Reading about the Phoenix Coyotes’ disastrous financial situation in a story this week by David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail got me thinking about players currently wearing a Coyotes sweater that the Bruins might want should Phoenix decide it has to cut payroll.
During a quick glance down the Coyotes’ roster only two names jumped out, and really neither works too well for the Bruins.
First and foremost is veteran puck-moving defenseman Derek Morris, who has a cap hit of just less than $4 million, according to Hockeybuzz.com’s Cap Central. So Morris, an unrestricted free agent after this season, really only fits if the Bruins move Manny Fernandez (obviously in a separate deal because Phoenix already has Ilya Bryzgalov at a similar salary in net) or, worst-case scenario, Boston places Patrice Bergeron on long-term injured reserve upon finding out he’s going to miss months rather than weeks. There has been absolultely no indication that Bergeron’s situation is that dire, so such a move would be highly unlikely. Plus Bruins general manager would have to decide if, in light of his salary, Morris would be an upgrade over the seven defensemen the Bruins will have on their roster in the weeks ahead once Aaron Ward and Andrew Ference rejoin the fray.
Another attractive Coyotes player, in light of Bergeron’s situation, would be center Steven Reinprecht. A solid three-zone guy, Reinprecht could fill a void should Chiarelli decide he needs another veteran to fill the Bergeron void. Reinprecht, another UFA for ’09, has a cap hit of just $2 million, so the Bruins could squeeze him in with just a couple of demotions to Providence of the AHL. According to Cap Central, the Bruins currently have $1.43 million in cap space.
Basically, what it comes down to is the Bruins aren’t in a position to take advantage of any major Phoenix fire sales. But the situation in the desert still bears watching.