On the Arizona Coyotes …
Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports: Coyotes GM John Chayka made his big acquisitions in trades last week – Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta and Niklas Hjalmarsson, so it may be a quiet free agent period for the Coyotes.
“I don’t see any glaring holes,” Chayka said of his current roster. “Now is this a Stanley Cup roster as I look at it today? No, but again I think we’re still looking to improve upon it and build upon it and if we can address some areas that could be better then that’s what we’re going to look to do.”
Chayka said they will be patient and added that he doesn’t think it’s a strong class.
Coyotes pending UFA Radim Vrbata said they’ve received “serious interest” from an number of teams. Vrbata would like to remain with the Coyotes.
“We have some interest,” Chayka said of Vrbata. “We’ve got an understanding of where he’s at. I think his agent’s approach is to see where the market sets again, which is OK by us. He had a great year but we’re in the business of paying for future performance, not past performance. There’s a lot of good young players that we have for options, there’s some other free agents that we’re looking at and the trade market is still extremely active.”
Shane Doan‘s agent has received calls from four teams. Doan will take his time making a decision.
Chayka hopes to have interviewed three candidates by the end of next week. Todd Nelson is expected to be one coach interviewed.
Pierre LeBrun: Hearing that Dallas Eakins will interview with the Coyotes.
Bob McKenzie: Todd Nelson and Sheldon Keefe are expected to interview as well. [McKenzie] thinks there could be as many as four or five candidates.
Dave Vest of NHL.com: Coyotes GM John Chayka on free agency.
“It’s just another mechanism to improve your team,” General Manager John Chayka said. “But having said that, I think we covered a lot of ground in trades, and I think there’s still some liquidity in the trade market so we’re looking at some things there.”
Chayka on Vrbata.
“He is certainly a guy that we have interest in, but he would not be the only alternative.”
On if they have any more trades in the works.
“I think there’s still opportunities,” Chayka said. “Whether I’m done (trading) or not will depend on a willing partner, but we still have those discussions ongoing to try and improve this group and I’m hopeful that we can. But again, I think we have some strong internal candidates too.”