Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could have some major changes in store for his club following his first season on the job. Among them could be trading Darcy Kuemper.
Last Thursday, Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli reported Kuemper is a prime trade candidate after his camp informed management he's not interested in a contract extension. The 31-year-old goaltender has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.5 million and an actual salary of $5.5 million.
Kuemper became the Coyotes' starting goalie in 2018-19, winning 27 of 55 appearances with a 2.33 goals-against average, a .925 save percentage and five shutouts. Injuries limited him to 56 regular-season games over the last two seasons but he still put up solid numbers. He also backstopped the Coyotes over the Nashville Predators in last year's qualifying round.
Seravalli said the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in Kuemper. Avalanche starting goalie Philipp Grubauer and former Leafs starter Frederik Andersen are due to become unrestricted free agents on July 28.
AZ Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan also reported the Avalanche have an interest in Kuemper. He feels the Coyotes should also try peddling him to other contenders in need of goaltending, like the Carolina Hurricanes or Edmonton Oilers, for a late first-round pick.
Kuemper could be an affordable short-term option for the Avs if Grubauer departs via free agency. The Leafs, however, lack a first-round pick and would probably be unwilling to part with their second-rounder.
The Oilers are attempting to bring back Mike Smith and would have to trade Mikko Koskinen to take on Kuemper. The Hurricanes, however, could be a good fit. Petr Mrazek and James Reimer are UFAs and they could someone to mentor promising Alex Nedeljkovic.