Insiders suggest the Edmonton Oilers are not one of the many teams in the running to try and acquire defenseman Jakob Chychrun. While the cost of acquisition is likely the key factor, no one can seem to fully wrap their head around why GM Ken Holland wouldn’t be at least kicking tires here, especially considering how Chychrun might help solidify the Oilers blue line and because the team has the pieces to make the trade, should they so choose.
In fact, the Oilers might have one of the better offers in their back pocket if they wanted to make a deal and get into the conversation.
The Chychrun Scenario
Here’s what we know. The Coyotes are looking to move Chychun. At first, it was believed that they were merely testing the trade waters to see what offers might be out there, but as time has rolled along, the consensus seems to be that the Coyotes are eager to get this done. In fact, just today, both Elliotte Friedman and Jeff discussed the situation on the most recent episode of the 32 Thoughts podcast and suggested the belief that Arizona leaked they have a legitimate offer on the table is really just a ploy to get all other interested teams to lay their cards out on the table.
Both hosts wonder if the Coyotes are concerned about a deal falling apart if another injury were to take place and neither believe the Coyotes have gotten the offer they really want yet. This opens up a window of opportunity for Edmonton. They have a first-round pick, they have a roster player available and they have a young prospect. They have what Arizona wants and, while it’s a high price to pay, for the Oilers, it might absolutely be worth it.
The Oilers Current Scenario
Here’s what else we know. The Oilers are said to be actively trying to find a goaltender, but Friedman noted during the 32 Thoughts segment of Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that Edmonton doesn’t see a netminder out there worth giving up a first-rounder for. They also don’t want to move a second or third-round pick because of the conditions still pending in the Duncan Keith trade. That means, if the Oilers are going to move a first, it would likely be for a defenseman, especially one with term because Holland has made it clear he’s not chasing hard after a rental.
There’s also the small matter of money, but there’s a solution there. Moving Tyson Barrie in a trade makes the money situation pretty easy to accommodate. Evan Bouchard has been making Barrie expendable most of this season and after Saturday’s performance (two goals on the power play), it’s clear the Oilers can afford to move Barrie who does not have trade protection worked into his deal.
Ridding themselves of his $4.5 million salary and replacing it with Chycrun’s $4.6 million salary makes a lot of financial sense. For the Coyotes, there might be something to the idea of moving out one defenseman, but adding a top-four on the right side (the Coyotes have next to no depth there) and picking up a first-round pick in the process.
If the Coyotes bite, it just becomes about the prospect.
Oilers Have Prospects to Offer
Unless the Coyotes are asking about Dylan Holloway, Edmonton is probably listening about most trades. Whether it’s Philip Broberg, Dmitri Samorukov, Raphael Lavoie, or a host of other offensively gifted players the Oilers have bubbling up through the system, there are assets the Coyotes might have a keen interest in.
For Holland, the job he’d be tasked with doing is convincing the Coyotes that they’d be more interested in a player that can help them in the next one to three years, versus one that can help them in four or five. That means selling the organization on the idea that picking up Barrie and a first-rounder as the centerpieces of this deal, with the prospect being the cherry on top. If the Coyotes want a high-end prospect, take something back in the deal from Arizona in the form or a different draft pick or a different prospect. If the Coyotes are satisfied with a prospect Edmonton won’t make a fuss over, make the deal and call it a day.
Most other offers the Coyotes are going to get are from teams who have long-term maybes to offer. Playoff contenders won’t be moving roster players — the Oilers are one of the few teams who can afford to do so in Barrie — and if the Coyotes are looking to speed up the process of a rebuild, a long-term maybe isn’t always the best plan. This is especially true if the Coyotes aren’t getting the offers they’d have liked for Chychrun so far.
The Proposed Deal
Going out would be the Oilers 2022 first-round pick, Tyson Barrie and a prospect. Coming in would be Jakob Chychrun signed at $4.6 million for the next three years beyond this season. If the Coyotes are in, at the heart of the deal they get an NHL-ready, top-four defenseman and a first. They have the salary cap room to make this trade and the need. They also get a prospect and that can be haggled over.
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The Oilers get a solid top-four left-shot defenseman that could move Duncan Keith down a spot for next season at an affordable price. Edmonton might have to go out a find an inexpensive right-shot, bottom-pair blueliner, but they could use Slater Koekkoek or Kris Russell in that spot. Both are versatile enough to switch sides.
The Oilers blue line would be:
|Darnell Nurse||Evan Bouchard|
|Jakob Chychrun||Cody Ceci|
|Duncan Keith||Slater Koekkoek/Kris Russell|