NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2021
Analysis of TSN’s first Trade Bait Board of 2021-22 in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A pending unrestricted free agent, Chiarot has frequently surfaced in trade speculation while the Canadiens flounder in the standings. Some observers believe the 30-year-old blueliner could fetch a first-round pick. The Habs aren’t believed to be shopping him but that could happen closer to the March 21 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Ben Bishop inching closer to returning to action, Khudobin is seen as the odd man out in the Stars’ crowded crease. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported last Saturday the Stars talked to the Buffalo Sabres about the 35-year-old netminder. However, their recent acquisition of Malcolm Subban and call-up of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen probably take them out of the trade market for now.
DeBrusk recently requested a trade from the Bruins. Marek’s colleague Elliotte Friedman indicated they’re seeking a defenseman or forward of equal value in return. He also said they’re not in a hurry to move him right now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Chiarot, Giordano and Hertl are slated to become unrestricted free agents in July. Naming Giordano their captain suggests the Kraken hope to keep him beyond this season. Hertl’s future with the Sharks remains uncertain given how many expensive veterans are already on their roster. Nevertheless, they’re unlikely to part with him this season as long as they remain in playoff contention.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leddy is also due to become a UFA next summer. The Wings, however, are off to a good start and are jockeying for a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. They could retain Leddy for the rest of the season if they remain in playoff contention.
Kravtsov refused to accept a demotion to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate and returned to Russia in October to await a trade. He is on loan to KHL team Chelyabinsk and cannot return to the NHL this season until the KHL season is completed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fiala, 25, is on a one-year, $5.1 million contract for this season. He becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. A gifted but streaky scorer, he popped up recently in trade speculation linking the Wild to the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently dismissed the notion of Wild general manager Bill Guerin shopping Fiala just because he’s in a scoring slump, especially while his club is leading their division. That seems even less likely with the Wild now atop the Western Conference.
Reports out of Arizona earlier this season indicated Kessel would prefer a trade and the Coyotes would like to move him. Finding a suitable trade destination, however, will take time. While he’s earning $1 million this season in actual salary, his $6.8 million cap hit is difficult to move at this point in the season.
Kane’s turbulent year has been well-documented. There was a recent report claiming an Eastern Conference club was interested in the 30-year-old winger while the Sharks are believed trying to trade him. Still, his off-ice issues and $7 million cap hit through 2024-25 are significant stumbling blocks that could prove too big to overcome during the regular season.