The Arizona Coyotes have made some significant trades in the past 12 months, but should they still be buyers when the trade deadline rolls around?
Since the summer, the Arizona Coyotes have added Carl Soderberg, Phil Kessel, and Taylor Hall all via trades, but their place in the post-season is far from guaranteed heading into the final stretch.
At the time of writing, the Coyotes occupy the first of the two available Wild Card spots with 57 points (26-20-5), tied with Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, both of whom have played a game or two fewer and sit above them.
The Coyotes have gone through a patch of inconsistency in recent weeks, losing back-to-back games before the All-Star Weekend while holding a 5-4-1 record in their last ten, though just one win in their past six (1-4-1).
Darcy Kuemper’s anticipated return will do much to help steady the ship, but the organization will not be satisfied with sneaking into the post-season after showing such strong performances earlier in the season.
For the team to get back on track, they will need their big-name players to step up in a significant way, with Clayton Keller having just one point in their past seven games while Nick Schmaltz, who started the season in excellent form and still currently leads the team in points, has failed to register any in that same stretch.
Taylor Hall has been a solid addition to the roster, partnering well with Phil Kessel and Christian Dvorak to register almost a point-per-game (16GP - 7G, 8A) since arriving in the desert.
But should general manager John Chayka consider making one or two more moves ahead of the February 24th trade deadline? Last season the Coyotes were in the hunt for a playoff spot and made no moves, ultimately falling at the last hurdle. So should Chayka make a more concerted effort to get the team to the post-season in 2020?
The Coyotes still need an injection of goalscoring on offense to help keep them in the hunt every night, with a couple of interesting options seemingly available according to TSN’s ‘Trade Bait’ list.
Adding another guy that can give the team even greater goalscoring depth could be worth some consideration, if the price is right, though Chayka will need to be wary of giving up assets such as this year’s second-round draft pick to push a deal through.
Injuries are a natural part of hockey, with some significant players on the Arizona Coyotes roster already missing extended periods this season already, with Niklas Hjalmarsson finally returning to action recently while Kuemper has still not officially been taken off LTIR.
Can the Coyotes really afford to lose another player before the playoffs? Is the team’s current depth enough to keep them heading in the right direction, or would a trade alleviate that pressure and concern?
Chayka will have plenty of things to think about over the next few weeks, assessing the market and what’s available to him, but it is a strong possibility that the Arizona Coyotes need to make another move to help strengthen their push to the post-season.