In March, a Coyotes – Senators game carries more 2022 NHL Draft Lottery implications than anything else. Might as well set a record or two, then, huh? Nick Schmaltz just did that on Saturday, generating a Coyotes-record seven points (two goals, five assists) in Arizona’s 8-5 win over the Senators.
Note that Nick Schmaltz’s seven points represents a record that extends from the Coyotes days to the franchise’s roots as the previous rendition of the Winnipeg Jets.
Nick Schmaltz sets Coyotes record with 7 points, first in NHL since 2012
Schmaltz is the first player in the NHL to score at least seven points in a bit more than a decade. Sam Gagner, then with the Edmonton Oilers, scored a whopping eight points on Feb. 2, 2012. Daniel Alfredsson (Jan. 24, 2008) and Jaromir Jagr (Jan. 11, 2003) are the only other NHL players to reach seven points since people stopped worrying about the Y2K bug.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 5, 2022
Apparently getting to seven points without scoring a hat trick is rare … if your name isn’t Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky.
NHLers with 7+ pts in a gm w/o scoring hat trick, NHL history:
Nick Schmaltz, Mario Lemieux (5x), Wayne Gretzky (4x), Paul Coffey, Gilbert Perreault, Eric Lindros, Frank Fredrickson, Don Grosso, Sergei Makarov, Bernie Nicholls, Stephane Richer, Patrik Sundstrom, Billy Taylor Sr
— Arizona Coyotes PR (@AZCoyotesPR) March 5, 2022
Not surprisingly, other Coyotes players joined in the fun with Nick Schmaltz. (The Senators spread their offense out, with Thomas Chabot‘s three points leading the way for Ottawa.)
In case you’re curious, here’s that eight-point game from Sam Gagner:
Something to build on?
In the grand scheme of things, Nick Schmaltz’s seven points represents a Coyotes record, a historical curiosity, and a fun memory. Perhaps there’s some evidence that Schmaltz is also finding some chemistry with Clayton Keller, too.
With that seven-point outburst, Schmaltz reached 33 points in 36 games played. Even before March, Schmaltz recorded a point per game in February (10 in 10), so there’s evidence that he’s been heating up before this historic performance.
Keller’s full-season counting stats look promising, too, as he’s at 51 points in 55 games.
When it comes to strong Coyotes performances, it’s easy to cast one eye on ballooning trade deadline value. It’s tough to say if that really applies to Keller and Schmaltz, however, as both players carry long-term deals with the Coyotes.
Schmaltz, 26, is under contract through 2025-26 with a $5.85 million cap hit. Keller carries an even riskier deal. While he’s 23, Keller’s $7.15M cap hit expires after the 2027-28 season.
One team’s scary term can be another team’s cost-controlled contract. But one would guess that the Coyotes would be most hopeful that Keller + Schmaltz could help them on the ice, rather than in a trade for futures.
A ghost appears?
Gostisbehere could be interesting, though.
Teams almost tear ligaments stretching to add defensemen. While “Ghost Bear” carries glaring flaws, he also boasts offensive skill. So far this season, Gostisbehere’s scored 35 points in 55 games.
His contract runs through next season with a $4.5M cap hit. That could become quite desirable, especially in the event that the Coyotes might retain some of that cap hit.
During the offseason, the Flyers had to bribe the Coyotes to take on Gostisbhere’s contract. It would be quite something if the Coyotes could revitalize the defenseman’s reputation, and then flip him for even more assets.
Games like these could make hopeful scenarios much more realistic.