NHL Rumor Mill – August 16, 2022

by | Aug 16, 2022 | Rumors | 30 comments

What’s the latest on Jakob Chychrun? Should the Capitals trade Lars Eller? Could the Oilers reunite with Sam Gagner? Check out the latest in the NHL Rumor Mill.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports the recent rumors linking Jakob Chychrun to the Ottawa Senators aren’t coming from the Arizona Coyotes.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

He doesn’t doubt the 24-year-old Coyotes defenseman might like to play for the Senators. They’re an up-and-coming team and his family’s summer home is a 30-minute drive from the club’s arena in Kanata. However, Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong’s asking price for Chychrun remains high and no team has yet stepped up with a suitable offer.

Morgan also dismisses speculation suggesting Armstrong must trade Chychrun before training camp lest the trade rumors become a distraction. It’s not in the defenseman’s nature to force the issue and Armstrong will make it clear that it won’t be a distraction.

It’s still possible that Chychrun gets moved before training camp. Nevertheless, Armstrong’s asking price won’t come down. He’s not going to sell off an undervalued asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Morgan points out, the best way for Chychrun to get traded is to play to the best of his ability this season to entice a club into meeting Armstrong’s price. It’s believed the Coyotes GM seeks a return heavy in futures including one or two first-round draft picks, a top prospect and/or a good young NHL player.

Armstrong isn’t under pressure to move Chychrun. The blueliner is signed through 2024-25 with an affordable average annual value of $4.6 million so he’s not breaking the bank for the cost-conscious Coyotes. Cap-wise, he’s the fourth-highest paid after Clayton Keller ($7.15 million), Nick Schmaltz ($5.85 million) and Andrew Ladd ($5.5 million).

Speaking of the salary cap, the Coyotes would have to get one or two salaried players in return to ensure they remain above the $61 million cap minimum for 2022-23. They currently carry a projected $62.1 million cap payroll invested in 22 roster players.


WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reports there’s been some speculation and questions regarding a trade of Lars Eller. The 33-year-old center managed just 31 points during a season that saw him face adversity and inconsistency. He could also face a challenge for the third-line center position from promising Connor McMichael.

Eller has a season remaining on his contract with a $3.5 million salary-cap hit. The Capitals will face a cap crunch when Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson come off long-term injury reserve later this season.

Silber, however, believes the Capitals should be patient, cautioning against trading Eller too soon. He remains an experienced defensive forward, especially on the penalty kill, a role McMichael has yet to take on in the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have the cap flexibility to start the season with Eller in the lineup. Maybe his role changes over the course of the season if McMichael successfully challenges him for the third-line center role. Otherwise, it would be best to see how things unfold over the course of the coming season.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins reports the Oilers could be interested in bringing back Sam Gagner for a third tenure. The 33-year-old free agent put up a respectable 31 points with the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings playing as a right win last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leavins believes Gagner is among several veteran free agent wingers that Oilers GM Ken Holland could be looking at. He could be a more affordable option plus he’d probably fit in well there. Gagner is coming off a one-year, $850K contract with the Wings.


  1. would Gagner play the 4th line with the Oilers?

    also, considering the Avs need to extend McKinnon after this season, they should forget about bringing back Kadri, and spend their $3.9M in cap space to fill out their roster. I think they can get Stastny and Kessel signed for a combined $3M at this point, and then they should be set for the season.

    I don’t think Kadri goes to the Isles, maybe the Canes will sign him

    • At this point in his career, I think Gagne would play anywhere the oilers would tell him to. He was fantastic here in Detroit. I was really disappointed they didn’t resign him. He’s exactly the kind of player the oilers need. He’s inexpensive, really good on defense, and a great example for the young players on the team.

      • Can play 2nd PP too.

      • Ed…Agreed 100% about Detroit cutting Gagner loose. Broke my heart. But he’d be a perfect fit in Edmonton.

    • No cap space in Carolina, either. Even if they found somehow found a home for Gardiner, they’re still short.

      • Whalercane were you surprised they didn’t buy out Gardiner?

      • No, I wasn’t, mainly because the savings at this stage wouldn’t be significant enough to pursue a big $ UFA. Plus he’ll be UFA at the end of the year. No sense carrying over ~$1.5M into next year if you don’t have to.

        Not that I would have faulted them if they did buy him out. This seems to be one of those 50/50 situations.

    • Gagner would fit great on the Oilers 4th line with Ryan and Janmark (great signing)

      • Gagner would be a great fit for the Oilers. But no money. Oilers are above the cap. The Oilers also traded Gagner to Detroit due to cap reasons to begin with. I was really disappointed when we traded him to Detroit at the trade deadline.

        Even though I would love to see him back, it’s not going to happen. Just like no Phil Kessel to Edmonton either.

  2. Those “Ottawa interested in Chychrun” rumours continue to bubble, and while it’s intriguing to imagine his 6′ 2″ 220 lb frame skating alongside Chabot, Dorion would need to have his head read if he forked over what Armstrong is allegedly demanding.

    Yeah, he was a 1st round pick (16th overall) in 2016, but in the 6 seasons since joining Arizona in 2016-17 he has missed just over 26% of his team’s games through a series of injuries, including left shoulder surgery, a torn meniscus in his right knee, ankle issues, among others.

    Puljujarvi was also a 1st round pick – and 4th overall – but no one is suggesting Holland would seek that kind of return for him – and he’s at least been durable. But he’s not a D, you say? OK, Another Jacob – Trouba – is (and 9th overall in his year) and when the Jets sent him to the NYR what he got back was Pionck and their own 1st round pick back which they had traded earlier for Hayes. And that’s it.

    If he’d take Zaitsev (almost the same cap hit but only 2 seasons to run), sweetened by Alex Formenton and a prospect like Boucher or Jarventie, then fine. It’s a deal. Otherwise, keep him and hope he’s putting up big numbers and staying in the line-up around trade deadline day and maybe then Armstrong will get closer to what he’s supposedly demanding.

    • Oilers can’t ask much for Puljujarvi because he hasn’t showed he can be a consistent point producing winger, he demanded a trade and when he didn’t get it he left to go play in Finland. Chychrun has more career goals and points than Puljujarvi so far in their careers and he’s a defenseman which are more valued (along with centers) than wingers or goalies.

      Trouba was a different circumstances. He wanted out and made sure that everyone knew where he wanted to go and re-sign with that team only. Coyotes don’t have to move Chychrun since as far as we know, he hasn’t demanded to be traded and he is signed to a very affordable contract.

      Do i personally think Chychrun is worth all they ask for him? heck no! But they don’t have to move him and can ask whatever they want for him. Ottawa needs Chychrun more than Arizona needs to trade him…because they don’t.

      • Then as I say, if Armstrong sticks to his guns he stays where he is … but if he continues with his injury issues leading to long roster absences, the longer they hold onto him the less they’ll get back in the long run.

        As for Chychrun’s feelings


        Nor do the Senators “need” him. If he can stay healthy he’d be a nice addition. But there are other options still in the mix as long as 13 teams have to do something to get under the cap. Dorion can be patient.

    • For awhile, several people on the CBJ blog I follow were nearly ejaculated over Chychrun and speculating over what Jarmo would have to give Arizona to get him. Then, someone pointed out, as you did, George, his injury history. Haven’t heard a word about trading for him since. Were I a GM, I’d want to see him play 23+ minutes a night for 75+ games before I’d talk deal with Armstrong and the first thing I’d tell him is that he’s not getting what he’s asking for from any GM who wants to keep his job.

  3. @Pengy;
    As for yesterday’s comment on French fries in Quebec City: It was not a language problem, they never heard of French fries up there at that time!!!(1964)
    I did not explain the context clear enough.

    • Patates frites au four is always the way I ordered them if in Quebec – including across the Ottawa River in Gatineau/Buckingham/Chelsea.

      Best ever wagon fries came from Bob Patates near the conjunction of the Ottawa-Gatineau rivers.

    • Fries in Quebec are called frites, definitely not au four , which means in the oven.

      Colloquial version is grrrreassy patates which is the hotdog stand style and old school fries.

      • Back in the day I was in LOTS of establishments in Montreal and Quebec City where they regularly used “au four” on their menus,

    • Thanks JZ

      Did the fries/frittes come with gravy and curds in 64?

      The first time I had Poutine was in Quebec a couple of decades ago

      • They did not have them back then! No deep fried potatoes of any kind! I had to settle for soething else with my burger.

  4. I really enjoyed the Nylander for Chychrun comments.

  5. Gagner and Eller same age and same point totals last season.
    40 pts more a preferred 3C result

  6. Oilers should offer Pujujaarvi/Broberg/1st for Chychrun. Can use cap space to extend him when Barrie leaves. Just not sure how they would fit Chychrun’s $4+ cap hit. oilers need 2nd pairing LHD so Kulak can slide onto 3rd pairing. Pujujaarvi still has potential and I don’t want to see the Oilers move him for picks. Would rather have him included in a bigger deal for a solid young player.

    • Can’t see the Oil doing that Geoff204.
      It wouldn’t surprise me if Broberg is the 2nd pair LD by the TDL, but we will see, and Kulak can play that role, but so far in career has been a 4/5 guy.

      The Oil have started to take their time with prospects so they are NHL ready when they get there, at least with the D. Good thing IMO. So will be the inevitable mistakes, but needs the reps and will find out this season. Big upside with this kid to be an elite defender due to his size and skating.

      Already a better skater that Chychrun, and Chychrun can skate. We’ll see what Broberg becomes, but so far looks promising, so adding in JP (good young player on his own) and a 1st seems like an overpay. Chychrun is a good player on a good deal, but so far he ain’t all that IMO. Is he a top pair guy on a contender?

      If Oil move JP or Foegele it will likely be for pick(s) or prospect as the reason is cap space, and also the reason the return will be less than their value as a player.

  7. Eller, at 33 yrs old had 31 points and he should be moved. Gagner, at 33 yrs old had 31 points and he may be an asset. I guess it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    • You have to consider the cap hits. Gagner’s 31 pts at near NHL minimal salary is a BIG bargain!

      • I wouldn’t mind seeing Dorion offer Gagner a contract. He’d be a whole lot better as their 4th line C than Dylan Gambrell who needs a GPS unit to find the net.

        He’d also be a whole lot better in the circumstance where the 4th line C would need to move up to the 3rd line in the event of injuries.

  8. Pretty sure the Chychruns live in South Florida. Not Ottawa.
    Yesterday we discussed the Rangers prospects needing to step up and I mentioned that left d was biggest question mark. If one of Jones, Lundkvist, Hajek, or Robertson don’t prove themselves, I can see a deal for Chychrun. As mentioned, I don’t see anyone giving up what they’re asking right now but, if he proves to be healthy and becomes available closer to deadline? NY is tight with cap space but if they include Chytil in trade they might be able to make it work.

    • As per GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan, “By the way, the Chychrun family’s summer compound is located in Arnprior, about a 30-minute drive from the Senators’ arena in Kanata.”

  9. Lyle, did you edit story here? Just saw THN story on twitter and your quote was “ Morgan also observed that Chychrun’s family home is in Arnprior”
    Thought I read same here yesterday.
    Ray, that article is from 2016
    I don’t doubt they have a vacation home there.