The Phoenix Coyotes, the NHL parent club of the Portland Pirates, traded away three veteran forwards Wednesday, paving the way for the call-up of players from their American Hockey League affiliate.

Phoenix assistant general manager Brad Treliving said the call-ups will be announced Thursday.

“We still feel that the people we have here today (in Phoenix) can compete for a playoff spot,” he said.

“We do feel we have people pushing from underneath in our minor league system in Portland, and there are some people there who will be given an opportunity.”

The Coyotes sent Raffi Torres to the San Jose Sharks for a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft; Matthew Lombardi to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Brandon McMillan; and Steve Sullivan to the New Jersey Devils for a seventh-round pick in June.

“We wanted to maximize the return on some of our unrestricted free-agent players right now without impacting our roster as best we could,” Treliving said.

Treliving said McMillan, who has eight goals and five assists in 41 AHL games this season with the Norfolk Admirals, and an assist in six games with the Ducks, will report to the Pirates.

“He will go to Portland to start, (but) everything is day-to-day, and we may see Brandon (in Phoenix) at some point,” Treliving said.

In another move, the Pirates signed defenseman James Melindy to an amateur tryout contract.

A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, the 6-foot-3, 186-pound Melindy has spent the last three seasons with the Moncton Wildcats, a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In 67 games this season, he scored four goals and had 20 assists,

Melindy, 19, was selected by the Coyotes in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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