It sounds like the Edmonton Oilers are doing their due diligence on a number of players, but the talk surrounding one particular defenseman has certainly heated up of late. After apparently being out of the running for Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes, the Oilers aren’t just back in, talks around the player are speculated to have gotten fairly serious.
More than one member of the Oilers-based media has mentioned Chychrun’s name in the past week. It started when a local media host who works for the team threw his name out there, then a TSN analyst who covers the Oilers believed there might more to it than just speculation. Now, a well-known NHL insider is confirming the Oilers have reached out to the Coyotes, along with a few other teams. Even GM Ken Holland confirmed he’s been diligently working the phones — even though he can’t mention names.
During a recent segment on Oilers Now, Elliotte Friedman and host Bob Stauffer talked about trade deadline options and it was the well-connected Stauffer who said, “3 months ago I would’ve said no on Chychrun, 2 months ago I would’ve said probably not. Now I’m thinking, if you’re going to trade something, might as well be for something good.” Typically, when Stauffer says something, it’s because he’s heard something.
Then, it was TSN’s Ryan Rishaug who noted, “The more times I bat this around in my head, the more times I think, if the price can be decent and they can make the money work, it just feels like it’s the move to make.”
On Tuesday, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun noted, that the Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, and the Oilers were all in discussions with Arizona about Chychrun. He noted, “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.” He notes that the Oilers don’t want to make a trade out of emotion because they know if they do, they’ll probably overpay for the player.
Is It Chycrhun Or Bust for the Oilers?
Have the Oilers decided Chychrun is their guy? If so, Holland has said it has to be money in for money out. Or, have they identified him as the player they want, but only if the price is right? Chychrun certainly would be the emotional add. He’s arguably the best defenseman available at this season’s trade deadline and if the Oilers were to acquire him, it would send a massive message to the players in the dressing room and the fan base.
The trick for Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland is to make the right deal, not necessarily the flashy one. Salary is involved, players have to move, the team’s first-round pick (perhaps more than one) is in play and a defenseman gets bumped. None of these are easy decisions to make. Meanwhile, if the Kings and Oilers are competing over the same player, it might be best not to get into a bidding war. And, if the prices for Plan B and Plan C (Edmundson and Gavrikov) remain high, maybe it’s best not to pull the trigger on a trade at all.
Next: What’s Gonna Give as Kailer Yamamoto Readies for Oilers Return
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