Shortly after the Coyotes lost 6-1 to the Flames on Sunday, forwards Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome were informed that they had been traded to the Blackhawks for Nick Schmaltz.
The first thing Strome, 21, did was call his best friend and former teammate, Alex DeBrincat.
“I was pretty shocked,” DeBrincat said. “Dylan called me last night and told me, and I didn’t really believe him at first.”
Perlini and Strome took a 5:45 a.m. flight from Phoenix on Monday to make it to the Hawks’ midday practice at MB Ice Arena.
With the two struggling to gain momentum, Perlini and Strome — each of whom has six points in 20 and 22 games, respectively — are hoping to leave their scoring slumps behind.
“It’s a new, fresh opportunity for me,” said Perlini, who’s coming off a 30-point season. “You can tell in practice, great players. Obviously, a lot of veteran guys who have done great things in the game.”
Perlini, 22, hasn’t scored in his last 10 games. Still, Patrick Kane thought Perlini was “probably the best player for Arizona” after watching the game against the Flames.
Meanwhile, Strome and DeBrincat are hoping to rekindle the chemistry they had with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. The former linemates had 100-plus points in each of the two seasons they played together (2014-15 and 2015-16).
Asked if the two might be reunited on a line, coach Jeremy Colliton said with a smirk, “It’s possible.”