Remember a few years ago when the Florida Panthers were forced to go on a crazy spending spree in order to reach the cap floor?
As of right now, the Arizona Coyotes are looking like that Panthers team of 2015.
“We know we’ve got to make some moves,” Coyotes CEO Athony LeBlanc told Sportsnet recently. “We’ve got to pick up a player or two, we’ve got to add some veteran depth, and that’s going to cost some money.”
LeBlanc may be understating the situation. The Coyotes are currently well below the cap floor. On top of that, they don’t have any pending free agents, restricted or unrestricted, that are in line to get major raises. Mikkel Boedker, an RFA, is about the only one that comes to mind.
Of course, any GM can throw money around come July 1. That’s easy. The challenge Don Maloney will have is convincing worthwhile free agents to sign with the Coyotes, a team that’s not expected to be a playoff contender next season, not to mention a franchise that many (despite the commissioner’s insistence) remain convinced will be relocated in the near future.
Maloney’s best route to reaching the cap floor may be the trade avenue. With no shortage of teams needing to shed salary this offseason, the Coyotes could theoretically take advantage.