A number of rumors are swirling around the media that suggest the Arizona Coyotes could be willing to trade defenseman Alex Goligoski.
The 35-year-old blueliner is in the final year of a five-year deal that sees him hold an AAV of $5.475 million and is unlikely to remain in the desert beyond this season.
The veteran defenseman has been playing big minutes under head coach Rick Tocchet since arriving in a trade with the Dallas Stars that saw him acquired for a 2016 fifth-round draft pick.
Goligoski would be a solid addition to a Stanley Cup contender, with his ability to eat up significant minutes, block shots (averaging two per game) and throw hits along with his historical ability to contribute in the offensive zone.
For the Coyotes, offering Goligoski for a trade would be a way for the team to acquire draft picks, which they are lacking after last year’s punishment for the illegal testing of draft-eligible players seeing their cupboard fairly bare.
With two second-round picks in the 2021 Draft, the Coyotes could add some truly promising talent, but having even more picks in the first three rounds, as those two second-rounders are their only selections, is a necessity.
Goligoski’s age and his expensive contract make him a logical piece to move out, along with several other players on the Coyotes’ blueline, with the likes of Kyle Capobianco and Victor Soderstrom knocking on the door for minutes in the NHL.
Goligoski will likely end up elsewhere next season as general manager Bill Armstrong looks to build a team in his image, bringing the Coyotes’ overall age down with a few veterans expected to depart.
Players such as Jason Demers and Niklas Hjalmarsson could also find themselves available for trades in the coming weeks, but Goligoski appears to be the player garnering the most interest and, potentially, providing the Arizona Coyotes with the biggest return.