Phoenix, Florida Swap Goalies


The Phoenix Coyotes traded Mikhail Shtalenkov, the NHL's player of the month in October, to the Florida Panthers for Sean Burke in a swap of goaltenders Friday.

The deal apparently means the Coyotes are ready to complete the season without goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who is holding out in a contract dispute.

Phoenix also gets a fifth-round draft choice in the trade.

Burke and his $2.1 million salary had become expendable because the Panthers signed Trevor Kidd to a four-year, $8.1 million contract during training camp.

Burke, 32, becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season, which would provide flexibility if the Coyotes resume talks with Khabibulin.

Burke had a 2-5 record with Florida this season, with a 2.58 goals against average and a .913 save percentage.

He has played in 529 NHL games with New Jersey, Hartford, Carolina, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Florida with a career record is 199-233-70.

Shtalenkov, 34, was acquired by the Coyotes from Edmonton in March for a fifth-round pick. He moved into the starting spot when Khabibulin held out in a contract dispute.

Talks broke down again this week and Khabibulin asked to be traded after the Coyotes rejected his proposal for a five-year deal worth more than $20 million. The Coyotes have insisted they do not intend to fulfill his request.

Shtalenkov appeared in 15 games with Phoenix and had a 7-6-2 record with a 2.39 goals against average. In October, he was 7-2-2 with a 1.80 goals against average, a .931 save percentage and two shutouts.

But he had struggled lately. Bob Essensa started in goal for Phoenix in Thursday night's 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Essensa is 4-0-1 in his last five starts.

In six NHL seasons, Shtalenkov has a 54-78-17 record with Anaheim, Edmonton and Phoenix.

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