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Monday, July 7, 2008

Grading the Coyotes' free agent deals

From Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic:

It wasn’t a spectacular foray into free agency, but General Manager Don Maloney gets a B-plus for nabbing two solid defenseman, Kurt Sauer and David Hale, and an enforcer, Brian McGrattan.

The dark horse pickup is forward Todd Fedoruk, a tough customer who could provide more of a contribution than many think right now.

True, the Coyttes lost potentially high-scoring Radim Vrbata, but the trade for Olli Jokinen, plus the upside of several young players could more than make up for that.

Read more from Ice Chips here.

I have to disagree with Gintonio here. If the grade was for off-season transactions, then a B+ is a fitting grade. But Gintonio gives Maloney & Co. a B+ for signing David Hale, Todd Fedoruk and Kurt Sauer and trading for Brian McGrattan.

While the Fedoruk and McGrattan moves add toughness to the line-up, I think having the two on board is redundant. The Sauer signing was Maloney's best free agent work; while there is nothing particularly special about bringing David Hale on board. In fact, I'd prefer some of the younger defensemen in the organization taking that ice-time instead.

All in all, Maloney probably deserves a solid B for his work.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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