Last season at the trade deadline, General Manager Paul Holmgren made the controversial move to trade well-liked forward Scottie Upshall to Phoenix for pugilist Daniel Carcillo. Philly fans griped and the media groaned over the state of the Flyers and their salary cap, which forced their hand in dishing the restricted free-agent to be Upshall for seemingly lesser talent. But as the Coyotes continue to struggle to sign the speedy winger, it seems Holmgren knew something that most of the public didn’t at the time. He knew Scottie wanted to get paid.
“We’re still just a little ways apart,” Phoenix GM Don Maloney told Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic. “(Upshall) thinks he’s a 30-goal scorer, and we’re saying, ‘Score 30, and then we’ll pay you- we’re not going to pay your prior to that.’ ”
Upshall, who made $1.25 million last season, is looking for a significant raise in the ballpark of $3-5 million, which is the going rate for 30-goal guys. Holmgren knew Scottie and his agent, however well liked, were going to play hard ball. So he made the tough decision at the 2008-09 deadline to get something in return, instead of just watching the 25-year old walk.
Upshall finished last season with 15 goals and 19 assists in 74 games, 13 of which came in 19 games with Phoenix.
“Right now, I’m just concentrating on hopefully trying to get something done here,” Upshall told Gintonio back in late June.
But when asked about the team’s constant relocation rumors, he stayed upbeat about staying in Phoenix.
“For us, we love where we are … We want to make it work.” He said.