The word “tank” is avoided at all costs by professional sports teams, but across the landscapes of the NHL, MLB, NFL, and NBA there are always clubs that embrace the losing, at least for a short period of time, in order to secure better draft positions. Though he won’t use the word either, it appears as though Arizona Coyotes Bill Armstrong understands exactly what it will take for his team to get to the top. Armstrong spoke with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, and explained clearly what his thought process was like in the summer.
This kind of mindset isn’t a surprise, but it does shed some light on what the Coyotes will think about as the trade deadline approaches this season. The team is all-in on a complete teardown, with their eyes on the draft as the way to move forward. Arizona has already collected 12 picks for the 2022 class, including eight in the first two rounds. With players like Phil Kessel, Anton Stralman, Johan Larsson, and Ryan Dzingel all on expiring deals, perhaps they can add a few more before the deadline.