Chychrun: Coyotes’ teardown was ‘tough on me’ this season

It appears as though Jakob Chychrun wants no part of another rebuild.

The Arizona Coyotes defenseman was a popular candidate to be moved ahead of this year's trade deadline before a lower-body injury in March ultimately ended his season.

But trade rumors surrounding Chychrun are expected to heat up again with Arizona now turning its focus to the offseason. And it doesn't sound like the 24-year-old would oppose moving to a contender.

"I don't know," Chychrun said Saturday when asked if he'd be OK not getting traded this summer, according to PHNX Sports' Craig Morgan. "I'm signed for three more years. The trajectory of where the team is going and a lot of that stuff is important to me. I want to be in a position where I'm getting to play a week from now, not packing up."

The Coyotes have been in full teardown mode since hiring general manager Bill Armstrong in September 2020. In his first full offseason in charge, Armstrong prioritized stockpiling draft picks and prospects, trading away multiple core players in the process.

This direction has frustrated Chychrun.

"I've been here my whole carer and absolutely love it here, and it seems like every time we get to a point where it looks like we're gonna be getting there, it just gets torn down again," he said. "That was kind of tough on me a bit this year, just naturally as a human being and competitive person. I want to win so bad. That's the only part that can be tough on me at times."

Chychrun recalled receiving advice from former Coyotes goalie Mike Smith about not taking an NHL career for granted.

"You only have so many chances at this, and you can't let them go by every year and say, 'Oh, it's another year.' Wash your hands and move on, get ready for the summer," Chychrun said. "You really have to take advantage of the short time you have in this league because it flies by."

Chychrun had a down season statistically. After finishing 10th in Norris Trophy voting in 2020-21 with 41 points in 56 games, he registered just 21 points in 47 contests this campaign.

He's signed to a team-friendly contract carrying a $4.6-million cap hit through 2024-25, only adding to his already high trade value.

Armstrong admitted Saturday that he'll survey the market this offseason.

"I think that's something that we're going to look to explore and see where that goes," Armstrong said, according to AZ Central's Jose Romero. "I'd be a lying GM if I said that I didn't talk to other GMs and try to explore, you know, try to move the club forward, make it better. So I think we'll look at all of our options, and that's one of them."

A report in January said the Coyotes sought a return similar to what the Buffalo Sabres received for Jack Eichel.

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Hurricanes-Bruins series preview: Betting by the numbers

Almost two years ago in the bubble, the Hurricanes had the Bruins on the ropes, but weren't able to score enough to send Boston home. Last year, Carolina found itself in a second-round matchup with the Lightning, but couldn't solve Andrei Vasilevskiy to force a Game 7. Will the issue crop up again in a rematch with the Bruins?

When we're looking for a valuable bet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first question is: "What have you done for me lately?"

The Bruins are my highest-rated team after the All-Star break, a cohort that's particularly important (more details below). Only four other playoff teams improved in the second half over their season-long rating. The Hurricanes were one of them, but not to Boston's degree.

If the Canes are carrying baggage from the last two postseasons, they can't be thrilled to face a team that improved steadily the way Boston did. The Bruins are a wild-card team in more ways than one - they won 26 games at home and 25 on the road this season.

Series Odds

Hurricanes -115 -115 CAR -1.5 (+180)
Bruins -105 -105  BOS -1.5 (+160)

Projected prices

Hopefully you used our NHL betting guide to evaluate your bets during the regular season, and to find what value truly means in hockey. For the playoffs, we're using even-strength metrics like expected goals, high-danger chance rates, and high-danger conversion rates - both for and against - to try to predict which team will play better playoff hockey.

Due to special circumstances during the season, which included some tainted results pre-All-Star break when COVID-19 ravaged lineups, we're weighing the second half more than we normally would. Lastly, we'll make use of a formula to factor in home ice that includes each team's moneyline win percentage with the league average win probability differential.

True moneylines

The true moneyline takes the implied win probability for each team and converts it to an inverted price for each side before the sportsbook takes its vig on a bet.

The following is the expected price for each side when the games are played in Carolina (Game 1, 2, 5, and 7), and in Boston (Game 3, 4, and 6).

True ML in Carolina -101 +101
True ML In Boston +166 -166
Series Price +159 -159

Price to bet

In the regular season, we'd need at least a 4% edge on an underdog, and a 1% edge for the favorite. Using that same threshold, here are the prices to bet for each scenario:

GAME 1/2/5/7 GAME 3/4/6 SERIES
Hurricanes +112 +198 +188
Bruins +109 -159 -152

The identical game and series prices imply a 50-50 coin flip of a matchup, and should this go to a seventh game in Carolina, maybe that's the case. However, the Bruins' ability to play on the road, along with a hostile atmosphere in Boston, suggests going the distance might be tough for the Hurricanes.

Derivative market

Series result Probability / Converted Odds
Hurricanes 4-0 3.6% / +2709
Hurricanes 4-1 9.5% / +953
Hurricanes 4-2 10.5% / +855
Hurricanes 4-3 15.2% / +560
Bruins 4-0 9.7% / +936
Bruins 4-1 15.5% / +546
Bruins 4-2 21.2% / +372
Bruins 4-3 15% / +567

Unless you get extremely fortunate with the inevitable overtime games that are going to come in any matchup between close teams, a sweep is hard to pull off. The Bruins are only 9.7% likely to put the brooms to Carolina, but at 12-1, there's value if you want to shoot your shot. Slightly more conservatively, the Bruins to win 4-1 at +650 has some value as well.

Best bet

The Bruins got clipped by the Islanders last year, but the pieces are all still there. The 18 skaters will need to take the pressure off the Bruins' inexperience in net. They've shown they can, allowing only 8.89 even-strength high-danger chances per 60 minutes since the All-Star break. That will make life easier for either Jeremy Swayman or Linus Ullmark.

Carolina's lack of size on the defensive end is going to be tested to keep Frederik Andersen clean, and the longer the series goes, the more it moves in Boston's favor.

There's not much in the way of value in the first game, but since the Bruins start on the road, grabbing that big price on a sweep is all I'll do for Game 1. A win in Raleigh puts everything in play. On the back end of the series, if the Bruins have a 3-2 lead heading home for Game 6, it's curtains for Carolina.

Pick: Bruins to win series (-105 or better)

Bruins -1.5 (+160 or better)

Bruins sweep (+1200 or better)

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

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Stanley Cup odds update: Best bets to win it all

The matchups are set, and the NHL playoffs will begin in just a couple of days. Which favorite is most deserving of the hype? Which longshots carry real value? We’ll dive into just that with three best bets for the postseason.

Colorado Avalanche +325
Florida Panthers +550
Calgary Flames +800
Toronto Maple Leafs +1000
Carolina Hurricanes +1100
Tampa Bay Lightning +1100
Edmonton Oilers +1700
Minnesota Wild +1700
New York Rangers +1700
Boston Bruins +2000
Pittsburgh Penguins +2100
St. Louis Blues +2200
Dallas Stars +4000
Washington Capitals +4000
Nashville Predators +4000
Los Angeles Kings +5000

Colorado Avalanche (+325)

The Colorado Avalanche are healthy favorites to win the Stanley Cup, and yet I still think this line is short. Colorado dealt with an insane amount of injuries this season, seemingly never having a healthy lineup, and even so, the team remained in contention to win the Presidents' Trophy until the end of Game 81. Think about that. The Avalanche scored in bunches and dominated all year long, even though Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri, Gabriel Landeskog, Devon Toews, Sam Girard, and Bowen Byram, among others, missed double-digit games. I think the Avs lap the field when they're at full health, and their divisional playoff bracket isn't exactly scary. This team is going deep.

Edmonton Oilers (+1700)

The Edmonton Oilers have been a completely different team under Jay Woodcroft. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Co. have been their usual dominant selves, while, importantly, Woodcroft has found a way to get much more from the roster when those guys aren't on the ice. The Oilers no longer get crushed in depth minutes, which makes them a scary side to deal with. There is a reason only the Florida Panthers won more over the final 25 games of the season.

Edmonton's underlying metrics are very good, the squad's power play is terrifying, and Mike Smith has been excellent over the last month or two. It'll be tough to get past the Calgary Flames in the second round, but if they do, maybe the Oilers will have a banged-up Avalanche team waiting for them.

Boston Bruins (+2000)

The Boston Bruins are my favorite dark horse team. Boston finished the season in sparkling form, winning 17 of the final 25 games while controlling a league-best 60.5% of the expected goals at five-on-five - nearly 2% more than the next closest club.

The Bruins are stout defensively, and with David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall crushing on the second line, their top six is a problem for anybody. If Boston can find a way to get the power play going, the team will essentially be flawless.

Although the Carolina Hurricanes are a tough draw, I think going through the Metropolitan bracket will help Boston's cause in the long run. If the Bruins can get by Carolina, they'll meet the New York Rangers or Pittsburgh Penguins on the other side. And with all due respect, I'd much rather see either of those teams than the No. 1 seeded Panthers.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHLPA to begin search for executive director Donald Fehr’s replacement

The NHL Players' Association's executive board voted in favor of forming a search committee to seek a successor for executive director Donald Fehr, the organization announced Friday.

Seven players were named to the search committee: Carolina Hurricanes blue-liner Ian Cole, St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk, Detroit Red Wings forward Sam Gagner, Edmonton Oilers winger Zach Hyman, Buffalo Sabres veteran Kyle Okposo, Winnipeg Jets rearguard Nate Schmidt, and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. More members may be added by July.

The executive board, which is made up of a player representative from each of the league's 32 teams, held a conference call on Monday, and voting concluded Friday at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Fehr will continue to serve as executive director throughout the search.

"The many players who have played in the NHL over the last 11 years greatly appreciate the significant accomplishments under the leadership of Don Fehr. ... We look forward to continuing to work with Don as we go through the succession process," the search committee wrote in a statement.

Fehr, 73, joined the NHLPA in December 2010 and was executive director through two rounds of collective bargaining (2013 and 2020).

A recent independent review into the NHLPA's response to the alleged sexual assault of former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach found no wrongdoing by Fehr or the organization.

Beach came forward in late 2021 and said he was sexually assaulted by ex-Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He said in October that he was disappointed in Fehr's failure to act.

"I know I reported every single detail to an individual at the NHLPA, who I was put in contact with after. I believe two different people talked to Don Fehr," Beach said. "And for him to turn his back on the players when his one job is to protect the players at all costs, I don't know how that can be your leader."

The review attributed the lack of action from Fehr and the NHLPA to miscommunication between all involved parties. The executive board voted to make the findings of the investigation public.

The search committee will provide a progress report on the pursuit of Fehr's replacement to the executive board in mid-July.

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Jets’ Dubois: Upcoming contract about more than money, term

Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois is a restricted free agent this summer, but he isn't putting too much thought into contract negotiations just yet.

Asked Friday if Winnipeg is a team he could see himself signing with long term, Dubois gave a measured response.

"Yeah, it is," he said. "But at the same time, you know, I haven't really thought about that, we haven't talked about it with the team ... there's been no, really, discussion, so it's not something that I've put that much thought into.

"I've enjoyed my two years here - I like the guys, I like the group, I like the team. I've had a fun two years, so yeah, it is somewhere I could see that. But like I said, I haven't - I know it's hard to believe me - I haven't put that much thought into it. That's what these next four-to-five months are for, and we have time."

The 23-year-old is wrapping up his second season with the Jets after they acquired him in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets early last year. He's scored career-high 28 goals and added 31 assists in 79 games this season.

Dubois - who joined Winnipeg after requesting a trade from Columbus - pointed out that money and term aren't necessarily his top priorities when it comes to signing a long-term deal.

"It's not easy. It's tough. Especially now, if you think of a long-term deal; I could have a family, and I could be in the last years of my career at that point," Dubois said. "So it's not just 'what do you want now?' It's 'what do you want six years from now and five years from now and eight years from now?'"

He continued: "Everybody has different motivations ... It's not an easy decision to make; it's not just 'here's money and here's years.' If it was that, I wouldn't have taken a risk two years ago and asked for a trade out of Columbus. It's a very important and very tough decision to make, and that's why I said these next four-to-five months will be important to think about everything and all the different scenarios possible."

Dubois is coming off a two-year, $10-million deal he inked with the Blue Jackets. He's two years from unrestricted free agency.

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Panthers claim 1st Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history

The Florida Panthers secured the Presidents' Trophy as the league's top regular-season team on Thursday night thanks to a win over the Ottawa Senators and the Colorado Avalanche's loss to the Nashville Predators.

Florida has 122 points with one game remaining. The Panthers' mark is the most in franchise history and the third-highest total for any NHL team since the award was introduced in 1986. The 1996 Detroit Red Wings hold the record at 131.

The Panthers will have home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin May 2. Florida hasn't advanced past the first round since it reached the final in 1996.

This postseason, the Panthers are set to play either the Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins. The Metropolitan Division rivals are separated by one point heading into the final game on their respective schedules.

Florida's dominant campaign has come on the strength of a near-unstoppable offense. The club recently set a salary-cap era benchmark with 322 goals and currently sits at 338 and counting with a plus-102 goal differential.

Winger Jonathan Huberdeau has led the charge up front with 115 points in an MVP-caliber season, and he's one of four 30-goal scorers on the Panthers' roster.

Florida caps its record-setting regular season Friday against the Montreal Canadiens.

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