NHL Rumor Mill – January 12, 2023
UPDATES ON CHYCHRUN AND KLINGBERG
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Arizona Coyotes remain patient on the Jakob Chychrun trade front. With the 24-year-old defenseman signed through 2024-25, they don’t have to move him before the March 3 trade deadline.
The Coyotes’ asking price for Chychrun is believed to be two first-round picks plus a prospect. However, LeBrun writes that they’re willing to be flexible regarding the quality of the prospect.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s also talk that the Coyotes are willing to accept a first-round pick plus a former first-round pick. The quality of the latter, however, will still have to be high. A first-round bust won’t suffice.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy also reports the Coyotes are willing to be more flexible on specific prospects with interested teams. The one constant is the addition of another 2023 first-round pick. Murphy also reported the Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers have been scouting Coyotes games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have just one pick (their own) in the first round of this year’s draft. It’s understandable why they’d want another as the 2023 draft pool is considered to be a deep one.
They’ve also got seven combined picks in the second and third rounds of the 2024 draft and four second-rounders in 2025 to draw on for trade bait if necessary. Perhaps one or two of those get added to a larger Chychrun deal if it comes to pass.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau listed several other Coyotes who could be shopped leading up to March 3. Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, goaltender Karel Vejmelka, forwards Nick Bjugstad and Nick Ritchie and blueliner Troy Stecher could become trade candidates. Proteau also speculated they could weaponize their cap space to become a third-party broker for cap-strapped playoff contenders at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere, Bjugstad, Ritchie and Stecher are all unrestricted free agents this summer so it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re all skating on other clubs by March 3.
Vejmelka, however, has two more seasons left on his contract and is playing well for the Coyotes. I don’t see them moving him unless they get one hell of an offer.
THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun reports the Anaheim Ducks’ asking price for John Klingberg starts with a first-round draft pick. However, he doesn’t expect anyone will pay that much given the 30-year-old defenseman’s struggles this season.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Lisa Dillman reports Klingberg knows that he’s trade bait this season. He’s also seen an improvement in his performance since the holiday break in December.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun believes Klingberg, who tallied 40-plus points six times in his eight seasons with the Dallas Stars, could regain his form on a playoff contender. The Ducks would probably retain half of his prorated $7 million cap hit if a club meets their asking price. Nevertheless, I don’t see anyone parting with a first-rounder for him unless his production significantly improves over the next couple of months.
LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS
THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports Max Domi would like to remain with the Chicago Blackhawks beyond this season. An unrestricted free agent in July, the 27-year-old forward inked a one-year, $3 million contract with the Blackhawks last summer.
Domi understands he could still end up traded to a playoff contender by deadline day. Nevertheless, he said he’d like to stay with the Blackhawks and be a part of their rebuilding program.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The well-traveled Domi seems to have found a home in Chicago. He’s been among their few bright spots in an otherwise miserable season, leading them with 28 points 39 games.
Blackhawks management could move Domi if they get an enticing return that helps them with their rebuilding process. However, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him coming back to Chicago next summer as a free agent.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis wondered if Blackhawks backup goaltender Alex Stalock would draw any interest in this season’s trade market. He’s put up solid numbers this season with a 6-5-1 record, a 2.54 goals-against average, and a .923 save percentage. Stalock is also among the league’s best puckhandling goalies and carries an affordable $750K cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stalock could indeed draw the attention of cap-strapped playoff contenders looking to bolster their depth between the pipes for the remainder of the season. It’s difficult to tell right now which clubs would make that move but the picture should become clearer in about four-to-six weeks.