NHL Rumor Mill – December 21, 2021
Could the Oilers or Bruins have an interest in Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun? What moves could be in store for the Ducks by the trade deadline? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the potential availability of Jakob Chychrun during Monday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast. Friedman said he’s spoken with a couple of people who don’t believe the Edmonton Oilers aren’t in it for the 23-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman. Marek and Friedman agreed he’d be a great fit with the Oilers but the latter said not to put money on the Oilers acquiring Chychrun.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Limited cap space could be one reason. Cap Friendly shows the Oilers sitting over $7 million above the $81.5 million ceiling because of several players on long-term injury reserve. Another could be the Coyotes’ steep asking price. There could also be a concern over Chychrun’s knee injuries earlier in his career.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes the Bruins also need a top-four left-side rearguard capable of playing big minutes. He thinks Chychrun would address that need plus he’s cost-controlled carrying an affordable $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit for the next three seasons. The Coyotes’ asking price, however, could prove too expensive for the Bruins in terms of draft picks and cheap young talent.
Nevertheless, Haggerty took a stab at a couple of proposals. One was Matt Grzelcyk or Brandon Carlo and Jack Studnicka plus a first-round pick and a second-rounder as a “starting-off point” in trade conversations. Another was Jake DeBrusk, Urho Vaakanainen and a pair of draft picks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think the Bruins have sufficient depth in tempting trade assets to outbid other clubs for Chychrun. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try if they have an interest, but I wouldn’t expect to see him pulling on a Bruins jersey anytime soon.
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Stephens was asked if the Anaheim Ducks will be buyers or sellers by the March 21 trade deadline. He felt the longer the Ducks keep playing as well as they have thus far, the less likely they’ll want to break up a winning hand.
Stephens believes pending unrestricted free agents like defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and winger Rikard Rakell will have value in the trade market given their current play. However, it would be difficult to ship them out when the Ducks have put themselves in position for a playoff run.
If the Ducks intend to re-sign those players, Stephens suggested Lindholm would have the most value, followed by Manson and Rakell.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks could become sellers if they collapse during the second half of the schedule leading up to the trade deadline. If they’re still in the thick of the playoff race, however, I think they’ll hang onto Lindholm, Manson and Rakell as “own rentals” and push for a playoff spot. They can attempt to re-sign them in the offseason before the free-agent market opens on July 13.