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Coyotes Hope to Lure Goligoski to Arizona

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – John Chayka announced his first trade as general manager of the Coyotes on Thursday when Arizona acquired rights to negotiate with defenseman Alex Goligoski from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a fifth-round pick (No. 128 overall) in next weekend’s NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo.

“I think he’s the perfect fit for our team with where we’re at with our young group of forwards," Chayka said. “They need someone who plays the new age of defense, which is transition to offense and getting the puck up to our forwards and joining the rush and supporting the attack. Those are some of the key variables that we see that he brings to the table. And with a team that over the last few years has not been good in defensive metrics, he’s got real history of being strong defensively and good on penalty kill and being used in all situations. He's a very versatile player that our coaching staff would really enjoy."

Alex Goligoski. Photo by Getty Images.

The Coyotes, who plan to visit with Goligoski and his wife early next week in Arizona, have exclusive rights to sign him until June 25. Should he choose not to sign with the Coyotes he would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Chayka said the Coyotes are confident they can convince Goligoski, a durable defenseman who plays nearly 24 minutes per game, to sign with the team, thus the trade was made. The deal leaves the Coyotes with seven picks in the draft, including two in the first round at No. 7 overall and No. 20 overall.

"We’re excited to showcase our organization and our city and show Alex and his wife our vision for the future and how they can win here and have a great life," Chayka said.

Chayka said he and Head Coach Dave Tippett spoke with Goligoski on Thursday.

"I had a good discussion with him and I know 'Tip' did as well," Chayka said. "We both came away thinking that he’s a great person to go along with being a great player, and that he was genuinely interested and seemingly excited about the potential opportunity."

Goligoski, 30, was drafted 61st overall by Pittsburgh in 2004 but he played the past six seasons with Dallas after a trade on Feb. 21, 2011. He led the Stars in ice time the past five seasons and ranked seventh among NHL defensemen in plus-minus at plus-21 last season. He played in all but two games the past three seasons. In 562 career NHL games, he has notched 55 goals and 222 assists.

"The Dallas Stars would like to thank Alex for all of his contributions to the organization," Stars General Manager Jim Nill said in a statement. "A leader both on and off the ice, Alex has played an integral role in the development of our young defensemen into NHL-caliber players. His versatility over the past six seasons has helped shape this team into what it is today and we wish him and his family the best of luck."

Chayka and Tippett are eager to improve the Coyotes. More deals likely are on the way.

"It's good for the organization to get a chance to sign a high-end free agent like Alex," Chayka said. "That hasn't been done here in a little while... We have lots of lines in the water and hopefully we can make another important move in the near future."

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