Jakob Chychrun walking down Dallas Stars tunnel
(Screenshot/ Bally Sports Midwest)

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun found himself going viral on Friday night after cameras caught him walking down the tunnel with the Dallas Stars during intermission.

The bizarre sight sparked a flurry of lighthearted speculation and jokes on social media about Chychrun seeking an impromptu trade. However, the 25-year-old blueliner has since set the record straight in signature good humor.

Posting on Twitter on Saturday morning, Chychrun shared side-by-side photos revealing the real reason for his detour—a nasty gash under his right eye requiring medical attention. “For those wondering…I was told to meet the Stars team doc at their room for some repairs,” he wrote. “Thanks for the laughs this morning!”

Chychrun’s wound apparently occurred at some point during the first period of Ottawa’s 5-4 loss to Dallas. With the home team’s facilities located on the Stars’ side of the arena, he had no choice but to head in that direction during the intermission break.

The lighthearted social media reactions emphasized the entertainment value that unexpected moments can spark in the NHL. However, they also reflected ongoing intrigue around Chychrun’s future in Ottawa. His arrival via trade last March marked a major move for the rebuilding Senators, but the team has continued to struggle in 2022-23.

Nonetheless, Chychrun has thrived as a Senator, recording three assists on Friday before his eventful tunnel walk. His strong two-way play and offensive punch from the blueline remain major assets for the team.

For now, Chychrun is focused on helping Ottawa string together some wins in the second half. However, his name will likely continue circulating in NHL trade winds if the Senators’ struggles persist.

Still, his viral intermission adventure showed that amidst the pressures of playoff races and trade rumors, amusing surprises are always around the corner in hockey.