Why holding players out for trade-related reasons is now a part of the NHL

Jakob Chychrun #6, Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jakob Chychrun #6, Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Defenseman Jakob Chychrun played his last NHL game on Feb. 10 against the Chicago Blackhawks. After that game, the Arizona Coyotes decided to hold out the defenseman for trade-related reasons. He has not played since and has not been traded yet as of this writing.

The Coyotes have played six games now without Chychrun, and this is not just a situation going on in Arizona either. The Blue Jackets are treating Vladislav Gavrikov in a similar fashion keeping him out of the lineup, and the same is true for Luke Schenn in Vancouver.

The trade deadline is not till next Friday, March 3, which means there is still a lot more time before some of these players could get dealt. This is not the norm from what has happened in years past.

During most instances where a player is holding out for a trade-related reason, the team trying to trade a player would usually hold their player out for a day or so, depending on how close the trade is to coming about. This season, it seems like the way General Managers are trying to let other markets know their player is available is by holding them out for this very reason.

I am not the biggest fan of holding players out for trade-related reasons. While I understand why it is a necessity for the team trying to make the trade, it can hurt the player by not having them play games for up to three weeks, like the situation with Chychrun. While they are not going to get hurt while not playing, they are going to have a tougher time getting situated on their new team when they have not been playing for two or three weeks. With all that said, holding players out for almost three weeks due to a trade is not something that is going away in the NHL.

Why holding players out for trade-related reasons is now a part of the NHL

Adam Henrique of the Anaheim Ducks was injured this past week during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Before that game, he was someone the Ducks were definitely going to try and trade at the deadline. Now, it seems less likely with him being out of the lineup and placed on IR.

Teams are going to do what they can to protect their asset leading up to a trade. That is going to mean holding them out of the lineup because they do not really care about how it might affect their play on the next team, all that matters to them is making sure they can make the move.

It is not like the NHL can really punish or make teams stop doing this. If the Arizona Coyotes were told by the league that they cannot scratch Chychrun for trade-related reasons, then they would simply sit him on the bench the entire game or choose to scratch him without giving a reason. All we can hope for is that teams do make these trades faster after they start scratching the stars.

There is one particular drawback to scratching a potential trade piece. What if the Blackhawks also chose to hold out Patrick Kane after the game against the Coyotes on Feb. 10?

Since that night, Kane has played in seven games, four wins and three losses. Those four wins included ten points from Kane, seven goals and three assists.

He has been on fire as of late as we approach the deadline, and if a team chooses to hold a player out that they are planning on moving, they could miss out on the value of that player going up due to good play. Obviously, every situation is different. Let us know what you think is the right course of action NHL teams should be taking right now.