NHL Rumor Mill – January 10, 2022
Should the Flames or Islanders consider signing Evander Kane? Should the Oilers try to acquire Canadiens winger Josh Anderson? Which defensemen could the Panthers target? Will the Penguins go shopping at the trade deadline? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SHOULD THE FLAMES OR ISLANDERS SIGN EVANDER KANE?
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane wonders whether the Calgary Flames should consider signing San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane after he cleared unconditional waivers yesterday. He acknowledged the 30-year-old winger’s well-documented personal baggage and reputation as a bothersome teammate but observed he’s a proven point producer who could be an affordable free-agent signing.
Macfarlane suggested the Flames should at least consider that option given their need to add another scoring forward. He felt general manager Brad Treliving should poll his players to determine if they’d be open to adding Kane to their roster. He also felt head coach Darryl Sutter might be able to handle the talented-but-troublesome winger.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner also examined whether the New York Islanders should bring in Kane to provide a boost to their sagging offense. He believes they should avoid him at all cost given Kane has proven to be untrustworthy and disdainful of rules, something that wouldn’t be tolerated under general manager Lou Lamoriello.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks can terminate Kane’s contract without penalty for breach of contract owing to the winger allegedly violating AHL COVID protocols and failing to report back to their AHL affiliate on time. However, the NHLPA is expected to file a grievance perhaps as early as today. It could take several weeks for an arbiter to determine the outcome.
Despite Kane’s reputation as a bad teammate and his off-ice issues, there are reportedly teams that could be willing to sign him to an affordable short-term contract if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. However, I doubt you’ll see his agent receive any formal offers until his grievance has been settled.
SHOULD THE OILERS TARGET JOSH ANDERSON?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wondered if the Oilers should attempt to pry away Josh Anderson from the floundering Montreal Canadiens. He pointed out they lack a “power forward, mean-streak type in their top six.”
Anderson is currently sidelined with an upper-body injury but the 27-year-old winger is expected back early next month. He’s in the second year of a seven-year deal with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million and carries an eight-team no-trade list. Matheson wondered if the Habs would be interested in an offer of a 2022 first-round pick, prospect Xavier Bourgault and “something else.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know what plans Canadiens hockey ops VP Jeff Gorton and whoever he hires as a general manager has in store for their club before the trade deadline. They are expected to shop pending unrestricted free agents like Ben Chiarot but they could entertain offers for players under contract beyond this season such as Anderson.
It probably wouldn’t hurt for the Oilers to contact the Canadiens about Anderson. However, he can’t address their pressing need to reduce their goals-against. Right now, the Oilers need a reliable starting goaltender. They shouldn’t be wasting their tradeable assets on a power forward.
LATEST ON THE PANTHERS AND PENGUINS
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards reports the Panthers are in “go-for-it” mode this season and will be buyers at the March 21 NHL trade deadline. The main focus will be on bolstering the blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Richards isn’t confident that the Panthers have sufficient trade capital to win a bidding war for Chyrchrun. He also suggested their limited salary-cap space could make it difficult to acquire Giordano or Leddy.
Klingberg could be affordable in cap hit and return but there’s no certainty the Stars will move him if they’re in playoff contention by the trade deadline. That leaves Chiarot, who has been linked to the Panthers by other NHL insiders.
The Canadiens’ asking price for Chiarot could be a first-round pick, but Panthers GM Bill Zito could be willing to pay that much for a rental shutdown defenseman with playoff experience. His $3.5 million cap hit could also be squeezed into their cap space if they move out another player or convince the Canadiens to absorb half of his cap hit.
NHL.COM: Dave McCarthy reports Pittsburgh Penguins team president Brian Burke is impressed by his club’s recent success this season. He also admitted that it will be difficult for his club to make any significant additions before the trade deadline.
Burke said his club will still be looking in the trade market but their limited salary-cap space will make it tough to swing a major deal. He’s also reluctant to continue borrowing against the team’s future to address present needs. He felt they must stop the trend where they give up a lot for a 20 percent chance of winning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins really don’t have much choice. They’re playing well now but they have an aging core of talent such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang who will soon have to be replaced. Gutting their future for a quick fix will only make the inevitable rebuild much longer and more painful.