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Maloney seeking center for Coyotes

Jan 14, 2013, 12:53 PM EDT

Don Maloney Getty Images

Coyotes general manager Don Maloney is in the market for a center.

“That’s no secret,” he told azcentral this weekend. “To win a championship, you have to be strong through the middle of the ice, and if there was something that falls our way, sure.”

Who could Maloney target?

One name that’s being thrown around is Toronto’s Matthew Lombardi. The 30-year-old has one year left on his contract with the Maple Leafs, with a cap hit of $3.5 million.

Lombardi’s already had success in Phoenix. In 2009-10, he had 53 points with the Coyotes while playing on a line with Shane Doan. But after signing in Nashville, he missed all but two games of 2010-11 with a concussion. Last summer he was traded to Toronto, where he was used sparingly and put up just 18 points in 62 games.

  1. capesouth - Jan 14, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Krejci? His name is being thrown around a lot as it is…he is really the only guy in Boston that ever has ‘rumors’ attached to his name. Krejci for Yandle…move Seguin to his natural position at center…just a random thought.

    • thailer35 - Jan 14, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      As a Yote’s fan I could go for that. I don’t think Yandle fits Tippet’s system well, and Krejci could add some extra goal scoring that we need.

      • capesouth - Jan 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        The article is right in saying how important centers are. The Bruins are deep there so I think Seguin could step in for Krejci and they wouldn’t lose that much. Over time, the assumption would be that Seguin would be better than Krejci was at that position. The one thing I would have trouble parting with is how clutch Krejci is in the playoffs. I think the addition of Yandle and a more primary role for Seguin at center could offset that though. This is all assuming other things remain constant, like Horton getting back to his old self.

    • danphipps01 - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      I feel like it’d probably need to be Krejci+. Yandle’s a top-calibre D who makes the Norris Top-20 every year. Krejci is criticized for effort level at least a little every season, and two seasons ago, Yandle finished with three fewer points than Krejci – from defense. Not saying he’s not good – he clearly is – but one for one, that trade seems lopsided. One of Boston’s assorted bottom six candidates or a draft pick in addition?

      • stevebass2 - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        I agree. The one for one option is a little too unbalanced. Why not trade one of the centers that would be pushed back in the rotation instead? Like Hanzal? He’s a frequent underperformer on the top line, but playing on the Bruins 2nd or 3rd would probably be a better fit for him. I’m thinking Hanzal, a defensive prospect like Summers or Stone, and a 2nd or 3rd round pick. In that scenario, the Coyotes get first line scoring, and the Bruins get some grit and size, as well as quality defensive potential.

      • capesouth - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Maybe so. My thought was just based on those two being the center-pieces of a trade, not necessarily one for one. Even more facts in favor of this trade is they are the same age and have the same relative cap hit per season, $5.25. Yandle is Boston-born, too. As for the Stevebass2’s comment, from a Bruins perspective, that trade wouldn’t be worth it. The Bruins aren’t in a situation where they NEED to trade Krejci so if they were going to, it would have to be for a similar-caliber player, not a group of lesser players. That would be a step backwards. Both Krejci and Yandle’s names have come up in recent years so this makes sense to me. Both sides get an impact player. From a Bs perspective, not worth anything less than Yandle.

      • danphipps01 - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        @stevebass2 – thing is, they’ve already got great forward depth, defensive depth and size. What they don’t have is another offensive defenseman to quarterback their underwhelming power play. Boston doesn’t gain from having even more people competing for their one remaining bottom-six slot. They need a top-pair D, and Phoenix needs skill and scoring.

      • capesouth - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        The addition of a guy like Yandle and Dougie Hamilton to an already strong defense is exciting. danphipps01 is right on though. The only obvious and constant weakness of this team is the PP. Having these two, Yandle more so, would help this year. That and using Seguin more on the PP.

  2. hockinj25 - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Justin Abdelkader, Johan Franzen, couple of draft picks for Yandle and Biz (just because I like him even if he would never play)

  3. darksidecowboy - Jan 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Franzen’s a waste of $$$

  4. jtrain1966 - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Krejci, a mid-level prospect, & a 3rd, or 4th round pick for Yandle, & a 2nd . I think that would be a good deal for both sides, & that’s coming from an objective point of view, i’m a Blues fan !

  5. georgemuresanwasmygiant - Jan 14, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Why not Gomez? He’s not great or anything, but he would be serviceable, sell jerseys, & get the Coyotes close to the cap floor

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