With the 1:00 pm Arizona time deadline approaching, Arizona Coyotes’ General Manager made one final move. The Coyotes sent Nick Ritchie and Troy Stecher to the Calgary Flames for Connor Mackey and Brett Ritchie.
Hearing #Flames are getting Troy Stecher and Nick Ritchie in exchange for Connor Mackey and Brett Ritchie.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 3, 2023
Mackey is a 26-year-old defenseman and pending restricted free agent who went undrafted. But that didn’t stop him from signing with the Flames after three seasons with Minnesota State University (Mankato), and he has split the past seasons between the Stockton Heat in the AHL and the Flames. He has 19 career NHL games, with ten coming this season, and has three goals and four assists.
Brett Ritchie has spent the last three seasons with the Flames after originally being drafted 44th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He was having his best season with the Flames, with six goals and two assists in 34 games.
Stecher signed as a free agent to a one-year, $1.25 million deal during the offseason and was a pending free agent. He played in 61 games with the Coyotes and registered seven assists. Surprisingly enough, for a defenseman on a very bad team, he is only a -3. Coyotes fans appreciated Stecher’s defensive play and impeccable fashion sense, both of which will be missed.
The Coyotes acquired Ritchie and a second-round pick last season for Ilya Lyubushkin and Ryan Dzingel. After a hot start in the valley which saw him score ten goals in 24 games, he slowed down a bit this season and only recorded nine goals in 58.
This is a pretty quiet move that should save the Coyotes a couple of bucks in salary. It should also open up some roster spots and a chance for some of the Tucson Roadrunners guys to show what they can do in the big club.