NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2023
Could Coyotes such as Clayton Keller or Nick Schmaltz follow Jakob Chychrun out of Arizona? How will the Red Wings fix their imbalanced blueline? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
COULD MORE COYOTES REQUEST TRADES?
GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan recently examined the Arizona Coyotes’ offseason plans. He wondered how many of their core players will want to spend their prime playing years with the rebuilding club.
That frustration drove Jakob Chychrun to request a trade, prompting Morgan to ponder if others such as Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse might do the same if the club “follows the same lather, rinse and repeat formula for the next two seasons”.
If the Coyotes stick to that program, Morgan wondered why they would keep a player such as Nick Schmaltz around. The 27-year-old forward won’t be in his prime when the rebuild is over, his trade value has never been higher and his salary significantly increases over the next three seasons.
Morgan mused over whether the Coyotes could get more assets by peddling Schmaltz and 26-year-old goaltender Karel Vejmelka. He also wondered if doing so would upset their other core players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be up to Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong and head coach Andre Tourigny to sell their younger stars like Keller on their program and keep them motivated to be part of it. If those guys lose faith over the next couple of years they could follow Chychrun’s example and ask to be traded.
Schmaltz and Vejmelka are in a different situation given their ages and where they could fit within their rebuild. That would explain why their names surfaced in the rumor mill leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. Armstrong could shop one or both this summer but, as Morgan observed, it comes with the risk of upsetting those younger core players.
I think it’s more likely Schmaltz and Vejmelka get traded than Keller and Crouse. That doesn’t mean that I believe Armstrong is going to trade those two older players this summer. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if they pop up in the trade speculation leading up to the NHL Draft on June 28-29.
HOW WILL THE RED WINGS ADDRESS ITS IMBALANCE BLUELINE?
THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman wondered how the Detroit Red Wings intend to address their imbalanced blueline. Most of their defense prospects are left-handed shots. He anticipates general manager Steve Yzerman will make one or two additions to the right side of their defense corps.
Free agent options could include the New Jersey Devils’ Damon Severson, the New York Islanders’ Scott Mayfield, Boston Bruins’ Connor Clifton or the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba.