GLENDALE – In an effort to snap his team out of a six–game home losing streak, Coyotes G.M. Don Maloney on Friday made multiple roster moves and hinted more may be on the way.
“We’re looking hard at this team right now and … we haven’t liked our performance,” Maloney said. “This is an ongoing process to try and move things along, shake things up, change our mix, change our chemistry.”
The Coyotes acquired defenseman Philip Samuelsson from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday in exchange for forward Rob Klinkhammer and a conditional fifth-round draft choice in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Samuelsson, the older brother of Coyotes prospect Henrik Samuelsson, will report to the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League where he will be a teammate of his brother’s. Their dad is Ulf Samuelsson.
“He’s an intelligent puck mover,” Maloney said of Philip, whom Pittsburgh selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. "I thought Rob Klinkhammer was fine, but we could move him along and get a younger player that fits the direction that we're going to have to go with this team."
Soon after the trade was announced, the Coyotes then announced that defenseman Andrew Campbell and forward Jordan Martinook had been recalled from Portland and that defenseman David Schlemko had been sent down. Meanwhile, center Kyle Chipchura was placed on waivers.
“We’re taking a hard look at this entire roster and where we’re at and how do we get better,” Maloney said. “We’re in dire straits in the sense that it’s early December and where we sit in the standings and what we have above us and who we’re chasing, so I think we have to show people that we’re not just going to sit here and do nothing. We’re going to do what we can do within the means that we have.”
Head Coach Dave Tippett said Campbell and Martinook would play in Saturday’s game vs. Boston. It will be Martinook’s NHL debut and the fourth NHL game for Campbell, who played three games for Los Angeles last season.
“He’s a bigger guy and he’s a competitive player and he has a little bit of experience in the League so why not take a look at him because the way we’re playing defense right now isn’t good enough,” Maloney said.
Martinook is a rugged forward who scored 40 goals in his final Western Hockey League season in 2011-12.
Maloney hopes the two call-ups will inject some energy into the lineup.
“We all know we can debate our talent level,” Maloney said. “But to me compete and will and drive is internal, so we need to see more of that.”
He added, "We have enough here, I believe, to be a competitive playoff contender and we're not doing that right now… I think our team chemistry is good, but we’re in a results business, not a Kumbaya business.”