Coyotes resist dealing Vrbata, Doan; bring back Duclair

Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata are staying with the Arizona Coyotes through the end of the season, and Anthony Duclair is coming back.

The Coyotes opted against dealing their two most senior players in Doan and Vrbata at Wednesday’s trade deadline. Later in the day, they recalled 21-year-old Duclair from the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League.

General manager John Chayka said there were discussions with other teams regarding Vrbata, but in the end, the Coyotes believed they were better off standing pat.

“We just made a decision that we’re still trying to grow here and have a competitive team and finish the season well with our good young group,” Chayka said. “Unless it was a great offer, we were going to keep him. You set your threshold. We were looking around to see if we could maximize our return like any player, but just decided at the end of the day to keep him.”

Vrbata, 35, leads the Coyotes with 47 points. He’s in his third stint with the team, covering seven seasons and 490  games, after signing a one-year deal in the off-season. Doan, 40, is concluding his 21st season with the team and holds virtually every franchise record.

“There’s definitely an element of relief that it’s over, and you get to not have to think about it again,” Doan said.

Vrbata also expressed relief to be be staying put.

“I wanted to finish the season here, so I’m glad nothing happened,” he said.

Vrbata was non-committal whether he expects to return next season or move his family back to the Czech Republic.

Doan had indicated that he would be willing to consider a trade under the right circumstances to a Stanley Cup contender, but joked that there was not a lot of demand for a 40-year-old fourth-line forward who wants to play for a contender.

“We always said it would have to be the perfect situation for both sides, and that’s hard to find,” he said.

Duclair, 21, is back for a second go-round in his second season with the team. He had 20 goals and 44 points as a rookie last season but was demoted to Tucson after scoring just nine points in 41 games this season (three goals, six assists).

In 16 games with the Roadrunners, Duclair had one goal and seven assists.

He was acquired by the Coyotes at the 2015 trading deadline in a deal that sent veteran defenseman Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers.