No player has been talked about as much or as long this season as Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. The 23-year-old is a supremely skilled blue liner coming off of a 41-point season and carrying a very palatable $4.6MM cap hit through the 2024-25 season. Yet, the rebuilding ’Yotes have reportedly been willing to trade him for the right price in hopes of drawing a return that would better suit their timeline for contention than Chychrun’s contract. By no means was Arizona shopping the young star, but they were willing to listen and wait for a godfather offer.
Well, that offer may not be coming this season. Chychrun was injured on Saturday night against the Boston Bruins, falling awkwardly against the board following a Derek Forbort check. Chychrun left the game and did not return and yesterday the team announced that he was flying back to Glendale to be examined by team doctors. Those test results have now come back and the team has announced that Chychrun will miss the next two to four weeks with an undisclosed lower-body injury.
This is far from a worst-case scenario for the Coyotes – or Chychrun’s suitors – and doesn’t completely rule out a trade occurring before the deadline next Monday. After all, a Chychrun acquisition is a long-term move rather than a rental deal. The talented rearguard avoided long-term injury and that is all that matters in the big picture. However, the injury does substantially lessen the odds of a deal being made this week. Most teams eyeing Chychrun are contenders or at least battling for a playoff spot and will think twice about paying full price for an injured player guaranteed to miss time down the stretch. As such, Arizona is not going to accept a reduced offer for their most valuable trade chip just because he could miss a few weeks of his remaining three plus years under contract. The Coyotes are under no obligation or time pressure to trade Chychrun and will wait as long as it takes to be blown away by an offer.
In the meantime, Chychrun is still on the active roster for the time being, merely scratched from the lineup for Monday night’s game. Whether he remains on the roster or is moved to the injured reserve, Chychrun’s recovery timeline implies that he will not play again before the deadline. Interested teams have seen plenty of him this year to make a decision before the deadline, and Arizona will still be open to an offer they can’t refuse, but in all likelihood the Chychrun saga will continue into the offseason or beyond.