NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2021
BOESER, HORVAT POP UP IN CANUCKS RUMORS
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser topped Jimmy Murphy’s recent list of popular names floating in the NHL rumor mill. He said Boeser was rumored to be available around the time of this summer’s draft and free-agent period.
Other forwards believed available are the New York Rangers’ Ryan Strome and the Arizona Coyotes’ Phil Kessel. Defensemen include the Buffalo Sabres’ Will Butcher, the Los Angeles Kings’ Olli Maatta and the Vegas Golden Knights’ Brayden McNabb.
THE ATHLETIC’s Rick Dhaliwal recently reported on Sportsnet 650 that the Canucks are fielding plenty of trade calls, with the bulk of those focused on center Bo Horvat. The 26-year-old Canucks captain is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023 and lacks no-trade protection. Dhaliwal doesn’t see Horvat sticking around if the Canucks start rebuilding.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: First it was the Wild reportedly calling about J.T. Miller, then Boeser and now Horvat. Before long we’ll probably hear rumors of clubs calling about Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko. That’s the way it is when a team is struggling like the Canucks. As one pundit put it, the vultures start circling hoping to steal away a good player.
The uncertainty surrounding the Canucks right now also stirs up the rumors. Everyone’s anticipating a change of management or a new coach or perhaps a trade involving a core player. The longer the losing goes on and the more the Canucks sink in the standings the more the pressure and anticipation ratchet up.
SHOULD THE AVALANCHE ACQUIRE EVANDER KANE?
Dater acknowledged Kane’s serious personal baggage and the risks involved. However, he also pointed out that big, physical 20-goal scorers aren’t easy to find. Given his $7 million cap hit, it would make more sense to acquire him via trade as the Sharks are reportedly willing to retain half of his annual average value.
THE ATHLETIC’s Rick Dhaliwal yesterday reported the Sharks are working on trading Kane and are willing to absorb half of the winger’s salary to facilitate a deal. He also indicated Kane’s agent is reaching out to teams, including the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche maxed out for cap space. Assuming general manager Joe Sakic was interested in Kane (which I doubt), the deal would have to be dollar-for-dollar. Otherwise, a third team would have to get involved to help the Avs shed sufficient salary, or Sakic would have to make a separate cost-cutting move.
I really don’t see the Canucks getting involved in Kane. They’ve got enough problems without adding a PR nightmare into the mix.
The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reported Saturday there was an Eastern Conference club quite interested in Kane. We’ll find out soon enough if there’s a deal to be made there.