NHL Rumor Mill – February 16, 2022
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reported the Vegas Golden Knights expressed an interest in a reunion with Marc-Andre Fleury, who was shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks last summer. Sources claim Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner has a torn labrum in a shoulder that will eventually require surgery, forcing the Golden Knights to shop around for a netminder.
THE SCORE: cites Las Vegas Review-Journal’s David Schoen reporting Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon denied he was looking at bringing back Fleury. “There is absolutely no credence to that rumor at all,” said McCrimmon. “I wouldn’t normally speak on such things, but there will be so much racket about this, it’s important to let people know that’s not going to happen.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For a couple of hours there yesterday, the notion of Fleury returning to the Golden Knights created considerable buzz in the rumor mill. McCrimmon stepped on that speculation pretty hard so that should be the end of it.
If Lehner is hurt, however, he could be forced to seek some help between the pipes. The options are limited. Seravalli reported the Golden Knights expressed interest in New York Rangers backup Alexandar Georgiev, but I think the Blueshirts will keep him around as insurance for the remainder of this season.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports there haven’t been a lot of serious trade discussions yet on Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux because there’s still lots of time before the March 21 trade deadline to work out a deal. Giroux’s agent, Pat Brisson, had permission to speak with other clubs and compile a shortlist of destinations for Giroux (if he’s willing to be traded) within the next several weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brisson may already be canvassing clubs. Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater claimed Giroux’s preferences were the Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli also indicated the Blues could be a suitor.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes to keep an eye on the Florida Panthers regarding Giroux. “No guarantees, but it makes a lot of sense for everyone involved.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports out of Florida have claimed the Panthers are in the market for a top-four defenseman such as Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun and Dallas’ John Klingberg. If that remains the case, I wouldn’t expect them to get into the bidding for Giroux.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens discussed doing a larger deal that would’ve included Ben Chiarot going to Calgary before the two sides swung Monday’s deal that saw Tyler Toffoli head to Calgary. However, it got a “little rich” for the Flames. Dreger believes the Canadiens will seek a first-round pick for the 30-year-old defenseman.
Pierre LeBrun believes the Canadiens could trade Chiarot within the next seven-to-10 days. The blueliner is currently sidelined for a week with a minor injury and the Habs could try to unload him rather than risk him getting hurt again. The Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues are among the suitors and the Flames could circle back. LeBrun believes the Canadiens could get a first-rounder plus another asset.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes Chiarot’s injury won’t scare off the interest in him but could accelerate the Canadiens’ plans to move him. He also included the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings among the interested parties.
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports the asking price for Chiarot is believed similar to last year’s David Savard deal (a first and a third). He also said the Rangers had shown some interest in Canadiens winger Artturi Lehkonen. Staple speculates the asking price could be a first-rounder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens fans should temper their expectations about what their club could get for Chiarot and Lehkonen. There’s been so much speculation Chiarot could get at least a first-rounder that Habs fans could end up very disappointed if the return is less than that.
Habs management will deserve praise if they can get a first and a third. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if it’s a second-rounder and a prospect if they feel the urge to move him sooner rather than later.
MORE RUMOR TIDBITS FROM TSN’S INSIDERS AND FRIEDMAN’S “32 THOUGHTS”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their biggest need is between the pipes but (as previously mentioned) suitable trade options are limited. If they can’t land Fleury (who may have nixed a trade to Washington) they might have to address other issues and hope for the best with their goaltending for the remainder of the season.
Friedman mentioned his earlier report of the Leafs trying to trade Nick Ritchie and how important contract term is for San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl. He’s also heard Arizona Coyotes center Johan Larsson and forward Christian Fischer being out there in the rumor mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports Buffalo Sabres defensemen Robert Hagg and Colin Miller and center Cody Eakin could draw interest in the trade market. All three are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer.