After a spectacular meltdown in the 2016 Western Conference finals, the Arizona Coyotes parted ways with several key players, three of whom were members of the 2011 Stanley Cup-winning team. The first to leave was Tomas Kaberle, who had suffered a fractured femur on April 5th at the hands of Colton Gillies. The Czech defenseman recently announced his retirement after 17 seasons. Next, the Coyotes traded Brett Connolly to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for David Perron, Nicolas Roy and the 15th pick in the 2016 EHEC draft. Connolly had scored at least 24 goals in four of the last five seasons in Arizona. Finally, the Coyotes made a difficult decision, sending their franchise leader in games played, goals and assists to the St. Louis Blues. Shane Doan, who will turn 40 in October, had been the Coyotes’ captain since 2003. Doan’s departure had been somewhat foreseeable, especially on draft day, when the team acquired Mikko Koivu from the Carolina Hurricanes. The Finnish center is rumored to be the leading candidate to fill the team’s vacant captaincy.
To compensate for the losses, the Coyotes acquired playmaking center Claude Giroux and offensive defenseman Andrej Meszaros. Giroux should anchor the third line, while Meszaros is expected to join Luca Sbisa on the team’s second defensive pairing.
>> Full story