The player: Michael Grabner, 30, RW
The terms: Three years, $3.5 million annually with the Arizona Coyotes
Where does he fit in?
Grabner ought to be the team's second-line right winger, behind Clayton Keller. That would give the Coyotes' other big forward acquisition this offseason, center Alex Galchenyuk, a winger to play with. There's no question Grabner has speed. He can also add goals. The 30-year-old has broken the 20-goal plateau four times, including in back-to-back seasons. Of course, his 2017-18 stat line (compiled with both the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils) is one of the more unique ones in the league. We like to call him the NHL's leading Cy Young candidate, with 27 goals and just nine assists. Grabner adds value on the penalty kill, as well, which is an area the Coyotes were below average in last season (ranking 19th, killing 79.5 percent of penalties). The team also has Marcus Kruger on the roster, giving Arizona two of the better penalty killers in the league.
Does this deal make sense?
It's another signal that Arizona is trending in the right direction. The Coyotes finished the 2017-18 season giving fans hope. They played hard, and they played some very good hockey (they allowed the league's fourth-fewest goals from February until the end of the season). The offseason has also been encouraging, swapping centers Max Domi and Galchenyuk with Montreal -- each player needed a fresh start -- and inking Niklas Hjalmarsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to extensions. The Ekman-Larsson commitment, especially, was a coup. While there's hope for Galchenyuk to revive his career, and for Keller to continue his ascent, the truth is, the forward group in Arizona is mostly lacking in talent. Grabner addresses that. It's imperative he gets off to a good start, though. While he overachieved in New York to begin the season, the transition to New Jersey was clunky. Grabner had a hard time finding the net with the Devils and was even scratched in the playoffs.
Overall grade: B-minus
The term isn't too long for a player who has maintained his speed and scoring touch as he enters his 30s, and the price feels just right. It's a bit of a risk considering Grabner floundered when acquired by the Devils, and the Coyotes are banking that he'll look more like he did with the Rangers. If that's the case, this signing is a win. If not, it could be another flameout in the desert.