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2012 NHL Free Agents: Phoenix Coyotes Sign Moss, Lose Whitney and Aucoin

Moss is looking to impress after injury filled season
Moss is looking to impress after injury filled seasonGregory Shamus/Getty Images
Michael JenkinsContributor IIIJuly 1, 2012

The Phoenix Coyotes opened up free agency today by signing 28-year-old forward David Moss of the Calgary Flames to a two-year deal. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Moss will provide the Coyotes with some depth at the center and right wing positions going into next season. The 6’4", 205 lbs. forward finished last season with nine points and 12 PIM in a 32 game injury plagued season.

Moss has spent his entire career with the Flames organization scoring 61 goals and 124 points in 317 NHL games. He will be expected to play a key role. His best season came in 2008-2009 when he finished with 20 goals and 39 points in 81 games played.

The Desert Dogs also resigned forward Andy Miele to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. The former Hobey Baker Award winner spent last season shuttling between Phoenix and the Coyotes AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates.

Miele led the Pirates in scoring with 16 goals and 54 points. He will have the opportunity to make the team in Phoenix next season if his playmaking skills can make the transition to the NHL level. He could be a potential replacement for Ray Whitney on the power play.

Yesterday, the Coyotes came to terms with goaltender Chad Johnson on a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. Johnson played for the AHL’s Connecticut Whale last season, part of the New York Rangers organization.

He posted a 22-18-6 record with a 2.49 GAA and a .919 save percentage with the Whale this past year. Johnson has seen limited time with the Rangers during his career and is seen by the Coyotes as an insurance policy. Johnson will have the opportunity to make the team in camp, but it’s more probable that he begins the season in Portland.

Miele will need to cash in on his opportunities to stick with the Coyotes
Miele will need to cash in on his opportunities to stick with the CoyotesJeff Gross/Getty Images

The Coyotes also said goodbye to two core players from last season’s Pacific Division Championship squad. Ray Whitney, last season’s leading scorer, signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Dallas Stars. Whitney is coming off his best season since 2008-2009, as he led the ‘Yotes in scoring with 77 points.

The Coyotes will miss Whitney’s leadership and his scoring on the power play next season. The Stars are counting on both of those attributes as they seek to replace playmaker Mike Ribeiro on the ice and in the locker room.

The Coyotes and Whitney could not come to an agreement about the length of a deal. Whitney wanted more than a one-year deal and the Coyotes were unwilling to give it to him. The 40-year-old Whitney will take his talents to Dallas next year and be a critical piece of the Stars attempts to make the playoffs moving forward.

Defenseman Adrian Aucoin has agreed to a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Aucoin joins the Blue Jackets for two years for an annual salary of $2 million with the potential for more if he hits performance incentives. He scored 9 points and was a plus-14 last year in 64 games from the blue line. Columbus hopes his experience will help shape their young defenseman in a positive manner.

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