7:52 PM: The Coyotes have confirmed Chiasson’s invitation while also noting that goaltender Christopher Gibson has also inked a PTO. The 29-year-old spent last season with AHL Charlotte, posting a 2.80 GAA and a .907 SV% in 14 games. Gibson has 16 career NHL appearances between the Islanders and Lightning.
Chiasson, now 31, has a legit shot at not only getting a contract, but playing a top-nine role if things go well. With far more offensive upside than players currently slated to play top-nine roles in Arizona like Nick Ritchie and Christian Fischer, he could get a decent amount of playing time on the power play as well and provide solid value on a cheap contract for Arizona. Playing just 11:37 per game last season with the Vancouver Canucks, Chiasson scored 13 goals in 67 games, six of which came on the power play. He’s not exactly an impact player at both ends of the ice, but he’s been a solid depth scoring option now for multiple seasons. With Arizona simply needing more NHL players in their lineup, signing Chiasson should be a no-brainer.
The opposite is true for the Blue Jackets, who have a bit of a logjam at the bottom of both their forward and defense depth charts. Harpur would be a solid addition to the top-four in AHL Cleveland if he does get a deal, but Rask will have much more competition for a roster spot amongst Columbus’ young forwards. With players like Kirill Marchenko, Yegor Chinakhov, Kent Johnson, and others poised to be full-time NHLers next season, Rask will really need to have a strong camp in order to earn a deal (if he wants an NHL role, that is).