With the NHL expansion draft set to take place in June of 2017, Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka and his 29 counterparts are continually running through the mock draft process to help evaluate not only their own team, but also potential trade targets from other clubs.
“I think it is an ongoing process,” said Chayka while on Edmonton’s TSN 1260 Tuesday afternoon. “It certainly has impacts on your strategical decisions, and everyone is looking to try to find undervalued assets . There’s different mechanisms in the CBA to try to find those things; whether it is the salary cap constraint, whether maybe it’s a budgetary constraint for a team. The expansion draft is certainly one of those.
“The rules that were set forth by the league are certainly interesting. For us, where we’re at in our kind of life cycle of our team, we’ve got a lot of young players. A lot of young assets. And those are all thankfully expansion-protected. So for us, we’re able to kind of hopefully benefit from that. We’re able to keep our core group intact for sure.
“And again, you’re trying to look for opportunities for arbitrage, basically. So it’s something that we conduct, I’d say, weekly. Something that we talk about quite a bit in terms of looking for opportunities with teams that are at some point going to have to either look to protect their players, or are going to be exposed. And how do we try to take advantage of those situations.
“But I don’t think we’re unique in trying to do that. I think every team is trying to understand the implications for their team, and how they can benefit from it as well, or protect themselves. I think it’s continually going to be something that we’re looking at over and over again. But I do know there’s some teams that certainly have more risk than others, and at some point they’re going to have to try and address those situations. We’re going to continue to monitor those for sure.”
Source: TSN 1260/ Transcript: Nichols