As the NHL trade deadline neared, more and more expectation was heaved upon general manager Don Maloney and the Phoenix Coyotes to upgrade their roster and make a run for a playoff spot.
The need for an improvement at left wing was particularly glaring and the team was able to address it with the addition of Martin Erat, along with forward John Mitchell, which came at the price of defenseman Rostislav Klesla, forward Chris Brown and a fourth-round pick in a trade cleared on Tuesday. But Erat's presence in Glendale doesn't seem to provide the type of boost needed to make a dramatic difference for the Coyotes, who are currently seated just out of the playoff contention.
Erat has just one goal in 53 games this season, so it's difficult to foresee him providing too much scoring power to the struggling Coyotes' offense, despite Maloney's belief that the player didn't fit well with his former team, the Washington Capitals.
The Hockey News was, not surprisingly, underwhelmed with the move, pinning the Coyotes as one of its trade deadline "losers" in a piece from Wednesday afternoon.
The Coyotes wanted to acquire some scoring to their 16th-best offense to give themselves a boost towards a playoff bid. They ended up with…Martin Erat? The Czech was a massive disappointment in Washington after the infamous Filip Forsberg trade from a year ago, scoring just one goal in 53 games this season. On top of that, the Coyotes traded the disappointing David Rundblad in a package for a second-rounder. Rundblad is who the Coyotes got for Kyle Turris. Sure, Turris wanted out, but the asset they got in return for him never added anything to the franchise and now he's out the door.
Fortunately for the Coyotes, two teams also right in the midst of the Western Conference playoff race -- the Vancouver Canucks and the Winnipeg Jets -- were similarly called deadline losers by the publication.
The Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals were among the teams that The Hockey News praised for deadline deals.