In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Arizona Coyotes have teams showing interest in Jakob Chychrun, but there’s kickback when it comes to wanting to include a second first-round pick as part of any trade. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs have begun preliminary contract talks with Michael Bunting.
Are the Edmonton Oilers going to get Evander Kane back sooner than expected? Finally, why did the Detroit Red Wings choose to place Jakub Vrana on waivers?
Coyotes Having Trouble Getting the Second First-Round Pick
Friedman added that there are a number of teams interested in acquiring Jakob Chychrun and some that are willing to give up a first-round pick to get him. But, it’s the second first-rounder that the Coyotes want which has held back any trade from happening yet.
Friedman said the Coyotes are looking for two first-round picks, plus for the player. His source says that teams are willing to do a first-rounder plus, but the second first is holding things up. But, if Chychrun keeps playing the way he’s playing, things will sort themselves out and at least one team is likely to come up to the Coyotes’ ask.
Red Wings Place Jakub Vrana on Waivers
In what is being seen as a somewhat surprising move, the Detroit Red Wings have placed forward Jakub Vrana on waivers in an effort to clear a roster spot. Vrana has until 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday to clear waivers and if he’s claimed, the Red Wings will have shed his $5.25 million salary that runs through the 2023-24 season. If he’s not claimed, the team will keep him in Grand Rapids on a conditioning loan to get back up to playing speed.
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Max Bultman of The Athletic writes:
The Red Wings needed to waive someone with Robby Fabbri expected back from injury on Wednesday. We don’t have a clear answer to why they chose Vrana — over other options such as backup goaltenders Alex Nedeljkovic and Magnus Hellberg, or pending unrestricted free agent Adam Erne, who is expected to come out of the lineup for Fabbri — but the obvious conclusion is that the Red Wings are prepared to potentially lose Vrana.
source – ‘Red Wings’ Jakub Vrana placed on waivers to clear roster spot’ – Max Bultman – The Athletic – 01/03/2023
It is possible that the Red Wings assume he will not be claimed at his price tag and following the fact he entered the player assistance program in October after playing two games at the start of the season. He recorded one goal and one assist and it’s still not been revealed when he entered the program. That could scare some teams off.
Maple Leafs Have Begun Contract Talks With Bunting
According to Pierre LeBrun, the Maple Leafs have started talking a contract extension with forward Michael Bunting. LeBrun writes, “Hearing that the Leafs this week have touched base with Michael Bunting’s camp, a very, very preliminary chat about the pending UFA and next contract. Nothing concrete yet. Unclear where this goes at this point.”
The tweet itself doesn’t offer much in the way of updates, other than that things have changed slightly from last week when it was reported Bunting would like to stay and the Maple Leafs were open to a long-term deal to keep the salary down. At the time of that report, the two sides hadn’t begun conversations yet. All this tweet tells Toronto fans is that the process of negotiating is getting going.
Evander Kane Ahead of Schedule With Injury Recovery?
Head coach Jay Woodcroft noted that Evander Kane is still week-to-week instead of day-to-day on his injury recovery, but the forward was skating on the ice with the Oilers Tuesday and looked good. Woodcroft said you’d never know from the outside that Kane was injured. It’s more about letting things on the inside heal up, but Kane said from the start he’s a quick healer.
The original estimations were that Kane would be out until February. That might still be the case, but if Kane is skating now and he’s going to be skating with the team the rest of the way, he could be back sooner than the original estimates, which is great news for the Oilers.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”