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Winging It: Assessing the Coyotes' Options at RW in FA and Beyond

The Coyotes need to fill a hole at RW. There are still options out there in free agency - but are any attractive enough to outweigh building from within?

Winnipeg Jets v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

With the sound and fury of free agency now fading away, we're into the meat of the offseason in the NHL, but there are still questions remaining in Arizona - most importantly, who they'll find to fill Shane Doan's RW spot.

The trouble is, NHL free agency in 2017 was relatively thin on real star players even on July 1st - and that was a long time ago in NHL signing terms. However, there might still be potential value for the Coyotes out there - here's a look at some of the best of the rest.


Jaromir Jagr (Florida): We wrote about why the 45-year-old could still do a job for the Coyotes at length a week ago. He's still out there, and could still do the job. As every day passes, the price likely drops, too.

Jarome Iginla (LA): The same age as Shane Doan, Iginla might not fancy a rebuilding team at this stage of his career and is more than likely hoping to find a role on a contender as he continues his quest for that elusive Cup. With 14 goals last year, he could definitely contribute to the Coyotes next season in a similar way to Jagr, too.

Brian Gionta (BUF): The little sniper is 38 now, but has lost none of his shooting ability and now has the guile of a veteran to go with it, as his 15 goals last season prove. He may be an inexpensive way for the Yotes to find some goals, but is likely a one-season stopgap, like all of the players in this category.

The key thing with all of the above is that they're ready-made trade-deadline fodder, too... if the Yotes are low in the standings, then they'll still likely garner an asset from a Cup contender in March as they look for one last run, especially if they're still producing.


Drew Stafford (BOS): Not one of the best RWs on the board, but at the age of 31, he's still a big, useful forward who can fill a role in the middle six and provide goals - he had a down year last year but provided 20 the year before, and could be considered a good signing on a cheap one-year contract.

P.A. Parenteau (NSH): At 34 he's definitely on the downslope of his career, but the creative Quebecer is usually good for a 40-point pace, and at $1.25 million he'd be a cheap option.


Alex Chiasson (CGY): 12 goals and 12 assists last season for the 26 year-old Frenchman, who's often a better player than given credit for. At 6'4 and 207lbs he's an ideal power-forward size and could be a very effective battering ram component alongside a skill line - he loves to get in on the forecheck and at under a million dollars last year he's probably the most low-risk, high-reward player on this list.


Scott Kosmachuk (WPG): At 23, the Winnipeg Jet never quite broke through after being drafted after a prolific OHL career. He's scored decently in the AHL, but would very much be a project - if he ever finds his OHL scoring touch, though, the benefits could be huge.


Christian Fischer: This season is arguably the perfect time to bring Fischer into the Coyotes' fold full-time when compared to the options above. He's big, young, hungry, and already prolific at the AHL level (20 goals and 47 points last season). His brief cameo in the NHL saw him score three goals in 7 games, and he showed flashes of real brilliance. If there was any year to bring one of your top forward prospects into the fold, especially with a dearth of those who play the power-forward role at RW, this is it.


The Coyotes might be best-served looking internally for their long-term replacement for Shane Doan - certainly, Christian Fischer seems to have all the tools to be it. However, there's nothing saying there isn't potential value in the FA market - but like all FA signings, it may come with more risk than simply giving Fischer his head and seeing what happens.