Hanzal has a real shot at his first 20-goal season, and bar another bout with the injuries that have plagued his career will certainly eclipse his career-high of 16 goals this season.
He’s going to be a hot commodity on the trade market, but he’s an important commodity in the desert as well. The Yotes are simply not very good without him in the lineup.
Ditto for Radim Vrbata who leads the Coyotes in points and is second in goals.
The NHL-at-large figured the 35-year-old was washed up but he’s proven he’s far from it. There’s still goals in those old hands, and it’s likely several NHL teams have reconsidered their stance on Vrby. His very affordable contract doesn’t hurt matters, as well.
Losing both players at the deadline would rob Arizona of their top and fourth leading scorers, effectively consigning the final month-plus of the season to growing pains, experimentation, and acquiring experience for the youth.
And that’s exactly what John Chayka should be aiming for.
The Arizona Coyotes are firmly in 29th position in the 30-team NHL. They are 11 points back of 28th placed Winnipeg and Dallas, and 11 points ahead of 30th placed Colorado.
No matter what they do, it’s highly unlikely they are moving up or down the standings at this point.
Their lottery position is secured, so why not get what value you can out of Stone, Hanzal, and Vrbata and get ice time for as many guys as you can who will definitely be here next season?