The Arizona Coyotes went into the trade deadline with a bevy of unrestricted free agents – 12 total with the majority of those coming on defense. A veteran on the backend such as Alex Goligoski who was expected to be dealt ended up staying with the club along with not a single other move made by General Manager Bill Armstrong.
The only action the Coyotes were involved in was the waiving of Drake Caggiula who was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres days before the deadline.
On a Zoom call – GM Bill Armstrong answered questions regarding the quiet deadline and noted the following:
GM Bill Armstrong, on the quiet deadline:— Alex Kinkopf (@AEKinkopf) April 12, 2021
"Our group has really done a great job, especially over the last month of fighting to earn a right to get into the playoffs. They’ve earned my respect. I felt like they deserved that right to fight to get in and stay together." #Yotes
While the group is in the fight for the playoffs, the team has been hampered by injuries notably to goaltenders Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta which has become a regular occurrence for the club. In addition to the injuries, the team has largely been dominated by the 3 clubs that were above in the standings while they sat in the 4th and final playoff spot for the west division. The Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights have largely had their way with the Coyotes this season dominating in just about every aspect of the game. Sporting an overall record that is a painful 4-15-2 against the three clubs should answer that this team has just about no shot of postseason success and at the very least a repeat of last year’s Avalanche blowout series if they were to make it in. Even though the St. Louis Blues are keeping things interesting with their inconsistencies it has largely created a false sense of hope that the Coyotes can get on a run.
With that and the lack of true elite star talent on the roster paired with a depleting prospect pool and dry draft bank, the Coyotes could have at least added to the cupboard to give themselves more kicks at the can. While no one who was considered moveable outside of Conor Garland and possibly Phil Kessel – if he was willing to waive his NMC/NTC – would generate a significant return package, the Coyotes are now looking at a mass of vacancies with potentially nothing for return. For a team that has a variety of needs up and down the roster, it was puzzling to not make at least some moves to grab capital for picks or other potential deals come draft day.
Was that worth it for a last gasp dance likely against Colorado if the Coyotes make it?Embed from Getty Images