On separate conference calls today, Coyotes GM Don Maloney and newly acquired center Daymond Langkow discussed Langkow’s acquisition from Calgary. The deal, which saw right winger Lee Stempniak shipped to the Flames, is contingent upon Langkow passing a physical from the Coyotes medical staff. This will be Langkow’s second stint with the organization.
Don Maloney stated that he felt that Langkow was a solid, veteran center who fits the team style of play. A few weeks back Maloney had approached winger Shane Doan to discuss the possibility of acquiring Langkow. Doan has a good relationship with Langkow and Maloney stated that Doan was bullish on bringing him to the team. Langkow also credited with Doan for helping him to decide to waive his no trade clause to come to Phoenix, but also stated that it was vital for him to speak with his wife and consider what was best for his family.
During the call, Maloney had mentioned that Stempniak was looking for more ice time but the team, which would be hard to come by, as the team was looking for more opportunities for youngsters Mikkel Boedker, Brett MacLean, and Victor Tikhonov who will also be with the team during camp. Maloney felt that it was important for the youngsters to start getting meaningful ice time. He further stated that he felt the deal was good for both teams. The move helps to address an issue that Maloney had talked about for months, shoring up the center of the ice, and the team did so by bringing back Langkow, whom Maloney described as being a great fit with the team. ”He’s going to be an important player for the team,” Maloney stated, “he’s a good two-way player who takes care of his own end first and is a very well-respected player.”
The only issue with the trade was a concern over Langkow’s health, but Maloney felt reassured after a number of conversations with Langkow and others. “Langkow will be in tomorrow and we should be able to get through most tests tomorrow.” Maloney made it clear, however, that he did not foresee any issues, stating, “every indication has been that he is healthy. He adds another credible player to our group.”
Langkow, for his part, is excited about the move. He received a call this morning stating that Coyotes were interested and that a deal was on the table if he were to waive his no trade clause. “Yeah, it didn’t take long to waive the clause, I called my wife and we decied it was a good move for us and we did it,” said Langkow. He added that, “the Coyotes have a lot of potential, great leadership, and coaching staff. I’m excited.”
When asked about his health, Langkow was optimistic. He said getting in the four games at the end of last season were instrumental for him. “Absolutely. I got four games in at the end of the year and felt good considering the time I had to get back and I felt good,” adding that he worked hard over the summer. “I never take my career for granted, but I missed [the game] and I’m excited to be back.” When asked about whether he had ever considered the possibility that he may never play again after sustaining the neck injury he replied, “You definitely start asking that question but I’m glad to be back.”
With the acquisition of Langkow, the Coyotes have strengthened the team down the middle and obtained a veteran presence to help mentor their younger players. As Maloney had stated, Langkow fits the team’s style of play well which should make this an easy transition for him. Langkow’s willingness to waive his no trade clause shows that he is committed to helping the team in every way possible. Returning from a neck injury is no easy task and it appears that his hard work has paid off. Every indication thus far points to Langkow being a key component to the Coyotes next season.