After acquiring his rights from the Stars last week, the Arizona Coyotes have signed defenseman Alex Goligoski to a five-year, $23.375 million contract with an average annual value of $5.475 million.
Goligoski, 30, was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Arizona traded a 2016 5th-round pick to Dallas last week in exchange for Goligoski’s negotiating rights.
This is the first major move by Coyotes general manager John Chayka, the youngest general manager in the NHL at 27 years old.
“We are thrilled to sign Alex to a long-term contract,” Chayka said. “Alex is a great skater and a smart, efficient defenseman who moves the puck well and makes his teammates better. He will help solidify our defense and support the growth of our young players. He will be a great addition to our team and we welcome him and his wife Amanda to the pack.”
Goligoski will provide excellent veteran leadership and stability to the young Coyotes roster. He won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 and has put together three consecutive 30-point seasons, including a 42-point effort in 2013-2014. He tallied five goals and 37 points in 82 games this past season.
“I am very happy to join the Coyotes,” Goligoski said. “Arizona is a great place to live and play and I’m excited to join an up-and-coming team that has a ton of talent and a very bright future.”
Chayka admitted that trading for Goligoski’s rights was a “calculated risk” and that he did not know whether Goligoski would want to test free agency. However, Goligoski felt comfortable with the Coyotes and made that calculated risk an excellent starting point to what’s shaping up to be a busy offseason for the Coyotes.
“This whole process was about finding the right fit and knowing I was going to be somewhere for multiple years,” Goligoski explained. “I want to be part of a team that can grow and grow quickly. [Arizona] checked all the boxes for me and just getting down there and meeting everyone, almost immediately it felt right and like home. It was an easy decision.”
Goligoski, who played an important role in helping the Stars transition into one of the strongest teams in the Western Conference, is confident the Coyotes can make a strong push in the standings this season, especially with the team’s talented young core of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome, etc.
“They have things headed in the right direction with the players they have and players they still have coming,” Goligoski said. “They are going to grow quick. You see these young guys come in, and it doesn’t take them two, three years anymore. If they are good players, they make immediate impact. They aren’t short on talent. There’s a lot to like.”
Goligoski has 55 goals and 277 points in 562 career regular-season games with the Stars and Penguins, as well as seven goals and 21 points in 34 career postseason games. He scored four goals and seven points in 14 playoff games this past season.
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