A veteran National Hockey League forward who's name was often mentioned in trade rumors in and around the trade deadline has just had two offseason surgeries and while normally that would likely damage his value, and it still may, in this case there may also be a positive to the news being released on Monday.
The announcement came courtesy of Minnesota Wild insider Mike Russo who broke the news today that 26 year old center Charlie Coyle went under the knife this past Friday to have surgery to repair his damaged wrists. Coyle needed corrective surgery on not just one but both of his wrists and furthermore according to Russo these two injuries, injuries that prevented him from properly handling and shooting the puck, were ailing him since as far back as January of 2018. It's yet another sign of Coyle's unbelievable toughness and endurance, as well as his ability to consistently play through pain.
“He was progressively getting worse,” said Coyle's Bob Norton as per Russo's report. “He was taping them up before every game trying to alleviate the pain. You know Charlie. Charlie wouldn’t complain about anything. He just takes it. He just sucked it up.”
It's a very interesting development for a player who was heavily linked to trade talk prior to the trade deadline and it may turn out to be somewhat of a double edged sword for the Minnesota Wild if they do indeed intend to trade him at some point this summer. Coyle was not having a good season and there were whispers that his poor performance could be a motivating factor behind the Wild's desire to trade him. Now however with the news that Coyle was fighting off a pair of wrist injuries as well as recovering from a broken leg it paints his slump this season in an entirely different light.
That being said trading a player that is coming off offseason surgery is always tricky business and doing so when the player is coming off two such surgeries must be twice as complicated. Can you really get full value for a player that has been so badly injured over the course of the previous season?
At the time the Montreal Canadiens, a team that is desperately in need of a center, were rumored to be the leading candidates for a trade involving Coyle. The rumors were given credence when Habs general manager Marc Bergevin was spotted scouting the Wild on multiple different occasions prior to the NHL trade deadline. Russo reported following those excursions from Bergevin that the players being discussed were players with term and that meant that the trades could wait until the summer of 2018, Coyle certainly fits that description.
As for the Montreal Canadiens side of the offer in this deal it was never reported by any reliable source, however as you would imagine there was speculation that either Alex Galchenyuk or Max Pacioretty could be involved somehow in this trade. Both Canadiens forwards were reportedly being shopped by Bergevin at the time so naturally that would lead to them being connected during the rumored trade discussions for Coyle.
Coyle recorded 11 goals and 26 assists for 37 points this season, a 20 point drop from his previous season with the Wild. With that in mind it will be interesting to see, given the slump as well as the two surgeries, how much value the Wild's new general manager, Paul Fenton, can get for him.