What a difference a year makes. In February 2007, the Coyotes were going nowhere fast. On track for what turned out to be a very disappointing season, the Coyotes finished with a 31-46-5 record in the basement of the Western Conference. It was determined well in advance that the Coyotes would not be buyers, they would be sellers come the February 27th trade deadline.
The first move occurred on January 3rd when the Coyotes unloaded Mike Comrie to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Russian prospect Alexei Kaigorodov
. On January 8th, the Coyotes would trade Dennis Seidenberg to the Carolina Hurricanes for Kevyn Adams. A deal that at the time was a minor move, but it was thought that adding a veteran leader in Adams could only help this team. The trade, although minor at the time, would prove to be a major reason for the Coyotes success this season. The reason being, one of new General Manager Don Maloney’s first moves would be to trade Adams to Chicago for right winger Radim Vrbata
, a player with tremendous upside whose ceiling was yet to be reached.
The next move came just over a month later when the Coyotes finally decided to cut ties with Ladislav Nagy. A fan favorite here in Phoenix, Nagy never quite realized his potential so he was dealt to Dallas for defensive specialist Mathias Tjarnqvist, and a first round pick in the 2007 draft(Nick Ross
With Shane Doan
’s contract expiring at the end of the season, speculation had been that the Coyotes captain, who was the lone remaining member of the franchise from its days in Winnipeg, was going to be traded. Tension mounted, and uncertainty grew about the future of the most loved player in Phoenix. But then, just days before the trade deadline, it was announced that indeed there would be no trade of Doan. The Coyotes had inked their star to a new deal keeping Doan in the desert for at least five more years.
Doan was now safe but other assets would be sent away to build for the future. Yanic Perreault was sent to Toronto in exchange for defenseman Brendan Bell and a second round pick in the 2008 draft.
Oleg Saprykin was dealt to Ottawa for a second round pick as well.
It was also determined that the Georges Laraque experiment was over. The tough guy who signed as a free agent in the off-season would not to be in the Coyotes future. With the Penguins offering up prospect Dan Carcillo and a third round pick it was tough for the Coyotes to say no. They accepted the deal.
The final move was acquiring center Niko Kapanen off waivers from Atlanta. Kapanen cost the Coyotes nothing, and has proven to be a valuable commodity this year in the Coyotes lineup and on the power play.
That was last year.
This is 2008, and the Coyotes are right in the thick of things in the playoff hunt. There will be no fire-sale. The Coyotes have put several pieces in place and have exceeded all expectations this season. There are some big names on the trading block these days including Marian Hossa. Bobby Holik of the Thrashers, Mats Sundin of Toronto, Dan Boyle of the Lightning, Rob Blake of the Kings, Michael Ryder of Montreal, Brian Campbell of Buffalo, and many others.
Will the Coyotes go after one of these players? We will see. It is unlikely, as Maloney has said numerous times that he does not want to sacrifice the future for a quick fix. The trade deadline is less than a week away. Who will stay? Who will go?
One thing is for sure. The future looks bright and the Coyotes have set themselves up for success. With the moves that have been made, the Coyotes now have six picks in the first three rounds of a very deep 2008 draft. The Coyotes have the type of assets that NHL teams covet, but in the sports world, patience is hard to come by. Previous Trade Deadline Deals involving the Coyotes:
Joel Perrault acquired from Anaheim for Sean O’Donnell
Jamie Lundmark traded to Calgary for a 4th round draft choice (Doug Rogers) in 2006.
Josh Gratton and two 2nd round draft choices (Cory Emerton and Shawn Matthias) in 2006 acquired from Philadelphia for Denis Gauthier.
Jamie Rivers acquired from Detroit for 7th round draft choice (Nick Oslund) in 2006.
Yanick Lehoux acquired from Los Angeles for Tim Jackman.
Oleg Kvasha and conditional draft choice acquired from NY Islanders for 3rd round choice (Brad Marchand) in 2006.
Mike Comrie acquired from Philadelphia for Sean Burke, Branko Radivojevic and Ben Eager.
Brent Johnson acquired from St. Louis for Mike Sillinger.
Mike Rupp and 2nd round draft choice (Geoff Paukovich) in 2004 acquired from New Jersey for Jan Hrdina.Derek Morris
and Keith Ballard acquired from Colorado for Chris Gratton, Ossi Vaananen and 2nd round draft choice (Paul Stastny) in 2005.
Brad Ference acquired from Florida for Darcy Hordichuk and 2nd round draft choice (Matt Smaby) in 2003.
Guillaume Lefebvre, 3rd round draft choice (Tyler Redenbach) in 2003 and 2nd round draft choice (Brandon Dubinsky) in 2004 acquired from Philadelphia for Tony Amonte.
Chris Gratton and 4th round draft choice (Liam Reddox) in 2004 acquired from Buffalo for Daniel Briere and 3rd round draft choice (Andrej Sekera) in 2004.
Jan Hrdina and Francois Leroux acquired from Pittsburgh for Ramzi Abid, Dan Focht and Guillaume Lefebvre.
Brad May traded to Vancouver for a conditional draft choice (Dmitri Pestunov) in 2003.
Darcy Hordichuk, 4th round draft choice (Lance Monych) in 2002 and 5th round draft choice (John Zeiler) in 2002 acquired from Atlanta for Kirill Safronov, Ruslan Zainullin and 4th round draft choice (Patrick Dwyer) in 2002.
Paul Mara, Mike Johnson, Ruslan Zainullin and 2nd round draft choice (Matthew Spiller) in 2001 acquired from Tampa Bay for Nikolai Khabibulin and Stan Neckar.
Todd Simpson acquired from Florida for 2nd round draft choice (Igor Pohanka) in 2001.
Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, Jeff Taffe and 1st round draft choice (Ben Eager) in 2002 acquired from St. Louis for Keith Tkachuk.
Lyle Odelein acquired from New Jersey for DeronQuint and 3rd round draft choice (Beat Forster) in 2001.
Mikael Renberg acquired from Philadelphia for Rick Tocchet.
Philippe Audet acquired from Detroit for Todd Gill.