In this week’s edition of the Arizona Coyotes‘ 2021-22 offseason player reviews, we’ll take a look at veteran forward Jay Beagle. After being acquired during the offseason from the Vancouver Canucks along with Antoine Roussel and Loui Eriksson for Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, he suited up for 33 games with the Coyotes this past season.
In addition to registering only two points, Beagle’s season was filled with some controversy and a lot of penalties. Nevertheless, he provided a veteran presence in the locker room, with a resume that includes a Stanley Cup championship with the Washington Capitals during the 2017-18 season. Set to enter free agency this summer, the question remains whether the Coyotes will re-sign him or he decides to call it a career.
Beagle’s Season in Review
Beagle’s past season with Arizona was nothing to be in awe about, as he recorded just one goal and one assist in addition to adding 27 penalty minutes. He managed to keep himself in the spotlight though, but not for the right reasons. After an altercation in a game against the Anaheim Ducks on April 1 with Troy Terry, Ducks rookie Trevor Zegras put the Coyotes veteran on blast. The backlash didn’t stop there and pretty soon everyone in the hockey world was after the forward for dropping Terry in the final minutes of a blowout loss.
In addition to the controversy surrounding Beagle, he struggled to stay healthy, landing on the team’s COVID-19 protocol list early in the season and suffering a lower-body injury which kept him out of action long-term. His veteran presence certainly did not go unnoticed though, establishing himself as one of the team’s physical enforcers, willing to take on anyone. Regardless of everything that happened this season, he’s cemented himself as a solid bottom-six player in the NHL, and if he decides to return and the Coyotes don’t bring him back, someone else in the league might take a chance on him.
What Beagle Can Improve On, Build Off Of
It’s hard at this stage of his career and in his situation to list off things Beagle can work on. He struggled to keep pace, as he was caught flat-footed numerous times, and was undisciplined at moments this past year. He also registered a woeful plus/minus rating of minus-20. Having been brought in to help clear cap space for the Canucks, nothing special was expected from the newest Arizona forward.
Despite the issues surrounding his play this season, it’s without question the team respected Beagle, his hard work, and his ability to stand up for his teammates. He provided leadership and vast knowledge to the team’s younger core. But most importantly, when the team needed a big retaliation, Beagle was able to be that guy. He was vocal and a teacher to the younger guys too. He had everyone’s respect in that locker room, and while he was a dominant enforcer for the team, it would be best for the Coyotes to close the door on him this summer, as he’s slow and easily replaceable and the team already has veterans to take his place.
Beagle’s Next Moves
This summer will be filled with questions for Beagle. Set to hit free agency, he will take time to mull over his options. While he could find a new home this offseason, there’s reason to wonder if he’ll call it a career before next season, as he’s currently 36 years old.
The Coyotes will only get younger and while they plan to take on more aging contracts, Beagle doesn’t fit into the team’s scheme anymore. This offseason will be interesting to watch and see who the team brings in. Don’t be surprised to see Beagle left on the outside, looking in.
What do you think of Beagle? Let us know in the comments section below. Next week is Antoine Roussel.
Mr. Evans is originally from Greenville, SC where he currently resides. Mr. Evans has been involved in hockey for the past 18 years now, following the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues. During his free time, Mr. Evans enjoys spending time with his family and girlfriend as well as being up in the mountains or taking pictures. Prior to joining The Hockey Writers, Mr. Evans previously worked for The Puck Authority, covering the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL and FanSided’s Bleedin’ Blue, covering the St. Louis Blues. You can find Mr. Evans on Twitter at @HaynesPEvans.