The Phoenix Coyotes unloaded three veteran players from their roster for a minor leaguer and two draft picks at the trade deadline.
On the surface, it looks like a team giving up on the season.
The Coyotes insist the three deals were necessary moves for a team that's under the financial restraints of being run by the league for the fourth straight season.
Phoenix is just two points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot with 12 games left and trading Raffi Torres, Steve Sullivan and Matthew Lombardi was more about the future than the rest of this season.
''This is not surrendering the white flag,'' Coyotes assistant general manager Brad Treliving said on Wednesday. ''This is doing what we have to do from a management level to maximize the assets we need to maximize and give opportunities to people we think deserve opportunities.''
Torres, a gritty forward who played two seasons with Phoenix, was traded to San Jose for a third-round draft pick in this year's NHL draft....