NHL Rumor Mill – December 16, 2021

by | Dec 16, 2021 | Rumors | 22 comments

Should the Oilers pursue Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun? Is it time for the Islanders or Rangers to make trades? Read on for the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE JEFF MAREK SHOW: Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the possibility of the Arizona Coyotes shopping Jakob Chychrun. The 23-year-old defenseman was considered untouchable but Friedman recently speculated the Coyotes could entertain offers.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Friedman indicated Chychrun has not requested a trade. However, the Coyotes know their current rebuild can’t be easy on the blueliner while he’s in the prime of his career. They also know his value will never be higher than it is right now. Most observers also understand the decline in his stats this season is reflective of the club and not his performance.

General manager Bill Armstrong declined to comment but Friedman said the Coyotes are taking calls. The asking price is massive but it’s not scaring off interested parties because of the overall circumstances involving Chychrun’s affordable contract and the Coyotes rebuilding process.

Discussing the slumping Edmonton Oilers needs later in the conversation, Friedman felt Chychrun could help address their need for a left-shot defenseman. Marek suggested the Montreal Canadiens Ben Chiarot or the Coyotes’ Shayne Gostisbhere but Friedman believes Chychrun would be the better add because of the three years remaining on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun would be a fine addition to any NHL team’s blueline. There are some teams that have the assets (draft picks, prospects, young NHL-ready players) to entice the Coyotes.

However, I don’t think the Oilers can afford that asking price, let alone outbid rival clubs to land Chychrun. Cap Friendly also shows them maxed out on cap space so they’ll have to clear around $4 million to comfortably absorb Chychrun’s contract. And no, I don’t see the Coyotes absorbing any portion of his cap hit. I also think addressing their goaltending is the Oilers’ most pressing issue.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently wondered if New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello will make a move to bolster his club’s sagging fortunes. He feels the club needs to string some wins together to justify an addition, even a short-term one that costs assets.

Staple believes the Isles’ priority would be adding a left-shot defenseman and a top-nine winger. Blueline options could include Montreal’s Ben Chiarot, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Calvin de Haan, perhaps the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano or the Ottawa Senators’ Nick Holden.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation suggests the Canadiens could get a first-round pick for Chiarot but I don’t see Lamoriello taking that plunge. I’m not convinced yet the Kraken will shop Giordano but if they do it’ll likely be at the March trade deadline, which would be too late to save the Isles’ season. Maybe the Blackhawks made de Haan available but they could also wait until the deadline. Holden could be the easiest to get but I don’t think he’d move the dial much for the Isles.

Staple also mused over whether the New York Rangers need to bring in some additional scoring. He has nothing against Julien Gauthier or Dryden Hunt but pointed out they haven’t been able to stick as top-nine forwards prior to this season.

The Rangers’ fast start means there’s no pressing need to address this issue. Staple speculated Rangers GM Chris Drury can afford to remain patient and wait until more teams stop shopping players on expiring contracts.

Possible targets could include the Coyotes’ Phil Kessel, the Los Angeles Kings’ Dustin Brown, the Dallas Stars’ Joe Pavelski or the San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel is the most likely of that group to be available. Pavelski has indicated his preference to stay with the Stars beyond this season and I think the Stars will try to accommodate him on a short-term deal. I don’t see the Kings parting with Brown. Ditto the Sharks with Hertl if they’re still in playoff contention.


  1. Regarding Chychrun trade, I would say the Coyotes would have to at minimum receive a young high tier defensive prospect or NHL defenseman as part of the package. Chychrun is the cornerstone of their defense and would have to be replaced. Chychrun is on a great contract and is both solid defensively and offensively (when surrounded by the right players). If draft picks are included they likely should be for 2023 as the pile of picks for 2022 are overflowing. Part of the ask could also be a mid-tier winger or center prospect as the farm of Arizona is relatively weak. I personally think the Coyotes are nuts to even entertain offers… But as the article states…the ask may be MASSIVE….and some teams may be willing to pay it. Makes me curious if Florida could be part of the conversation as I believe his father is part of the organization?

    • Another thought is if the Coyotes are convinced that Shane Wright is the answer waiting until the draft lottery (which they have never had any luck at) and packaging Chychrun with one of their own high draft picks (top 10) to acquire the first overall pick assuming they don’t win it themselves.

      • Wouldn’t happen.

        One. Wright has a chance to be a generational type player.

        Two. It’s not nearly enough to get the first overall.

    • Would Brandon carlo, jake Debrusk and a second do it?

      • Much closer I’d think.

  2. The only teams in sell mode are the Yotes and the Habs. And the prices are high. I would love to see Chychrun in a Red Wing sweater. But a 1st, 2nd, and a young very good player is a bit much. However, if Stevie could get him for Rasmussen, a 2023 2nd, VGK 2022 4th and Albert Johansson, I would love it! But it is still an over payment but the Wings could afford that.

    • If I am Armstrong I laugh, hang up abruptly and immediately block future calls from Detroit.

    • Z, Kenny Holand basically gave Chychrun to the Coyotes to get rid of Datsyuk’s contract so Holland could over pay for Frans Nielsen in free agency. Now the asking price for Chychrun is massive.

  3. Lyle,

    Do you think that neither Lou/Isles OR the Rangers have further interest in Tarasenko in a trade at this time? I think he was on the radar before the season.

    I know you believe the Blues will probably wait until off season, but they could sure use some cap relief (as well as a top 4 d,man)

    • I don’t see Tarasenko going anywhere for the time being. The Blues aren’t in any hurry to move him.

    • Iowa. Rangers could fit him this year but will have trouble with cap next season with Fox and Zib extensions kicking in. Maybe if Nemeth went to Blues and they retain something on Vlad contract

  4. I cannot see the isles doing any buying unless it is for multiple years. They are not going to sniff the playoffs this years. Lou won’t give up futures for an almost hopeless. Endeavour to make this years dance. He is too smart a GM

    • Lou is pretty brilliant. He took a team that went to the ecfs two years in a row and turned them into basement dwellers!

      Parise, Brulliant!

      Palmeri, really good.

      PJ Pageau, looks amazing!

      All combined for only 10.75 million.

      Team is 31st in goals for.

      Thank god he let Eberle go away. He only has about as many point this season as the 3 above combined.


      Keep up the good work!

    But a Wing’s bid could be a 2023 1st, a defensive prospect not named Edvinsson, either a 2024 2nd or Rasmussen may be the highest they could conceivable go.

    • Looks like chicky don’t wear the wheel then.

      • I don’t look for Yzerman to enter the Chychrun sweepstakes if he were to become available. Detroit has a half dozen good LD prospects in their system, including 3 high end ones in Sweden. It would not make any sense to give up enough to acquire “Chicky”.

      • Ok, Stevie is not desperate, so maybe a 2023 1st, Albert Johansson, and Jordan Oesterle is a good price to pay for JC. A 1st, a good prospect, and an NHLer is a decent return. The Yotes are familiar with Oesterle, and he has another year at a modest $1.35M.

      • 22 1st. And you are getting closer.

      • Is Chychrun really all that where a team sells the farm to get him?
        The saying goes, I think it was Burke, the toughest player to measure is a D man on a bad team.
        That plays both ways, so you can find a deal, and you can over pay because of the uncertainty.

        His #’s are not good, but neither is the team. So what is Chychrun exactly?

        We know he is physically talented and put up some points last year and got way more O Zone starts vs D zone, so set up for it. This year other way around and -26 and not producing the points. So is he the next Morgan Reilly or Tyson Barrie?

        I don’t think he gets the massive return some are suggesting. Worth pursuing, obviously, but also some risk. IMO.

        If the Yotes want picks and prospects, OK, their is high uncertainty in the return as well.

        I don’t trade Pasta for him and I wouldn’t trade Carlo, DeBrusk and a 2nd for him either unless I was going into a rebuild and this season didn’t matter.

        So don’t see a fit for the B’s.

        If rumor is true, why is Arizona trading a 23 yr old D-man on a good contract?

  6. I agree with Lyle about the Oilers and their goaltending need. Chychrun is definitely enticing and the asking price probably starts with Broberg and a 1st round pick. I don’t even know if Chychrun is the type of d-man they need. This season has shown how much Larsson meant to the Oilers. Is Chychrun that type of defenseman?
    Koskinen can’t handle more than a few starts at a time. Fleury tops my list of goalies for the Oilers to trade for.

  7. A very good 23yr old LD on a great contract is too old to build your team around or at least be a cornerstone of the rebuild?

    Picks and prospects

    I trade David Pastrnak for him but if 23 is to old for a rebuild 25 is over the hill.

  8. How is it that the Oilers can’t afford the Chychrun asking price? Lots of very good prospects (Broberg, Holloway, Bourgault, Tullio, Savoie, Lavoie, Petrov, Samorukov…) and virtually all of their draft picks for the next 3 years.
    Koskinen’s an easy one if it’s dollars in dollars out. Barrie and Kassian are options as well.