The Phoenix Coyotes have enjoyed success with a limited budget while the franchise continues to go through a lengthy sale process, due mostly in part to the machinations of general manager Don Maloney. With the Coyotes losing veteran Ray Whitney to free agency, the team lost a 77-point forward and will be hard-pressed to replace that production on an already-defensively minded team.
According to Sarah McLellan of AZCentral, Maloney and the Coyotes were close to pulling off a trade that would have helped add depth to the forward group. The potential trade, which had been worked on and discussed prior to the end of the lockout, fell apart over the weekend.
"We would like to improve up front," Maloney said. "That's no secret. To win a championship, you have to be strong through the middle of the ice, and if there was something that falls our way, sure."
The Coyotes are deep on defense and could use that depth to continue to search for a trade to add firepower up the middle. Phoenix has four defenseman, including Oliver Ekman-Larsson, set to hit restricted free agency after the 2012-13 season.