It is time to open up the mailbag for the first time and address major off-season issues. Shane Doan, Keith Yandle and others will be discussed below. All questions were emailed, tweeted or texted to me from readers.
A: I agree with you that I would like a little more in return for Keith Yandle than just the Boston center. Krejci has talent, having scored 23 goals and 39 assists last season capping off his second 62 point season in a row. But, his -5 rating is alarming considering the other four centers on the roster were a combined +123. Krejci had the second worst plus/minus on the team and if he cannot be a plus rated player on the 2011-2012 Bruins, it is concerning moving forward despite his +56 career rating.
Below is a comparison of the two players over the last three seasons (averages per season):
Yandle: 82 games 48 points +11
Krejci: 78 games 59 points +8
While the numbers look rather even, keep in mind that Yandle is a defenseman putting up those numbers and Krejci was a 2nd line center. A Krejci for Yandle deal is close to the value I would be looking for but I would want Boston to sweeten the pot just a bit (add Chris Kelly?). I think Krejci’s ceiling is the 62 points he has scored the previous two seasons, while Yandle is still improving. But, I wouldn’t think it was a awful trade if Maloney pulled the trigger one-for-one.
Q- What caliber of player do you think would be worthy of a Yandle trade?
A: Generally, a player who is fairly young and preferably plays down the middle. I would like a 60-70 point forward, with potential for improvement into the 70+ point range, who is responsible defensively. Below is a list of few players who I would take in a one-for-one swap for Keith Yandle:
Logan Couture (SJ) – 31-34-65 +2
Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – 22-42-64 +36
Joe Pavelski (SJ) – 31-30-61 +18
Jason Pominville (BUF) – 30-43-73, -7
Chris Kreider (NYR) – 0-0-0 0 (look him up!)
Q- Do you think (as of today) that Shane Doan favors staying with the Coyotes or leaving amid the ownership uncertainty?
A: I think Doan is leaning toward staying in Phoenix. The fact that it is has been about three weeks since free agency opened and he is still unsigned points to that side. But, there is a very real possibility that the Coyotes drop the puck against Dallas in October with a new captain. Doan must sign by September 14th to avoid being without a contract when the league appears to heading to a September 15th lockout. I don’t think he waits that long and I believe he signs somewhere by the end of July. The Coyotes are and will remain the front-runners for Doan unless something changes. But, everyday moving forward that Doan is not under contract with the Coyotes, the probability of him playing elsewhere increases.
Justin M: Q- If Doan does not re-sign with Phoenix, where is the next best fit for him?
A: I thought at the all-star break that Doan would be headed for Manhattan and the New York Rangers. I think there are five teams that Doan would consider outside of Phoenix: Rangers, Red Wings, Canucks, Sharks and Kings. Of those, I think the best fits lie in New York and Los Angeles. Both teams have expressed interest in Doan and both become even stronger cup contenders with him. The final decision may lie in the hands of Doan’s family. If they decide they will move, than all teams are in play. If they would like to continue to live in Phoenix, the Kings would make the most sense by far.
Steven P: Q- If Doan does not sign with the Coyotes; what free agents could the Coyotes bring in to replace him?
A: I think the Coyotes would have to make a trade. The top two free agents remaining (besides Doan) are Alex Semin and Andrei Kostitsyn. Both of those players have scoring ability but are very questionable defensively and in the locker room. I do not think either player fits the Tippett mold. If Maloney could pry away Jarome Iginla from Calgary without dismantling the team, it would be the perfect fit.
Q- Which Coyotes player will lead the team in points and goals next season?
A: I wish I did not have an obvious answer here but I believe Radim Vrbata will lead the team with 30 goals and 65 points.
That is it for this edition of mailbag. As always you can connect with me using the “Contact” and “Twitter” buttons at the top of every article. You can also join the discussion using the comments section below.