With the NHL trade deadline fast approaching, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman covered a lot of ground on the Jeff Marek Show on Wednesday. Let’s dig in:
Many Suitors for Chychrun
Potential suitors for Arizona Coyotes defenceman Jakob Chychrun, one of the few remaining big-name players, according to Friedman, are the Penguins, Jets, Blue Jackets and maybe even the Red Wings.
The most popular rumour has Chychrun going to the Penguins, although Friedman wasn’t as confident that was indeed where the 24-year-old Florida native, signed through 2024-25, was headed.
“One thing is that Pittsburgh is going to have to move money,” he said. “We all know how Arizona feels about that right now. So, that’s my one question. … That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it makes it hard.”
He added the Carolina Hurricanes are in the mix as well.
“Carolina is looking for a lefty and, you know, Chychrun fits their profile: He has term,” Friedman said. “So, I wouldn’t say they’re the favourites, but I would say that they’re around.”
Leafs Aren’t Shopping for a Goalie
The Toronto Maple Leafs made three deals on Tuesday, a week after making a blockbuster with St. Louis for Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari, and a day after landing Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty from Chicago. All told, none of those deals involved a goalie, and Friedman said he doesn’t expect the team to trade for one before the deadline.
“Well, the one thing I think a lot of people are wondering is if they’re gonna go after a goalie, and (from) what I can tell, the answer to is no,” Friedman said. “Now, I’ve been surprised by a few things that have happened over the last 24 hours. But I have looked into whether they are in the market for a goalie, and I keep getting told no.”
The Leafs have had a degree of success this season on the back of de facto No. 1 Ilya Samsonov, but Matt Murray, GM Kyle Dubas’ other off-season goalie acquisition, has been sidelined for large portions of the season with injuries.
Friedman added that more moves are likely in the offing for the Leafs because they now have, after Tuesday’s moves, nine defencemen on their NHL roster.
“Are you gonna have people unhappy because there’s just no room for them?” Friedman said. “The other thing I’m wondering is, do you move someone out so that you don’t get people grumbling, that, ‘Well, I had a role before and now I don’t have one?’”
Flames Could be Sellers
With playoff hopes dwindling in Calgary because of poor goaltending and seemingly consistently fighting back from early deficits, Friedman said it might be time to consider the Flames to be sellers.
“A couple of teams said to me that a team that could have a lot to say about this is the Flames,” he said, “because if they decide they want to sell or they want to move, they’ve got good players there,”
Friedman speculated that a player such as Tyler Toffoli, with one year left on his contract, could be a good fit for the Hurricanes. Plus, Justin Williams, who is in Hurricanes’ management, is a former teammate of Toffoli’s dating back to their days with the Los Angeles Kings.
“I think Calgary has decisions to make,” Friedman said. “I really do.”