Zizing 'Em Up: Coyotes 'open' to deals ahead of NHL Trade Deadline |

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Welcome to, the NHL's official website

Welcome to, the official website of the National Hockey League

Welcome to, the official website of the National Hockey League

Welcome to, the official site of the National Hockey League

Welcome to, the official site of the National Hockey League. staff writer Mike Zeisberger has been covering the NHL regularly since 1999. Each Sunday during the season, he will use his extensive network of hockey contacts to write his weekly notes column, "Zizing 'Em Up."

TORONTO -- There are 33 shopping days until the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3, and the Arizona Coyotes are expected to be among the busier sellers.

"We're open for business," general manager Bill Armstrong told "Now you just see how things play out. 

"We're pretty much open to anything."

Defenseman Jakob Chychrun is the biggest name of the candidates who could be moved by Arizona (16-28-6), which is 19 points out of Stanley Cup Playoff position, but defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and forwards Nick Ritchie and Nick Bjugstad have attracted interest, too. The Coyotes announced Thursday that Gostisbehere will be out 4-6 weeks with an upper body injury.

With trade talks heating up, Armstrong took time to address the Coyotes' situation in a Q&A with Zizing 'Em Up.

Let's start with the Chychrun situation, which has been creating a lot of public buzz. Various reports have suggested the asking price, at a minimum, is two first-round draft picks and a prospect, if not more, for the 24-year-old defenseman, who is signed through the 2024-25 season. While you're not in the habit of revealing asking prices, is it accurate that it's a high one?

"For me, it's pretty easy to come up with when you look at the player involved. I think you have to focus on the fact that he's an asset that keeps giving. Look at it this way: He's going to be available for three playoff runs. By the last year of his contract he's going to be 27 years old. He has a cap number that is very digestible and you can work with. And he's a really good player that can add some size (6-foot-2, 220 pounds), skating, scoring ability, is one of your top four defensemen and can play a ton of minutes. Not everybody has cap room. Not everybody's got the assets for it. Not everybody needs that type of player. For those who do, you get a great asset that keeps giving because you get him for those three playoff runs. And if you choose to only make it only two, then you can try and move the asset and try and recoup what you gave up. And he'll be in his prime. So for me, it's a good deal for a team that needs that type of player coming into the organization to push to win a championship. … A young D-man with such promise and an [average annual value] under $5 million is an attractive asset."

Has interest in him or some of your other players picked up in the past couple of weeks? Is your phone ringing more these days?

"What the teams are doing now, the ones that know they're playoff-bound, they're getting their feelers out about the price, not only with us, but with other teams. They're at the point right now where they're figuring out what's the cost, who's the best fit, ranking them, and then calling on the player and saying, 'What's it going to cost to get it done?' With us, we go off the comparable. You know, what guys went last year for what price. That's usually the way it works. If you have a special player, you have a price in mind."

Aside from Chychrun, there's been speculation on a number of other Coyotes, including Gostisbehere, Ritchie and Bjugstad. How do you read the market when it involves players not named Chychrun?

"Nick Bjugstad has played so well at center for us. His size (6-6, 209) is very intriguing with the skating and his ability to get the puck. He's an unbelievable team guy, so he's going to attract some attention for sure. The teams that need a little bit of toughness and scoring, 'Rich,' he's going to do that. 'Ghost,' when healthy, if you need a power-play guy, a competitor that can generate points, he's someone that would be a great ad for you. So we've got a number of different assets for us that we'll be moving come the deadline."

You also have cap space, which some reports estimate around $12 million. With so many teams pushed up against the cap, how valuable an asset do you think that space will be in trades where you will get prospects and/or picks for taking on contracts teams might want to get rid of?

"We look at every avenue that might help our team. Sometimes trading draft picks works for teams because they can back-pick them so they're not giving them away this year, but they're giving us some, say, in 2026, which gives them wiggle room to make some hay right now. So that's why you see us taking on some of those contracts along with the picks, even if they're a few years away."

Finally, you've made no secret of the fact that this rebuild will take a while. How do you feel it's gone so far?

"People forget that when I was hired in 2020 we had virtually no draft picks. So when I see a kid like defenseman J.J. Moser , a kid we drafted just two years ago (second round, No. 60, 2020 NHL Draft), already in our lineup and contributing, it's encouraging to see. And so are some of our other prospects who continue to develop at various levels. We're a ways away but we're on the right track, that's for sure."

Meanwhile, there is the case of the St. Louis Blues, who lost 5-0 at the Coyotes on Thursday. Coach Craig Berube was irked at some of his veterans afterward, though he refused to name names.

"It seems there are mistakes at both ends every night," defenseman Colton Parayko said.

Are the Blues (23-24-3) -- who lost again on Saturday, 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche -- going to be sellers, which seems to be becoming more of a reality heading into the deadline? That's an intriguing dilemma facing general manager Doug Armstrong, who was heading to Europe this weekend on a scouting assignment.

Though center Ryan O'Reilly , a pending unrestricted free agent, told The Athletic on Wednesday that he didn't want to be moved and that the two sides had started "to get a little dialogue going" on a contract, he did not rule out the possibility of a trade. And what of forward Vladimir Tarasenko , who is also a pending UFA?

It all meant there was no shortage of fodder for Armstrong to ponder during his trans-Atlantic flight.

Thirteen years after being diagnosed with leukemia, Paul Henderson continues to defy the odds.

The former Canada and NHL forward turned 80 on Saturday and was to celebrate by dropping the puck prior to his grandson's game for Canisius College against visiting Niagara University at LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo.

"I had blood work done this week and it's probably the best it's been since I was first diagnosed with cancer," he told Friday. "I've been blessed. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.

"[Canisius] wanted to have a party for me, so we figured it was a great family thing."

Alton McDermott is a forward in his second season with Canisius. The 21-year-old, who has eight points (six goals, four assists) in 22 games this season, has a very proud grandpa.

"He's a goal-scorer like me and can really fire the puck, but he's had some tough times this season," Henderson said. "I told him the tough times and adversity make you better. You learn from those things."

Henderson's penchant for scoring goals made him a hero in Canada to this day, given his accomplishments in the eight-game 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union. He scored the winning goal in each of the final three games, helping Canada win the series 4-3-1. His series-winning goal with 32 seconds remaining in Game 8 that gave Canada a 6-5 victory is generally regarded as the greatest moment in the country's sports history.

During his 17-season NHL career he had 477 points (236 goals, 241 assists) in 707 games with the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Atlanta Flames from 1963-1980.

"Sometimes he wins the lottery. Like today. So lucky."

-- Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Ilya Samsonov on New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil , who scored on him directly when the puck was dropped for a face-off during Toronto's 3-2 overtime victory at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

With the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend set to take place in South Florida on Friday and Saturday, we look back at some of the top moments from the event last year in Las Vegas.

1. Water sports?: NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer has come up with some pretty cool out-of-the-box ideas over the years (the piglet races at the 2020 Winter Classic between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas come to mind). But he may have outdone himself with the Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off, in which participants had to shoot pucks at five targets on the water at the Fountains of Bellagio. Vegas, baby, Vegas.

2. Gridiron goal: As part of the adidas NHL Breakaway Challenge, then-Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat , dressed as the Alan character from "The Hangover" films, received a pass from Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and scored a goal with the football. Raiders fans wish Carr, who won't be back with the team next season, had completed more such passes on the gridiron instead of the ice.

3. Young Stamkos steals the show: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos was poised for a press conference when 2-year-old son Carter told his dad several times, "I wanna go see the Zamboni." At least he said "Please." Good manners have always been a trademark of the Stamkos family.  


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