Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 30, 2022
CANUCKS FORWARDS ARE DRAWING INTEREST
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford is getting down to business talking about potential trades with the rest of the league after getting his management team in place last week. While there’s been a lot of rumors about J.T. Miller, Friedman believes they have a number of forwards (excluding Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat) that they’re willing to discuss with other teams. Winger Conor Garland could be among them.
Teams linked to the Canucks in the rumor mill include the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. Friedman believes the New Jersey Devils could be in there as well with an interest in players with term remaining on their contracts.
THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston weighed in on Friedman’s report, suggesting the Devils have a pair of defensemen in Ty Smith and Damon Severson who might interest the Canucks. He noted Rutherford has made it clear he’s going to be making changes, and earlier this month said he was looking for younger players and draft picks. The Canucks president is also looking for more salary-cap flexibility.
THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal observed it’s not unusual for trade talk to pick up when a new regime takes over a club that is eager to make changes. He believes it makes sense for the Canucks to shop some of their wingers but he’s not sure Garland would be on his list as he’s still fairly young and on a good contract. However, he wondered if Rutherford would rate the 25-year-old winger as highly as the previous management.
Dayal believes trading Garland would also cast the club’s offseason blockbuster move with Arizona in a harsh light. Garland won’t fetch the top-10 pick the Canucks gave up in that deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on the Canucks leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. Rutherford and his staff are going to listen to offers but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make a series of trades before deadline day. They could move Garland, Miller or other wingers if they get solid offers but they could also hang onto them and perhaps see what the offseason market looks like.
LATEST ON MRAZEK, MANSON AND TIPPETT
SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek said there’s been speculation around the league over the future of Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek given the Vezina-type season being enjoyed by starter Jack Campbell. The Leafs haven’t initiated any discussion about Mrazek but there have been teams interested in him. Any decisions about their goaltenders will be summer decisions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Leafs management is waiting to see how contract negotiations go with Campbell, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is due for a significant pay raise. Mrazek, meanwhile, is signed through 2023-24 with an affordable $3.8 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade list.
Elliotte Friedman said it’ll be interesting to see how long Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson will be sidelined. He’s a UFA this summer and the Leafs are believed among the clubs with an interest in the 28-year-old Ducks blueliner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Manson’s fate also depends on where the Ducks are in the standings as the March 21 trade deadline approaches. They’re currently second in the Pacific Division and I don’t see them becoming sellers if they’re still in that position on deadline day.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are believed in the market for a top-four defenseman. They’ve been linked to the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg. A promising young player like Tippett would have to be part of the package to land either guy.