The Phoenix Coyotes returned from the Olympic break to face the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night at home, where they lost 5-2. Lets just leave it at that, call this game a wash, and talk about something else shall we?
The game proved first hand that the Coyotes, despite holding a nine point cushion for a playoff spot, need to pick up a few pieces to help complete the team. Obviously, goaltending is not an issue, but the Coyotes first plan of action should be to go out and trade for a depth goal scorer to replace Scottie Upshall, who will be out the rest of the season after his surgery a couple weeks ago.
According to a couple media outlets with connections, (which I am not, so take this for what it is worth), the Coyotes are looking at possibly swinging a deal for Wojtek Wolski of the Colorado Avalanche, who is a restricted free agent at the end of the year.
If GM Don Maloney can pick up Wolski, you will see no complaints from me as I think Wolski has the capability to be a top line scorer when he rounds his game out, maybe be a Radim Vrbata type player who can score 20+ goal scorer.
The downside to this report is that apparently it may cost the Coyotes the young Peter Mueller, who is being shopped hard by the team. This news about Mueller is upsetting to me in a number of ways.
I have been excited about Mueller’s arrival to the desert since his World Junior shootout show with Jonathan Toews and was even more excited after he had an outstanding rookie year with the Coyotes. But it all went south after that year when he got a concussion midway through his sophomore season and has never played the same since.
Mueller was supposed to give the Yotes a scoring punch, but after his rookie year has failed to do so. When I heard his name on the trade block at the beginning of the season I denied it to the end, saying it was too soon in his career to give up on him, but after watching him more and more, he just doesnt seem as if he enjoys playing the game anymore.
If Maloney can swing Mueller in a deal that will bring back immediate impact such as Wolski or Nathan Horton, or someone of that caliber then I am on board. But if he is traded just to give him a change in scenery, then forget it and keep working with him.
Earlier in the year it was reported that a trade for Mueller almost was complete with the Rangers for Bobby Sanguinetti that Maloney said no to. Sanguinetti is a strong defensive prospect, so why would Maloney say no to that? Cause he wanted MORE for MUELLS. He wanted either Brandon Dubinsky or Ryan Callahan, which the Rangers said no to, obviously.
If that is what Maloney is trying to get for Mueller, then I am all for attempting to move the disappointing forward. And hopefully it is that type of player that the GM can snag in this deadline in order to help push the Coyotes into their first playoff birth in eight seasons.
The Coyotes have also claimed they are going to attempt to bring in a depth defenceman to possibly help on the power play, some one like a Joe Corvo or John Michael Liles (Update as of 10:42 Coyotes picked up Derek Morris).
This is a move I personally would be iffy about as this would mean less Sami Lepisto, and that does not float my boat. I think Sami Lepisto is having a great season, exceeding all expectations and bringing in another player would just take away from his development and ice time.
Now if the defenceman came in a replaced Jim Vandemeer, then I will not complain, but i think Lepisto will be a strong player in the future and since the Coyotes have less defencemen then forwards in their farm system, it might be smart to start grooming the blue line prospects.
The deadline is at 3pm EST and for the first time in a looooooooooong time the Coyotes are in the position to be buyers and add players, which I have all the faith in the world Maloney will do.
I will be updating whenever there is a Coyotes trade and at the end of the day to recap what the team did to improve their chances to get into the post season.
In GMDM we trust. GO Yotes GO!!!
About the Author
Written by Matt Shott
22 year old hockey fan born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Weird, huh? Entire family minus myself and my brother were born in Toronto, ON so thats how I became a fan of this great sport. I have worked at Ice rinks since I was 14 and spend all day reading hockey stories. I eat, sleep, coach, play, and basically LIVE hockey. I became a Red Wing fan thanks to EA Sports NHL '95 and haven't looked back since (Why would I?). Parents were Season Ticket holders for the Phoenix Coyotes since day 1 and when they moved to Portland 3 years ago, I picked up where they left off and have found a soft spot for them. I moved to Toronto in January '10 to attend Centennial College's Sports Journalism program, so I am becoming a Maple Leafs fan in the process. Its hard to do after 16 years of being a Red Wings fan. So to recap: Wings fan at heart, Leafs fan on the outside, and always carry a soft spot for the Coyotes.