NHL Rumor Mill – December 18, 2021

by | Dec 18, 2021 | Rumors | 25 comments

Could the Leafs have an interest in Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on Predators winger Filip Forsberg? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET 590: Nick Kypreos and Justin Bourne discussed the recent speculation suggesting the Arizona Coyotes could be gauging the trade market for Jakob Chychrun. Noting the 23-year-old defenseman’s affordable contract ($4.6 million annual cap hit through 2024-25) and goal-scoring ability, Kypreos said the Toronto Maple Leafs are among the clubs with an interest in the big-minute blueliner.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Kypreos believes Chychrun could fetch “four pieces” for the Coyotes. He pointed out that was the cost to the Vegas Golden Knights to land Jack Eichel. They gave up a player (Alex Tuch), a prospect (Peyton Krebs) and two draft picks (a first and a second) to the Buffalo Sabre for Eichel.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan believes Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong is probably listening to offers rather than actively shopping Chychrun. He noted the New York Islanders inquired about the blueliner during the offseason.

Morgan believes the high asking price set by Armstrong indicates how much the Coyotes still value Chychrun despite the drop in his production this season. He also dismissed a rumor suggesting the defenseman and his agent requested a trade. Nevertheless, Morgan doesn’t rule out Armstrong shopping Chychrun and some of the club’s middle-core players (Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Lawson Crouse and Christian Fletcher) as the reality of the club’s rebuild starts to set in for some of them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Armstrong is willing to listen but interested parties should be prepared to pay a significant price to pry Chychrun away from the Coyotes. Can a cap-strapped club like the Leafs afford him? Maybe if they’re prepared to make a quality offer.

For example, if they were to pitch Arizona native Auston Matthews, Armstrong would be on that in a heartbeat. Of course, the Leafs aren’t parting with their franchise player, who’s made no indication he’s unhappy in Toronto and wants to return home.

The Leafs have maxed out their salary-cap payroll for this season so they’ll have to send the Coyotes a good player already under contract as part of the deal. They only have three picks (their first, second and seventh) in this year’s draft. Other clubs with an interest in Chychrun could be better-positioned in terms of cap space and available assets to make competitive bids.

NHL.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Dan Rosen was asked what type of trade package Filip Forsberg could command at the 2022 trade deadline if the Nashville Predators were to shop the 27-year-old left winger.

Forsberg is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Rosen believes he could fetch a better return in a sign-and-trade scenario than as a playoff rental. However, he doesn’t think trading Forsberg is the best option for the Predators given he’s a scoring winger in his playing prime. He felt the Preds should be in “win-now” mode and re-sign Forsberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Forsberg would be expensive. He’s earning an annual average value of $6 million on his current deal and could seek $8 million annually on his next contract. That could prove too costly for the Predators.

GM David Poile could shop Forsberg at the trade deadline if the two are unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension by then. However, I think they’ll keep him as an “own rental” if they’re still in the thick of the playoff chase as they are right now.


  1. Wow! 4 pieces for the under-performing Chycrun! I hope that Stevie only feigns a desire for him to drive the price up for another competitor!

  2. No way. In gods green earth does he get same return as Buffalo got for Eichel. That is nonsense

    • its like you havent watched hockey your whole life .. haha gms get crazy sometimes

    • Why not? He isn’t injured and his contract is great until 25. At least if you consider him a top pair D with room to grow. Eichel got 2nd line winger, grade a prospect and 2 picks

  3. overrated David Poile will botch the Forsberg situation as sure as a Kris Letang turnover in his own zone …

  4. Yep…here it comes….again….brace yourselves….

    Arizona and Toronto should seriously have a little chat regarding Matthews.

    Hear me out….

    I understand how much Auston is worth to the Leafs. I know he’s a perennial challenger for the Rocket and a true superstar.

    I also understand how much cap space he absorbs along with Tavares, Marner, Nylander and Reilly (next year), not to mention resigning/replacing Campbell. And out of all mentioned, Auston is the one most likely to fetch a return that would balance out the Leaf’s payroll, as well as fill some holes and provide much needed depth and futures.

    Arizona could use Auston not just for his scoring, but his name alone would put fans in the stands, as well as being a fantastic centerpiece for the rebuild. And I believe they have the pieces to get him there.

    To Yotes – Auston Matthews

    To Leafs – Chychrun, Crouse, Hayton and Av’s conditional 1st


    To Leafs – Chychrun, Crouse, Guenther and 2 2nds.


    To Leafs – Chychrun, AZ’s 1st and 2 2nds.

    Lemme have it! Ha!

    • I are you crazy? Matthews is the last player the Leafs should trade.

      The Leafs have lots of prospects and roster players to make this deal. If Arizona holds salary the Leafs could give Robertson, Kerfoot, and a couple of prospects not named Knies for Chychrun and Crouse? Then if they include another team to bring the cap down further another prospect. There is also Michayluk, Mrazek and Engvall that could be part of this. Then at least one defense man like Holl or Dermott would have to be part of this. The success of Durzi in LA should show how good Leaf prospects could be.

      • And adding Kessell as a rental would be good in this package?

  5. @Artsy19: Tough to tell what Matthews will do when the time comes but I believe that while Arizona will always be in the mix, as a free agent. Matthews will go where he feels best about playing for: and that might very well be about who he currently plays for.

    • I agree 100% Joey! Whether it’s resigning with Toronto or looking to greener pastures (or sandy deserts), he’ll go where he wants….with a HUGE contract. Because that’s how he structured his contract!

      • I can actually see Matthews. Going home in 3 years when he is free agent especially if leaf’s have not improved the playoff hockey wins
        AZ will be in a new arena all the futures they have now will be on the club most likely. Currently 7 picks in 1st 2 rounds. In a very deep draft

      • Absolutely Mr MrBruin4! As soon as I saw the contract, I knew he was thinking of his future. Wouldn’t YOU wanna play at home? Ask Tavares!

        So why not peddle him in his prime if you can add so much to an already solid core?

  6. If Arizona wants Matthews maybe they go fishing for Marner to bait Matthews at a later date so how bout Marner, Holl for Chych and Crouse.

    • Marner and Dermott and a 2023 3rd for Chycrun, Crouse, and their latest 1st. AZ would need a LD back.

  7. I think the Hawks have some young players they could send to AZ for Chycrun.
    Stillman, Strome and Kurashev and VGK 3rd for Chycrun. There is your 4 pieces for AZ! Hawks clear only under a million in cap and 2 contracts but improve their defense. Stillman is signed for 2 more yrs, and Kurashev is an RFA at seasons’ end, but should not be too difficult to sign. Strome would have to sign before for less than his QA as $3.6M is not what you would want to pay him. Hoefully he would do a prove-it 1-yr at $2M.

    • Flyers could make a way better offer than that Z, your trash wont get you a top pairing dman.

      Sanheim +4th

      • I thought you said better offer? Or was that deliberately bad to highlight how bad the previous one was?

  8. Bruins offer some young nhl players for Chycrun.Carlo,Debrusk,Swayman.Better offer than any I have seen.

    • That isn’t a very even trade, imo.

  9. Any deal involving Chychrun to the Leafs starts with Rasmus Sandin going back to AZ. Perhaps Sandin and Nicholas Robertson, but to make the cap work Dubas would have to get creative yet again and likely gut any organizational depth they already don’t have by including a roster player or two.

    To Ottawa: Chychrun and Keller

    To AZ: Brannstrom, Alex Formenton, Ridley Grieg, 2023 1st round pick (unprotected), Colin White’s contract

    • With Sandin would have to be Kerfoot to make the cap work.
      Chicky for Sandin, Kerfoot, 2023 2nd
      Kerfoot is having a good year though, I doubt they wanna trade him now.
      Ideally Trona would rather give up Sandin, Richie, Holl and a 2023 6th….Good luck with that!

  10. To Arizona:

    Holl, Mikheyev, Engvall and Kerfoot

    To Toronto:

    Chychryn, Crouse

    • Dollars might work, but AZ isn’t trading a 23 year old defenceman to continue a rebuild, in exchange for a group of players the youngest of which is 25. It just doesn’t help them rebuild at all.

    • Why is Arizona trading Chychrun?

      • For our entertainment and our entertainment alone!