NHL Rumor Mill – October 3, 2022

by | Oct 3, 2022 | Rumors | 28 comments

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill, we examine speculation linking the Blue Jackets and Oilers to Jakob Chychrun plus we take a look at the potential difficulties facing the Rangers in re-signing Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports the Columbus Blue Jackets were among the teams rumored to be interested in acquiring Jakob Chychrun leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft in July. They had a glaring need for top-four defensemen and the Arizona Coyotes were said to be fielding offers for the 24-year-old blueliners.

The Jackets denied any substantive interest in Chychrun other than an informal call about the asking price months beforehand. Reports indicated the Coyotes sought a first-round pick, a young proven NHL player and a top prospect.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

It was rumored Chychrun rejected a deal to Columbus despite lacking no-trade protection as he wants to be dealt to a playoff contender. Portzline speculates perhaps the Jackets didn’t want to acquire a player who didn’t want to go to Columbus.

Portzline noted that TSN’s Darren Dreger last week included Columbus among his potential destinations for Chychrun. However, he pointed out the Jackets need a right-side defenseman whereas Chychrun (who has an injury history) has played most of his career on the left side. He also indicated the Jackets have promising defenders such as David Jiricek and Corson Ceulemans in their prospect pipeline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Jackets become interested in Chychrun if they’re unable to re-sign left-side defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Otherwise, they could set their sights on a natural right-side top-four blueliner should any become available in this season’s trade market.

Jonathan Willis noted that Dreger also mentioned the Edmonton Oilers among his list of potential suitors for Chychrun. He indicated colleague Daniel Nugent-Bowman learned from a team source that the Oilers checked with the Coyotes but (like so many other teams) were put off by the high asking price.

Willis doesn’t see any interested clubs being dissuaded by Chychrun’s injury history given his puck-moving skills and affordable $4.6 million average annual value through 2024-25. The Oilers’ limited cap space, however, would be difficult to squeeze his contract within their cap payroll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Willis believes the return to the Coyotes would be too costly for the Oilers now and in the future. He also doesn’t see the Coyotes getting a single blue-chip piece in the deal. For those reasons, I don’t see Chychrun getting traded to the Oilers.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reported last week that the Rangers face some tricky contract issues to solve before the significant projected salary-cap increases kick in starting in 2024-25. The cap will only rise by $1 million to $83.5 million for 2023-24 with Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller due for new contracts next summer. Brooks indicates the Rangers will have $65.1 million invested in just 11 players for next season

Lafreniere and Miller will be coming off their entry-level contracts. Brooks pointed out Noah Dobson signed a three-year bridge deal with the New York Islanders worth an average annual value of $4 million this summer. Assuming Lafreniere and Miller agreed to similar deals, it would leave the Rangers with just $10.4 million to fill the other nine positions on the roster.

Brooks reports the Rangers are believed to have reached out to the agents who represent Lafreniere and Miller. However, it’s unclear if talks are ongoing or if they’ve been deferred to next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This story isn’t a rumor but it will be interesting to see how the Rangers handle this situation next summer. It’s also worth noting that Filip Chytil is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

Perhaps this situation leads to Chytil getting shopped. Maybe they make a cost-cutting trade. It could also lead or the departures of depth forwards Ryan Reaves and Sammy Blais via the unrestricted free agent market.


  1. Bruins could use Chychrun. Stay the course and it might become a reality.

    • Stay the course and it might become a reality. Shot in the dark but do you write fortune cookies as your day job?

  2. I don’t see the Oilers as a good fit for Chychrun. Broberg is younger and his cap hit is cheaper (still on his ELC) than Chychrun, Nurse is a better defender than Chychrun, Bouchard is better than Chychrun in every way (final season on his ELC and is an RFA after this season), and Barrie is better offensively than Chychrun. There is the Oiler top 4 d-men. Plus Chychrun has an injury history. It makes zero sense for the Oilers to acquire Chychrun, especially at the rumoured cost to acquire him.

    • I agree, KevJam. In fact, it make no sense for ANY of the rumored destinations to fork over the reputed “ask” by the Coyotes.The fact he was a 1st round pick should not enter into the equation … the ONLY thing that should be brought up when discussing trade is his undeniable injury history which always seems to be to another part of his anatomy … and that, to me anyway, drops him into the “injury prone” category.

      Yes, his cost is attractive and yes, when he’s in the line-up he can be Top 4 effective. But that’s the kicker – WHEN he’s in the lineup which, so far in his career, is just 73% of the time. And he hasn’t even been able to practice or skate so far this training camp.

      You look at that Arizona line-up and just about any REASONABLE package from any of the rumored destinations would be an improvement.

      • Thanks! Broberg is rumoured to be part of a deal if the Oilers acquire Chychrun. I’m on the side to keep Broberg and stay away from Chychrun. IMO Broberg is better conditioned (it’s been said that he put on 12 pounds of muscle this offseason), will have a better season, and will have a better career than Chychrun.

      • George all his stats including his injuries can’t be taken into account without recognizing the team he plays for also has a role in all of it too.

        Who’s to say a team who performs poorly year after year also isn’t the best at developing or maintaining any part of their team? They gotta be relatable, no?

        He’s still young and entering his prime and on a really bad team and teammates. The only concern is his contract that everyone loves. A contract that after his final year to qualify him, it will cost over $8m. Will you see him as one or do you trade and acquire him knowing he’s walking in 2yrs?

        That’s what I think about if anyone gets him first and foremost.

      • The bit about the team he’s on is a factor, no doubt Ron – including possibly the ice conditions where they play their home games.

        But you’d almost have to go into each different injury he suffered to see where it occurred before chalking it up to ice conditions. And his first major injury caused him to miss his Major Junior final year playoffs and, with other dings suffered through his developing years, was probably the primary reason why he went from a projected # 1 overall to 16th overall.

        Since 2017 his missed games (27%) were due to
        Oct 2017 – knee
        Apr 2018 – lower-body
        Feb 2019 – lower body
        Feb 2020 – lower body
        March 2021 – undisclosed
        Dec 2021 – upper body
        March 2022 – Ankle – which caused him to miss the last 7 weeks of their season and is still hampering him enough that he can’t join camp to get into game shape

        Some may choose to look at that as “so-called fragility” but you can bet that it has also had some teams firmly back away from the “ask.”

        And you’re right, all that combined with the need to qualify him at $8 mil per screams caveat emptor.

      • Hey George,
        Cap Friendly has Chychrun as a UFA at the end of his contract in 2025. At the end of the 2024/25 season, he can just walk away from his team.

      • Hey Ron,
        The reason a team performs poorly year after year is that they have bad players, bad at drafting, and/or are bad at developing.
        Past nine 1st round draft results.
        2012 – 1st round. 27th pick. Henrik Samuelsson 3 NHL games played
        2013 – 1st round. 12th pick. Max Domi. Has bounced around and not lived up to expectations.
        2014 – 1st round. 12th pick. Brendan Perlini. Has bounced around, had one season in Switzerland, and currently has no NHL contract.
        2015 – 1st round. 3rd pick. Dylan Strome. Hasn’t played a full season of NHL hockey in his career. A big disappointment.
        – 30th pick. Nick Merkley. 41 games played with 4 different teams. Currently signed a KHL contract.
        2016 – 1st round. 7th pick. Clayton Keller. Had his best season last year.
        – 16th pick. Jakob Chychrun. The reason for this topic.
        2017 – 1st round. 23rd pick. Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Packaged with Alex Galchenyuk in the Kessel trade. 20 NHL games played.
        2018 – No first-round pick. 1st pick was in the 5th round.
        2019 – 1st round. 11th pick. Victor Soderstrom. Still has promise.
        2020 – No first-round pick. 1st pick was in the 4th round.
        The coyotes only have 1 draft pick that wasn’t picked in the 1st round that is playing any substantial hockey for them. Christian Fischer, 2015 2nd round, 32 pick overall. IMO this is a combination of bad drafting and development.
        A GM has to be careful when trading for a player from a team that has a track record like the Coyotes.

      • Here is another thing a GM should look at before trading for a player from the Coyotes. In the recent past, which young player was traded from the Coyotes that started to play to their potential after the trade? Max Domi? Dylan Strome? Brendan Perlini? The Coyotes do not have a good track record of developing their young players. I don’t see Chychrun changing that.

      • KevJam – you’re right – there’s no “qualifying” a UFA – either he agrees to what you’re offering to extend or he walks. I missed that completely. So, whoever gets him (IF anyone does) has him for 3 seasons at $4.6 mil per.

        In the end I think someone will bite figuring that amount for 3 years is worth the gamble that he stays relatively healthy. But not at 2 1sts, a good roster player AND a top prospect. Anyone caves to that they’re nuts.

  3. How can a player without a no trade refuse anything . When said player asked for a trade in the first place. Ship him out for the best deal. Even if that is Siberia . Armstrong get it done already . Becoming a distraction especially in the Rumor mill

    • Really Arizona is a distraction in itself…this sooried franchise is a distraction for the league only Betman does not want to realize it

    • SS. Team approached him about getting dealt. He didn’t originally request a trade last year but now they’ve left him in limbo for a whole season. He wants it over and I think because of circumstances the team is working with him so he doesn’t end up on a crap team.

  4. I don’t understand why the Jackets keep getting linked to Chychrun. Even should they keep eight defensemen, they could stock Cleveland with starting defensemen from the prospects and still have a couple in college and juniors.
    In short, the Jackets will soon be using defensemen – both currently in Columbus and prospect – as trade bait to fill holes on the roster.

    • I think Aaron Portzline used the wrong words there. From what I can see by reading between the lines, the Blue Jackets were able to talk to Chychrun before finalizing a deal and they didn’t like what Chychrun had to say. I’m only speculating, but other than that I don’t know how else Chychrun could block a trade.

  5. Chychrun is a D-man that apparently a number o teams have interest in regardless of people here convinced of his so-called fragility.

    Players talk to each other, players talk to coaches,players know who’s dogging it and players know if Chychrun wants to play in a city or not…..and that’s one he can “block” a trade.

    • 100%.
      They know.

      There’s no tampering, technically, but you know darn well that guys talk to one another and share information. It’s always been that way. There’s a pretty small group of people that make up the NHL. Info gets around.

      • One of these days SOP we’ll have to take off the Sherpa Slippers you and I open up a few Coor’s lite sit, back in our Relaxo Cliners and you can tell how it was to watch the great Eddie Shore play live.

      • I’d quite like that, Rick. I never got the chance to see him live, but I’ve read and watched everything I could ever lay my hands on.
        He was the best of his Era, he could skate like no one before, during, or probably since, and he was a hard, hard man. A real skin flint too. Those old Prarie boys were some of the roughest stock to grace the ice.

      • Good ol’ Sask boy SOP!
        From Wikepedia:

        In the 1925–26 season, Billy Coutu and Sprague Cleghorn of the Montreal Canadiens were traded to the Boston Bruins. During their first practice with the Bruins, Shore strutted back and forth in front of Coutu and Cleghorn. Coutu body-slammed, head-butted, elbowed and tried to torment Shore. Next Coutu picked up the puck and made a rush at Shore. The two players collided. Shore held his ground and Coutu flew through the air violently crashing to the ice. Shore’s ear was almost ripped off but he barely noticed it. Coutu was out cold and was out of commission for a week. Shore visited several doctors who wanted to amputate the ear, but found one who sewed it back on. After refusing anesthetic, Shore used a mirror to watch the doctor sew the ear on. Shore claimed Coutu used his hockey stick to cut off the ear, and Coutu was fined $50. Shore later recanted and Coutu’s money was refunded.

      • Incredible, hey, Ray?
        A hard man for sure.
        Sask can claim some absolute beauties over the years.

  6. Chychrun, wants to be dealt to a playoff contender?
    Who Doesn’t? This guy should look at his own stats and quit with the crap. How he could be worth 8 mil a year is beyond me let alone all the players that would have to go to Arizona in the trade. It is rumored that he rejected an offer by the Blue Jackets (highly unlikely Jarmo wouldn’t give up that much) and the only thing I can say if it was true is
    Thank you Chychrun.

  7. Ottawa claimed goaltender Magnus Hellberg on waivers from Seattle.

    Curious claim. The 6′ 6″ 210 lb goalie has been a career minor leaguer since being drafted by Nashville 38th overall in the 2nd round 11 years ago. Since then he’s had 1 game with Nashville, 3 with NYR and 1 with Detroit before signed a 1-year deal ($750,000) with Seattle

    With Talbot and Forsberg holding the fort in Ottawa, and another giant, Mads Sogaard, along with Mandolese, Merilainen and Reidler at other levels in the system, why would they pluck this guy off waivers?

    Unless that “day-to-day” injury suffered by Talbot has turned out to be something worse!

    • Just heard. Talbot has broken ribs. This is probably why.

      • Oof. How the heck could they miss that and say “it’s a day to day thing – no problem”??

        You have cracked ribs you can’t even fart without excruciating pain! I know that for a fact from playing football. Moving left or right to reach for something, sneezing, laughing hard – unh unh.

        well, if that’s the case he’s out for a month at least which likely means Sogaard moves up to back up Forsberg and Hellberg either goes to Belleville or their ECL affiliation (Atlanta?)

      • This just posted – so it looks like Hellberg stays with Ottawa until Talbot is back

        “With the recent injury of Cam Talbot, the Ottawa Senators have nabbed another goaltender. The team has claimed Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken, giving Anton Forsberg a new backup for the time being.

        The Senators have announced that Talbot’s upper-body injury will keep him out five to seven weeks, though Darren Dreger of TSN reports it might not be quite so long. Dreger tweets that Talbot is believed to have suffered a fractured rib, suggesting it might only be three to four weeks before he returns.”

        So, as I mused, a month.

  8. I heard that Talbot is expected to be 5-7 weeks . If that is true Forsberg will need to be spelled off at som point. This Hellburg fella may have to play. At least sit on the bench with a ball cap