NHL Rumor Mill – February 6, 2021
The latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Brock Boeser and Phillip Danault plus an update on Sam Bennett in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently noted the strong play this season of Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau and Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser has silenced the trade chatter that arose about the two during the offseason.
Fox pointed out the Gaudreau speculation seems to stem from the notion the Flames might need to make major changes if they are to stop coming up short in the playoffs. The Boeser conjecture arose from the Canucks’ limited salary-cap space in the offseason.
The rumors also came about because of where the two players are from. Boeser is a Minnesota native which seemingly makes him a great fit with the Wild. Gaudreau gets linked to the Devils because he grew up in New Jersey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau always seemed more likely to be moved last year than Boeser because he’s a year away from UFA status and there’s a feeling of uncertainty over whether his future remains in Calgary.
Boeser, on the other hand, becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of next season. With Cap Friendly indicating the Canucks have just over $27 million invested in five players for 2022-23, they have a good chance of re-signing Boeser to a big raise.
That cap space, however, will shrink substantially once Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko are re-signed this summer. Still, there should be enough to keep Boeser in the fold.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Phillip Danault still hopes to complete his career with the Canadiens. The 27-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Questions have been raised over Danault’s future in Montreal with the rise of young center Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. There are reports claiming he rejected a six-year, $30 million contract offer from the Canadiens during the offseason.
Danault has declined to discuss his contract status but it could be weighing on him. Cowan points out he’s one of only two Canadiens yet to score a goal this season, though he does have five assists.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cowen also suggests Danault’s stats could be affected by the ice time he’s getting thus far. Nevertheless, his future with the Canadiens will remain an open question throughout the season. There’s little fear he’ll be traded if the Habs continue playing as well as they have but it still could come up before the April 12 trade deadline.
THE JOURNAL NEWS: Vincent Z. Mercogliano reports sources confirmed to the USA TODAY Network the New York Rangers are interested in Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett. Of course, it depends upon the Flames’ asking price.
Mercogliano notes recent reports suggesting the Flames had an interest in Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo. However, he points out a one-for-one swap isn’t possible because DeAngelo’s cap hit ($4.8 million) is higher than Bennett’s $2.55 million. The Flames lack sufficient cap space to take on those extra dollars.
The Rangers aren’t willing to absorb half of DeAngelo’s cap hit but it’s less certain if they’ll pick up 25 percent. Mercogliano suggests the cheaper option for the Rangers is to keep DeAngelo on the taxi squad and buy him out at season’s end.
Not quite but thanks for playing. https://t.co/3n4XyknWzz
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) February 5, 2021