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Busy Coyotes make 7 trades at deadline @NHLdotcom

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -Broke or not, the Phoenix Coyotes did some serious beefing up for their playoff run.

The team, purchased out of bankruptcy by the NHL as the league tries to work out a deal with a potential buyer, made seven trades shortly before Wednesday's deadline.

In the most significant move, Phoenix acquired left wing Wojtek Wolski from the Colorado Avalanche for forwards Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter.

The 24-year-old Wolski has 17 goals and 30 assists this season in 62 games. The 21-year-old Mueller has had a disappointing follow-up to his outstanding rookie season. He has four goals and 13 assists in 54 games. A year ago he had 22 goals and 32 assists for Phoenix in 82 games. Porter has spent most of the season with the Coyotes' minor league affiliate in San Antonio.

Both Wolski and Mueller were first-round draft picks.

In other deals, the Coyotes traded for defenseman Derek Morris from Boston, defenseman Mathieu Schneider from Vancouver, right wing Lee Stempniak from Toronto, center Petteri Nokelainen from Anaheim, left wing Alexandre Picard from Columbus, and goaltender Miika Wiikman from New York.

"There's no question we are night and day from where we were 24 hours ago in regards to skill, experience and grit," Coyotes 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.

The Coyotes are fifth in the Western Conference, one point behind fourth-place Los Angeles. Phoenix has not made the playoffs since 2002.

It was a surprising flurry of activity for a team that is still losing millions of dollars per month and a test to the theory that a team can be successful in the desert if it is successful on the ice.

Here is a synopsis of the other six trades:

-The hard-hitting Morris returns to Phoenix, where he spent parts of five seasons. The Bruins got a conditional 2011 draft choice. Maloney said Morris "leadership and tenacity will be welcomed in our dressing room."

-Schneider, 40, was acquired from Vancouver for defenseman Sean Zimmerman and a conditional 2010 draft pick. Schneider is in his 21st NHL season. He has appeared in 1,281 career games for nine NHL teams. He is a veteran of 111 playoff games.

-Phoenix sent defenseman Matt Jones along with a fourth-round and seventh-round draft pick this year to Toronto for Stempniak, the Maple Leafs' third-leading scorer with 14 goals. He also has 16 assists, making him No. 4 on the team in points.

-The team acquired Nokelainen for a sixth-round draft pick in 2011. Nokelainen, 24, had four goals and seven assists in 50 games for the Ducks.

-The Coyotes sent center Chad Kolarik to Columbus for Picard, who will report to Phoenix's affiliate in San Antonio.

-Phoenix got Wiikman and a 2011 seventh-round draft choice from the Rangers for defenseman Anders Eriksson. Wiikman will report to the Coyotes' American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio.

In another move, the Coyotes reassigned forward Joel Perrault to San Antonio.

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