The Minnesota Wild were the last opponents for the Arizona Coyotes this season in the desert. Martin Hanzal scored on his return and the Coyotes lost 3-1 in what was a typical, flat season-ending dead rubber game.
But this off-season has seen one of the Wild's key players, Nino Niederreiter, linked to trade rumors out of the State of Hockey as he's an RFA, with reports already having him offered around for a possible trade. Elliott Friedman mentions it in his popular "30 Thoughts" column, suggesting that the Swiss power forward could be in line for a change of address this summer:
2. An unusual name started circulating in trade circles the last few days: Minnesota’s Nino Niederreiter. The 24-year-old winger had a career-high 25 goals in 2016–17, and, after making a few calls, it sounds like teams are looking at the Wild’s expansion/cap situation, wondering if he could be available. Two years away from unrestricted free agency, Niederreiter is arbitration eligible and will get a nice raise from the $2.7 million he just earned.
The Wild also need to re-sign Mikael Granlund. As an exec from another team put it, “It may not be their first choice, but if you make it worth their while, it’s possible.” All GM Chuck Fletcher would say is, “We are actively listening... on everything.”
This is a situation that's intriguing for many teams - and the Yotes are among them. Niederreiter's goalscoring statistics since he came into the league are broadly similar to Jordan Eberle's, a player we've talked about before as a possible Yotes trade target this summer.
Who is Nino Niederreiter?
Niederreiter is a big, powerful winger coming off a career season in both goals and assists, so it seems crazy for the Wild to consider trading him, but they're up against cap issues and could possibly be persuaded to make a deal.
From the Coyotes' perspective, Niederreiter would be a huge asset in the top six, offering the perfect complement of size and power to go with the skill of someone like Clayton Keller, while also taking the power-forward role that Shane Doan has made his own in Arizona.
The key thing here is the price, though, not so much the contract (the cap room in Arizona more than allows for a pay rise the player will be expecting) but of the trade. Coming off a career year means he's going to be expensive. The Wild have to balance the impact of potential RFA status with the cap impact, true, but they will still likely demand a high price, probably a first round pick or a solid replacement.
That's a lot to commit for the Coyotes, in a team that could potentially find goals and power from within its system. The question is how much John Chayka and Dave Tippett think Niederreiter can push the team forward, and whether or not he'd be a worthy replacement for Doan immediately.
If the price is right, the Swiss scorer should absolutely be an option the Coyotes could consider in what will likely be a bidding war. They'll need to decide how much is too much before getting involved.
Should The Coyotes Look At Nino Niederreiter?
This poll is closed
Shane Doan hasn’t retired yet...