NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2022

Speculation persists linking the Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun to the Senators plus the latest on J.T. Miller and Rasmus Sandin in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE WALLY AND METHOT SHOW: Brent Wallace reported earlier this week that he’s been told the Ottawa Senators remain in pursuit of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. “There have been talks this week,” tweeted Wallace, who indicated the Coyotes’ asking price remains “two 1st round picks and a high-end prospect plus Arizona would also take (Nikita) Zaitsev.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

TSN’s Shawn Simpson reported the Coyotes asking price for Chychrun was huge at the trade deadline and at the draft. He’s sure other teams are interested in the 24-year-old Coyotes blueliner but everyone knows “Ottawa wants the player, and the player would prefer the Sens.” Simpson believes the Senators should offer nothing more than “a top D prospect, a 1st and a 2nd.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s worth remembering why the Coyotes are setting such a high asking price.

There’s plenty of interest in Chychrun despite his injury history. Teams look at what he’s capable of when healthy, as well as his youth and reasonable $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit through 2024-25, and see him as a good fit.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong is rebuilding his roster. He’s got a valuable trade chip in Chychrun but he’s under no pressure to move the blueliner. Chychrun has three more seasons on his contract at an affordable cap hit. There’s no indication he’s requested a trade. Even if he did, he still must go out and perform to the best of his ability with the Coyotes until a club steps up to meet Armstrong’s price.

The Coyotes’ asking for Zaitsev is to replace Chychrun on the blueline and on their cap payroll. That’s assuming, of course, that they aren’t on his 10-team no-trade list. Trading Chychrun would put them under this season’s $61 million cap minimum.

Zaitsev has a $4.5 million average annual value through 2023-24, though in actual salary he’ll earn $2.5 million this season as the Senators already paid his $2 million signing bonus for this season. That’s much more palatable for the Coyotes.

As for those draft picks, the Coyotes possess nine picks between rounds two and four in 2024 and four second-rounders in 2025. However, they have just one first-round pick in each of the next three rounds and just one extra third-rounder in 2023. Armstrong would prefer a couple of extra firsts.

It’s possible Chychrun gets traded before the coming season begins in October. The Senators could be his destination. But unless Armstrong lowers his price or a team steps up to meet the current one, don’t be surprised if Chychrun’s suiting up with the Coyotes on opening night.


CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal recently reported player agent Brian Bartlett isn’t concerned about how big a story it could be for client J.T. Miller to report to Vancouver Canucks training camp without a contract extension. He claims the 29-year-old center is looking forward to camp next month and doesn’t believe his client’s contract will be a distraction.

The two sides haven’t discussed a new contract since the draft in Montreal last month. The Canucks haven’t given Bartlett permission to speak with other teams about an extension. He indicated he hasn’t spoken to Miller about cutting off contract talks with the Canucks once the regular season begins but doesn’t rule out the possibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Based on comments made to the media earlier this summer by Miller and Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford, it doesn’t appear that the two sides will reach an agreement before the season begins. While Miller would like to stay and management wants to keep him, both sides seem resigned that this season will be his last in Vancouver.

Dhaliwal also reported agent Darren Ferris has been granted permission by the Canucks to talk to other teams about a trade for client Michael DiPietro. A source told Dhaliwal there is interest in the 23-year-old goaltender and there is a deal that could make sense for the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could that interested club be the Vegas Golden Knights? They could be in the market for an affordable goaltender after losing Robin Lehner for the coming season due to hip surgery.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports contract talks aren’t going anywhere between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rasmus Sandin. Agent Lewis Gross said he can’t answer why talks are at a standstill for his client.

Leafs GM Kyle Dubas declined to comment other than to indicate via text that negotiating contracts through the media “do not create resolutions to private matters.” Fox indicates factors such as money, term and Sandin’s role with the Leafs are in play here. It’s believed the Leafs have offered him a deal similar to teammate Timothy Liljegren’s two-year, $2.8 million bridge contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fox also pointed out the Leafs have limited salary-cap space right now. They’ll have to create some cap space if they hope to get Sandin under contract before the start of the coming season.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2022

24 players apply for salary arbitration plus the latest on Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nazem Kadri and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHLPA.COM: 24 NHL players filed for salary arbitration by the 5 pm ET deadline on July 17:

Mason Appleton (Winnipeg Jets)

Ethan Bear (Carolina Hurricanes)

Jesper Bratt (New Jersey Devils)

Lawson Crouse (Arizona Coyotes)

Morgan Geekie (Seattle Kraken)

Mathieu Joseph (Ottawa Senators)

Kaapo Kahkonen (San Jose Sharks)

Kasperi Kapanen (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Keegan Kolesar (Vegas Golden Knights)

Oliver Kylington (Calgary Flames)

Maxime Lajoie (Carolina Hurricanes)

Steven Lorentz (San Jose Sharks)

Isac Lundestrom (Anaheim Ducks)

Zack MacEwen (Philadelphia Flyers)

Niko Mikkola (St. Louis Blues)*

Andrew Mangiapane (Calgary Flames)

Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames)

Jesse Puljujarvi (Edmonton Oilers)

Tyce Thompson (New Jersey Devils)

Yakov Trenin (Nashville Predators)

Vitek Vanecek (New Jersey Devils)

Jake Walman (Detroit Red Wings)

Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers)

Pavel Zacha (Boston Bruins)

*Signed after filing

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt (NHL Images).

The deadline for club-elected arbitration filing is July 18 at 5 pm ET. Arbitration hearings begin on July 27 through August 11.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that this is usually a tactic designed to set a deadline to complete contract negotiations. In most cases, the player and his team reach an agreement on a new contract before the date of his arbitration hearing. Mikkola agreed to a one-year, $1.9 million contract with the Blues shortly after filing. The notables on this list include Bratt, Mangiapane, Kapanen, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. 

TSN: Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk and Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois were among the notable restricted free agents who didn’t file for salary arbitration. Another is Columbus Blue Jackets left winger Patrik Laine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline believes Laine’s decision not to file for arbitration suggests contract discussions with the Blue Jackets remain amicable. The same could apply to Tkachuk and Dubois with their respective clubs. It also leaves the door open for those players to accept their one-year qualifying offers before the July 22 deadline for doing so.

THE ATHLETIC’s Peter Baugh recently tweeted that a league source told him multiple teams are trying to clear salary-cap space in an attempt to sign Nazem Kadri. The 31-year-old free-agent center wants to play for a contender and has ruled out those who are not.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That explains why Kadri remains available nearly a week into this season’s free-agent period. Perhaps he’ll sign a new contract at some point this week.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: A source tells Jimmy Murphy that the Bruins’ contract extension talks with David Pastrnak could take longer than expected. The feeling is both sides are in wait-and-see mode. The Bruins are still dealing with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci and could need to make a cost-cutting trade to make it all work. Meanwhile, the Pastrnak camp could be watching to see where things are headed with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s also how much Pastrnak’s new contract will cost the Bruins. The 26-year-old winger is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility and is earning $6.6 million on his current contract. It could cost them $10 million annually on an eight-year deal to keep him in the fold.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed restricted free agent winger Pierre Engvall to a one-year, $2.25 million contract.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers signed UFA forward Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.

The Florida Panthers inked UFA defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, two-way contract.

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reports the Vancouver Canucks have granted permission to goaltender Michael DiPietro’s agent to speak with other teams regarding a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates DiPietro is signed for 2022-23 with a cap hit of $840K.