The Runner Sports

Arizona Coyotes’ Possible Trade For TJ Oshie

It’s time to improve the Arizona Coyotes

The question is, how do you go about doing that? Trades, free agency, promoting young players are all options. This will address the trade route the Arizona Coyotes could take to improve the dismal last five years without a playoff appearance.

So, let’s play general manager for a bit. I’m sure GM John Chayka won’t mind.

The team has weaknesses in offense, defense, and to a certain degree goaltending, as addressed in previous TRS articles. Finishing 27th in goals for, 28th in goals against, and a dismal 29th in goal differential will not get you to the playoffs. In fact, if you take a look at the final NHL standings, it’s quite apparent that goal differential is a key factor in making it to the postseason.

Teams 1-14 all qualified, with Tampa Bay coming in 15th and narrowly missing. Calgary moved into that 15th spot, and Ottawa defied the odds by placing 18th and still qualifying to appear in the playoffs.

So, the Coyotes most definitely need to improve that goal differential number. One way to do that is to improve the offense and defense so more goals are scored instead of allowed. Sounds easy, right? But, with a -63 differential to correct, that’s going to take some work.

Who should get traded?

A few candidates come to mind, but another factor affecting any trades will be the expansion draft. Not much activity, if any, will transpire before the expansion draft on June 21. Teams will be figuring out what UFAs and RFAs to either retain or expose to the draft for the Vegas Golden Knights to snatch up.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Coyotes try to move Jamie McGinn and/or Anthony Duclair. McGinn was signed to a three-year contract worth $10 million. With a cap hit of $3,333,333 for the next two years, is he really worth it? Not so much. He had only nine goals and eight assists in 72 games. His -23 rating is awful, and he only averaged a little over 13 minutes of ice time a game.

McGinn was tagged as a goal scorer after netting 22 goals between Buffalo and Anaheim during the 2015-16 season. He fell way short of that, and what could happen if he’s not traded is he could be taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. He just didn’t get it done in the desert.

Duclair also fell from grace, and in a huge manner. He participated in 58 games with the Arizona Coyotes collecting just five goals and 10 assists. His shooting percentage was an abysmal 6.6%, compared to 19% last season, which was near the best in the NHL.

He was sent down to the AHL Tucson Roadrunners to find his scoring touch, and did start to show signs of snapping out of his sophomore slump. The kid has some jets in his skates, and just seemed to have the worse luck in getting back to his old self. It didn’t help that he was not paired on the same line as his buddy Max Domi. Near the end of this season head coach Dave Tippett decided to get them back together again, and some results ensued.

Who should the Arizona Coyotes go after?

USA Today’s top 25 free agents shows some really talented players looking for employment this summer. One player would really help the Coyotes’ stagnant offense. That would be T.J Oshie of the Washington Capitals. His current salary cap hit is $4.175 million and he’s only 30 years old. The key attraction to Oshie is his adept scoring capability. He has 99 goals in his last four seasons, something which would really help to increase pucks in the net for the Yotes.

Since we’re playing GM here, the salaries must match up close enough, and in this case, they do. Adding McGinn’s $3.33 million to Duclair’s $772,500 salary adds up to just short of Oshie’s $4.175 million salary.

A deal made in heaven? Perhaps. Giving up on Duclair may be a hard pill to swallow, but Oshie’s 33 goals this season exceeded McGinn and Duclair’s total by 19 tallies. He also has three goals and six assists in nine playoff games. If the Coyotes want instant gratification for their poor offensive showing, this trade could help immensely. If they want to be playing in the postseason, this trade is ideal.

Of course, it takes two teams to make a trade happen. Would the Caps trade Oshie? They are right at the salary cap limit with $73 million dedicated to players per capfriendly.com, so this proposed deal wouldn’t help that situation. What it would do for the Caps is give them more speed in Duclair, and some grit and scoring in McGinn.

Of course, the Coyotes could also offer Oshie a free agent contract since he will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He could also re-sign with the Caps, but he’ll want a raise, and they may not be able to do that. The Coyotes, on the other hand, have some cap space to use, to the tune of over $26 million.

So, maybe John Chayka will read this and think it’s a great idea. It’s okay if this writer doesn’t get any credit.

All the reward received in making the Coyotes a better offensive team is all that really matters.