Rumours of Arizona Coyotes centre Christian Dvorak being traded are nothing new. The talented forward seems to be involved in trade rumours quite a bit over the last couple of years. This offseason is no different. Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro has had him going to a list of teams including the Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Elliotte Friedman in his 32 thoughts podcast (at 33:45) speculated that he could be headed to the Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, or San Jose Sharks. They all could have interest in Dvorak’s services. Friedman commented, “He’s a physical banging centre who can get points. Those guys are hard to find. There’s a lot of teams that really like him.”
That means nine out 31 NHL teams would love to add Dvorak to their rosters, counting the Boston Bruins, who have been thinking about Dvorak as well. According to Craig Morgan of the AZ Coyotes Insider, (subscription required) the Bruins may have the most interest. Morgan also states that it may take two prospects, or a prospect and a first-round pick to pry Dvorak out of Arizona.
Arizona Coyotes Should Avoid Christian Dvorak Trade
The best fit might be with the Boston Bruins who lost forward David. Krejci when he decided to go back to the Czech Republic. There has been talk that the Bruins may try to move Jake DeBrusk. Both forwards have similar cap hits. Christian Dvorak is signed through 2024-25 season while DeBrusk’s contract is only good through next season.
That kind of contract term with a reasonable $4.45 million AAV is what attracts teams to Dvorak. It also is a good reason to not trade him. His stats aren’t off the chart. But he is an accomplished two-way centre who brings his lunch pail to work every day.
Over 302 NHL games he has collected 67 goals and 79 assists for 146 points. His stellar faceoff rate of 51.5 percent and 267 hits with 192 blocks proves his worth. He is a 49.6 Corsi For and 2.7 Relative Corsi possession player.
So, the question becomes, why even consider trading Dvorak? He’s signed for four more years, has become an adept shootout scorer (4 for 4 last season), and could really help when the rebuild is over in Arizona.
General Manager Bill Armstrong’s Moves
Bill Armstrong has been more than aggressive restocking his low supply of draft picks lately. He now has a formidable supply of picks with two first round and FIVE second round selections available to him. That gives him the luxury of using the picks to select key players in the two-to-three year span of time it takes to develop young prospects. His other option would be to use some of those picks to use as trade bargaining tools. Armstrong isn’t a huge fan of signing pricey free agents. So, he will groom his own supply of players or make additional trades.
Most everyone knew when Armstrong took over that it was just a matter of time before he wanted his own fingerprint on the franchise. He did inherit some bad long-term contracts that his predecessor left him. In making the deal for Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the Vancouver Canucks, he erased a huge contract, while it may have been painful, it was necessary.
Darcy Kuemper Trade
He adeptly dealt to get a first-round pick AND young defenceman Conor Timmins out of the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Darcy Kuemper. The Kuemper deal had nothing to do with a long-term contract like OEL’s. Armstrong saw the chance to exchange an expiring contract of a good asset, while only retaining $1 million for one year.
Armstrong told Alex Kinkopf (@AEKinkopf), “We needed to seek what we could gain by moving Darcy,” Armstrong said. “That had gone on for a while. It’s really just supply and demand out there. We were fortunate to have one of the best goaltenders in the game, and a couple of the best teams in the league were looking for one. So, you’ve really got to have a little bit of luck, and you’ve got to have a talented goaltender. We put those two together and we were able to get a first-rounder because of it.”
Dylan Guenther Will Help the Offence
With that first-rounder Armstrong and his scouting department drafted Dylan Guenther with the ninth overall pick. His shot has been described as “lethal, dangerous and deceptive.” Armstrong added, “He can score. He can make plays. He can go to the net. He can do it all.” In other words, he fits the mold of what kind of player Armstrong was looking for to build his rebuild.
While the Coyotes go through a rebuild, keeping Dvorak has to be on their mind. The only way they should trade him is if Armstrong gets another great offer as he did for Kuemper. Other teams have definite interest in him, and for good reason. Armstrong is trying to build a winner and keeping Dvorak as part of that equation must be considered. The guy can flat out play.