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Haggs: Chychrun Could Fill Boston Bruins’ Need In Big Way

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As we all sit idle through an extended holiday break for the Boston Bruins due to the current COVID shutdown, it awards us additional time to break down Boston’s issues with their current NHL roster a few months into the regular season.

There’s a clear and obvious need for a No. 2 center to replace David Krejci, who is officially past the December date requiring waivers to rejoin the Boston Bruins from Europe. And honestly why would he even want to hop on a Bruins team that doesn’t look built for a Stanley Cup playoff push right now even with his presence?

Anyway, the top-6 center isn’t even the most pressing need for the Bruins at this point.

It’s a top-4 left-shot defenseman capable of playing big minutes, stirring up some offense and playing a big, strong and physical role in the D-zone. It’s clear that featuring lightweights like Mike Reilly and Matt Grzelcyk on the left side isn’t an ideal top-4 solution for the B’s back end, and that Derek Forbort is best served not being forced into a top pairing, heavy minutes role with Charlie McAvoy.

Quite simply they need to get bigger, meaner and better on the left side with size, talent and preferably youth in a left-shot, top-4 defenseman. No problem filling a vital roster need that just about team across the NHL has as well, right?

Either way, the Boston Bruins didn’t expect to do much of anything ahead of the Christmas roster freeze, which began on Sunday and ends on Dec. 28, with so many NHL teams out of action due to COVID protocols.

“I mean, we’re still continuing to talk but you can imagine the entire league is a little bit handcuffed and we have the roster freeze coming up,” said Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney via Zoom at the end of last week. “So that’s probably going to put us in a situation where things aren’t — communication can continue but you can’t really do anything until you come out of it. And obviously we’re reacting to where our team is going to be coming out of the break and trying to prepare for that and then seeing who’s going to be healthy and recovered.

“On the schedule we have a game that we’d have to go to Canada for and some players will not be able to travel there so we still have some things to maneuver through and we’ll wait to see what the positions are and we’ll prepare to play coming out of the break and hopefully take this this pause where things turn in the right direction. We get everybody back and healthy, and we stay that way.”

All that being said, there is a possible, albeit a bit of a Hail Mary, solution to Boston’s back end problem sitting in wait this season.

It’s actually a player that went two picks after the Boston Bruins selected Charlie McAvoy in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft: Jakob Chychrun. The 23-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman dropped out of the top-10 in that particular draft class but has since developed into a player that’s averaged 20 plus minutes of ice time per game nearly his entire NHL career. Chychrun even garnered NHL All-Star and Norris Trophy consideration last season for the first time while posting 18 goals and 41 points in 56 games for the Coyotes last season.

He’s averaged an impressive 15 goals from the back end over the last two years and would fill a big time need Boston has for a blueliner that can shoot the puck.

It’s been a rough year for Chychrun in the desert this season with Oliver Ekman-Larsson gone and he’s got just two goals, seven points and a league-worst minus-29 mark in 26 games for the Yotes. But Chychrun has shown offensive dazzle to his game, a big-time ability to eat up ice time and even likes it mix it up physically as a 6-foot-2, 211-pounder.

He checks all the boxes for Boston Bruins’ needs and he’s cost-controlled with three more years at $4.6 million per season with plenty of noise coming out of Arizona that Chychrun will be the next Coyotes asset available to the highest bidder.

The question, as with any player like this, is the cost in terms of trade assets. It will cost first round picks and cheap, young talent for any hockey club seeking Chychrun in trade. The Boston Bruins hold the former, but not so much the latter as top NHL-adjacent prospects like Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen and Oskar Steen are not presently breaking through to Boston’s roster.

The Coyotes would undoubtedly be looking for something akin to the Jack Eichel deal with Vegas where Buffalo received an NHL-ready replacement for Chychrun, a top prospect and a couple of blue chip draft picks. What about Matt Grzelcyk, Jack Studnicka, a first round pick and a second rounder as a starting-off point for a conversation? Or maybe even swapping out Grzelcyk for Brandon Carlo as B’s trade bait if push comes to shove for a player like Chychrun that’s cap-friendly ($4.6 million for the next three seasons) and would absolutely move the needle on the ice for the Black and Gold?

Certainly, Jake DeBrusk makes sense as a logical NHL piece included in trade talks, so perhaps there’s something that could be built around DeBrusk, Vaakanainen and a pair of draft picks as well?

One thing is for certain with the Boston Bruins: They need to be bold if they want to sufficiently improve this season’s group for a possible Cup run, and even more so if they’re augmenting a core group for the long run as players like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand begin aging out of their NHL prime years.

A Chychrun trade would be a game-changing move and it’s exactly the kind of seismic transaction Sweeney should be swinging for at this point with a lot of questions to answer about the current direction of the organization.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Rick W Murray

Now your talking,somebody like Chychrun would thrive in Boston. Him and Charlie make be downright dangerous

ATLBruin

I like the idea of dangling DeBrusk, Urho, and Grzelcyk instead of losing Carlo for Chychrun to get the deal done, and give Lyle or Ahcan a opportunity to step up.

Chychrun is dangerous like a wooly mammoth, and he’s stuck in a tar pit in Arizona.

Al

If the Coyotes are in cost cutting mode, why would Carlo or Gryz interest them with their cap hits? They could just assume keep Chychrun, who is the better player.

Also JDB would be a non tender candidate on just about any team who acquires him. What use would he be to the coyotes other than as a Boston salary dump? Bruins will need to add to include JDB in this type of deal.

JDB, Mason Lohrei, Studnicka, Vaak, 1st and that probably gets topped by another team.

Don’t write lazy, Haggs.

Rick W Murray

If that’s what it cost the gm that goes for that deserves to be fired

911pcr

Joe,
Absolutely, this is just what this team needs. However, do you really feel that Sweeney/Neely would risk it? All they need do is make the playoffs and their jobs are all but guaranteed. They are still in the playoff picture…Sweeney is much more likely to continue to try a find a diamond in the ruff type of trade. Like he did for I don’t know how many years to find 46 a top 6 forward. Same thing is going to happen for a top 4 d.

miket

Bruins lack the assets. Half the teams in the league can top any offer they make.

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins may nonetheless use a No. 2 middle however it is probably not their high want now. In the event that they had been to convey David Krejci again now, he’d require waivers. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins could still use a No. 2 center but it may not be their top need now. If they were to bring David Krejci back now, he’d require waivers. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins could still use a No. 2 center but it may not be their top need now. If they were to bring David Krejci back now, he’d require waivers. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins may nonetheless use a No. 2 middle nevertheless it will not be their prime want now. In the event that they have been to convey David Krejci again now, he’d require waivers. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now noted the Bruins will likely be looking to add a No. 2 center and a left-shot defenseman before the NHL trade deadline. He believes the Bruins might try to bring David Krejci back to solve the center depth issue, but wonders if Boston would try to acquire Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now noted the Bruins will likely be looking to add a No. 2 center and a left-shot defenseman before the NHL trade deadline. He believes the Bruins might try to bring David Krejci back to solve the center depth issue, but wonders if Boston would try to acquire Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now noted the Bruins will likely be looking to add a No. 2 center and a left-shot defenseman before the NHL trade deadline. He believes the Bruins might try to bring David Krejci back to solve the center depth issue, but wonders if Boston would try to acquire Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now noted the Bruins will likely be looking to add a No. 2 center and a left-shot defenseman before the NHL trade deadline. He believes the Bruins might try to bring David Krejci back to solve the center depth issue, but wonders if Boston would try to acquire Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins might nonetheless use a No. 2 heart however it might not be their prime want now. In the event that they had been to deliver David Krejci again now, he’d require waivers. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now noted the Bruins will likely be looking to add a No. 2 center and a left-shot defenseman before the NHL trade deadline. He believes the Bruins might try to bring David Krejci back to solve the center depth issue, but wonders if Boston would try to acquire Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now noted the Bruins will likely be looking to add a No. 2 center and a left-shot defenseman before the NHL trade deadline. He believes the Bruins might try to bring David Krejci back to solve the center depth issue, but wonders if Boston would try to acquire Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. […]

[…] According to Joe Haggerty, the Bruins have interest in him and he believes it makes sense given their lack of talent on the left side of their blueline. Many will disagree given that this team is also in desperate need of a second-line centerman, but adding Chychrun would be very intriguing. Not only does he have a cap hit of just $4.6 million with three seasons remaining, but he put up a league-leading 18 goals from the back end last season. The asking price won’t be cheap, but it may be worth checking on for general manager Don Sweeney.… Read more »

[…] According to Joe Haggerty, the Bruins have interest in him and he believes it makes sense given their lack of talent on the left side of their blueline. Many will disagree given that this team is also in desperate need of a second-line centerman, but adding Chychrun would be very intriguing. Not only does he have a cap hit of just $4.6 million with three seasons remaining, but he put up a league-leading 18 goals from the back end last season. The asking price won’t be cheap, but it may be worth checking on for general manager Don Sweeney.… Read more »

[…] According to Joe Haggerty, the Bruins have interest in him and he believes it makes sense given their lack of talent on the left side of their blueline. Many will disagree given that this team is also in desperate need of a second-line centerman, but adding Chychrun would be very intriguing. Not only does he have a cap hit of just $4.6 million with three seasons remaining, but he put up a league-leading 18 goals from the back end last season. The asking price won’t be cheap, but it may be worth checking on for general manager Don Sweeney.… Read more »

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins could still use a No. 2 center but it may not be their top need now. If they were to bring David Krejci back now, he’d require waivers. […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins might nonetheless use a No. 2 heart however it will not be their prime want now. In the event that they had been to carry David Krejci again now, he’d require waivers. […]

[…] According to Joe Haggerty, the Bruins have interest in him and he believes it makes sense given their lack of talent on the left side of their blueline. Many will disagree given that this team is also in desperate need of a second-line centerman, but adding Chychrun would be very intriguing. Not only does he have a cap hit of just $4.6 million with three seasons remaining, but he put up a league-leading 18 goals from the back end last season. The asking price won’t be cheap, but it may be worth checking on for general manager Don Sweeney.… Read more »

[…] According to Joe Hagerty, The Bruins are interested in him, he thinks it makes sense, because they lack talent on the left side of the blue line. Given that this team also desperately needs a second-line center, many people will disagree, but joining Chychrun will be very interesting. In the remaining three seasons, his salary cap was not only $4.6 million, but last season he scored a league-leading 18 goals in the back end. The asking price will not be cheap, but General Manager Down Sweeney may be worth a try. […]

[…] Joe HaggertyHe believes that the Bruins are interested in Chychrun and that it makes sense considering their lack of talent at the left side. Although many will not agree that the team needs a second-line centreman, it would be very interesting to add Chychrun. He has a cap hit just $4.6million with three seasons left, and he scored a league-leading 18 goals at the back end of last season. The asking price won’t be cheap, but it may be worth checking on for general manager Don Sweeney. […]

[…] According to Joe Haggerty, the Bruins have interest in him and he believes it makes sense given their lack of talent on the left side of their blueline. Many will disagree given that this team is also in desperate need of a second-line centerman, but adding Chychrun would be very intriguing. Not only does he have a cap hit of just $4.6 million with three seasons remaining, but he put up a league-leading 18 goals from the back end last season. The asking price won’t be cheap, but it may be worth checking on for general manager Don Sweeney.… Read more »

[…] Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins could still use a No. 2 center but it may not be their top need now. If they were to bring David Krejci back now, he’d require waivers. […]

Joe

No way am I, if I where the Bruins would I trade Lohrei or Studnicka. Lohrei is looking really good and could be in Boston sooner than you think. I totally agree on using Grzelcyk as a piece of the trade with DeBrusk. Except the numbers don’t work, so how about Grzelcyk and Steen and 3rd round this year 22/23 and 5th round pick the next year 23/24. Grzelcyk he’s terrible against big teams and he needs a change of seanary and Steen at best a future 3 line player. I would like to see DeBrusk start scoring again on… Read more »

Dean

hope sweeney, doesnt drag his feet as usual, then gets his pocket picked, can someone explain why he thought Haula is worth 2.7 mil per…get them in sooner to adjust to systems.
trade: Debrusk, grezlyck, (and be open minded here) Lisel with 3rd or 2nd rounder and achan. for chychrun. Perhaps 2nd and 3rd pick to take an extra bad contract off sweeneys hands, no shortage of those..Haula
spend the extra cap on Bo Horvat.

DB

“Bruins need to get bigger, meaner”.. so when push comes to shove offer… Carlo? Maybe AZ kid better than Carlo, but swapping them would leave B’s D group exactly what it is now.. only 2 top 4 Dmen.

[…] 4.6 ล้านดอลลาร์ทุกปีจนถึงปี 2025 โจ แฮกเกอร์ตี้ ของ BostonHockeyNow.com เห็น Chychrun เป็น “Hail Mary” […]

[…] Joe Haggerty of BostonHockeyNow.com sees Chychrun as a “Hail Mary” for the Bruins. The longtime Boston scribe wondered if Grzelcyk, center Jack Studnicka, a first-round pick and a second-rounder could be a jumping-off point for the two teams. […]

Dean

its going to cost something to get something. chychrun helps build an affordable future with McAvoy. leave Carlo out of this, coyotes still have to meet sal. min. trade: JBD, Grez., Lysell 2023 2nd round pick and 7th rounder in 2022. Chychrun and Kessel to the bruins, coyotes retain 75% of his salary. also, rumours of bruins trading for Yamamoto, come on, another 5ft 8 inch player, don likely thinking this as his 2nd line centre…if this mentality keeps up, Bergy will not be back..get some size down the middle, i think theres a strome available in chicago, but oh… Read more »

Dean

JBD, Grezlyck, Lysell 2023 2nd round Pick and if need be, 2022 7th rounder for:
Chychrun and Kessel, coyotes retain kessel salary.
rumours of bruins trading for Yamamoto are disturbing, under performer, under size, will not be a number 2 centre.

[…] Kypreos believes the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested. On Dec. 20, Boston Hockey Now's Joe Haggerty suggested Chychrun would be a good fit with the Bruins.                      Stats are accurate […]

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