The Phoenix Coyotes regained a player they never wanted to lose when they acquired defenseman Zbynek Michalek from the Pittsburgh Penguins for prospect Harrison Roupp, goalie Marc Chevrie and a third-round pick (81st overall) in this year's draft.
Michalek had bolted the Coyotes two summers ago to sign with Pittsburgh but never seemed to fit in well with the offensive-minded Penguins.
"We know who he is," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. "With the way we play, we need that matchup guy who can play against the best players."
He is projected to play alongside Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who is a rising star in Phoenix. Michalek was thriving under Coyotes coach Dave Tippett when he accepted a five-year, $20 million deal with the Penguins.
"We did everything in our power to keep him," Maloney said.
The Penguins, who also traded center Jordan Staal ($4 million cap hit) on Friday night, have a surplus of defensemen and have also removed Michalek's $4 million cap hit. The Coyotes have seven veteran defensemen under contract, plus Chris Summers as a restricted free agent. Adrian Aucoin and Michal Rozsival are unrestricted free agents.
There were rumors that the Coyotes might move Keith Yandle, but Maloney said he wasn't interested in moving the All-Star defenseman.