When Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney isn’t looking for more leadership out of his team, he’s looking for players to add to help get the team in the playoffs.
The Coyotes are currently on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture and were thought they could be sellers at the deadline. Not so fast as Dave Vest at the Coyotes’ website shares.
“We’re not looking to ‘sell,'” Maloney said when asked if the Coyotes would be ‘buyers’ or ‘sellers’ at the trade deadline. “We’d like to add. But right now there are 25 other teams in the League in the exact same situation and there are only five teams that look to be prepared to move some players out for younger assets.”
Looking for people to add has been Maloney’s mission all season. Even before training camp he was looking for a way to add a top-six forward.
That said, taking a look at what they have going on via CapGeek, they have a few players with expiring contracts (Derek Morris, David Moss, Radim Vrbata) that would be ideal to move at the deadline. Vrbata wouldn’t likely be moved, but the others stand out as possibilities.
If Maloney decides ‘buying’ isn’t for him, ‘selling’ might be easier to do.
It would be wrong to say that the Phoenix Coyotes are back to full-strength on Thursday, but they’re getting there, at least.
Defensemen Rostislav Klesla and Derek Morris have returned to the fold while forward Gilbert Brule makes his 2013-14 season debut, the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports.
That’s positive news for the Coyotes as they face the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight – particularly Morris returning – but Shane Doan, Zbynek Michalek and Lauri Korpikoski remain out of the mix.
Phoenix is understandably described as a tight-to-the-vest team, but the ‘Yotes have actually been engaged in fairly high-scoring games this season. They’ve scored 105 goals and given up 103 so far. That underrated offensive attack could make for a sneaky challenge for James Reimer & Co, although not having Doan stunts their forward group quite a bit.
The Phoenix Coyotes have been struggling lately, and injuries remain an issue, as Shane Doan, Derek Morris and Lauri Korpikoski will continue to sit out action on Tuesday.
Doan, 37, skipped Friday’s game with an illness. Morris, 35, is dealing with personal issues and Korpikoski, 27, is struggling with a lower-body injury. Those three players – particularly Doan and Morris – will be missed against the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow.
There is at least some bright injury news for the Coyotes, as Zbynek Michalek at least has a chance to return from a lower-body issue that’s sidelined him since Nov. 14.
“It’s a good step in the right direction,” Michalek said after Monday’s practice. “It feels good, especially mentally, to be with the guys again and to get the practice under my belt. Hopefully I keep improving and getting better.”
He’ll test things out during Tuesday’s morning skate to see if he can play. He won’t fill the void left by the most notable trio of Coyotes injured players all by himself, but Phoenix can use all the help it can get.
The Phoenix Coyotes will be without Shane Doan (illness) and Derek Morris (personal reasons) against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. The team considers Doan, 37, to be day-to-day.
Both veteran players have produced at a surprisingly efficient rate this season.
Doan has 12 goals and 23 points in 27 games, producing some of his best work since 2008-09 (when he had 31 goals and 73 points). He’s just four points away from matching the 27 points he generated in 48 games last season.
Morris, 35, has already exceeded the 11 points he scored last season (in 39 games) and in 2011-12 (in 59 contests) as the Coyotes are generating impressive offensive numbers from their defensemen.
The Coyotes have only won twice in their last seven contests, so losing two experienced contributors stings.
The Phoenix Coyotes were forced down to five defenseman Saturday, due to an injury to David Schlemko.
As per Craig Morgan of FoxSports Arizona, Schlemko suffered an undisclosed injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning and will not return to the game.
The Coyotes already began this game without veteran blue line Derek Morris, who is still on injured reserve but skated for a long period this morning, according to Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports.
The Coyotes were also without defenseman Rostislav Klesla, who was a healthy scratch for tonight’s game.
Updated: According to Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports, Schlemko aggravated a previous lower-body injury.