Earlier this week, the agent for Blue Jackets forward Yegor Chinakhov indicated that his client was unhappy with his role and while the youngster hadn’t asked for a trade, he’d like to be moved. Speaking with reporters today including Brian Hedger of the Columbus Post-Dispatch, the 22-year-old tried to pour cold water on that notion to an extent. He stated his affinity for the team and market but that he simply just wants to play. Chinakhov started the season on IR and then was sent to the AHL briefly before being recalled early last month. Since then, he has been a regular most nights but is playing under 14 minutes per game, lately spending time on the fourth line even but has five points in 13 games. Clearly, the 2020 first-round pick is looking to have a bigger role; he will once again be a restricted free agent in the summer but will have arbitration rights at that time for the first time.
More from the Metropolitan:
- While the Devils didn’t get center Erik Haula back in their lineup tonight against San Jose, he might not be out much longer. Ryan Novozinsky of The Star-Ledger notes that the veteran will accompany the team on their upcoming four-game road trip. The 32-year-old suffered a lower-body injury last week against Buffalo. Haula is coming off back-to-back 40-plus-point seasons and has produced at a better pace than that this season with a dozen points in 18 games.
- The Islanders have activated winger Daylan Kuefler off season-opening IR and assigned him to AHL Bridgeport, CapFriendly reports (Twitter link). The 21-year-old is in his first professional season but wasn’t able to participate in training camp after suffering an injury in the WHL playoffs back in the spring. Last season, Kuefler had 61 points in 54 games with Kamloops while adding seven more in 13 playoff contests and four more in as many Memorial Cup appearances.