|McGinn (64) and Demers (60) with the Sharks|
Right as preseason starts for most NHL teams, we have a big trade. In need of a right handed defenseman, the Arizona Coyotes acquired D Jason Demers from the Florida Panthers in exchange for F Jamie McGinn. Also, 12.5% of Demers' salary was retained by the Panthers. Also, the two were teammates on the San Jose Sharks.
The Coyotes' left side of their defensive core is really good. Oliver "OEL" Ekman-Larsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Alex Goligoski on one side is really good. But, with Luke Schenn being the best right handed d-man on the team, a move had to be made. McGinn was one of the few vets in their forward core, but their youth movement there is continuing, with Dylan Strome, Clayton Keller, Christian Fischer and Brendan Perlini looking to break into the league. This trade makes room for Jordan Martinook to start on opening night without him needing an injury to occur. Demers will most likely play with old Stars teammate Goligoski this year.
"Any time you can deal from an area of surplus and add to an area of deficit, that's what you're trying to do with a trade. From our perspective, right-shot defensemen are at a premium. They're hard guys to find, especially guys who can play 20 minutes a night and play special teams," said Coyotes GM John Chayka via Craig Morgan of FanRag sports.
Demers, 29, scored a career high nine goals to go along with 19 assists for 28 points in 81 games for the Panthers last year. In his eight year NHL career for the Panthers, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, Demers has scored 37 goals and 134 assists for 171 points in 504 games. He was traded from the Sharks to the Stars in 2014-15 for Brendan Dillon. Also, he's signed for the next four years, including this year.
The Panthers are able to unload some salary cap in this deal. McGinn is a solid top 9 winger that the Panthers have needed since losing Jaromir Jagr, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith in the offseason. McGinn is also under contract through next year. I'd say a little more, but this tweet by 14 year old Panthers blogger puck under the sun (@sun_puck on Twitter) sums all of that up (also be sure to check out his blog here). "[The trade] Looks good as we dump the Demers contract and open up room for youngsters [Mackenzie] Weegar and [Ian] McCoshen. Plus, it helps solidify our bottom six forwards," he tweeted. One thing I'd add to that is that 24 year old Reece Scarlett, who was acquired from the Devils last trade deadline, can win out that roster spot, while Weegar and McCoshen go to the AHL. Also, I think Florida also could've gotten a late round draft pick as well, just because they retained some salary.
McGinn, also 29, had a disappointing 2016-17 season, with just nine goals and eight assists for 17 points, and was a -23. But, in his nine year career for the Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche and Sharks, McGinn has scored 100 goals and 84 assists for 184 points in 522 games. He was traded to the Avalanche for T.J. Galiardi and Dan Winnik. He was traded to Buffalo as part of the Ryan O'Reilly deal.
I think the Coyotes win this deal. Demers is a much better player than McGinn, and is just about a million dollars more expensive, which isn't a lot. So, the Coyotes win.