With a renewed focus on goaltending and a renewed commitment to keeping the team competitive, the Coyotes will again look to add a quality backup goaltender to its crease for the coming season.
The Coyotes have long been looking for a long-term solution in goal.
They have a number of goalies who are capable of filling the gap in goal with a steady stream of minutes.
The Coyotes are currently tied for third in the NHL with a 4.16 goals-against average, which ranks third among goalies with at least 400 games played.
The franchise has also been searching for a reliable backup option.
The team had one of the best goaltending seasons in franchise history in 2016-17, but the Coyotes were a top-10 team in goals-allowed in 2016, so they weren’t in the playoff picture that season.
But that was a very short period of time.
The team was one of a handful of teams that had a solid season in 2017-18.
After winning the Stanley Cup, the team went on to capture the Presidents’ Trophy.
But it was a rebuilding year and the team was a top four team in scoring, and it was clear the Coyotes weren’t ready to make another run.
The roster changes were expected to continue.
But the Coyotes announced that they had decided to look for a new backup goalie in 2018.
The announcement came on Friday, when the team announced it had traded forward Jiri Hudler and defenseman Anthony Duclair to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Jordan Nolan and a 2018 third-round pick.
The two moves are expected to be made soon.
Nolan is a solid backup who has played a lot of minutes in the AHL this season.
Duclair is a strong, physical defenseman who was the team’s leading scorer in 2017.
The trade will be a significant one for the Coyotes.
After trading Duclair and Hudler, the club now has a healthy veteran to start the season and a solid one-two punch in goal to help the team improve offensively.
Nolan has a solid pedigree as a backup goalie, having been in the league for 11 seasons, and Duclair will add depth.
He is a proven goalie who has been in big games, winning the Calder Cup in 2017 and the Vezina Trophy in 2018, and he is the most experienced goalie in the organization.
Nordstrom, who signed a three-year, $8.5 million contract in January 2018, is an experienced goalie who is used to playing the position.
He played nearly 4,500 minutes over his career, including a career-high 2,084 minutes last season, which was his best season since 2012-13.
Noonan also brings experience in goal, having played more than 2,600 games for the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers.
He has been the backup for the past three seasons, starting 13 of 14 playoff games and posting a .914 save percentage.
Nooran is expected to have his best year in the crease this season, and the Coyotes are confident that he will be the guy to step in when the time comes.
The only concern is that Hudler may not be ready to start.
The move comes after the Coyotes acquired goalie prospect Taylor Fedun from the New Jersey Devils in a trade on March 8.
Hudler is a very young goaltender who was acquired in a deal for defenseman Justin Schultz.
Hudl is the only goalie on the Coyotes’ roster who has started at least one game in every season since 2011-12.
The return of Hudl and the signing of Nolan is the first major move in the franchise’s rebuild.
The organization has been looking to improve on the team that finished last in the Western Conference last season and has a number or pending free agents on the market, so the return of Nolan will help bolster the Coyotes prospects.
The organization also made some moves to shore up its goaltending depth.
The franchise acquired goaltender Zach Fucale from the Nashville Predators for a third-rounder in 2019.
Fucal is one of just five goaltenders with a career save percentage of over .900.
Norton is also in the pipeline, but his contract has not been finalized.