The Arizona Coyotes are in full-on blow-up mode this summer.
After missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons, the Coyotes have started to sell off the veterans on their roster and they’ve used the open salary cap room to take on the bad contracts of other teams in order to recoup draft picks.
Arizona has traded away captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Connor Garland, and goaltender Adin Hill, and they’ve taken on the contracts of Andrew Ladd, Shayne Gostisbehere, Anton Stralman, Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle, and Loui Eriksson. In total, they’ve added a first-round pick, five second-round picks, a third-round pick, two seventh-round picks, and a prospect.
The Coyotes still have salary cap room to burn and a few more veterans on their roster they can fire off. If Ken Holland wants to free up some more financial wiggle room to work with this summer, the Coyotes are the team to call.
James Neal, who may or may not be bought out today, is the obvious name that comes to mind to pay a draft pick or two to dump on the Coyotes. There’s also Zack Kassian and Mikko Koskinen, a pair of players who carry more value than Neal and likely wouldn’t cost quite so much to dump.
Speaking of Koskinen, Pierre LeBrun reported today that the Oilers are among the teams interested in Arizona goaltender Darcy Kuemper, and that Edmonton would need to drop the big Finn in order to make a deal work…
Darcy Kuemper would be a good option for the Oilers in a tandem with Mike Smith. But at what cost in a trade? The Oilers aren't eager to give up much for rentals. Maybe Kuemper is an exception. Maybe they can quickly sign him to a contract extension. https://t.co/e2Y4XWNdVr
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) July 27, 2021
Kuemper has one more year left on his contract with a $4,500,000 cap hit. Injuries limited Kuemper to just 27 games last season and his .907 save percentage was the worst of his career since he was a back-up with the Minnesota Wild. But, when Kuemper is healthy, he’s been very good. Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, Kuemper posted a .926 save percentage over the course of 84 games, finishing fifth and seventh in Vezina Trophy voting in those seasons.