Tag: Phoenix Coyotes

Don Maloney

With Arizona in shakeup mode, more trade calls could be coming


A sixth straight home loss was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Following Thursday’s listless 4-0 defeat to L.A. at Gila River Arena, the Arizona Coyotes shook things up in a major way (by Coyotes standards, anyway) on Friday: Kyle Chipchura was waived, Rob Klinkhammer was traded and David Schlemko was sent to the minors.

On their way up? Andrew Campbell, a 26-year-old defenseman that’s appeared in just three NHL games and 22-year-old Jordan Martinook, the club’s second-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft who’s yet to make his big-league debut.

Those two will join the likes of Connor Murphy (21 years old) Tobias Rieder (21), Brandon McMillan (24), Michael Stone (24) and Brandon Gormley (22, on injured reserve) as some of the young faces on the active roster.

The shakeup shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The Coyotes held a team meeting following last night’s embarrassing loss and, on Saturday, GM Don Maloney reportedly threatened to ship out some of the team’s players.

It’s the most definitive move Maloney’s made in recent months.

The organization has repeatedly flip-flopped on philosophy this season; in September, Maloney said Arizona would make a “concerted effort” to give young prospects a shot at making the NHL, and gave a sobering preview of what he expected for the year.

“We can’t sit here and say we match up, No. 1 line to No. 1 line, with many teams in the West,” he said, per Fox Sports Arizona. “But maybe we can control the top lines and outperform the lower lines.”

That approach didn’t last long.

In early October, the club scrapped the proposed youth movement — sending first-rounders Max Domi to junior and Henrik Samuelsson back to the AHL — because, according to Maloney, the Coyotes “need to be a playoff team.”

“We just think for our franchise right now, we have to be competitive,” he explained, per the Arizona Republic. “We need to be a playoff team. That’s what’s going to get people excited and in the building.

“Nobody has an appetite to just throw in the towel.”

In late October, Maloney flip-flopped again. He said the team was “not anywhere good enough,” adding “we need to get better or things are going to change around here.”

Last week, the GM seemed to be at his breaking point with his struggling team, one that currently sits second from bottom in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference.

“When you take a hard look at where you’re at relative to the competition and when you take a look at what’s happening around the league, I think that’s where we need to take this team,” Maloney said, per FOX Sports Arizona. “The team speed and tempo and pace that we play at it is not as high as it needs to be. The way you get more quickness is generally with younger players and you see that all around the league.

He added, “The last three to four years, we’ve been reaching down to older, veteran players and that’s how we started the season, but we haven’t gotten the results we had hoped to get.”

Given today’s moves, all eyes will probably turn to two of Arizona’s key assets: Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle. Vermette’s a UFA at season’s end and already at the center of trade talks; Yandle’s rumored to have been on the block for what feels like three years, and is only under contract for one more season.

All of this, of course, comes with the franchise purchase by Andrew Barroway still looming. The transaction will reportedly be approved soon, at which time Arizona could make even more moves in an effort to further embrace the youth movement — or, make a potential foray into the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes.

Trade: Pens acquire Klinkhammer from Coyotes for Samuelsson


Last week, Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford said his club needed “more balance” at forward and vowed to “make some changes” for it to happen.

Today, he did exactly that.

The Pens have acquired forward Rob Klinkhammer from Arizona in exchange for defenseman Philip Samuelsson, the club announced on Friday. Pittsburgh also receives a conditional fifth-round pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Klinkhammer, 28, spent time in both the Chicago and Ottawa organizations before latching on with the Coyotes in ’13. He had a good season last year, scoring a career-high 11 goals and 20 points in 72 games, while averaging 11:22 TOI per night.

This year, Klinkhammer has three goals in 19 games, and has bumped his ice time to 11:33 per.

Samuelsson, 23, heads to Arizona for something of a family reunion. His brother, Henrik Samuelsson, was the Coyotes’ first-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and is currently playing for the club’s AHL affiliate in Portland.

It’s possible the brothers could play together for the Pirates — Philip, a former second-round pick (61st overall, 2009) has spent the majority of his pro career in the American League, making just five career appearances for the Penguins.

Coyotes waive Chipchura


One year after posting the best season of his career, Kyle Chipchura is on waivers.

The Coyotes made the move on Friday, waiving the 28-year-old center that’d been with the club since 2011. The move comes after Chipchura played 9:39 in Thursday’s ugly 4-0 loss at home to the Kings; previously, he’d sat as a healthy scratch on a few occasions.

A decent two-way checking forward, Chipchura posted a career-high 20 points in 80 games for the Coyotes last year, despite the fact he averaged less than 10 minutes per night.

The decision to place him on waivers is perhaps another nod to GM Don Maloney’s proposed youth movement; last month, the club waived another veteran (defenseman David Schlemko) and has been slowly integrating younger players into the lineup, like Tobias Rieder, Brandon McMillan and Michael Stone.

Chipchura is in the second of a three-year deal that carries an $875,000 cap hit. It stands to reason he could be picked up off waivers from another club, especially given the need for center depth across the NHL.

Coyotes hold team meeting following loss to the Kings

Colorado Avalanche v Arizona Coyotes

Dustin Brown scored twice and Martin Jones made 26 saves for his sixth career shutout as the L.A. Kings blanked the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 Thursday night.

The loss was the Coyotes sixth straight at home tying a franchise record.

The Coyotes have gone 172:23 without scoring a goal at home – a stretch of over two and a half games.

Following Thursday’s loss the team held a 20-minute team meeting.

“Everyone had an opportunity to kind of express themselves and what they think,” said captain Shane Doan. “It’s important that we understand that no one’s going to feel sorry for you. They’ll be a lot of people pointing fingers from the outside, and we gotta make sure we’re good on the inside and we just gotta be better as a group. But our belief in each other has to be better, and we gotta have a belief in the fact that we’re a good enough team to win.”

Jarret Stoll and Alec Martinez had the other Kings goals.

The Coyotes team meeting comes after news surfaced that GM Don Maloney addressed the team on Saturday following its’ 3-0 loss to the Calgary Flames.

“We don’t get enough credit for how many skilled guys we have on our team,” said Mike Smith, who was pulled after allowing three goals on 20 shots. “We have good hockey players, and all you read about is how we’re not skilled enough or we don’t score enough goals. But it’s everyone giving a little more to prove people wrong in that sense.”

Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves in relief.

Arizona gets back to action on Saturday when the Boston Bruins visit.

Report: Coyotes’ GM Don Maloney threatened to trade players

Don Maloney, Dave Tippett

Following the Coyotes 3-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, GM Don Maloney went into the Arizona dressing room, which he rarely does post-game, to have conversation with his players.

According to hockey insider Bob McKenzie, Maloney threatened his players, who currently have limited no-trade clauses, and told them he would seek trades.

Maloney then followed up with the player’s agents seeking a list of teams they would be willing to waive their no-trade clause for.

Players who have reportedly garnered interest from other teams include Keith Yandle, Antoine Vermette, Mikkel Boedker and Martin Hanzal.

Per CapGkeek, players with some form of a no-trade clause in their contract include David Moss, Martin Erat, Zbynek Michalek and Mike Smith.

At that point in the schedule, Arizona had won just one of six games. The Coyotes split a recent trip to Alberta winning in Edmonton and then losing again to the Flames.

Arizona plays host to the L.A. Kings tonight.