June 30, 2015

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Boyd Gordon never really wanted to leave Arizona, so the veteran forward is thrilled to be back in the desert.

The Coyotes filled a need at center on Tuesday, acquiring Gordon from the Edmonton Oilers for forward Lauri Korpikoski.

''It was tough to leave Phoenix,'' Gordon said. ''I heard the news today and I'm excited to come back.''

Gordon was a steadying influence with Arizona from 2011-13, helping the Coyotes reach the 2012 Western Conference finals with his heady play, penalty killing and faceoff ability.

The Coyotes wanted to keep Gordon after his contract expired in 2013, but couldn't match the three-year, $9 million deal Edmonton gave him.

The 31-year-old Gordon had six goals and seven assists while ranking 11th in the NHL with a 55.9 percent faceoff percentage in 68 games with Edmonton last season. He had 12 goals and 25 assists during his previous stint with Arizona and is expected to provide veteran leadership while the Coyotes rebuild with young, talented players.

''We know what we're getting,'' Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. ''I don't think much has changed in his game.''

The Coyotes had been waiting for Korpikoski to break out pretty much since he joined the team in 2009 after a season with the New York Rangers.

The Finnish left wing showed glimpses of living up to the potential forecast for him, scoring 19 goals in 2010-11 and 17 in 2011-12. But he struggled last season, collecting six goals - one at even strength - and 15 assists in 69 games.

Korpikoski has 68 goals and 91 assists in seven NHL seasons.

The Coyotes also signed forward Craig Cunningham to a one-year deal. He had three goals and four assists in 51 games with Boston and Arizona last season.

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