Coyotes went the extra mile to woo free agents


The first impression you get from the Arizona Coyotes promoting 26-year-old John Chayka to GM is that of a move toward analytics. That’s not unreasonable, either, considering his role in creating “Stathletes.”

Still, one might be shortchanging the alteration going on in Arizona if they merely picture dry spreadsheets, endless video sessions and Jonah Hill’s character in “Moneyball.”

The Coyotes seem keen on changing the perception that they’re an unstable franchise, and it sounds like they’ve started that process in how they convinced Alex Goligoski and Jamie McGinn to join the fold.

The Arizona Republic published a fantastic, in-depth story describing that process, which included gift baskets, personalized jerseys and the Paw Patrol.*

In the locker room, Coyotes jerseys with the players’ names and numbers were hanging at stalls.

“It was my wife’s first professional jersey,” Goligoski said. “She’s pretty excited about that.”

Gift baskets were also waiting for them that included local beers, salsa and jams, a couple Apple Watches and a Coyotes dog leash; Goligoski has an English bulldog named Sully and McGinn a cockapoo called Lola.

You might say “The right contract is really what drew them there,” and that’s probably quite accurate. Still, it’s easy to imagine Goligoski drawing a ton of attention in the free agent market during a time when defensemen were raking it in, so credit the Coyotes for going all-out in getting their guy.

“I wouldn’t have been as inclined (to sign) had I not gone there,” Goligoski said of the Coyotes’ tour.

That’s good stuff, and you have to wonder: shouldn’t all 30 NHL teams try similar pitches?

Much like going deep on analytics, it seems like a no-brainer, so the Coyotes should leverage such advantages while they exist.

Again, the full story is well worth your time.

* – Probably not the kids’ show.