The Arizona Coyotes were rumored to be interested in defenseman Anton Strålman for a while. The Coyotes had been looking to rebuild their blue line and acquiring bad contracts in exchange for assets to facilitate their rebuild.
FLA/ARIZ deal is Stralman, Vladislav Kolyachonok (52nd in 2019), and a 2nd in 2024 for a 7th in 2023. @PierreVLeBrun had Stralman approval— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 26, 2021
Today the trade was completed, with the Coyotes getting Strålman from the Florida Panthers, along with defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok, and a second-round pick in 2024 in exchange for a 7th round pick in 2023.
Strålman is another player who has been declining in recent years. In 2014-15 he had 9 goals and 30 assists in 82 games with the Tampa Bay Lighting. Last season with the Panthers, he was limited to 3 goals and 6 assists in 38 games.
Despite the decline, Strålman does have something to offer. He has decent underlying numbers, despite the dismal stats last year.
Anton Stralman, reportedlt acquired by ARI, is a middle-pair offensive defenceman whose game appears to have changed quite a bit since his prime with the Rangers and Lightning. #Yotes pic.twitter.com/6IqrtQ2Lyb— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 26, 2021
But more important than any underlying numbers, at least for the future of the Coyotes, is his contract.
Strålman is currently in the third year of a three-year, $16.5 million deal. He has a $5.5 million cap hit, but $1 million of that is a signing bonus. And after this season, he will be off the Coyotes’ books.
The Arizona Coyotes under Bill Armstrong have shown a penchant for acquiring players in the final years of bad contracts. This gives them assets, like second-round draft picks, without having to deal with contracts that stay on the books for years, like Marian Hossa’s.
The other playing coming over is Vladislav Kolyachonok. Kolyachonok is from Minsk, Belarus, and was drafted 52nd overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He split last season with the Dinamo Minsk in the KHL and the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL. In 46 games in the KHL, he had a goal and 5 assists, in 10 games in the AHL, he had 2 assists.
The Coyotes are deep in a rebuild, and draft picks seem to be the currency of the day for Bill Armstrong. He got another second-round pick, although one in the 2024 draft rather than the 2022 draft.
Update: It's official!