Defensemen Derek Morris
and Mathieu Schneider, and forwards Wojtek Wolski, Lee Stempniak and Petteri Nokelainen were among the players added to the organization on a day in which the team made seven trades. (Read the details of each trade in the press releases listed below.)
The bottom line: Phoenix, which is poised to make its first playoff appearance since 2002, gained five NHL players and lost two (Peter Mueller and Anders Eriksson).
|Don Maloney |
“There’s no question we are night and day from where we were 24 hours ago in regards to skill, experience and grit,” General Manager Don Maloney said. “Our defense is now as good as anybody’s, in my mind. But now we have to get the chemistry right and we have to play as a team and a group, and if we do that then we’re going to be much harder (to play against).”
Morris, Wolski and Nokelainen flew to Phoenix on Wednesday and are expected to be at Thursday’s morning skate and play Thursday night vs. Colorado. Schneider and Stempniak are not expected to make it to Phoenix until after Thursday’s morning skate.
Morris, who was playing for the Boston Bruins, waived his no-trade clause in order to return to the Coyotes a year after being dealt to the New York Rangers. He said he is “ecstatic” to return to the Coyotes, a team he spent five seasons with from 2004-2009.
“I think I am a better player now than when I was there (before),” Morris said. “I’m a more solid, all-around player and I’ve learned a lot from our coaching staff here (in Boston)… Am I as offensive-minded as I was when I was younger? Who knows? I really take my own end seriously and I will just fit in wherever they put me.”
Coyotes captain Shane Doan
liked the moves.
“We’ve brought in some very special players that we’re excited to have in the room,” Doan said. “It’s no fun when teammates and friends get moved, but at the same time this year we’re adding guys. It’s nice.”
Regarding the return of Morris, Doan said: “He’s a premiere defenseman…. When you add someone like that to your lineup it’s big.“
The Coyotes are expecting Wolski to provide offense. He already has notched 17 goals and 30 assists this season and is a plus-15.
Maloney said the Coyotes, who have lost three games in a row with 18 games to play, are committed to winning now.
“We expect to win. That's what we're all about here,” Maloney said. “We want to show the locker room, we want to show the people of Phoenix that we're serious. We want to stay, and we want to win, and we want you to come out and support us. That's our message.”RELATED CONTENTRELEASE: Coyotes Acquire MorrisRELEASE: Coyotes Acquire WolskiRELEASE: Coyotes Acquire SchneiderRELEASE: Coyotes Acquire StempniakRELEASE: Coyotes Acquire NokelianenRELEASE: Coyotes Acquire PicardRELEASE: Coyotes Acquire WiikmanRELEASE: Coyotes Re-Assign Perrault to AHLVIDEO: General Manager Don Maloney explains the tradesVIDEO: Head Coach Dave Tippett reacts to the tradesVIDEO: TV/Radio Analyst Tyson Nash analyzes the Morris tradeVIDEO: Defenseman Keith Yandle reacts to the Morris trade AUDIO: Morris reacts to the trade