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Trades the key to Phoenix success

Updated: May 17, 2012, 11:35 AM ET
By Craig Custance

LOS ANGELES -- Believe it or not, Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has had a tough time attracting unrestricted free agents to play in Phoenix the past few years.

Sure, we have no idea where this team will be playing next season, which has been the case for a couple of years. And yeah, it has one of the tighter budgets in the league, with the lowest payroll of the remaining playoff teams. A financial windfall for potential free agents isn't typically an option.

Maloney is also a big fan of keeping things as flexible as possible in a salary-cap system, so extended long-term contracts aren't something he likes to give out.

But other than that ...

To construct this Coyotes team, one of the final four still playing, Maloney has had to be a little more creative than most general managers. He's relied heavily on trades -- and trading well.

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