Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 23, 2022
LATEST ON CHYCHRUN AND DEBRUSK
SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports the Arizona Coyotes have received an offer of a young player, a prospect and a first-round pick for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. The package is said to be two former first-rounders plus a first-round pick. The Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets are said to be among the suitors.
Marek believes the Panthers are the team to watch in this bidding for Chychrun. He also said the Rangers offered up a package that included winger Vitali Kravtsov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could use that offer as leverage in hope of getting a better deal from one of the other clubs with an interest in Chychrun. With the 23-year-old blueliner under contract for three more seasons, Armstrong isn’t under pressure to move him before the March 21 trade deadline. He can wait until the offseason if he doesn’t get an offer to his liking.
I can see the Panthers being very interested in Chychrun. His youth and contract would make him a perfect fit on their blueline and in their long-term plans. Marek last week speculated the asking price could be goalie Spencer Knight, center Anton Lundell and a first-round pick. Some observers misconstrued his comments to mean that’s what the Coyotes have asked for but there’s no indication that’s the case. Nevertheless, the Panthers could be forced to give up quite a bit to pry Chychrun away from the Coyotes.
The Rangers are well-stocked with promising young players and can afford to part with a first-round pick. It makes sense for GM Chris Drury to include the unhappy Kravtsov given the winger’s preference for a trade led to his playing in Russia this season.
It would be interesting to know who is the other player in the Rangers’ offer. Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Braden Schneider and K’Andre Miller are former first-rounders but I don’t think Drury is willing to part with any of them. Perhaps he would offer up Filip Chytil or Nils Lundkvist, though I can’t see the Coyotes agreeing to that.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins GM Don Sweeney reportedly seeks a forward or defenseman of comparable value. I don’t think he’d be interested in Kravtsov and I doubt Drury offers up any of those young forwards I mentioned earlier except for maybe Chytil. It’ll be interesting to see if a deal can be made there.
UPDATE ON EVANDER KANE
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there still isn’t clarity if the NHL will add any penalty to Evander Kane over his alleged breaking of AHL COVID protocols during his tenure with the San Jose Sharks farm team. The Washington Capitals are believed to have considered whether to sign Kane, though there’s no indication any offer has been made to the embattled winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has also been linked to the Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. There was a rumor the Oilers already had him under contract and are awaiting the result of the league’s investigation before announcing it. That decision could come sometime next week.
OILERS’ GOALTENDER SEARCH CONTINUES
Friedman also said the Edmonton Oilers checked into the cost of acquiring a goaltender. Money will have to go out to make the dollars fit for the cap-strapped Oilers. He believes if the Oilers could’ve done something where they gave up a late-round pick they would’ve done it. However, they’re not keen to part with their first, second, or third-rounder in this year’s draft.
Rory Boylen recently published a list of possible goalie targets for the Oilers. They include the Chicago Blackhawks Marc-Andre Fleury, the Dallas Stars’ Braden Holtby or Anton Khudobin, the Seattle Kraken’s Chris Driedger, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo, and the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers traded their third-rounder to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Duncan Keith trade. Cap Friendly indicates that pick would become a second-rounder if the Oilers reach the Stanley Cup Final and Keith is a top-four among the Oilers in ice time during the first three rounds of the playoffs. Those scenarios seem unlikely given the Oilers’ current position in the standings and their roster weaknesses.
As for Boylen’s list, Fleury and Varlamov’s respective cap hits and no-trade clauses make them unlikely to land in Edmonton by the trade deadline. The Stars prefer moving Khudobin over Holtby but the extra year and $3.33 million on the 35-year-old’s contract isn’t something the Oilers seem willing to take on.
Driedger and Korpisalo are younger with affordable cap hits but I don’t think they’re going to move the needle very much for the Oilers. Desperate times, however, call for desperate measures. The question is whether the Oilers can work out a suitable trade that fits within their tight cap payroll.