The Florida Panthers continue to hit the “reset” button on their brief analytics era now that GM Dale Tallon is fully back in charge. Sometimes that means making some dramatic moves.
The Arizona Coyotes certainly seem analytics-leaning, too, so it makes sense that they’ll reportedly be the new home for defenseman Jason Demers. The Panthers recently confirmed that they will receive Jamie McGinn in the trade.
It should be a fairly even swap from a cap-hit-standpoint, at least thanks to this wrinkle, via Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Two teams moving in opposite directions
Again, the Panthers are really doubling down on Tallon’s vision, which seems to mean jettisoning “fancy stats guys.”
The Panthers already parted ways with Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith around the time of the expansion draft. There were rumors of Keith Yandle being floated, but perhaps his deal isn’t palatable for suitors.
Demers is very much along those same lines, and it makes sense that the Coyotes would have interest in him.
This continues a dramatic makeover for Arizona. As crucial as the additions of Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta might be (not to mention the exits of Shane Doan and now-former-head-coach Dave Tippett), the Coyotes’ defense corps now look remarkably modern. They’re inching up the ranks thanks to trades for Demers and Niklas Hjalmarsson, along with the signing of Alex Goligoski. Oliver Ekman-Larsson has gone from feeling very alone on that blueline to being the leader of an increasingly formidable group.
On the other hand, these defensemen aren’t exactly cheap. The Coyotes have made some bold moves under progressive-minded GM John Chayka, yet that aggressiveness will also bring higher expectations.
And, if this ends up looking bad for the Coyotes, the analytics naysayers won’t hesitate to gloat.
McGinn is the kind of player Tallon might love
McGinn, 29, has two years remaining on a contract that carries a $3.33 million cap hit.
He’s a grinder with some skill, as he’s generated two 20+ goal seasons and managed 19 in another campaign. McGinn must be getting used to checking real estate listings, too, as this is the fourth time he’s been traded.
Demers has been around, too, as you can note from this interesting anecdote.