NHL Rumor Mill – December 22, 2022
Should the Oilers or Jets attempt to acquire Jakob Chychrun? Are the Senators interested in the Blackhawks’ Seth Jones? What’s the latest on James van Riemsdyk, Jordan Staal and Vladislav Gavrikov? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
SHOULD THE OILERS OR JETS PURSUE CHYCHRUN?
THE ATHLETIC: Ryan Nugent-Bowman noted that the Edmonton Oilers have been linked to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov, the Montreal Canadiens’ Joel Edmundson, the Nashville Predators’ Mattias Ekholm and the Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg in the rumor mill.
Nugent-Bowman acknowledged the Coyotes’ high asking price for Chychrun as well as the blueliner’s injury history. However, he pointed to his solid performance when healthy as well as his affordable $4.6 million cap hit through 2024-25.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nugent-Bowman doesn’t believe Oilers management shares his opinion on Chychrun. General manager Ken Holland could surprise us but I think there’s a better chance of seeing Edmundson, Gavrikov or Klingberg suiting up for the Oilers by the March 3 trade deadline.
I don’t think the Predators intend to part with Ekholm. GM David Poile is stubbornly sticking with his veterans.
Along with Josh Morrissey, Chychrun would give their blueline two top-pairing caliber players. He thinks this could be this version of the Jets’ best opportunity to make a run at the Stanley Cup with Connor Hellebuyck, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler slated to become unrestricted free agents in 2024.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun would certainly provide a big boost of talented skill to the Jets’ defense corps. However, I’ll be surprised if Kevin Cheveldayoff, their usually cautious general manager, pays the Coyotes’ asking price to get him.
RUMOR TIDBITS FROM THE LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Ottawa Senators’ re-signing of Artem Zub doesn’t mean they’re still not seeking a right-side defenseman. Friedman mentioned the Chicago Blackhawks’ Seth Jones but said it appears that was as much due diligence as anything else.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jones’ hefty $9.5 million average annual value through 2029-30 aside, any trade involving the 28-year-old defenseman depends on his willingness to waive his no-movement clause. Things are rough for the rebuilding Blackhawks right now but there’s no indication Jones wants out. He could become their next captain if Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane don’t return next season.
Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers are eyeing Vladislav Gavrikov. He believes the Columbus Blue Jackets would set a high asking price for the 27-year-old defenseman, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Mark Spector elaborated that it would likely be a first-round pick plus a third or fourth-rounder.
The New Jersey Devils have a very nice right-side defense with Dougie Hamilton, John Marino and Damon Severson. The latter is eligible for UFA status next summer and his situation could be worth watching but the Devils are trying to win now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Severson’s drop to the third pairing and his free-agent eligibility has made him the occasional topic of media trade speculation. I think the Devils will hang onto him for the playoffs unless their season goes off the rails before the March 3 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk is a UFA in July and is reportedly available in the trade market. The Flames, however, are pressed against the salary cap. Even if the Flyers retained half of JvR’s $7 million cap hit, the Flames would have to move out a player to make the dollars fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal is a UFA next summer coming off a 10-year, $60-million contract. The 34-year-old center isn’t going to get $6 million annually again but perhaps he’ll accept something between $4.5 million and $5 million on a two or three-year deal to stay in Carolina.
Friedman considers the chances of the Vancouver Canucks trading defenseman Quinn Hughes to be low. He also thinks Ethan Bear will get a contract extension while a decision has to be made regarding Jack Rathbone.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Quinn asks for a trade he’s not going anywhere.