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s18 - Yotes Add Depth Ahead of Deadline (®)


GLENDALE, AZ -- The Phoenix Coyotes have acquired defender, Ed Jovanovski, from the Washington Capitals today – pending league approval - in exchange for rearguard Garnet Exelby and a s19 4th round pick.

After reports that the club had been in various trade discussions for another impact forward, GM Chris Baker surprised many with today’s acquisition of the veteran defender.

It’s not that Phoenix is done adding by any means, but they’ll have to continue to get crafty in saving cap space in order to finagle any larger moves.

Jovanovski has made it clear he’ll seek a long term deal in the offseason via free agency, so this deal is strictly of the “rental” variety for what the Coyotes hope is a long and successful playoff run. 

Meanwhile, Capitals General Manager, Adam Hall, kicked off what’s expected to be a bit of a fire sale for the organization by Saturday’s trade deadline.

Jovanovski, 33, had 4-15–19 totals in 52 games with the Vancouver Canucks before being dealt to Washington less than a week ago in a three-way swap, which also involved the New York Rangers. He was originally drafted by Vancouver in the 1st round (5th overall) of the s5 Draft and made his league debut with the Canucks in the 1997-98 season.

He set career highs in goals (30) and points (80) in 82 games with the Canucks last season, and has 146-356–502 totals in 756 career Pro games with Vancouver.

For Washington, Exelby is a rugged defender who plays a solid defensive game.  What he lacks in flash and dazzle he makes up for in steady, responsible play.  The s19 4th round pick will likely yield very little, but having drawn tired of the lack of interest league-wide for Jovanovski, Hall felt he needed to get something for an asset that had no intention of re-signing with the club. 

The GM now must shift his attention to pieces of his roster like Darcy Tucker– a perennial superstar with a $7.586 million cap hit that has only managed to score 13 times this season.  This coming on the heels of a 32-goal campaign a year ago. 

The Capitals’ season hasn’t been great to say the least.  For Hall and the rest of his upper management, Saturday’s trade deadline might be an opportunity to get an early jump on some moves that may point the ship in the right direction.  If not, it’s a long wait until the offseason when the real moving and shaking can commence.