NHL Rumor Mill – June 11, 2019

The latest on Corey Perry and Phillip Danault plus updates on the Canucks and Flyers in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

DUCKS’ OPTIONS FOR PERRY

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz examined the Anaheim Ducks’ options for parting ways with Corey Perry. The 34-year-old right winger’s play has declined in recent years. The Ducks want to bring in younger, cheaper talent. Recent reports indicate they could buy out the remaining two years of the 34-year-old right winger’s contract if they’re unable to trade him before June 30. 

The Anaheim Ducks could find it difficult to trade winger Corey Perry (Photo via NHL Images)

Gretz believes a trade would be better than a buyout but doubts the Ducks will get much back in return. His annual salary-cap hit ($8.25 million through 2020-21) and performance will affect his trade value. They could be forced to retain part of his cap hit, though Gretz feels that would be preferable to a buyout. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gretz pointed out Anaheim’s situation with Perry is similar to that of Edmonton with Milan Lucic, Vancouver with Loui Eriksson, and Toronto with Patrick Marleau. One advantage for the Ducks is there isn’t as much term left on his deal compared to Lucic and Eriksson. There could be a market for Perry but the Ducks could be forced to absorb part of his cap hit and/or include a decent draft pick or prospect in the deal. 

LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

SPORTSNET: Iain Macintyre reports Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning didn’t provide much detail on the stalled contract talks with Alexander Edler. However, he did say he doesn’t have the appetite for signing the 33-year-old defenseman to a deal longer than two years. That type of contract might require the Canucks to protect Edler in the 2021 NHL expansion draft. 

Benning will also be speaking soon with Loui Eriksson regarding his comments about head coach Travis Green. in a recent interview, the 33-year-old said he didn’t get along 100 percent with Green. He felt he wasn’t getting as much trust from the Canucks bench boss as he used to get from other coaches. Eriksson’s remarks fueled speculation he could be traded, linking him to the Edmonton Oilers in a possible swap with Milan Lucic. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s looking more likely Edler could test the UFA market on July 1. However, he could find other clubs share the Canucks reluctance to invest longer than two years because of the Seattle draft in 20201.

As for Eriksson, if he truly believes Green isn’t giving him a fair shake Benning could be forced to try and trade him. That could mean swapping him for another struggling veteran carrying a hefty contract. Remains to be seen if it would be Lucic or somebody else. 

INTEREST IN DANAULT?

TVA SPORTS: cites Yvon Pedneault saying several teams have interest in Montreal Canadiens center Phillip Danault. The 26-year-old’s performance this season (53 points in 81 games) have some clubs looking at him as a third-line center. Pednault claims he’s not saying the Canadiens will trade Danault but there is interest around the league. He feels the Edmonton Oilers are one club that could use the Habs center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Danault is signed through 2020-21 with an affordable $3.083-million cap hit. I doubt the Canadiens are looking at moving him. However, his future with the Habs could depend upon the development of promising young centers Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling, and Nick Suzuki. If all three become full-time players and establish themselves as rising stars next season, perhaps the Canadiens might consider moving Danault.

FLYERS COULD MOVE THEIR FIRST-ROUND PICK

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher has informed his peers he’s willing to move his first-round pick (11th overall) for immediate help. If they do move the pick, assistant GM Brent Flahr said it’ll be for a younger player and not a rental. Fletcher admitted there hasn’t been a big push yet for his pick but suggests that could change as the upcoming NHL Draft approaches.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2019

Updates on the Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, and Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

LEAFS

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons points out how much Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has on his plate. He’s trying to re-sign restricted free agent winger Mitch Marner before the end of the month. He must also try to free up sufficient salary-cap room to re-sign Andreas Johnsson and possibly Kasperi Kapanen.

Dubas has to come up with enough money to upgrade the defense or re-sign Jake Gardiner. Simmons said the pending unrestricted free agent defenseman would prefer staying in Toronto. 

Are the Toronto Maple Leafs shopping Connor Brown? (Photo via NHL Images)

Simmons reports a “bevy of sources” claim the Leafs have been active “talking trade” with other teams about “Kapanen, Patrick Marleau and possibly Connor Brown.” Simmons has heard conflicting reports on Brown. Some sources say the Leafs would like to trade the 25-year-old winger while some claim otherwise. He also wonders where William Nylander fits into all this. 

Regarding Marleau putting his house up for sale, Simmons said that decision was made months ago. He said Marleau was selling whether he stayed in Toronto next season or not. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons is correct when he calls this summer the biggest test of Dubas’ young career as an NHL GM. As per Cap Friendly, the Leafs have over $74 million tied up in 17 players. Marner is due for a big raise and could seek over $10 million annually. Johnsson and Kapanen could get affordable short-term bridge deals but each could ask for around $4 million annually. Gardiner could seek $6 million annually. Dubas must shed salary to free up room to address these issues.

Haven’t heard much about Brown in the Leafs recent rumor chatter. He has a year remaining on his contract with a $2.1 million cap hit. He’s due to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next July. 

Surprised Simmons didn’t mention anything about Nikita Zaitsev. The blueliner recently requested a trade and Dubas said he’ll try to accommodate him. He’s been linked to the Vancouver Canucks though that might not advance beyond the tire-kicking stage. Zaitsev carries an annual average value of $4.5 million through 2023-24. The length of his contract, not the cap hit, could be a sticking point.

Some Leafs fans believe Dubas should trade Nylander ($6.96-million AAV). He told Nylander last December that as long as he was around the winger wasn’t going anywhere. It wouldn’t be the first time a GM had to break a promise to a player. Will Dubas go that far? We’ll find out soon enough. 

HURRICANES

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reported the Carolina Hurricanes have reached out to Justin Faulk’s camp to see if he’s willing to sign a contract extension this summer. The 27-year-old defenseman is a year away from UFA eligibility. LeBrun speculates Faulk could have some interest. Depending on the offseason market, LeBrun feels the Hurricanes could keep their top right-shot blueliners (Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, and Brett Pesce). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For over two years, the Hurricanes were expected to move a defenseman for a forward. Faulk, Hamilton, and Pesce frequently surfaced in this season’s rumor mill. Given the Canes’ improvement this season, they might not tinker with their blueline. Perhaps they’ll use their cap room (over $28 million) to bring in someone via free agency. They could also target a cap-strapped club with depth in scoring forwards looking to shed salary. 

BLACKHAWKS

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks recently expressed interest in Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray. It doesn’t appear a deal will get done but Powers doesn’t rule out the possibility that changes in the coming weeks.

Murray, 26, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. Injuries are an issue. An upper-body injury limited him to 56 games this season and sidelined him from the postseason. Powers believes the asking price could be draft picks. 










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 9, 2019

Updates on Corey Perry, Milan Lucic, Matt Duchene and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM TSN’S LATEST “INSIDER TRADING”

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Anaheim Ducks could soon part ways with long-time winger Corey Perry via trade or contract buyout. Sources the Ducks and Perry are on the same page with this. He’s now 34, carries a hefty contract, and the Ducks are rebuilding with youth. They’re talking to several teams but could be forced to absorb part of his $8.625-million annual salary-cap hit through 2020-21.

The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly shopping veteran winger Corey Perry (Photo via NHL Images)

Perry has a full no-movement clause giving him control over potential trade destinations. If unable to move him, the Ducks could buy him out during the upcoming NHL contract buyout period from June 15 to 30. 

ORANGE COUNTRY REGISTER (via LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS): Elliott Teaford reports Ducks general manager Bob Murray declined to comment on LeBrun’s story. However, an NHL source confirmed the Ducks are shopping Perry. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry tallied just 10 points in 31 games following knee surgery this season. However, the decline in his performance was apparent before then.

After netting 82 points in 81 games in 2013-14 and 55 points in 67 games in 2014-15, Perry had seasons with 62, 55, and 49 points respectively. Cap Friendly indicates he’s due $8 million in actual salary for 2019-20 and $7 million ($3 million of that in a signing bonus) in 2020-21. The Ducks will have to absorb a portion of that cap hit and perhaps add a draft pick or prospect to make him palatable in the trade market. 

Darren Dreger weighed in on recent speculation that has the Edmonton Oilers sending Milan Lucic to the Vancouver Canucks for Loui Eriksson. He points out Eriksson played for Oilers coach Dave Tippett during their years with the Dallas Stars. Dreger said the Canucks see some value in Lucic’s size and physical play. To consider that type of swap, the Oilers would have to add some sort of sweetener to the deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve already gone over this so I won’t dwell on it too much. Fact is, this would be a swap of two overpaid players past their primes by teams eager to move them for whatever they can get. Given the declining performances of Lucic and Eriksson, it’s doubtful this move benefits either club. Both carry salary-cap hits of $6 million, though Eriksson’s is for three more years while Lucic’s is for four. 

Dreger also reports the Columbus Blue Jackets are continuing to hold discussions with Matt Duchene’s representatives. The 28-year-old center to slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He also claims the Arizona Coyotes are making Duchene their primary focus. LeBrun suggests Duchene could eye a deal similar to Jeff Skinner’s new contract  (eight years, $72 million) with the Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene is the best forward available in this summer’s free-agent market. He’s also been linked to the Nashville Predators, Montreal Canadiens, and his former club, the Ottawa Senators. Duchene’s completing a five-year, $30-million contract and will likely seek something comparable to Skinner’s deal with Buffalo. 

LeBrun also reports the Sabres, having re-signed Skinner, are looking for a second-line center and top-six winger via trade or free agency. He claims they’ve “kicked tires” on Minnesota Wild right wing Jason Zucker. Writing for The Athletic, LeBrun also wondered if the Nashville Predators might offer up Kyle Turris “at a rebate if that would also interest Buffalo?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every NHL fan knows Zucker is available. The Wild tried to deal him to the Calgary Flames at the February trade deadline but couldn’t get it completed in time. A recent attempt to ship him to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Phil Kessel was nixed by the latter. In both instances, the Wild were seeking a winger as part of the return. That suggests there might not be a fit with the Sabres.

As for Turris, his $6-million annual average value is a sticking point. If the Predators were to dangle him to the Sabres, they’ll have to pick up part of that cap hit or include a good young prospect or NHL-ready player in the deal. 

LeBrun reports the Los Angeles Kings are trying to find a trade partner to take defenseman Dion Phaneuf off their hands. Failing that, they could buy out the remaining two years of his contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf has two years left on his contract. The AAV is $7 million but the Kings carry $5.25 million. A buyout would count as over $2.9 million against the Kings cap payroll for 2019-20. It jumps to over $5.4 million in 2020-21 before falling to over $1.416 million annually over the final two years of the buyout. No wonder the Kings are trying to trade him. 










NHL Rumor Mill – June 8, 2019

Updates on the Oilers, Flames, Canucks and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

RECENT OILERS SPECULATION

ILTALEHTI: Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi said he intends on playing in the NHL. However, he admits his time with the Oilers could be short as trade rumors swirl. He’s resumed skating in Edmonton following recent hip surgery under the guidance of their skating coach. Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent on July 1 and is completing his entry-level contract. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: If the Oilers intend to trade Puljujarvi, Jim Matheson suggests packaging him to the Winnipeg Jets for winger Nikolaj Ehlers. He points out the Jets face a potential salary-cap crunch re-signing wingers Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor and defenseman Jacob Trouba. “(Offer) them Puljujarvi (Laine’s buddy), your second-round pick (38th overall) and defenceman Ethan Bear for Nik Ehlers,” suggests Matheson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have salary cap issues of their own this summer. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $73 million invested in 18 players next season. Unless general manager Ken Holland sheds salary, Matheson’s trade suggestion won’t leave much room to fill out the remainder of their roster. Besides, there’s no indication the Jets are considering an Ehlers trade at this time. 

Could the Calgary Flames attempt to trade James Neal? (Photo via NHL Images)

LATEST ON THE FLAMES

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported hearing the Oilers “kicked the tires” on Calgary Flames right wing James Neal. Friedman feels the Flames have two options with Neal. Either bring him back and hope he bounces back from this season’s sub-par performance or trade him and take another contract in return. 

Bob Stauffer asked Friedman if Oilers winger Milan Lucic would go to Calgary. He doesn’t see that happening and also doesn’t see Neal to Edmonton as a fit. He was asked about a possible three-way deal involving the Vancouver Canucks and Loui Eriksson. Under that scenario, Lucic goes to Vancouver, Eriksson to Calgary, and Neal to Edmonton. Friedman responded by saying he believed Neal isn’t as bad as he was this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt the Flames are considering their options with Neal. If the right deal came along they’ll act on it. A three-way swap that sends Neal to Edmonton and Eriksson to Calgary isn’t it. 

THE ATHLETIC: Kent Wilson points out the Flames’ need to free up salary-cap space to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, and two goaltenders. They must also restock their prospect cupboard.

He speculates Flames GM Brad Treliving could dangle a right-side defenseman like T.J. Brodie or Travis Hamonic. Potential trade partners could include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, and Philadelphia Flyers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have over $68.5 million committed to 19 players for 2019-20. Tkachuk’s new contract could eat up $9 million of their projected $14.4 million cap space. That won’t leave much for Bennett and two goalies.

Moving Neal’s $5.75-million annual salary-cap hit would address that issue. Failing that, Treliving could be forced to shop Brodie ($4.65 million, modified no-trade clause) or Hamonic ($3.875 million) to free up some room. 

LATEST CANUCKS CHATTER

VANCOUVER SUN: Patrick Johnston believes it’s a good idea for the Vancouver Canucks to pursue Jason Zucker. Recent rumors have the Canucks tabling several offers to the Minnesota Wild for the 27-year-old winger.

Johnston considers Zucker the type of scoring winger GM Jim Benning is looking for. If Wild GM Paul Fenton is looking to reshape his roster, Johnston suggested offering up two-way forward Jake Virtanen as part of the return. 

If the Toronto Maple Leafs let defenseman Jake Gardiner depart via free agency on July 1, Johnston thinks he could be a good addition to the Canucks’ blueline. However, he wonders if Gardiner will want to trade the fish-bowl existence of Toronto for that of Vancouver’s. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: if the Canucks can land Zucker by giving up Virtanen and a good prospect or draft pick, go for it. However, I doubt that’s the type of offer Fenton will accept, considering his original asking price was Brock Boeser. I agree Gardiner could be a good fit with the Canucks, but he could be looking at a less-stressful market for his next destination. 

 

 










NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2019

Updates on Jeff Skinner and Jack Roslovic, possible trade destinations for Kyle Turris, plus the latest on the Flyers and Stars in today’s NHL rumor mill.  

SKINNER AND SABRES CLOSE TO A DEAL?

Is it crunch time in contract talks between Jeff Skinner and the Buffalo Sabres? (Photo via NHL Images)

TSN’s Bob McKenzie took to Twitter yesterday with an update on contract talks between the Buffalo Sabres and left wing Jeff Skinner. “A week later than perhaps I expected, but it sounds like the Jeff Skinner contract negotiations are down to crunch time,” writes McKenzie. “My sense is he’ll either get a deal done in the next day or two or head off to UFA. If it gets done, I’d presume it to be 8 years at around $9M AAV.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both sides have expressed optimism over getting a deal done. Looks like we won’t have to wait much longer to find out if that optimism was justified. 

LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall speculates Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher might not be done in the off-season trade market. He recently acquired pending free agent forward Kevin Hayes from the Winnipeg Jets. Noting Fletcher’s desire to add a veteran defenseman, Hall suggests Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba and Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon as intriguing options. 

Trouba, 25, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and a year away from UFA eligibility. The 29-year-old Spurgeon is also slated to become a UFA next summer. His salary-cap hit is just over $5 million for 2019-20 and he has a modified no-trade clause. While serving as Wild GM, Fletcher signed Spurgeon to his current contract. 

Hall also noted Fletcher is willing to entertain offers for the Flyers’ first-round pick (11th overall) in the upcoming NHL Draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall points out there’s no indication the Flyers are pursuing Trouba or Spurgeon. Including that first-round pick in a package offer for either guy, however, could prove enticing to their current respective clubs. I daresay the Jets and Wild would also want one of the Flyers’ good young defensemen as part of the return. Of the two, Trouba is the most likely to be available in the off-season trade market. 

POTENTIAL DESTINATIONS FOR TURRIS

THE ATHLETIC: During a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked which teams could be realistic destinations for Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris. The Preds require a scoring forward but have limited cap space for 2019-20.

Turris is coming off a disappointing, injury-shortened campaign. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $6 million). Vingan suggests the Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators as possible options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All could use help at center and have the salary-cap space to absorb Turris’ annual average value. While he had a solid performance at this year’s World Championships, that might not be enough to entice one of those clubs to take on that full contract.

Vingan points out Predators GM David Poile has never retained salary in a trade before but might have to if he intends to move Turris. Otherwise, he could be forced to include a sweetener like a quality draft pick, a top prospect, or a promising youngster in the deal. 

ROSLOVIC’S FORMER AGENT DENIES TRADE REQUEST REPORT

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reports the former agent for Jets forward Jack Roslovic denied a report claiming his ex-client requested a trade at least once during this season. “Jack never once asked for a trade,” said Ken Robinson. He explained Roslovic was disappointed in his role earlier this season as a fourth-line center. Despite being recently fired by Roslovic, Robinson went on to praise his former client.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this year’s trade deadline, there was a rumor claiming the Jets didn’t want to part with Roslovic in their pursuit of Kevin Hayes. That should be a good indicator that they remain high on the 22-year-old’s potential. He’s a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract. I doubt the Jets intend to move him. 

POSSIBLE STARS BLUELINE TARGETS

SPORTSDAY: During a recent live chat, Matthew DeFranks was asked who he saw as potential free-agent targets to be the Dallas Stars’ fourth defenseman. He took into account the Stars’ salary-cap constraints and the potential of losing that defenseman in the 2021 expansion draft. DeFranks suggests Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi, Vegas’s Deryk Engelland, or perhaps Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, it’ll have to be an affordable veteran option signed to 2021. 










NHL Rumor Mill – June 6, 2019

The latest on Erik Karlsson, Jacob Trouba, Jeff Skinner, Jason Zucker and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

NO KARLSSON TO THE CANADIENS?

TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie said there’s absolutely nothing that indicates Erik Karlsson will sign with the Montreal Canadiens this summer. He was responding to an Ottawa Sun report claiming Karlsson hopes to get offers from the Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. The 28-year-old San Jose Sharks defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

Lavoie said several people close to Karlsson claim the Sun report didn’t hold water. The blueliner hasn’t yet informed the Sharks of his intentions. Even if he hits the open market, Lavoie said it won’t be down to the Senators and Canadiens. He points out the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning could become suitors. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sun report claimed Karlsson’s wife, an Ottawa native, wanted to return to the area or as close as possible. However, the Senators are rebuilding their roster with young players and seem to have moved on. The Canadiens need a left-side defenseman but could consider more affordable options than Karlsson. 

The cap-strapped Lightning must shed some salary to make room for Karlsson but they’ve also got to re-sign Brayden Point. Unless the rearguard is willing to accept a big pay cut, I doubt he’ll land in Tampa Bay. The Rangers have the cap space (over $19 million) to sign Karlsson but they could also target Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin. They can afford one but not both. 

UPDATES ON TROUBA AND MYERS

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe examined which clubs could make the best offer for Jacob Trouba. The 25-year-old Jets defenseman is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s also a year away from UFA eligibility. There’s speculation he could be traded before month’s end.

The Winnipeg Jets could set a high asking price for defenseman Jacob Trouba (Photo via NHL Images).

Wiebe lists the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and New Jersey Devils as possible trade partners. Targets for return from the Flyers include defensemen like Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim, winger Travis Konecny, or center Nolan Patrick. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has surfaced in trade rumors this spring. 

Possible targets from the Penguins could include a defenseman like Brian Dumoulin or Olli Maatta or center Nick Bjugstad. Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei or center Brett Howden could interest the Jets, as could Devils defenseman Damon Severson. Wiebe believes the Jets could also target a first-round pick from the Flyers, Sabres, Penguins, and Rangers. 

TSN: Should the Jets trade Trouba, Frank Seravalli reports general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will try to re-sign Tyler Myers. The 29-year-old blueliner is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Seravalli said there’s no shortage of teams with interest in Myers. The Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars could pursue him. He could earn over $6-million annually on the open market. The cap-strapped Jets could try to get him at a slight discount in exchange for an expanded role on a potential winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ asking price for Trouba could be a good young player and a first-round draft pick or two promising youngsters.  Landing a first-round pick means moving Trouba before the upcoming draft weekend (June 21-22) in Vancouver. I believe the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers could also get into the bidding. A Trouba trade could open the door to re-signing Myers but that also depends on the cost of re-signing Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. 

COULD THE AVALANCHE TARGET SKINNER OR PANARIN?

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers believes Jeff Skinner would be everything the Colorado Avalanche need. The 27-year-old Buffalo Sabres left wing is a four-time 30-goal scorer. Chambers feels Skinner would be a perfect fit on their second line or he could skate on the top line with Gabriel Landeskog moving down to the second. He also praised Skinner’s character and experience. 

Chambers also thinks it’s worthwhile for the Avalanche to look into signing Columbus winger Artemi Panarin. While the 27-year-old left winger is probably too expensive, Chambers doesn’t see the harm in trying. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres GM Jason Botterill remains confident of re-signing Skinner. If he hits the open market the Avs could consider calling him. However, they’ll have to get in line as he’ll attract lots of interest.

It doesn’t hurt to look into signing Panarin but I don’t think Colorado’s on his radar. Media speculation suggests he’d prefer signing with teams in Florida (Panthers), New York (Rangers or Islanders), California (Ducks or Kings) or returning to the Chicago Blackhawks. 

CANUCKS PURSUING ZUCKER?

MSN SPORTS: cites a report by Mike Halford of Vancouver’s TSN 1040 saying a source claims the Canucks have interest in Jason Zucker. He said there are several proposals on the table for the Minnesota Wild winger.

Zucker carries a $5.5-million annual cap hit through 2022-23. His modified no-trade clause kicks in on July 1. The Canucks have plenty of cap room to absorb his contract, as well as some promising young players to tempt the Wild. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild reportedly offered up Zucker for winger Brock Boeser but the Canucks rejected it. Boeser, 23, is a restricted free agent. Unless he’s seeking far more than the Canucks are willing to pay, I don’t believe they’ll part with him. Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and promising blueliner Quinn Hughes are also untouchable. Beyond them, I’m not sure the Canucks have sufficient assets to offer up for Zucker. 

LATEST ON PULJUJARVI

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Markus Lehto, who represents Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi, denied a rumor claiming his client signed with KHL team Jokerit. “Totally inaccurate,” said Lehto.

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cited TSN’s Darren Dreger saying league sources believe Puljujarvi remains a strong trade option for the Oilers.