SUNRISE, Fla. – The Coyotes pulled off the first of what may be multiple off-season roster maneuvers just after the 2015 NHL Draft concluded on Saturday afternoon.
In the deal, Arizona acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossmann from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick. The deal also requires the Coyotes to take the contract of defenseman Chris Pronger, who hasn’t played since 2011-12 and who won’t play again because of concussion-related issues.
Grossmann, 30, is a player Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett knows from when he coached him when both were with the Dallas Stars organization from 2006-09.
"He's a big defender and a hard defender and a very good penalty killer," Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said. "Dave Tippett knows and likes him."
The draft pick the Coyotes are sending the Flyers will be either a fourth-round pick in 2016 (should the Coyotes acquire one) or a third-round pick in 2017 (if they don’t).
Maloney said the Coyotes hope to make more upgrades - via trades or free agency - to the roster that finished last season over the summer. A scoring winger, another veteran defenseman and a backup goalie are atop the team’s wish list of acquisitions.
"We've added an important defenseman (Grossmann) and we'll continue to work to build our roster," Maloney said. "This is the first step of retooling our defense."
Grossman played 198 games for the Flyers over parts of four seasons. In those games he notched seven goals and 31 assists. In 531 NHL games he is a plus-11.