Arizona Coyotes Rumors: Star Forward "Seeking Clarity" On Club's Future... Or Else?

As if the Arizona Coyotes don't have enough to worry about these days with their home for the future in doubt, another ominous sign has emerged as their top player has put some demands on the team. 

The agents for forward Clayton Keller met with the Coyotes to seek clarity about the future direction of the franchise, reports NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts podcast

And although there is no formal trade request at this time, says Friedman, it's clear that Keller is not happy with both the on-ice and off-ice dynamics at the moment. 

Keller or his representatives made it clear that, 'look, we want to know in the next little while where we're going here'... Everyone's in shock. 

It was made clear that he wants some sense of direction for the future of the franchise both on and off the ice, soon. 

As for the on-ice part of it, Keller wants some assurance that the team is going to keep building toward respectability. "They have a lot of prospects coming (including two of the top 12 picks in this year's draft), they have a lot of good young players," said Friedman. "I think they're going to sell him on the fact that 'hey, Clayton, we had a better than expected year this year and... we're going to keep pushing to surpass what happened this year'."

The 'Yotes secured 13 more points this season than last (70 pts up from 57) and moved up from 31st in the league to 27th with a 28-40-14 record. 

But of course, the big unknown is the off-ice drama surrounding the team, and where they'll be playing beyond next season. The team can't really give Keller and his reps any answers on that right now, so "is that going to be good enough for him?" asks Friedman. 

If the answer is "no," a trade request could be the next step. 

Keller, a Masterton Trophy finalist, had a career year with 86 points on 37 goals and 49 assists. He's in the middle of an eight-year, $57.2M contract that, with a $7.15M AAV, along with his breakout production, would make for an extremely attractive trade piece. 

"I know that there will be a lot of teams out there who will want to get their hands on him."

Photo: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports