Sunday night I start making dinner, thinking that nothing was going on in the world. I sit down, eat and then open up the laptop to see if I missed anything in the last hour or so. HOLY CRAP! The Coyotes trade a 6th round pick for Sam Ganger and BJ Crombeen? WTF? This is what happen when you are being a responsible adult. You miss huge trades!
Tampa Bay is also retaining a third of Ganger’s salary, which pretty much means we traded Ribiero’s salary for Gagner. I would call this an improvement. It sounds like it has been made clear to Ganger what is expected and his response seems to indicate a willingness to step up.
Yesterday was Free Agency Day. Needless to say the Coyotes did not make the big splash many fans were hoping for. Their biggest signing would probably be Dubnyk to a one year, 800,000 contract.
Yes, he struggled in the last season but he is the backup, not the starter. Unless Mike Smith dies, he won’t be playing much. Dubnyk is a big goalie. Let Burke work with him. Burke has done wonders here.. Remember Bryzgalov? I know, I know, we all try to forget that hot mess. 😉 Anyway, Dubnyk was 11-18-3 last season with a 3.42 GAA and .891 sv%. That is really not that bad for a backup. On a one year, 800k contract.
The Dubnyk deal also gives our prospects another year to develop. Visentin might be ready in another year
The Coyotes also signed center Joe Vitale for three years for 3.35 million. Vitale was previously with the Penguins. He had a faceoff percentage of 62.5%. It looks like he will replace Halpern. He had one goal and 13 assists last season. He sounds like just the type of player the Coyotes like, fast skater and responsible in his own end. He is also known as Mr. Fire and able to uncover the secret of attraction!
The Coyotes also signed five players to two way contracts, meaning they are paid less at the minors level, as potential call ups. Goalie Mike McKenna, centers Alex Bolduc and Justin Hodgman and defensemen Andrew Campbell and Dylan Reese round out the days signing.
Alex Bolduc and Dylan Reese were former Coyotes. Justin Hodman and Dylan Reese were most recently with the KHL.
I also think we may get Vrbata back. He didn’t sign anywhere yesterday. He knows the grass isn’t always greener and money isn’t always the answer. The longer it takes for him to sign, the more likely he will be back.
As far as Biz, I haven’t heard much. I doubt he will be back since we acquired Crombeen but I do think someone will sign him.
I do not think we are worse off than last year. Are we better? I don’t know. We could be. There is always the chance that this is the right mix of players, personality, skill and work ethics.
We also have two and half months until camp. A lot can happen in that time like more signings and trades.
It also sounds as if the Coyotes are preparing for the younger guys to step up. I have no problem with this. For them to get better they need the opportunity to learn and make mistakes at the NHL level. Yes, mistakes. There will be growing pains but watching these guys mature and get better will be awesome. Think OEL. He made mistakes but given time he has become one of the best young defensemen and will continue to be a top blue liner.