Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said the team will be sellers leading up to the March 2 trade deadline. Having already traded goalie Devan Dubnyk to the Minnesota Wild earlier this month, Maloney said the team will continue to build for the future instead of trying to improve this season.
Having already traded goalie Devan Dubnyk to the Minnesota Wild earlier this month, Maloney said the team will continue to build for the future instead of trying to improve this season. Maloney said he spoke to new majority owner Andrew Barroway during All-Star Weekend and they both agreed that rebuilding is the right strategy.
"Now through to the deadline, we do have players that are proven playoff players," Maloney said. "Everybody looks for who can play defense, who can help you win, who can touch the little areas of the game -- we have players like that. We like them all -- we'd like to keep them all -- but our mandate now is to acquire as many young assets as we can and grow this thing from the ground up."
Antoine Vermette, 32, has 11 goals and 20 assists this season for a team-high 31 points, but he will be a free agent after this season, and Maloney said the team will be looking to get younger.
Vermett was realistic about his expectations about his future in Arizona.
"Obviously, they won't lose me for nothing July 1," he said Wednesday.
"I don't really know what's going on. I see what guys like you write or say. Obviously, it's something that may happen."
The Coyotes are currently the No. 13 seed in the Western Conference with a 16-25-6 record. They have not won a game since Jan. 8 and play at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
- Paul Palladino