It's pretty well known that the Phoenix Coyotes are not very interested in developing their own prospects. Maloney is a firm believer that the positives that experience and veteran presence brings generally outweighs the process of developing younger prospects. Aside from Mikkel Boedker, Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Martin Hanzal, the majority of their (playing) roster consists of players obtained from via trades.
Despite trading away a lot of their A prospects in the past, it's pretty clear the 'Yotes have a wealth of depth where the Ottawa Senators lack depth -- the blueline. The desert boasts a pretty strong D-Corps, already having players such as Keith Yandle (25 years old), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (20 years old), Rostislav Klesla (30 years old) and Derek Morris (33 years old), just to name a few. Each of these players is still under contract for next year.
What could pique Murray's interest is the quality prospects in their system. For the past 3 years, Phoenix has selected a defenceman with their first round pick. This list includes Connor Murphy (2011, 20th overall), Brandon Gormley (2010, 13th overall) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2009, 6th overall). As if that list wasn't good enough, this year they added yet another grade-A prospect to that list -- David Rundblad.
Anyone can see that the sheer potential in this list puts Ottawa's to shame. Obviously, like on any other team, there are untouchables. The Coyotes are not about to move OEL and I don't think it's very likely we'll be seeing Rundblad back in Ottawa colours any time soon either. Rather, I think Ottawa should target a player who, I feel, could be NHL-ready next year or the year after. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you:
Brandon Gormley - 2010 Prospect Profile (via NHLVideo)
The video pretty much says it all. Anyone who watched the World Juniors would have also notice his poise on the blueline playing for Team Canada. Gormley would bring size, vision and great two-way play to Ottawa's blueline on top of fitting in with the young core moving forward. I see Gormley taking the same route as Jared Cowen in terms of having the first portion of his rookie season playing sheltered minutes but soon gaining comfort and excelling.
However, this isn't a situation where the Coyotes are forced to deal anything. They have no issues with the cap and it's not as if Gormley can't be kept in the AHL or there's no space on their roster for him. If Murray were to pursue Gormley, he would have to pony up quite a package. As always, this type of speculation begs several questions:
What would it take to get Gormley?
Is the price worth it?
Do the Senators have any pieces that would really interest the Coyotes?
Are the Coyotes even remotely interested in trading what could be their best prospect?
Let's hear it, guys.
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