The Coyotes made multiple trades on Monday before the NHL deadline arrived.
With about two hours to spare, Arizona acquired veteran forward Alex Tanguay and 2014 draft picks Conner Bleackley and Kyle Wood from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Mikkel Boedker, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
General Manager Don Maloney said once Boedker, whom the Coyotes drafted eighth overall in 2008, made it clear he wanted to test the unrestricted free-agent market this summer instead of re-signing with Arizona, the hunt began to find the right deal.
“We presented him with several different contract proposals and term and dollars hoping that we could get him signed,” Maloney said. “When it became clear that he was determined to hit the free-agency market, or at least not prepared to sign with us at this particular time, we did what we have to do. We got the best deal that was available to us. You always hope that there’s a better return but this market was as unusual as any I’ve ever experienced. People were very, very cautious about what they were willing to pay for rental players.”
Tanguay, 36, is a seasoned NHL veteran who has notched 279 goals and 571 assists in 1,070 games played for Colorado, Calgary, Montreal and Tampa Bay. Like Boedker, he is set to become a UFA on July 1.
“He’s experienced and he’s won a Cup,” Maloney said. “We’re not ready to throw in the towel. Obviously we have to stop the bleeding and find a way to get some points and win some games… I think Alex is a guy that can come in and help our power play at least be a little more creative.”
Tanguay is excited for a fresh start.
“I’m very happy,” Tanguay said. "It’s a great opportunity to play for a very well-coached team that is still battling for the playoffs... Having played against Coach Tippett’s teams in Dallas and in Phoenix, they're always a competitive team, and it doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup, it’s always a team that competes hard and is always in the game.”
He added, “My focus will be on working hard and helping this team. This is a team that’s still battling. I want to come to Arizona and contribute.”
Captain Shane Doan has wanted the Coyotes to acquire Tanguay for some time.
“I’m a big fan of him,” Doan said. “I think offensively he’s one of the best passers that has played the game in a long time. He’s a guy that has made everybody around him really, really good. I’m excited to get him.”
Tanguay said he's looking forward to being Doan's teammate.
“I’ve always admired Shane," Tanguay said. "He’s the ultimate leader. He shows up every game and plays hard. I’m eager to play with Shane and follow his leadership, and support him in any way that I can.”
Bleackley, a center, was the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. He is currently with Red Deer of the Western Hockey League and nursing a knee injury. In 47 games this season, he has notched 13 goals and 28 assists. He has yet to sign an entry-level contract and could re-enter the draft in June if he is not signed by June 1. Should he re-enter the draft, the Coyotes would be awarded the 53rd overall pick in the draft as compensation.
Wood, a defenseman, is playing for North Bay of the Ontario Hockey League. He ranks fifth on the team with 35 points (eight goals and 27 assists) in 40 games, and his plus/minus rating is plus-10. He, too, has yet to sign an entry-level contract.
“A year ago, he was a guy that was untouchable for Colorado,” Maloney said of Wood. “We’re happy to get a big, right-handed shooting defenseman who is finishing his junior career. We can sign him, get him in the minors and when you look at our reserve list there’s another small step forward in building our defense.”
Earlier Monday, the Coyotes acquired Russian forward Sergei Plotnikov from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for prospect Matthias Plachta and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2017. The condition is the Penguins get the pick if the Coyotes sign Plotnikov beyond this season.
Plotnikov immediately joined the Coyotes on Monday and was expected to play in Monday’s game vs. the Penguins, the team that signed him as a free agent last summer. He rarely played for Pittsburgh this season and notched just two assists in 22 games. He was a healthy scratch for 19 consecutive games before the trade.
“He’s a player that we talked about last summer when he was a free agent coming over (to North America),” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “(Senior advisor) Dave King had watched him play in Russia when Dave coached there so he was a player we had interest in. He ended up coming to Pittsburgh. We decided to have a look at him. He's a hard, up-and-down winger. He plays a heavy game (and) finishes checks.”
Arizona also made two minor-league trades on Monday:
• The Coyotes traded defenseman Corey Potter to the Nashville Predators in exchange for future considerations.
• The Coyotes acquired forward Matia Marcantuoni from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forwards Dustin Jeffrey and Dan O'Donoghue and defenseman James Melindy.