Jakob Chychrun was considered among the top trade candidates entering last week’s NHL trade deadline. While the 23-year-old defenseman is still with the Arizona Coyotes, he’ll remain a constant presence in the off-season rumor mill.
Following the trade deadline, PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reported no club was willing to pay the high asking price set by Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong. He added that Armstrong is willing to listen to offers during the off-season, anticipating greater trade opportunities during that period.
The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch reported Armstrong sought three first-round picks and a high-quality prospect. Armstrong, however, told Morgan some of the teams he spoke with had the pieces to make a deal but didn’t want to break up their rosters. That suggests the Coyotes GM sought an NHL player or two as part of the return.
Morgan felt Chychrun may have welcomed a trade at the deadline. He indicated this situation goes back to last summer when the New York Islanders inquired about the blueliner and were told he wasn’t available. Morgan stated that information got back to the Chychrun camp. His role under head coach Andre Tourigny and the Coyotes’ constant losing could also have him thinking about green pastures.
With Chychrun carrying an affordable $4.6-million annual salary-cap hit through 2024-25, Armstrong has sufficient leverage to wait for a club to make the right offer. Nevertheless, it might be worthwhile moving him this summer rather than risk any unhappiness on his part becoming an issue next season for the Coyotes.
Armstrong won’t have any difficulty finding suitors for Chychrun this summer. Prior to the trade deadline, speculation linked the blueliner to the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues.