GLENDALE – With an eye on still making the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Coyotes on Wednesday made three trades before the NHL’s trade deadline expired at noon (Arizona time).
In separate deals, Phoenix shipped forward Raffi Torres to San Jose in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, forward Steve Sullivan to New Jersey in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and forward Matthew Lombardi to Anaheim in exchange for forward Brandon McMillan.
Torres, Sullivan and Lombardi were all set to become unrestricted free agents after this season.
McMillan, 23, has played 95 NHL games -- all with Anaheim -- over the past few seasons. He will report to Phoenix’s American Hockey League affiliate – the Portland Pirates.
“We’re losing three players off our roster. Having said that, the core of our team is still intact,” said Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving, who addressed the media in place of General Manager Don Maloney, who is away from the team’s headquarters in Arizona because of the death of his father on Sunday. “… In all honesty this is not surrendering a white flag. This is doing what we have to do from a management level to maximize the assets that we need to maximize moving forward and give opportunities to people we think deserve opportunities.”
He added, “We’ve got 12 games left and I know our core group is going to push forward and try to attain that playoff spot.”
After the trades, the Coyotes recalled forwards Chris Brown and Chris Conner from the AHL to help fill out the roster for the final 12 games of the regular season.
''We're not asking anyone to come up from Portland and be a savior, but we feel they can provide us with an energy and a spark as we move forward and try to make the playoffs,'' Treliving said.
Phoenix is in 12th place in the Western Conference standings, but just two points behind eighth-place St. Louis.
VIDEO: Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving recaps and explains the three trades made Wednesday.