Countdown to TradeCentre: Oilers, Kings and Bruins chasing Chychrun?
The NHL's March 3 Trade Deadline is approaching, and teams are making decisions on whether to buy or sell, and on which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out today's trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.
Contenders to compete for Chychrun?
Jakob Chychrun has been a mainstay on the TSN Trade Bait board for more than a year, but it appears interest could be picking up once again in the Arizona Coyotes defenceman.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports that the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins have all expressed interest in Chychrun as the deadline approaches.
"It’s an interesting sub-plot when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings, Pacific Division rivals who played each other in the first round last year: they’re calling for a lot of left-handed shot defencemen," LeBrun said on Insider Trading Tuesday. "Jakob Chychrun is at the top, both teams have expressed interest, but you can go down the list when it comes to Joel Edmundson, both teams have talked to [the Montreal Canadiens] about, [Vladislav] Gavrikov [of the Columbus Blue Jackets], so that’s the fascinating part here if you’re Columbus or Montreal or Arizona if you’re trying to pit these teams against each other. But believe me, the Kings and Oilers are waiting for these prices to come down, they don’t want to let emotions take control.
"Another thing I should mention on Chychrun, who a lot of people in the league believe Los Angeles still makes the most sense [as a landing spot] given their need on the left side, the Boston Bruins are another contender of late that have also inquired with the Coyotes on the young defenceman."
Chychrun, who is listed at No. 2 on the trade bait board behind only Timo Meier, has seven goals and 27 points in 35 games this season after missing time early due to injury. The 24-year-old is signed through the 2024-25 season at a cap hit of $4.6 million.
While it's unclear if the price tag has dropped, LeBrun reported in November that the Coyotes were seeking two first-round picks plus either a prospect or a young NHL player in any deal for Chychrun, who was selected 16th overall in the 2016 draft by Arizona.
The Oilers, who moved to within two points of first in the Pacific Division with their win Tuesday, have been linked to several defenceman in the lead up to the deadline. Los Angeles is one point ahead of Edmonton, tied with the Seattle Kraken for second in the crowded division race, with two more games played than the Oilers.
The Bruins have been the NHL's best team this season with a 39-7-5 record through 51 games. Team president Cam Neely told The Athletic last week that the team would prefer to pursue a player with term remaining on their contract at the deadline.
“We have tried to get out of the rental mode,” Neely said. “You give up a lot of assets. Historically, rentals … one team wins a year. When you give up a lot of assets for a player that’s on an expiring contract, you have to decide, ‘OK, are we willing to do that?’ ”
Could Meier head East?
Emily Kaplan of ESPN reports the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers "are both very interested" in San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier.
Kaplan adds, however, that both teams are weary of entering into a bidding war for Meier, who has multiple contenders salivating at the prospect of adding a three-time 30 goal scorer.
"Everyone is talking to San Jose about Timo Meier," one Eastern Conference executive told Kaplan. "Everyone is monitoring it."
Meier scored two goals and added an assist in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to bring his season totals to 30 goals and 51 points in 52 games.
Listed atop the TSN Trade Bait board, Meier is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer, with a $10 million qualifying offer required to retain his rights.
Landing spots for Blues UFAs
There will be no shortage of eyes on the St. Louis Blues ahead of the deadline, with captain Ryan O'Reilly and winger Vladimir Tarasenko potentially on the move if the team elects to become sellers.
Dan Rosen of NHL.com believes O'Reilly would make sense as an acquisition for the Colorado Avalanche - who first drafted him in 2009 - and points to the New York Rangers as a landing spot for Tarasenko.
Rosen believes O'Reilly, who has 10 goals and 16 points in 37 games this season, would fill Colorado's need for a second-line centre and boost the teams special teams units. He argues the Rangers have a hole in their top six that Tarasenko - with 10 goals and 29 points in 38 games this year - could fill.
Both forwards are pending unrestricted free agents. carrying identical cap hits of $7.5 million. O'Reilly is currently sidelined by a broken foot, but is expected to return prior to the deadline.
The Blues currently sit nine points back of the Avalanche for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with two more games played. St. Louis will return from their All-Star break on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.