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Friedman: Flames Won’t Pay Current Asking Price for Rychel

Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Friday morning.

On if there’s anything around the league that’s curious to him at this point:

“Craig Conroy was in Manitoba last night, I understand, to go watch the Moose and Lake Erie. I did some checking around. I was like, ‘Who could he be there watching?’ And you assume it’s Lake Erie, because that’s Columbus’s team.

“But you look at what they’ve got in the American Hockey League, and there’s really only two things that jump out at you and one I highly doubt is available. You guys know Oliver Bjorkstrand from his Western Hockey League Days. I can’t imagine that Columbus is even thinking about that. So I threw that away.

“The other, of course, is Kerby Rychel. I think he’s got five points in three games, or something like that, and he’s leading them in scoring.

“I think Calgary is looking for a little help on the wings and is maybe willing to get a little bigger there. Columbus would like to trade Kerby Rychel, but they’re asking a lot – as they should. From what I understand, it’s a price that Calgary is not willing to pay at this particular point in time.

“So I wouldn’t be surprised if it was getting another look in at him, because a lot of teams are watching Kerby Rychel. But I’ve been told that unless Columbus is willing to come down a little bit on what it wants, that’s not a deal that Calgary is willing to make.”

On why Columbus is seemingly cutting bait on Kerby Rychel:

“There’s a couple of issues there. The player wants to be in the NHL, like all players do, and if you look at Columbus, they’ve got what – 15 forwards there, or 14 forwards. It’s a really jammed up root. And I think the Blue Jackets look at it like, ‘If he was good enough to be here, he’d be here.’ So I think the player wouldn’t mind a change of scenery. I think the team, understandably, he’s not one of their – he’s a good forward prospect, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not one of their best forward prospects.

“And Columbus is looking for defensemen, young ones, and I think they realize Rychel is potentially a guy that could get them somebody. But they’ve been asking a lot. I mentioned in my blog this week that I think they’d asked Anaheim about Shea Theodore, and it’s possible they offered Rychel for Theodore. Anaheim wasn’t doing that. So that gives you an idea of the kind of thing they’re looking for, and teams are balking at that so far.”

So this isn’t a veteran defenseman, this is Columbus looking long term and getting a young defenseman:

“Yeah, I think they just want defensemen. I think if you’re trading Kerby Rychel, you probably want a younger asset for him if you can get it. It’s sort of like last year when Pittsburgh did the Lovejoy for Despres – you’re always looking at it and saying you don’t really like to be trading old for young, unless you’re convinced it’s going to get you a Stanley Cup.”

Source: Sportsnet 960/ Transcript: Nichols

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