Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers - (Alan Diaz/AP)

Coyotes Trade Panthers to Acquire Jason Demers

Published On September 17, 2017 | By Jason Harrison | News

Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka continued his wizardry by pulling a heist on the Florida Panthers to acquire Jason Demers.

The Arizona Coyotes blue line is looking pretty good heading into the season.

The Yotes acquired top four defenseman Jason Demers from the Florida Panthers for forward Jamie McGinn. Straight up.

That’s a trade that just happened.

Why would the Panthers give up a top four defenseman for a forward who may have spent parts of his season in the desert sitting in the press box? Let me find that shrug emoji.

Their loss is Chayka’s gain, however, and furthers the rumors which have surrounded the young GM since he was promoted in Arizona.

He might be a wizard.

What makes the Demers trade so good?

For starters, the 29-year-old defender has four years remaining on a $22.5M deal. That means the Coyotes have him locked up for the near future and aren’t worried about him bolting if it takes a little time for Rick Tocchet to get things going. There’s also the fact that the Panthers are retaining 12.5 percent of his salary.

Demers is also the kind of defender that fits Chayka’s vision for the blue line. He’s a puck moving defenseman who can skate and has pitched in 20 or more points for the past five consecutive seasons. When you’ve seen this team regularly forced to ice names like Jamie McBain, Nicklas Grossmann, and Klas Dahlbeck, it doesn’t take a lot to be an upgrade. Fortunately, Demers is a significant improvement over those options.

The Quebec native is also a right-handed defenseman. Top four caliber right handed defenders who are available are almost as rare as top line centers in the National Hockey League. For Chayka to acquire one to presumably pair with Alex Goligoski for an ill-fitting extra forward…well, that’s amazing.

Chayka may or may not be a wizard, but there’s little doubt the Arizona Coyotes’ blue line is better stocked than it has been in quite some time.