The Arizona Coyotes acquired the negotiating rights for defenseman Alex Goligoski, sending a 5th-round pick in this year’s draft to Dallas in return.
There is a good chance Goligoski will test free agency instead of signing with the Coyotes, though it’s a move that is certainly worth the gamble. This is the first trade by general manager John Chayka, the youngest general manager in the NHL at 27 years old.
Goligoski, 30, is one of the best defensemen eligible to hit free agency this summer, and he could potentially fill the void on the Coyotes’ power-play after the departure of Keith Yandle, as well as round out a solid defense corps to play in front of goaltender Mike Smith. Goligoski is coming off a strong season in Dallas in which he tallied 37 points in 82 regular-season games and added seven points in 13 playoff games.
Dallas reportedly tried to sign Goligoski but the two sides were unable to agree to terms. Goligoski is set to hit free agency July 1; other teams can begin speaking with him June 25. The Coyotes are expected to fly Goligoski in to Arizona at some point this week to convince him that Arizona is a great fit.
Stars general manager Jim Nill thanked Goligoski for his contributions to the Stars’ organization.
“A leader both on and off the ice, Alex has played an integral role in the development of our young defensemen into NHL-caliber players,” Nill said. “His versatility over the past six seasons has helped shape this team into what it is today and we wish him and his family the best of luck.”
Goligoski has 277 points in 562 career regular-season games and 21 points in 34 career playoff games with the Stars and Penguins.
This is the first trade so far this offseason involving the negotiating rights of different players. Other similar moves are expected, including even possibly the negotiating rights for Steven Stamkos. Now that the negotiation window opens June 25, all 30 teams will be able to speak to impending free agents a week before free agency, which could make these moves quite interesting.
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