The latest developments in the commercial market for defense
Mentioning the defense market in the NHL immediately brings to mind at least two things: Jakob Chychrun and the Ottawa Senators, both separately, and the rumors connecting the defender to Canada’s capital. With Chychrun having been on IR to end last season and now to start this one, rumors surrounding the 24-year-old had been a little quieter than usual, but were expected to expand upon his return Monday.
Tonight Hockey night in Canada’s 32 thoughts segment, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman seemed to confirm that inevitability, expecting the Chychrun talks to start heating up once the defenseman returns. Another interesting note from Friedman about coyotes and their defenders is the possibility of a trade involved Conor Timmins. A second-round pick in 2017, Timmins’ prospect status has never really been in question, at least because of his on-ice performance. Instead, injuries have derailed the 24-year-old’s career. Now in a conditioning stint in the AHL, Timmins appears to be fully healthy and will soon be ready for NHL action, prompting Friedman to wonder if Arizona could look to a trade market for Timmins as well.
A more recent name added to defender speculation is the San Jose Sharks defense Erik Karlsson. Once thought to be unstoppable, Karlsson has had an incredible start, already on pace to set career bests, scoring 11 goals along with 17 assists in just 19 games this season. With four years remaining with a cap hit of $11.5 million after this season, Karlsson will be incredibly difficult for the Sharks to move even with his historic production, but he might just make it possible for the rebuilding San Jose squad. According to Friedman, also from 32 Thoughts, the Sharks have yet to make it that far in any of Karlsson’s conferences. As Friedman says, the belief is that Karlsson has yet to be asked to move his no-movement clause, at least not for any specific team.
Friedman adds that he believes the Sharks are currently trying to determine what other teams are willing to do for the rest of the contract. Of course, the Sharks and their potential trade partner will have to figure out how much, if any, San Jose retains on the remaining contract and what assets they could get back for Karlsson, which would depend on how much the Sharks would retain.
One defenseman-hunting team that many want to see on the final list to acquire Karlsson would be the Ottawa Senators. Their search for a defender in the early part of this season has been well documented and Chychrun has been the number one name associated with them. As Friedman reported to 32 Thoughts earlier, Ottawa is believed to have tried to work on a deal that would have sent it Nikita Zaitsev to the Vancouver Canucks in return Tyler Myers, but the deal didn’t go far enough for Myers, who has a modified no-trade clause, to be asked for permission. Other pieces would have had to be involved to make the deal work for both sides, but this type of trade would have benefited Vancouver with $1.5 million in savings, while giving Ottawa the defense they had been looking for and would allow them. to get out of Zaitsev’s contract.
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