Skip to content

Coyotes might let their UFAs walk, Vrbata included

Jun 28, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

Phoenix Coyotes v Nashville Predators Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes could be a different-looking team beyond their name change in the 2014-15 season.

After two straight seasons missing the postseason, it sounds like the team is willing to allow most – if not all – of their unrestricted free agents to walk. That much was made clear by reporters including the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan.

It’s not too surprising to ponder the former-Phoenix-Coyotes letting David Moss, Paul Bissonnette and Jeff Halpern go. The most noteworthy potential losses would be forward Radim Vrbata, defenseman Derek Morris and goalie Thomas Greiss.

Morris and Greiss might be as good as gone. McLellan reports that Greiss, 28, is drawing considerable interest from around the NHL.

Vrbata might be the most interesting factor of them all. Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan reports that the 33-year-old could possibly return, although he might also price himself out of Arizona.

Vrbata scored 20 goals and 51 points with the ‘Yotes last season. A relatively weak free agent market could indeed make the underrated winger overpaid just like that, but there’s also the notion that his best work comes in the desert.

(For more on Vrbata’s value, consider this from Morgan.)

Aside from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Mike Smith, there aren’t many Coyotes locked up beyond the 2015-16 season. It seems like the franchise is valuing flexibility over certainty when it comes to contracts, which could mean some key departures come July.

Latest Posts
  1. Ribeiro, Preds continue to negotiate an extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Mike Ribeiro Mike Ribeiro

    David Poile has made the 35-year-old an offer and given him a deadline.

  2. NHL, Coyotes deny report that team is moving to Vegas

    Jun 30, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    Las Vegas Arena Construction Site Tour Getty Images

    But this isn’t the first time such a scenario has been reported.

  3. Sharks sign Jones to a three-year, $9 million extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    martinjonesap AP

    San Jose acquired him from Boston earlier in the day.

  4. Islanders ink Anders Lee to a four-year, $15 million extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT

    EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 06: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during an NHL game at Rexall Place on March 06, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Getty Images

    He was set to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday.

  5. Wings buy out Weiss after two rocky seasons

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:27 PM EDT

    Stephen Weiss Getty Images

    Detroit’s creating an opportunity for one of its young forwards.

  6. Trade: Oilers get Korpikoski from Coyotes for Gordon

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:06 PM EDT

    Lauri Korpikoski Getty Images

    Arizona is getting back its former center.

  7. Saad, Jackets working on an extension ‘as we speak’

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:04 PM EDT

    Brandon Saad Brandon Saad

    He’s set to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday.

  8. Report: Richards’ border incident involved oxycodone

    Jun 30, 2015, 7:36 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers Getty Images

    He hasn’t been charged with a crime, but is reportedly being investigated.

  9. Ducks stay busy, name former Adams winner MacLean assistant coach

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:37 PM EDT

    Paul MacLean AP

    Won NHL’s coach of the year in 2013 with Ottawa.

  10. Trade: Bieksa headed to California — but it’s Anaheim, not San Jose

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:07 PM EDT

    Kevin Bieksa Getty Images

    Where he’ll be reunited with former teammate Ryan Kesler.

  11. Treliving, Flames not concerned about ‘noise’ coming out of Boston

    Jun 30, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT

    Brad Treliving Brad Treliving

    Calgary’s GM responded to comments in a Boston Herald story regarding defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

  12. Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago

    Jun 30, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Getty Images

    A total of seven players involved in Tuesday’s trade.

  13. Detroit signs Smith to two-year, $5.5 million extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:54 PM EDT

    Brendan Smith AP

    RFA defenseman appeared in a career-high 76 games last year.

  14. Defensemen Hunwick, Bartkowski to become UFAs

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:39 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Seven Getty Images

    Rangers and Bruins let their respective rearguards walk, thereby deepening the free agent pool.

  15. Hamilton signs six-year deal with Flames

    Jun 30, 2015, 2:04 PM EDT

    Dougie Hamilton AP

    Cap hit around $5.75 million.

  16. No buyout: Flyers will keep Gagner

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:31 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Former first-round pick is relieved after a “stressful” last few days.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Hamilton (2212)
  2. C. Talbot (1984)
  3. M. Richards (1984)
  4. S. Gagner (1833)
  5. R. O'Reilly (1829)
  1. E. Etem (1650)
  2. R. Lehner (1596)
  3. A. Niemi (1565)
  4. M. Lucic (1531)
  5. C. Pronger (1396)