The Arizona Coyotes’ deal with the Vancouver Canucks was probably General Manager Bill Armstrong’s biggest. The Coyotes were able to get rid of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and get a first-round pick. Vancouver got dynamic forward Conor Garland, and perhaps most importantly, they got rid of three overpaid veterans on expiring deals, with one of those three being forward Loui Eriksson.
Games Played: 73
TOI/Games Played: 12:55
PP TOI: 14:46
PK TOI: 94:04
Like Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel, Eriksson was overpaid, but he could still play. In his last season with the Vancouver Canucks he was limited to just seven games, but he played most of the season with the Desert Dogs.
Eriksson’s role this past season was a bottom-six forward and penalty killer. Only Lawson Crouse played more minutes short-handed as a forward, although Clayton Keller likely would have finished with more minutes if he hadn’t gotten hurt. Eriksson was a big part of the Coyotes’ penalty kill and scored one of the Coyotes’ three short-handed goals.
Unfortunately, the Coyotes’ penalty kill was pretty bad last season. Arizona’s penalty kill was ranked 28th overall and only killed 75% of penalties. Eriksson doesn’t deserve all or even most of the blame for the Coyotes’ poor play short-handed, but given that he was such an essential part, it does need to be noted.
King Loui did reach a few career milestones in his time in the desert. He hit the 1,000 career games played and currently is at 1,050 games played. He also hit 350 career assists and 600 career points and now has 253 goals and 360 assists over his career.
The Arizona Coyotes got as much out of Loui Eriksson as could be expected. The Coyotes needed warm bodies in the first year of their rebuild, and Eriksson played as well as could be expected as part of a cap clearing move.
Eriksson finished a six-year, $36 million deal, and he probably won’t be getting anything close to that in his next contract. However, if he is willing to take a pay cut, he could be a good pick for a team looking for a veteran presence or defensive forwards.
The Coyotes will have the space, so it isn’t impossible that he will be back in the desert, although it is doubtful. Eriksson has been in the NHL since 2006 and has only played in the playoffs four times. If Eriksson gets the chance to sign with a contender, it seems far more likely he will try that versus staying with the Coyotes.