - can be forgiven for a recent slide, and it's reasonable to think they will compete for the division and probably make the playoffs at this point.

The team is in good shape - they've got two juicy A-level prospects, several great players in their primes, and most of their young core locked up with reasonable bets on their long-term future.

There has probably never been a more exciting to be a Coyotes fan - a fanbase that has forever been sold on the future, but rarely had a roster worth cheering for in the present.

The Coyotes added Hall without giving up anything too valuable, and so they do have a couple bullets if they decide to continue adding.

But what they don't have is any draft picks or cap space.

Currently they are maxed out on the cap, and they already traded (or put conditions which prevent a trade) on their next two 1sts and 3rds.

So if they wanna add, they've got to be creative.

To clear cap space shouldn't be too hard.

Carl Soderberg makes $5 million.
Michael Grabner makes $3.5
Goligoski makes $5.5
Demers makes almost $4
Oesterle $1.5

That's almost $20 million bones for guys who you don't strictly need. All of those players have some value to the team, but none are core pieces. All of them could be replaced without anyone noticing.

Then there is Annti Raanta.

You might say to yourself "who would trade for the love child of Joffrey Lupul and Martin Hanzal?" but I think you'd be surprised.

In the NHL you can't really predict what a goalie will do, but you also can't win if you have a dud in your net.

The Oilers, as shown in the month of January, can be the NHL's best team when they get goaltending that doesn't expletive deleted the bed, the floor and the hallway leading to the bathroom.

But can they bank on Mike Smith? A slight dose of Annti Raanta might just be the penicillin they need to cure their rash-like goaltending situation.

He's injury prone, but it might be worth the risk. The Coyotes in tern can clear a nice $4 milli and then use the savings to improve their team with a player who'll play more than once a week.

Either way, there are no easy answers. Without draft picks and with no cap space, the Coyotes will need to be creative to improve their team.

(Although to be honest, if they just played Hall with Keller, and gave ice time to Barrett Hayton, they'd be better without doing anything at all).

a hearty word-up to capfriendly for the cap info.
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