TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger, Chris Johnston and Pierre LeBrun join host James Duthie to discuss the market for Jakob Chychrun, Josh Manson’s availability and what the Sharks might look at if they can’t get Tomas Hertl re-signed.

What’s the market like for Chychrun?

Jakob Chychrun is the No. 1 name on TSN’s Trade Bait Board. How many teams might be showing interest?

Embedded ImageDreger: At this point eight teams are seriously in the chase for Jakob Chychrun. But again, we’ve reported so much on this. Based on the amount that Bill Armstrong and the Arizona Coyotes need to move the 23-year-old defenceman – good news for us here at TSN – this could come right down to the wire on March 21 based on the package required. Now, it’s Florida, it’s L.A., it’s Boston, it’s St. Louis, it’s Carolina, it’s Anaheim among the primary suitors. But again, we’re inside two weeks from the trade deadline. It could come down to March 21.


What’s the latest on Muzzin’s return?

When Jake Muzzin went down, some thought the Toronto Maple Leafs would keep him out until the Stanley Cup Playoffs for cap reasons. But now that he’s skating again, might that not come to pass?

Embedded ImageJohnston: Yeah, certainly internally there are no indications the Leafs are operating in that manner. And really, Leafs management looks at Jake Muzzin returning to the ice as a positive step for his health as he recovers from his second successive concussion. And for the Leafs, that means they’re not going to use his LTIR space to acquire any extra cap hits at the deadline. And so, really right now the Leafs are looking at having about $500,000 that they could add in an annual cap hit that they could add at the deadline depending on what they do with some players before then. So it’s probably going to have to be some players before then, and so it’s probably going to have to be players out to bring someone in. And as for Jake Muzzin, the hope is that he’ll be back as soon as possible so he can get ready for the playoffs rather than sitting out until the playoffs.


Manson on the move?

Ducks defenceman Josh Manson has been out since late January with an upper-body injury, but he’s still expected to have a market if he’s made available.

Embedded ImageLeBrun: Speaking of injured defencemen, Josh Manson is on the mend. He’s going to play soon here, expected back this week. And all eyes are on him from other teams around the league and of course his own situation with the Ducks. There have not been any contract talks with the pending unrestricted free agent. The Ducks have been focused on trying to sign Hampus Lindholm and haven’t done that yet either. So it’s led a lot of people to wonder, does it mean Josh Manson is definitely getting dealt? Well, not quite. That may be the case but I think the Ducks want to see how the Lindholm negotiation goes and if that falls through, is there a chance to try and get Josh Manson signed at the 11th hour. So it’s more probable that he gets dealt and he’s got a 12-team no-trade list but a lot of teams who have tried for a couple years to get Josh Manson are hoping that he becomes available closer to March 21.


What about Hagel?

The 23-year-old winger has 31 points in 51 games so far this season. What might it take to pry him out of the Windy City?

Embedded ImageDreger: A ton of interest around Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Hagel as well. And this is a little bit confusing given the status of Hagel. On the team, he continues to compete hard, very tenacious player. He’s got really strong offensive numbers, plus a contract that pays him $1.5 million for the next two years after this season. So, shouldn’t he be part of the rebuild in Chicago? Well the interest is based on the rebuild so there’s no guarantee that he will get moved. If he gets moved it’s going to be for a first-round draft pick and something else. That’s how important he is.


Extension in the works for Hertl?

Tomas Hertl remains high on TSN’s Trade Bait Board but might the San Jose Sharks be looking to cross him off it before TradeCentre?

Embedded ImageLeBrun: They are hopeful. There’s been an offer, a counter offer and they’re going back and forth but it’s not done yet. And when teams have called over the past week asking about making an offer for Tomas Hertl, I’m told the Sharks’ response to teams was ‘Hey, we’re not taking offers right now, we’re trying to get this guy signed.’ But here’s the other reality. The Sharks know they can’t go right to March 21 on this contract negotiation. They probably need an answer about seven days out so that if they can’t sign him, they pivot and properly explore the trade market for Hertl. In the meantime, an under-the-radar name for the Sharks that’s garnering some interest? Defenceman Jake Middleton, who has partnered with both Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns at times this year. He’s part of that penalty killing crew that’s ranked second in the NHL. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year, he’s making only $725,000, he’s a bit of an old school physical brand that teams headed to the playoffs like to stash on their roster. Among the teams that have kicked tires I’m told Tampa Bay, Boston and St. Louis.

The latest on sensitivity training

A main topic that came out of the Board of Governors meetings in December was sensitivity training for players and it sounded like they wanted to do it in a hurry. What’s the latest on that?

Embedded ImageJohnston: Well, the original timeline isn’t being met. Initially the hope was that everyone involved in the game – players, coaches, executives – would have this completed by June 30. At this point in time NHL players aren’t doing the training led by Sheldon Kennedy’s group because they found it’s maybe not sports specific enough. There’s maybe some better examples because it is a unique workplace. And so this has been pushed back now until the end of 2022 – [there] is the hope that everyone will go through the training.