NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2022

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Rumors | 29 comments

Some Canadian teams could be in the market for a defenseman. So could the Columbus Blue Jackets. Find out why in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TSN: In Tuesday’s “Insider Trading” segment, Darren Dreger said there’s a “growing list of Canadian teams” that are in the market for a defenseman. He singled out the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph (NHL Images).

Dreger believes the Leafs and Canadiens are seeking a right-shot defenseman. He noted that Pierre-Olivier Joseph of the Pittsburgh Penguins is believed to be available. Dreger isn’t attaching Joseph to those teams but pointed out the Penguins have nine defensemen. “He’s a young player, a first-round draft pick, so he might be a fit with one of those clubs,” said Dreger.

Chris Johnston noted that Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun will be joining his teammates during their current road trip in Montreal. The 24-year-old rearguard has frequently surfaced in trade rumors but he’s been recovering from offseason wrist surgery.

Johnston said there are teams interested in Chychrun but they want to see him return to action before agreeing to a deal. Dreger mentioned the blueliner is “high-rent” plus the Coyotes have set a high asking price. He wondered if some of those Canadian teams might “buckle up and pay the price” to acquire Chychrun or look elsewhere toward someone like Joseph.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reported on Oct. 16 that defensive woes were among the reasons for the Columbus Blue Jackets’ early-season struggles. He felt general manager Jarmo Kekalainen might have to trade for a right-shot defenseman to “change the makeup on the blue line.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap space will also be a factor for most of those Canadian teams mentioned by Dreger as well as for the Blue Jackets. The Senators are the only club that could have enough room to absorb Chychrun’s $4.6 million average annual value.

I don’t believe the Coyotes will retain any portion of that. He’s signed through 2024-25 and they probably don’t want to carry any dead cap space for that long.

Joseph isn’t an established defenseman like Chychrun but he has potential plus he also carries a very affordable $825K AAV through 2023-24. He was rumored to be available earlier this month as the Penguins sought to become cap compliant before the start of the season. They achieved that goal by demoting Ty Smith and Mark Friedman to their AHL affiliate.

The Penguins could move Joseph if they get a tantalizing offer. For now, I think they’re willing to stick with him and see how his game develops. He has two assists in three games thus far this season.

It’s worth noting that Chychrun and Joseph both shoot left so they won’t address the needs of those clubs looking for a right-shot rearguard.


  1. With almost half the league smack up against the cap with absolutely NO wiggle room in the event of short-term injuries, perhaps some among them have a right-shot D with term and some significant cap they’d be prepared to move for the right return. And that includes teams like Vegas who, although making full use of available LTIRs, are totally restricted in what they can do to offset nagging short-term absences. Some are even going now with less than the maximum 23-man rosters.

    Maybe the Penguins and Ottawa can work out a deal to unite Joseph with his brother in Ottawa.

    • Anyway, I think it’s time Dorion sat down with Smith and had a little talk regarding the possible RD options right at their fingertips – Bernard-Docker (60 AHL games – 13 NHL games) and Lassi Thompson (77 AHL games – 16 NHL games) – both 1st Round picks.

      One or the other should be brought up from Belleville and played consistently on that 3rd pairing. If Smith balks, then show him the door.

      Concerns about having 2 rookies on the D (Sanderson being the other) are really not critical in that Sanderson (another 1st rounder – and a high pick at that) is showing he’s no ordinary rookie. Last night he had the 3rd most minutes among the D with 20 – just 5 back of each of the first pairing of Chabot and Zub and continues to live up to his advance billing.

      The veteran Holden would be a good experienced calming influence for Bernard-Docker or Thompson just as the veteran Hamonic seems to be working well with Sanderson. Brannstrom has shown that he’s shed his rookie jitters and is playing well and, as the 7th D, can move into any of the top 3 slots as and when needed on any given night.

      Unfortunately for Zaitsev there’d be just no room at the Inn – as Dark G has said, waive him and when he clears send him to Belleville until – and IF – they can deal him.

  2. I think the Blues could be added to the list of “in the market for a defenseman”. After LTIR injuries to Perunovich and Scandella, they have no depth and no prospects beyond their top 6. They are one injury away from a bad situation. (and limited cap space too)

  3. The Jackets are looking for a defenseman? Gee, who would have guessed when they played six offensive defensemen, allowing a club record goals against for a season. Then, the “answer” is to sign a veteran for 4 years at $4MM a year, stick him on the 3rd pairing while claiming that the defense will be better because the young defensemen have a season’s experience. ROFLMAO
    Put Bean on waivers, send him to Cleveland when nobody claims him and leave him there until his contract runs out. Bring up Jiricek and let him develop. Put Boqvist up for trade and, when someone finally takes him, call up Christianson. Yes, Jiricek and Christianson will make mistakes, but they’re two-way defensemen, meaning that they actually know how to play defense. Something neither Bean nor Boqvist have shown a talent for.

    • You can have Seth Jones but no thanks on sending Boqvist back!

      • Not enough cap space. Too bad, too. Jones and Werenski were a formidable first pairing and would be, again, because their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other.

    • Is Boqvist that bad? I guess I haven’t been paying attention.

      • I Want….
        Boqvist was a healthy scratch, last night. ‘Nuff said.

    • Paul, not sure calling up a lanky 18 yr old Jiricek is best for him or the Jackets is it?

      1 year AHL minimum for D-men, most take more than a year and that is after playing another year in JR, NCAA or European pro league after the draft. D is a more difficult position to learn as a pro as the split second decisions are different, and mistakes more costly. It needs to become ingrained and a reaction vs thinking. Only comes with reps, and lots of them.

      Unless he is the next Drew Doughty, seems like a bad idea for him and the team long term.

      The AHL is the development league, use it IMO.

      George thinking OTT is doing the same thing with their young D, can’t say I watch them play in the AHL, but not unusual for D to play 100 games plus in the AHL before getting a regular spot in the NHL where they aren’t in the press box or getting only 12 minutes a night. Feed them minutes down there.

      EDM is doing the same with Broberg, he will get called up when the inevitable injuries happen.

      • Ray,
        I think you will see the Oilers call up Nemo
        The Big 24yr old LD man, Marcus Niemelainen before Broberg⁉️

        The Oilers a missing a Big Physical d/man in the bottom 6, to play 3rd paring….
        Broberg is still very young at 21 yrs old in june…

        Broberg needs 5-6 month more in the AHL to round out his game, may see more of him next season….🤔
        if he is not involved in a AZ trafe for Chychrun!!

      • Ray Bark,
        Jiricek was the last guy cut to get the Jackets to 23 players. That says a lot about his ability. Don’t forget that he’s been playing against men in the Czech league. I’ll take a developing two-way defenseman from Europe over a defenseman who doesn’t play defense every day and twice on Sunday.

      • Willie, Niem played last night. And ya they wanted somebody to be more physical. The guy hits with purpose that is for sure.
        Broberg hasn’t played in Bakersfield yet which is odd, wonder if he is banged up? He had his chance in camp and Niem beat him out for the job because he brings that element.

        I think Broberg will be up by Xmas and stay here, unless his play takes a turn for the worse.

      • Hey Paul, it’s normal to keep a high 1st rd pick in camp til the end, and I am sure he will get some games in the NHL this year, but likely keep it to 9 or less so you don’t burn a year of his ELC deal.

        Like I said, unless he is the 2nd coming of Doughty, I would keep him down there. Let him play big minutes in all situations, best for his development IMO and that is most important.

        Agree to disagree.

  4. Teams need to not only wait to see if Chychrun can take a shift without making his way down to the dressing room.
    I think with the outrageous price the Coyotes are asking here. There’s a need to make Jake and Armstrong wait as well Til the offer and it will goes down, This message has been approved by B and B.

  5. The only way AZ gets their asking price today is from a team hitting the panick button. Prudent GM’s will wait for JC to get back in playing shape and then start discussions. As many on here have said his injury track record is not great and may scare some teams off.
    There is no way I would give up a package including 2 firsts for him. An NHL roster player , prospect or 2 and a lottery protected first would be my bet.

    • Fergy,
      think your right on the ask for JC
      AZ is asking a Lot… as there team is mess….!!

      The trade Player of similar cash value,
      A good prospect and a Pick 1st round. 3 peices or its bigger
      AZ add in a 2nd pick and they get a better return🤔

      I dont like this protected top 10 pick BS….
      you trade the pick and thats it❗️ its a gamble right…..

      • Depends on who you’re getting willie W – if it’s a durable Theodore, then no lottery protection … if it’s someone who COULD be good but has to avoid banana peels, then it’s protected.

  6. Carolina still has 8 D on the roster. Ethan Bear is the only defenseman that has not seen action.

  7. Wonder where the heck Pengy got to? Have the delivery problems resulted in Tim Horton’s running out of coffee?

    • George,
      Peggy went to Scout the AHL…. She has had Enought of the Jakob Chychrun chatter……😂

  8. Its worth noting Chychurn can play the rights side. despite shooting with his left the shots can come from the right side of the rink.

    • True, but his strong side is the left.

      • POJ is a left shot and plays LD

    • He can, But he’s way stronger on his natural leftside then rightside. What’s the sense of putting him on his rightside when he’s basically terrible at it.

      • Good point LucasRaymond23 … another reason for Ottawa to avoid him

  9. Montreal should wait. The three rookies on the left side look good so far. The could move injured Matheson and Edmundson on the right side when they’re back. They are not gonna be there when the team is a contender anyway. Better let the kids play on their side.

  10. When I read stories about right-side defensemen i’m always surprised i don’t here the Kings being mentioned. They currently have 4 NHL-caliber right side d-men in the line-up, plus Brandt Clarke, and another in the AHL, Spence, who didn’t look out of place against the Oilers in the playoffs last year.

    • Agreed. LA is stacked at RD, and don’t forget they’re playing Walker on the left side, who is naturally a RD.

      Although he doesn’t have the ceiling as the others mentioned, he is serviceable.

    • Oh, I, for one am aware that L.A. has a clutch of RD but this is a team on the rise which doesn’t really need to make a move simply for cap purposes. If they deal a RD to a team desperate for one they can demand – and get – a top-notch return.

      From Ottawa’s perspective, anyway, I was thinking about those teams that must make a move to clear cap space and so would not be demanding anything more significant back than a prospect or 3rd/4th round pick. Something of that nature.