The Arizona Coyotes and defenseman Alex Goligoski are reportedly closing in on a five-year, contract worth $5.5 million per-season.
Goligoski’s negotiating rights were traded to the Coyotes from the Dallas Stars for a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. He was slated to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
ESPN’s Craig Custance reported the parameters of the contract. The news comes after the 30-year-old Goligoski visited Arizona and was reportedly “thoroughly impressed” according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Goligoski played 82 games for the Stars and had five goals and 32 assists. He also held a plus-21 rating.
He had a 53.66 CF& for the Stars at 5-on-5 according to Naturalstattrick.
Wrote Five for Howling on what Goligoski would mean to the team:
Yet Keith Yandle's departure left a hole on Arizona's power play, and increased the pressure on Michael Stone and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to produce at even-strength. Even with the occasional frustrating turnover, Goligoski would be a net positive for a young and fast team like the Coyotes. It will be up to John Chayka and Co. to get him signed.
“We like everything about him,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said according to Arizona Sports the day he acquired Goligoski’s negotiating rights. “He’s a complete player. The game is trending exactly in his direction. He’s a transitional D. He’s a very strong defender but that doesn’t mean he spends all his time defending because he’s a good skater and puck mover that will get the puck up to our forwards, which is exactly what we need.”
Arizona Sports said Goligoski will likely play on the team’s second pairing and would help give the team balance after the first pairing with Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Last season Goligoski helped nurture young offensive defenseman John Klingberg and turned him into one of the top blueline weapons in the NHL.
Will this set the market for higher-end unrestricted free agent defensemen this summer? Goligoski’s last deal was for $4.6 million. The Florida Panthers acquired the negotiating rights to Keith Yandle who held a $5.25 million salary cap hit last season.
Those two were considered the best UFA defensemen available.
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