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Monday Morning Musings: Eric Staal trade edition

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Thoughts on the week that was in Coyotes hockey including Justin Hodgman's first goal and Eric Staal trade rumors.

Christian Petersen

A special trade rumor edition of Monday Morning Musings with a brief appearance by the newest Coyote:

- Let's talk about this. Normally I do not like to discuss trade rumors because they are so easy to start. But when an actual news outlet reports it, it's worth mentioning.

- Positives of bringing in Eric Staal: Offense. Staal would easily become the team's No. 1 center and its highest scoring player. Since the 2004-05 lockout, Staal has scored 70 points or more in all but one full season.

- The addition of a true No. 1 center allows Antoine Vermette (if he's re-signed, that my friends is foreshadowing) and Martin Hanzal to slip into the roles as No. 2 and No. 3 centers respectively. Sam Gagner can make the shift to wing full time. Center depth improves and a lot of talent is added to Arizona's top-six.

- Negatives of bringing in Eric Staal: Price. Now before you roll your eyes and say something mean about ownership, this case involves a lot of money. The best of the quartet of Staals is set to make $9.25 million in salary this season, followed by $9.5 million in salary next year. He would become the highest paid player on the team by more than $3 million.

- Carolina could, and likely will, elect to retain some salary should they trade Staal, but the more they retain, the more they will want from any team. So the price becomes more than just affordability. Prospects and a first round pick are a given, the quality of the former and the addition of a roster player are unknown.

- There is also a potential opportunity cost in acquiring Staal -- Antoine Vermette. Vermette is a UFA at season's end and will likely seek some sort of pay increase, even if it's minimal. In this hypothetical situation, will the Coyotes choose to keep both Staal and Vermette or will they let No. 50 walk to help offset the cost of the guy who will have to buy Justin Hodgman a new watch to take his number? Things to consider.

- Remember how I mentioned that Staal had at least 70 points in every full season but one since 04-05? That one season was last year. Now he still had 61 points and has two points in two games this season, but he needs to show he's a lock for 70+-points for any team to consider paying him anywhere near what his current deal dictates.

- Speaking of another center wearing No. 12, Justin Hodgman scored his first NHL goal on Saturday and it was a big one. His goal tied the game in the third period, sending it into overtime where the Coyotes took home the second point. Hodgman is going to get his shot while both David Moss and Hanzal are out, but if he performs, Gagner may stay on the wing.

- The Arizona Coyotes are 3-3-1 but are playing better as of late. I still do not think they are a playoff team as currently constructed, but they could always shake up the roster a bit. Have you heard about any trade possibilities?