NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2022
WHAT WILL THE BLACKHAWKS DO WITH KANE AND TOEWS?
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector doesn’t see the Chicago Blackhawks’ surprisingly good start to this season will deviate management from its rebuilding plans. That includes what to do with longtime franchise superstars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who are both slated to become unrestricted free agents next July.
Some observers feel Kane will decide to sign a cheaper contract extension with the Blackhawks to help shepherd the rebuild and perhaps attempt to become the franchise’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. Others, however, see him finishing this season with the New York Rangers or Colorado Avalanche, with Kaapo Kakko or Samuel Girard heading to Chicago as part of the return.
As for Toews, Spector believes teams will line up for his services at the trade deadline. He suggested the Edmonton Oilers as a suitor as Toews would provide depth at center among their middle-six plus former teammate Duncan Keith works in their front office.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Cousin Mark’s suggested destinations for Kane and Toews pan out by the trade deadline. The Blackhawks won’t just give those two away but it could prove difficult to get a king’s ransom for either guy.
The Rangers, Avalanche and Oilers would have to accrue sufficient cap space to take on what remains of their respective $10.5 million salary-cap hits. That’s assuming they’re willing to waive their no-movement clauses.
We already know Kane and his agent Pat Brisson intend to meet with Blackhawks management in December or January to discuss the situation. As Brisson also represents Toews, I daresay he’ll be in there as well. Until then, it’s all a guessing game as to whether they’ll stay or go.
COULD THE BLUE JACKETS HAVE INTEREST IN CHYCHRUN?
THE JEFF MAREK SHOW: The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline recently joined Jeff Marek to discuss the Columbus Blue Jackets’ rough start to this season. During the conversation, Marek mentioned the trade rumors linking the Jackets to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
Portzline noted the rumors this summer claiming the Jackets attempted to acquire Chychrun during the first round of this year’s draft in Montreal. The Jackets denied it but some in the defenseman’s camp said it was true.
There were also differing reports claiming Chychrun didn’t want to come to Columbus. He lacks no-trade protection but teams take into consideration whether a player wants to join them or not.
Portzline noted the Jackets have the assets to acquire Chychrun but believes they soured on him. He’s also more of a left-side defenseman whereas the Jackets require right-side depth. Nevertheless, he wouldn’t be surprised if they tried again. The Coyotes might want one of the Jackets’ young defensemen as part of the return. He doesn’t see the Jackets parting with David Jiricek or Denton Mateychuk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This interview took place before the report later in the week claiming Chychrun suffered a setback in his recovery from offseason wrist surgery and could be sidelined longer than expected.
It’s believed interested clubs will want to see how well the talented but oft-injured Chychrun performs when he finally returns to action. Perhaps the Jackets will be among the suitors if the blueliner has had a change of heart about coming to Columbus. Stay tuned…