According to reports, the Arizona Coyotes are set to have an active trade deadline and are willing to take on contracts and cap space from other teams.
According to TSN’s Chris Johnston, half of the NHL are over the salary cap and are relying on LTIR to help keep them compliant - and the Arizona Coyotes have let those teams know that they are willing to extend a helping hand.
The Coyotes themselves currently have five players listed on IR but are not receiving any cap help from those and have space to add around $7 million in additional value ahead of the March 21st trade deadline.
The Coyotes have already taken on some hefty short-term contracts this season, in particular Andrew Ladd ($5.5 million x 2), Loui Eriksson ($6 million x 1), and Anton Strålman ($5.5 million x 1), and have accumulated some highly valuable draft assets as a result.
The team is determined to build a different way to past regimes, focusing on the draft and developing young talent rather than trying to acquire NHL-ready players immediately via trade, so the decision to take on additional cap hits in exchange for assets is a logical one.
Additionally, the Coyotes have players like Phil Kessel, who could be moved to a contender at the deadline, which could even see them add additional draft capital while providing teams with a chance to bolster ahead of a serious playoff push.
General manager Bill Armstrong looks set for a complete roster overhaul in 2022/23, with just a handful of players currently signed beyond this current season. So taking on short-term hits, even a player signed through next season, will not have much of an impact on the team’s overall vision for the future.
Making deals such as this and adding to the multitude of draft picks they are set to use in the 2022 and 2023 Drafts is one that fans should feel comfortable with, especially as this is a genuine attempt at a rebuild with a clear plan in place.
For other teams, it just makes it easier for them to sniff out a potential trade partner and know exactly what would be expected of them in return.