NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2022
LATEST ON EVANDER KANE
THE ATHLETIC’s Joe Smith tweeted yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning considered signing Evander Kane but decided on Tuesday to pull out of the running. In his latest Lightning column, Smith reported general manager Julien BriseBois didn’t elaborate but said in general it’s a club’s job to conduct due diligence on a player to determine if he’s the right fit.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports we shouldn’t expect to sign Kane suiting up with the Bruins anytime soon. Sources say at most the club made an inquiry but Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said general manager Don Sweeney hasn’t consulted him about signing the former San Jose Sharks winger.
TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos believes the Edmonton Oilers’ interest in Kane is a sign of GM Ken Holland’s desperation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning are riding high in the standings with very strong roster chemistry among their players. The Bruins are surging of late and also possess a solid roster core. Neither club has a dire need for a power forward, especially one with Kane’s well-documented issues.
Meanwhile, the Oilers are free-falling in the standings leaving Holland willing to consider any option that might reverse that skid. I don’t know if he’s feeling any heat from his bosses. However, the bloom is definitely off the rose for Oilers fans upset over his stewardship of their club over the past couple of seasons.
UPDATE ON KLINGBERG
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently examined whether Evander Kane or Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg would be good fits with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He rules out the former Sharks winger given the Leafs’ limited salary-cap space and the possibility of Kane disrupting a tightly-bonded dressing room.
Klingberg, on the other hand, is a more intriguing possibility. Should the Stars shop him, it might be worth the Leafs’ while if they can accrue sufficient cap space by the trade deadline. He pointed out GM Kyle Dubas’ willingness to spend big and get creative to secure a trade target.
Fox suspects the Stars asking price could be a first-round pick plus much more. He envisions the Leafs pursuing a more affordable stay-at-home option for their blueline.
Rory Boylen, meanwhile, examined what it could cost a club to acquire Klingberg and the cost of a contract extension. He suggested a first-round pick and a top prospect plus more if Klingberg’s agent can work out a contract extension with an acquiring team. Boylen pointed out the Klingberg camp seeks an eight-year extension with the Stars worth an annual average value of $7.875 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think we can rule out the Leafs as a destination for Klingberg. Cap Friendly indicates they’re already pressed for cap space and they might not be able to come up with enough accrued cap space by the trade deadline to take on his current contract. With a projected $76 million invested in 15 players for 2022-23 and Jack Campbell and Rasmus Sandin among their notable free agents, they can’t afford to sign Klingberg.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said he doesn’t see his club being aggressive in the trade market leading up to the March 21 trade deadline or in this summer’s free-agent market. His decisions regarding the trade deadline will depend on where his club sits in the standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings improved play this season has sparked some conjecture over whether Yzerman will attempt to shore up his roster at the trade deadline to help them secure a playoff spot. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility if they’re holding a postseason berth by March 21. Yzerman has also shown he’s unafraid to make bold trades, shipping Anthony Mantha to Washington at last year’s deadline and acquiring Alex Nedeljkovic last summer from Carolina.