Even though the season still has about 35 games remaining, the April 12th trade deadline is quickly approaching. So, if the Arizona Coyotes are not in a playoff position by that deadline who should they consider trading? These two Arizona Coyotes trade proposals may not be popular, but they could help the team in coming years to be a regular playoff participant.
Arizona Coyotes Trade Proposals
One trade proposal may bring back memories of trade rumours involving the team’s star goalie, Darcy Kuemper. Let’s face it, he is certainly a player who could help a playoff-bound team aspiring to raise the Stanley Cup. The other may be a surprise and certainly not a popular player to be traded from Arizona.
When you consider teams who could use an excellent goalie like Kuemper, one team must be your first choice. The Colorado Avalanche are stoked offensively and defensively, but lack that netminder who can take them all the way. Last season proved that deficiency when they only had a save percentage of .907 and a goals saved above average of -0.9.
Philipp Grubauer is not a bad goalie, and he has an excellent team in front of him. While in the mile-high city he has a 46-27-9 record with a .916 save percentage and a 2.55 goals-against-average. He has also added seven shutouts.
Adding Kuemper would put them over the top. He has a 102-79-31 record with a strong .918 save percentage and a 2.46 goals-against-average. He has 19 career shutouts.
With stronger goaltending, the Av’s would be a much more dominant team if that’s possible.
Examining a Possible Trade for Darcy Kuemper
When you trade your top goaltender, you want to obtain a good return. Kuemper is 31 and earns $4.5 million through next season. The Coyotes lack a first round draft pick and general manager Bill Armstrong is itching to use his draft skills. The Desert Dogs could demand a third-rounder and maybe a promising young player like Tyson Jost. Jost, who turns 23 this month has played 225 games with 33 goals and 41 assists to his credit. This season he has struggled with just one goal and one assist in 17 games. He is earning just $874,125 on a “prove me” contract he signed last October and will be a RFA after this season. It’s very apparent that the offensively powerful Av’s could do well without him.
If that doesn’t fly, the Coyotes may have their eyes on young defender Conor Timmins and perhaps a first round round pick. Timmins who is 22, has only 16 NHL games played and has yet to register a point. He earns $925,000 and is a restricted free agent after this season. He is a right-hand shooting D-man and could replace Jason Demers on the blueline. Again, the Av’s are deep on defence and at the present time Timmons is on the taxi squad.
For Colorado this would make them one of the toughest teams (tougher than now) to compete for the Cup.
What it does for Arizona is to get back to continuing to build a competitive team via the draft. While it is true that the team has been carried by Kuemper, they need to get better offensively to improve their standing in the league. Receiving draft picks and/or young prospects can serve them well in that endeavor.
Now That Other Trade
Another Coyotes’ player that other teams may covet is Conor Garland. A fan favourite in Arizona due to his spunky play and puck handling skills, trading him would not be a popular thing. He was the Coyotes leading scorer last season tallying 22 goals in 68 games. He’s off to another good season with seven goals and 12 assists in 20 games. He’s one of those players who can turn a game around. Last Word on Sports contributor Ryan Ma wrote recently that the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to add a forward and suggests Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas consider trading for Garland.
The Details of the Deal
The return for Garland would be Travis Dermott, who is 24 years old. He is an RFA earning $874,125. Dermott becomes available due to Mikko Lehtonen’s impressive adjustment to North American ice making Dermott more expendable. He is a left shooting defenceman and just today on TSN’s Inside Trading it was mentioned that Alex Goligoski seems headed to be traded before the deadline. He’s a pending UFA earning $5.475 million and there have been no contract extension talks between Goligoski and the team. If Goligoski is dealt, that could leave a spot for Dermott.
Along with Dermott, the Coyotes could also receive forward Pierre Engvall. He stands 6′-5″, 214 pounds. He is earning $1.25 million through next season. The Leafs would need to move his contract if they hoped to sign Garland who is an RFA after this season. Engvall has played 62 games with nine goals and nine assists. The Swede is 24-year-old and this would give the forward line some size. Garland has been roughed up so many times due to his 5′-10″, 165 pound frame it would do the Coyotes well to have additional size up front. If the Leafs were to throw in a first round draft pick, this trade proposal looks even better.
Evaluating the Coyotes Roster if Trades Are Done
If the Coyotes could add Dermott and/or Timmins to their blueline, they immediately get younger. Goligoski is turning 36 this July and Jason Demers will be 33 in June. Of course losing Kuemper could be an issue. Much depends on the future on Antti Raanta. If he gets re-signed, and Adin Hill is the backup, the team could lose the strength they possessed with Kuemper making spectacular saves night in and night out.
Adding Jost may be a good thing. He seems ready to break out as a good forward and he could get signed to a multi-year contract next season since the Coyotes will have about $32 million in cap space.
A real thorn in the side of the Garland trade proposal is his popularity in Arizona. Popular players are dealt all the time. With the team losing some defencemen due to free agency, they will need to fortify the blue line to stay competitive.
The hope with the draft picks is for the Coyotes to grab a couple of offensive players to help in that department.
Trades are intended to help both teams so if either of these proposed deals happen only time will tell if they helped one team more than another.