Late Friday the Arizona Coyotes traded struggling forward Max Domi to the Montreal Canadiens for out-of-favor forward Alex Galchenyuk. However, sources with knowledge of the talks told Pittsburgh Hockey Now the Penguins organization thought it was they who were about to acquire Domi.
The source told PHN the Penguins offered the Coyotes a choice of wingers, believed to be Conor Sheary or Bryan Rust, with Dominik Simon. The Penguins were confident enough in the offer they were shocked by the Coyotes trade with Montreal.
Sheary finished a disappointing 2017-18 with 30 points and is a frequent name in trade rumors because of his contract. Sheary, 26, has two years remaining at a $3 million annual cap hit.
Rust, 26, has improved in each of his three NHL seasons. He played on all four Penguins lines last season and posted 38 points (13g, 25a). Rust’s great strengths are not offense instincts but top-level speed and tenacity.
Domi, 23, finished his third NHL season with just 45 points, including only nine goals. Domi’s stats have regressed since his rookie season–He scored 18 goals and 52 points. He also failed to reach a double-digit goal total last season, as well. Like Rust, Domi is also a restricted free agent and the Penguins have long been rumored to have a strong interest in him.
Domi possesses offensive creativity and an occasionally fearless style. He is the son of feared former NHL enforcer, Tie Domi. Max Domi was selected 12th overall by the Coyotes in 2013.
There were rumblings the Penguins could make the swap at the trade deadline, but the offseason was believed to be the better time.
Galchenyuk signed a three-year $14.7 million contract before this season. He posted 51 points (19g, 32a). Galchenyuk never settled in the Montreal lineup. He is a natural center but was shuffled to the left wing and often on the lower lines because of perceived defensive shortcomings.