Yesterday we published an article evaluating Chris Summers' season and the team's options with him come free agency.
Less than 24 hours later, that whole discussion became moot.
The Phoenix Coyotes announced that they have re-signed the University of Michigan graduate and 2006 1st round draft pick to a two-year contract. While the terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, CapGeek places his salary at $575,000 in the first year, and $625,000 in the second, for an AAV of $600,000.
If those numbers are accurate (and there's no reason to believe they aren't), then the Coyotes got a real steal in Summers' contract. Summers posted two goals and an assist in 18 games this past season, and was a major player on the team's penalty kill.
In the team's current roster situation, Summers would likely be the 6th or 7th defenseman, playing with the likes of Connor Murphy, Brandon Gormley, and/or David Schlemko. It is also possible that this move sets up a future trade, either with Summers moving or another young defenseman.
One of the Coyotes needs this offseason, albeit a secondary one, was to find a responsible shutdown defenseman who could keep the crease clear of attacking players. It appears as if the Coyotes believe Summers is that guy. With him locked in to an affordable rate for the next two seasons, the Coyotes are in good position to address their main needs.