I was waiting for the end of the season to make my assessments, and well, the season is over.
ReinprectUFA 2mil cap hit
I would like to see him back. I doubt he would need a higher contract to return. He is versatile, level headed player that I think is a good influence on the younger guys. Winning teams need utility players that can provide depth. He can play on the bottom six if needed and seamlessly step into the top 6 if needed. If the team feels like he has to be moved to bring in another solid or first line veteran, I am not going to be that upset though.
LisinRFA- 790k cap hit
I really like Lisin and think he needs some good coaching and time to develop. I have no idea if he can get that in Phoenix, but I would hate to see him leave and blossom into a player the Coyotes wish they had.
WinnikRFA- 530k cap hit
I think he is a solid penalty killer and fore checker with some offensive potential left before he hits his ceiling. I would rather see him take a fourth line spot than bringing in an outsider.
PruchaRFA- 340 cap hit now but sal of 1.6mil
Prucha brings a lot of hustle with some offensive skill. I would really like to see him back.
LindstromRFA-cap hit of 340
I would not mind if he comes back on a two way contract. I really doubt he is ever going to be a full time NHL player though, so if he thinks he is an NHL player or the team wants to make space in the AHL for new players, let him walk.
UpshallRFA cap hit of 260 now but 1.2 mil sal
He provides great hustle and plays well with Lombardi and Prucha. I would really like to see him back, even if I do not expect him to keep up his scoring pace. I would love to see that entire line back as a second or third line.
Keeping Lombardi would make it a lot easier to part with Reinprecht, although I could see the team keeping both. Again, I hope to see the line of Upshall, Lombardi and Prucha back as the second or third line.
McGrattanUFA 215cap hit but 600k sal
DawesRFA 125caphit but 580k sal
GoertzenRFA-112cap hit 475k sal
MurrayRFA- 475sal under 100k cap hit
HogganUFA- 500k sal like a 25k cap hit
NikulinRFA- 725k sal under a 25k cap hit for us
I really do not know enough about him to say one way or another.
YandleRFA 800k cap hit
I really want Yandle back. He is progressing quite nicely, especially for a defenseman. He skates well, has solid offensive skills with plenty of untapped potential and looks like he is progressing in his own zone. He may still need some polish in his own zone, but most defenseman his age do. Yandle was a great draft pick and the Coyotes need to reap the beneits.
There are a lot of guys like Klee and he is getting up in age, so I can imagine the team shopping for an upgrade. Still, I liked his solid, calm and steady play. If he wants to come back in a bottom pair role for less money, why not?
KalininUFA 2.1mil sal
Apart from Morris, I really do not see an upgrade available on the free agent market. I would so much rather see Morris, but I have no idea if they can get Morris back. It sounds like Maloney may be in the trade market for a top 4 defenseman, which opens up the possibilities. Basically, I am really hoping for an upgrade, but I have my doubts and there are worse players to have on your bottom pairing.
TordjmanRFA- 525 sal 100k cap hit this year
He has been good in the AHL and should keep it up. He is still quite a way from the NHL, but it is not like the Coyotes have any depth in the system with which to work.
So, that leaves the team with:
Forwards: Doan, Lombardi, Prucha, Upshall, Hanzal, Lisin, Mueller, Tikhonov, Reinprecht, Turris, Boedker, Winnik
Defense: Michalek, Jovanovski, Sauer, Klee, Yandle
On defense, that leaves room to bring in a top 4 guy and keep Yandle and Klee (or a younger player in Klee's mold) as the bottom pairing which would be ideal. If that is not possible, I could see Yandle moving into the top 4 and bringing back Kalinin or promoting a young player.
On offensive, that is still too many forwards if the Coyotes are really going to bring in one or two more top guys. Some of them are probably going to have to be moved in a deal, and I could easily see Turris at least starting in the AHL. I am not even going to speculate as to what kind of move they would make because it really all depends on who is available and the asking price, but that may also open up roster space.