NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2022
COULD THE OILERS PURSUE CHYCHRUN AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?
THE ATHLETIC: In his recent bold predictions for 2022-23 for the Edmonton Oilers, Daniel Nugent-Bowman believes they’ll make a splash at the March 3 trade deadline. He claims they have had varying degrees of interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
Given their salary cap constraints, Nugent-Bowman believes the Oilers will need to give up a salaried player such as Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele to make the dollars work. Nevertheless, he felt this is the season where they should bring in a player of the caliber of Kane or Chychrun.
In a recent mailbag segment, Nugent-Bowman was asked what the Oilers might have to give up to acquire Chychrun. He doesn’t see the Coyotes retaining part of the blueliner’s contract given he’s signed through 2024-25 with an affordable $4.6 million annual cap hit. He also doubts they’d have much interest in Puljujarvi.
The return would have to include defenseman Philip Broberg but that would be almost a non-starter for the Oilers. Nugent-Bowman also has concerns about Chychrun’s injury history. However, he feels comfortable in parting with Broberg in order to acquire the Coyotes rearguard provided he has no chronic ailments.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun’s been a fixture in the rumor mill since last season and will likely remain so well into this season. His injury history, however, is a cause for concern that is holding up a possible trade. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently observed, teams are reluctant to meet the Coyotes’ high asking price in part because of Chychrun’s previous injuries.
GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan recently rattled off Chychrun’s list of ailments. In his six-year NHL career, he’s had surgery on both knees, shoulder ligament surgery, ankle surgery to remove a bone spur, two wrist surgeries and at least one concussion. Morgan believes that’s why interested general managers will want to see him play this season before committing to a trade.
UPDATES ON DROUIN AND SIMMONDS
TSN: Darren Dreger provides an update on Jonathan Drouin, who was scratched from the Montreal Canadiens’ season-opening lineup. He’s been dealing with some issues, including a bad flu that held him back during training camp.
Drouin is expected to return to the lineup any day now. Dreger said the winger has had open communication with head coach Martin St. Louis, who assured him there is a fit for him in the lineup.
Dreger added the hope is Drouin can play his way into a meaningful role this season and perhaps improve his trade value before the March 3 deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. His cap hit for this season is $5.5 million and he carries a three-team no-trade list. The Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan recently speculated Drouin is likely to be shopped at some point this season.
Chris Johnston reports Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds remains in limbo after clearing waivers on Monday. He still wants to play and would prefer to stay with the Leafs. However, something would have to change within the roster such as injuries or something in the salary-cap picture for him to rejoin their lineup.
Simmonds is being patient and is skating with the Leafs’ injured players. He’s open to being traded, preferably to a contender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds could be waiting for a while. The Leafs let it be known last weekend that he’s available to be traded. They aren’t concerned with the return but want to do what’s best for him. Despite an affordable $900K cap hit this season, there haven’t been any takers thus far.