Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 16, 2022
LATEST ON JOHN KLINGBERG AND EVANDER KANE
SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports the Dallas Stars are stepping up efforts to move John Klingberg before the March 21 trade deadline. This comes a week after the 29-year-old defenseman expressed his frustration over his stalled contract extension talks with Stars management. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Marek believes Klingberg is going to get traded. “Hard to exactly when, but Dallas does seem aggressive in wanting to get something done soonish,” he said. Klingberg’s ice time has been declining over the past five games. He carries a $4.25 million cap hit for this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believed the Stars would be reluctant to part with Klingberg as long as they remained in the playoff chase. That no longer seems to be the case.
With 38 points, the Stars are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. They possess one of the worst road records (4-12-1) in the league this season, including losing their last seven away from home.
A shakeup could be coming to the Stars if their fortunes don’t change soon. Klingberg lacks no-trade protection and his affordable cap hit would make him an enticing rental player for postseason contenders like the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings or Nashville Predators.
Elliotte Friedman reports there are a couple of teams hoping for “clarity” on whether Evander Kane will face any further penalty for allegedly crossing the border from the United States into Canada on Dec. 29.
The 30-year-old winger was with the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate at the time. He tested positive for COVID-19 and then flew to Vancouver on Dec. 29, when he would’ve still been in the AHL’s 10-day COVID protocol. The NHL and the Canadian Border Services are investigating but there’s no timetable when the investigation will conclude.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland acknowledged speaking to Kane’s agent last week. One report suggested the Oilers could already have him signed to a one-year, prorated deal but there’s been no confirmation of this. The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers are also said to be interested in the former Sharks forward.
PROPOSED GOALTENDING OPTIONS FOR THE CAPITALS
THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir recently observed the inconsistency of goaltenders Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov could be a concern for the Washington Capitals. He speculated GM Brian MacLellan could trade for an upgrade if they don’t improve in the coming weeks.
Three options who’ve won Stanley Cups are the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury, the Dallas Stars Braden Holtby (who won with the Capitals in 2018) and the Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick.
Fleury would make the most sense given his solid play behind a lousy Blackhawks club. However, he has a 10-team no-trade clause. The Blackhawks could be in the market for futures in return.
Holtby would be a sentimental favorite whose performance has improved this season with the Stars. However, there’s no certainty they’ll part with him. Meanwhile, Quick is enjoying a resurgence in his play while the Kings are in the midst of the Western Conference playoff chase.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If any of those goalies were available the struggling Edmonton Oilers would be all over them given their weakness between the pipes. Perhaps one of them hits the trade block before the March 21 trade deadline but the Capitals could be stuck with their current tandem for the remainder of this season.