The Arizona Coyotes are having their annual firesale ahead of the trade deadline, and this year they might as well start early since the team’s 22 points is the second-lowest total in the entire NHL. With the idea of a playoff run being comical at this point, the Coyotes must look to trade assets in an attempt to build towards the future (sound familiar?).
There was hope that this team could finally put together a run of winning seasons, but a number of incredibly misguided and to be frank, downright foolish roster decisions have left the Coyotes as a shell of what their ultimate potential was just a few seasons ago. Curiously, the Coyotes are looking to unload one of their best young players with a low cap-hit ($4.6 million for the next 3 seasons), but Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic explains:
Why would Arizona trade a young player who led NHL defensemen in goalscoring last season, who is just entering his prime, and plays on a team-friendly contract? One source speculated it’s because Chychrun simply may not have the patience to wait out Arizona’s endless rebuild.
Arizona has reportedly updated the asking price for Chychrun from what was first being reported at the start of the season. The Coyotes were rumored to be asking for two first-round picks in exchange for the 23-year-old defenseman, but are now looking for a “Jack Eichel type package”: one first-round pick, and two “potentially foundational young pieces, preferably with a first-round pedigree”. While the former 16th overall pick’s numbers have regressed this season, most chalk that up to playing on such a bad team and expect the young blueliner to be one of the top-scoring defensemen for years to come.
Duhatschek says the likelihood of Chychrun being moved is high, despite his high-asking price, and if he can produce like he did last season (18 goals, 41 points in just 56 games) he will be a huge commodity for a contending team or a team on the rise that feels they are just one piece away.
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