The Arizona Coyotes will be one of the most intriguing teams to follow when free agency eventually opens up, with some ambitious moves needed.
The Coyotes will be watched closely around the league, with one of the top impending free agents in Taylor Hall being the largest question mark for general manager John Chayka.
Hall’s value is fairly low due to a down season by his standards over the past couple of years, keeping the Coyotes in the conversation as a potential destination when his contract expires after the 2019/20 season.
Keeping Hall would be a significant boost for the fanbase, who have warmed to him swiftly and view him as a crucial player to the team’s immediate success.
But whether or not Hall does ultimately decide to remain in the desert, something that head coach Rick Tocchet still has some belief in, the team will need to make some ambitious moves to take the team in the right direction.
The team’s tight cap situation has already been explored, meaning that some trades are likely needed for Chayka to realistically build a team capable of competing for the playoffs in 2021.
If Hall opts to sign elsewhere, the Coyotes will be able to sign over $6 million worth of contracts in free agency without any further moves. If the team can offload some hefty contracts, such as Derek Stepan and even Antti Raanta, they could potentially free up a further $10 million to truly add some quality to the roster.
Players such as Mike Hoffman and Evgeni Dadonov are available this summer and could provide the Arizona Coyotes with some much-needed goalscoring prolificity.
Dadonov has scored 25+ goals in each of the past three seasons while Hoffman hasn’t scored less than 20 goals since the 2013/14 season, falling just one goal shy of scoring 30 in back-to-back season this year.
While on the wrong side of 30, both players could be positive additions to the Coyotes line-up and would be a strong move by the team’s management to make improvements. Providing.
Their age may limit how much they could command on the open market, something that could work in the Coyotes’ favor given their financial constraints, though they will both likely attract interest from a number of teams around the league, including their current club the Florida Panthers.
If the NHL’s 24-team proposal goes ahead and the Coyotes have a positive showing, making the playoffs-real, it could do much to boost impending free agents’ opinions of the team and could make them an attractive destination.
If the Arizona Coyotes hope to be a team that is respected more around the league, making ambitious moves and performing at a higher standard could certainly help and this summer will be crucial to the team’s future in that regard.