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Several NHL Teams Already Need Blueline Help

Some Canadian teams and the Columbus Blue Jackets are browsing the trade market for a defenseman. Who else is available besides Arizona's Jakob Chychrun?
Mike Reilly

The 2022-23 NHL season is just over a week old, but several clubs already need some help on the blueline. Whether they can find a suitable defenseman this early in the season could prove a difficult task.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported that Canadian teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks are in the market for a defenseman. He believes the Canadiens and Leafs need a right-shot blueliner.

Earlier this week, The Athletic's Aaron Portzline suggested the Columbus Blue Jackets' blueline seemed out of whack to start this season. He felt they'll have to trade for a right-shot rearguard to shake things up.

Dreger noted Jakub Chychrun has been available for some time, but teams prefer waiting for him to return from a wrist injury before making trade offers to the Arizona Coyotes. He also indicated that Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Pierre-Olivier Joseph is believed to be available. Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy recently speculated that the Boston Bruins' Mike Reilly could be a trade candidate.

The problem, however, is those three are all left-handed shots.

Limited salary cap space could also make it difficult for most of these clubs to address their blueline needs at this stage in the season. Cap Friendly shows the Canadiens, Leafs, Oilers, and Canucks are using players on long-term injury reserve to exceed the $82.5-million cap.

The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, have just over $2 million in cap room. Only the Senators, with $4.3 million in cap space, can currently afford to make a significant blueline addition. 

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