GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 27: Ray Whitney #13 of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates with Adrian Aucoin #33 and goaltender Mike Smith #41 after Whitney scored the game winning overtime goal against the Nashville Predators in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena on April 27, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Predators 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Coyotes Offseason 2012: Aucoin, Whitney Leave In Free Agency

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Phoenix Coyotes sale: Glendale extends deadline

The sale of the Phoenix Coyotes was given another extension on Monday.


NHL Free Agency 2012: Aucoin Signs With Columbus, Coyotes Ink David Moss

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Adrian Aucoin to a one-year, $2 million deal.

The Coyotes have now lost two players to free agency who have a combined age of 78 (Aucoin, 38, Whitney, 40).

The loss of Aucoin will not be felt as heavily as Whitney. The Coyotes are strong along the blue line and have a slew of young talent. Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekmann-Larsson, Michael Stone, Chris Summers, Maxim Goncharov, David Schlemko and David Rundblad are all under 25-years-old and currently on the Coyotes roster.

The team also traded for veteran defenseman Zbynek Michalek during the draft, who will most likely take over Aucoin's roll.

Aucoin spent the last three seasons in the desert, but felt it was time to move on. The Blue Jackets will be the seventh team he has played for in his career.

The Coyotes signed their first new free agent of 2012 as well. Former Calgary Flame David Moss signed on for two years with the 'Yotes Saturday.

Moss tallied two goals and seven assist in an injury shortened 2011-2012 campaign. During the 2010-2011 season however, the 6'4", 207-pound Moss netted 17 goals, including five power play goals, and 30 points in 58 games.

Moss will be a welcome addition to the roster at the right wing position, and can hopefully find a home on the Coyotes second or third line.

It is still too early to tell, but you have to imagine that the looming ownership situation is making it hard to lure free agents to Phoenix.


NHL Free Agency: Ray Whitney Signs With Dallas Stars

The Phoenix Coyotes leading point getter from a year ago will not be returning to the team. Ray Whitney signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Dallas Stars Saturday.

The 40-year-old Whitney had one of the best years of his career with the Coyotes last season. Whitney recorded 24 goals and 53 assist with the Coyotes during the 2011-2012 season. He also posted a plus-26 rating, the best of his career.

It won't take long for Whitney to make his return to the ice at Arena. The Coyotes open the season against the Stars on October 13.

Earlier in the week Whitney talked to Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic saying, "Production-wise they always say the older you get, you're going to fall off. Eventually they're going to be right, but they haven't been. ... I've performed well enough the last five years to warrant a contract that's deserving of it."

It's somewhat of a risk for the Stars to sign the winger who has been in the league longer than Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekmann-Larsson has been alive. Whitney has produced at least 50-points a season since '03, but eventually he will have to slow down. And soon.

The only players to be truly productive in their 40's in NHL history are Hall of Fame names like Mark Messier, Steve Yzerman, Gordie Howe and Jacques Plante.

The Coyotes would have loved to have Whitney back and I am sure they made a solid offer but this may be for the best. $9 million for an aging winger is something the Coyotes could simply not afford if they hope to resign Shane Doan, and bring in some quality free agents. The team has a core group of young talent and should look to build on that.

While Whitney has decided to take his talents to Dallas early in free agency, Doan announced that he will wait until July 9 to sign with a team.

Mark that date on your calenders Coyote fans.

Side note: Coyotes resigned Andy Miele to a one-year, two-way contract. The financial terms have not been disclosed. Miele played in seven games for the Coyotes in 2011-2012, but had a solid 54-point season playing with the Portland Pirates of the AHL.

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