February 27, 2018 | 12:50pm ET
COYOTES SET TONE FOR FUTURE TRADES
John Chayka, GM
The Arizona Coyotes were active on the trade front leading up to the deadline, but GM John Chayka decided to stand pat. He did, however, admit to laying some groundwork for the possibility of future transactions.
The Coyotes were rumoured to be engaged in trade talks surrounding a number of their players, including forward Max Domi and defencemen Jason Demers and Niklas Hjalmarsson, among others.
Ultimately, Chayka, who admitted “it was a very busy day,” held firm and will shift his focus on the eventual off-season.
“We got close on a few things and certainly laid the groundwork for future discussions,” Chayka told the Coyotes’ website. “A lot of our discussions we’ll pick back up in the off-season.”
With six weeks left in the regular-season, and the Coyotes sitting last in the Western Conference, much of the team’s front office and scouting staff will be focused on the NHL Draft and possible moves to help shift the team in the right direction.
“At the end of the season we’ll sit down and take a hard look at what we need to add and improve upon, but right now we have maximum flexibility and we have significant assets in order to go out and make some significant moves. That’s my goal and I’m going to be aggressive with it.”
Chayka revealed his desire to make significant moves this off-season, and whether or not that includes the trading of star defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson remains to be seen. The Coyotes have been adamant about not wanting to trade him, but if the team wins the draft lottery and selects first-overall on June 22 in Dallas, it could change their minds.
“We need some impact players here and if you’re looking to get an impact player via trade, it’s a lot easier in the summer,” Chayka said. “The supply is higher just because there are 30 teams willing to move players as opposed to just the handful that are moving players now.”