The Phoenix Coyotes have locked up pretty much every key piece of their roster, with the exception of restricted free agent forward Mikkel Boedker, and have managed to improve their team in adding a top tier free agent in Mike Ribeiro. But the work isn’t done yet.
Once Boedker is signed, and it shouldn’t be too much longer before a deal is reached, the Coyotes will still have a bit of money to play around with. Their blue line is likely set, unless they choose to move someone, in which case a younger guy would take over, not an outsider.
With Boedker re-signed, they’ll have 11 forwards not including top pick Max Domi. Regardless of which youngsters could make an impact, the Coyotes will still need to add at least one forward. That one forward they should pursue is Brad Boyes, who is still out on the free agent market.
Boyes isn’t exactly an impact offensive player, but he showed last year that he can be a solid secondary scorer for a Coyotes team that needs all of the offensive help they can get. It was a rebound year for him, as he had joined the New York Islanders on a one-year, $1 million deal.
He finished the shortened season with a very impressive 35 points, proving a nice rebound after a very disappointing 2011-2012 season. Of course, much of that is thanks to playing next to John Tavares, but Boyes has a skill set that could make him an asset to the Coyotes.
Not much of a goal scorer anymore, Boyes is a solid playmaker out on the wing. What would really make him an asset to the Coyotes is his ability to improve the power play. He can play the point on the man advantage, with 13 of his points coming on the power play last year, 12 of them being assists.
There aren’t many offensive options left out on the market, and the ones that are would probably cost the Coyotes more than they’d be willing to pay. Boyes would be a fit in the top six, and wouldn’t break the bank. He’s absolutely a player that they should at least look into in free agency.