Arizona Coyotes Busy On Day 1 Of Free Agency: Part 1

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Arizona Coyotes sign some new faces – 

General Manager Don Maloney has been very busy lately re-tooling his roster, bringing in some new players and signing some very familiar faces.  Today in Part 1 we will look at the new players.  It’s only the first week in July and this team looks nothing like the team that spiraled down the standings in the second half of the 2014-15 season.  I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that as of right now, if you factor in the resent acquisitions and the “potential” of a couple of the incoming prospects that the Coyotes opening night roster in 2015-16 will be better than last year’s!

Let’s start with the new faces:

Steve Downie  

Status: UFA

Contract: signed a one year deal worth $1,750,000.

Last team: Pittsburgh

Drafted by: Philadelphia   Year: 2005 NHL Entry Draft   Round: 1st   Overall: 25th

Position: RW   Shoots: Right

DOB: Apr. 3, 1987   Born: Newmarket, Ont.

Height: 5’11   Weight: 190

2014-15 NHL Stats: Regular season

Games: 72  G: 14  A: 14   Pts: 28  PIM: 238  Plus/Minus: +2

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Steve Downie will play an agitator role but with the ability to actually contribute offensively.  He is a good skater with a strong work ethic that is tailor made for the grinding Western Conference.

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Brad Richardson

Status: UFA

Contract: signed a three one year deal worth $6,2490,999 that carries a AAV of $2,083,333 per season.

Last team: Vancouver

Drafted by: Colorado   Year: 2003 NHL Entry Draft   Round: 5th   Overall: 163rd

Position: LW   Shoots: Left

DOB: Feb. 4, 1985   Born: Belleville, Ont.

Height: 6′   Weight: 195

2014-15 NHL Stats: Regular season

Games: 45  G: 8  A: 13   Pts: 21  PIM: 34  Plus/Minus: +0

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Brad Richardson is a versitile forward that can take face-offs, kill penalties and play a solid defensive game.  He is very familiar with the Western Conference and should fit into a 3rd-4th line role for the Coyotes.

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Nicklas Grossman

Status: acquired by trade with Philadelphia (Grossmann, the contract of Chris Pronger for forward Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick)

Contract: signed through the 2015-16 season at $3,500,000 with an AAV of $3,500,000

Last team: Philadelphia

Drafted by: Dallas     Year: 2004 NHL Entry Draft   Round: 2nd   Overall: 56th

Position: LD   Shoots: Left

DOB: Jan. 2, 1985   Born: Stockholm, Swe

Height: 6’4   Weight: 230

2014-15 NHL Stats: Regular season

Games: 68  G: 5  A: 9   Pts: 14  PIM: 32  Plus/Minus: +8

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Nicklas Grossman has some history with Coyotes bench boss, Dave Tippett and is a decent fit with him only having one year remaining on his current contract.  I don’t believe the Coyotes have any long-term plans for the thirty year old but he should be a reliable depth defenceman that can block shots and help on the PK.

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Anders Lindback 

Status: UFA

Contract: signed a one year contract worth $875,000.

Last team: Buffalo

Drafted by: Nashville   Year: 2008 NHL Entry Draft   Round: 7th   Overall: 207th

Position: G   Shoots: Left

DOB: May 3, 1988   Born: Bavle, Swe

Height: 6’6   Weight: 210

2014-15 NHL Stats: Regular season

Games: 26  GAA: 3.11   SV%: .909 

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Anders Lindback should be a nice back-up for Mike Smith this season.  He is just coming into his prime and he is a big, strong, athletic goaltender.  In his final 16 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season he posted a very impressive 2.76 GAA and a .924 SV%.  This signing is no harm, no foul in my opinion.  There is nothing but upside for the Arizona Coyotes.

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