The Oilers are falling flat on their face, the Rangers are rising, and what would you pay for a cost-controlled 23-year-old defenseman? If you ask Arizona Coyotes’ GM Bill Armstrong, you’ll be paying a lot. Plus, there is movement in the searches for GMs around the league, and we’ll take a look at some highlights in todays Around the NHL.
What’s Going on in Edmonton?
On Monday night, the Oilers fell to the streaking New York Rangers 4-1 and lost eight of their last ten contests (2-6-2). Since December 1, the Oilers are just 3-8-2, and they’ve fallen into fourth place in the Pacific Division. Now, the finger-pointing has begun in Edmonton, starting with goaltender Mikko Koskinen throwing his offense under the bus after weeks of taking heat for being the perceived weakness in Edmonton.
Mikko Koskinen on critics from Tippett, media: ”It’s not nice being thrown under the bus. I have to be better but at the same time we scored 7 goals in my last 6 losses. I can’t score goals.” #LetsGoOilers #NHL https://t.co/GGxX8EKJnI
— Tommi Seppälä (@TommiSeppala) January 5, 2022
The @EdmontonOilers are completely _________.
— Dropping the Gloves (@dropping_gloves) January 4, 2022
And now, this morning, the Oilers lose three players, including Connor McDavid, to the COVID protocols ahead of their matchup with the Maple Leafs tonight.
The New York Rangers have won three in a row and are now sitting atop the Metropolitan Division in a tie with the Washington Capitals, with both squads having 48 points this morning.
The New York Rangers have officially reached wagon status. Print the shirts.
— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) January 4, 2022
The most impressive part of their recent win streak is the teams they’re beating, topping the Tampa Bay Lightning twice and the Edmonton Oilers once. Artemi Panarin is leading the charge for the Rangers with 36 points in 31 games (10 goals, 21 assists), with Adam Fox (35 points), Chris Kreider (31 points), and Mika Zibanejad (30 points) rounding out a four-headed monster of 30-plus point scorers for New York.
Good morning pic.twitter.com/veQKQF2jXL
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 4, 2022
Arizona Listening to Calls for Jakob Chychrun
Are you in the market for a 23-year-old defenseman signed to a very reasonable extension for three seasons after this one? If so, the word is the Arizona Coyotes, who are seemingly in a perpetual state of rebuilding, are listening to offers on Jakob Chychrun. But, the price tag is rumored to be sky-high for the former first-rounder.
Is Chuychrun worth a “Jack Eichel-like return” as Darren Dreger reported on Insider Trading? Well, probably not, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I doubt that any team will be willing to meet that type of price tag right now. But, the Yotes are in the driver’s seat here and have no reason to rush this and settle for less. They’re going nowhere fast, and they’re already sitting on four first-round picks, and six second-round picks lined up for the next two NHL drafts, a stockpile the frugal franchise would surely like to add to.
The March 21 trade deadline is still two and a half months away, so while interest is ramping up in Chuychrun around the league, don’t expect anything to happen anytime soon. After all, Arizona GM Bill Armstrong’s patience paid off in the form of a first-rounder, defenseman Connor Timmins, and a conditional third-rounder when Colorado lost Philipp Grubauer to Seattle this summer and needed a goaltender that fit their win-now mode.
Armstrong and the Yotes have no reason to settle for less than they want for Chuychrun. Even if they don’t trade him before this trade deadline, he’s under control through the 2024-25 season at just $4.6 million per season.
GM Search Updates
According to Pierre LeBrun in his latest column over at The Athletic, the search for new general managers are underway for multiple teams, but none of those teams are the Blackhawks. Here are a few updates from LeBrun on teams looking for new GMs.
LeBrun on the Montreal Canadiens’ GM search: “The Montreal Canadiens GM search has kicked into its next gear with interviews set to commence this week. Sources say the Habs plan on speaking with as many as ten candidates in the first phase of interviews (to be conducted via Zoom).”
LeBrun on the Vancouver Canucks’ GM search: “Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks under new president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford have already started speaking to some GM candidates, although not in-person yet.”
LeBrun on the Anaheim Ducks’ GM search: “The Ducks plan to start GM interviews as early as next week. They’ve cut down their original long list of candidates, I’m told. (Interim GM) Jeff Solomon, Martin Madden, and Dave Nonis are considered in-house candidates, but there is a sizeable list from the outside, as well.”
Check out the entire column by LeBrun at The Athletic, here ⤵️.
Jakob Chychrun trade rumours, the latest in the GM searches for Montreal, Vancouver and Anaheim, plus more in my Rumblings notebook:https://t.co/DgRGloBZxX
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 5, 2022
• What a save by Igor Shesterkin!
• Sorry, Blackhawks fans, there’s no way we could leave this INSANE goal by Cale Makar out of this post.
Cale Makar is absurd.
— Zac (@zacvoynow) January 5, 2022
• That’s a pretty sight. I think more of these games should be played under the lights.
— Andrew Raycroft (@AndrewRaycroft) January 2, 2022
• After 100-straight games without a short-handed goal, Detroit scored not one, but two on THE SAME POWER PLAY!
• Johnny Gaudreau turned on the jets.
— Bella Bee (@SmileyYYC) January 5, 2022
• The Chicago Blackhawks are “entering the selling process.”
The Blackhawks are "entering the selling process." https://t.co/4V9NXqMJ33
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 5, 2022
• I can’t stop laughing at this one, so I’ll part with you on this note.
This is hilarious. Start your morning with a good laugh. pic.twitter.com/e029AAgiht
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) January 5, 2022