The Arizona Coyotes have had a relatively silent offseason. The team missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth consecutive year, an upsetting reality for Coyotes supporters. However, General Manager John Chayka and the Coyotes announced that they had signed Mario Kempe on May 16, 2017, to a one-year, two-way contract. Kempe, the older brother of Los Angeles Kings prospect Adrian Kempe, was originally selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 5th Round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and had recently completed the 2016-17 season in the KHL with Vityaz Podolsk where he posted a career-high 34 points: scoring 14 goals and notching 20 assists.
The Kempe signing provides a veteran presence for Coyotes roster that bolsters a strong youth presence. Kempe is an agile right winger who is able to skate end-to-end and possesses a nice left-handed shot yet he has the ability to man either wing. Mario is also able to lay his body on the line to deliver a hit on his man. While he has not played on NHL ice, it is safe to say that this short-term deal could be beneficial to the franchise in attempts to lure more players during free agency. The Coyotes rostered eleven rookies to open the 2016-2017 NHL Season, where the rookies contributed solid minutes and made notable contributions. Short-term deals like the Kempe signing will only help the Coyotes in trying to reach the playoffs come next season as well as allowing the youth movement to slowly be ushered in.
Here is a great goal by Kempe!
What is your opinion on this free agent signing?