With 24 points in 29 games this season, Garland is having the type of breakout season that makes him attractive to teams gearing up for a lengthy playoff push. Arizona could be one of those teams, but given their current position — six points out of a playoff spot without any games in hand — that’s not terribly likely.
And so, the question: To trade or not to trade?
“I’m hearing Arizona’s been asked about him,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said Saturday during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “And it’s not something I think they really want to do, but if the offer is big enough that it allows them to restock, I think they’re going to at least consider it.”
Garland’s breakout arguably came a season ago, when the former fifth-round pick potted 22 goals in 68 games. But this year’s points per game clip (0.83) and average time on ice (17:53) far exceed what he accomplished in either of his first two NHL seasons.
The 25-year-old carries just a $775,000 cap hit this season, and he’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer.
The Coyotes’ hand isn’t forced here, but perhaps they’ll strike a deal if the value of the return feels right.