NHL Rumor Mill – February 22, 2022
LATEST ON GARLAND AND CLUTTERBUCK
NESN.COM: Mike Cole suggests the Boston Bruins should consider acquiring local boy Conor Garland from the Vancouver Canucks. The Bruins attempted to land the energetic 25-year-old winger from the Arizona Coyotes before they shipped him last summer to the Canucks, who inked the two-way forward to a five-year extension worth an annual average value of just under $5 million.
Cole feels Garland could improve the Bruins’ five-on-five scoring (23rd overall) and points out some pundits believe the winger could garner lots of interest in the trade market. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils in a report three weeks ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As always with the Bruins, it comes down to whether they have sufficient assets to outbid other clubs for Garland if he’s available before the March 21 trade deadline. The Flames’ acquisition last week of Tyler Toffoli takes them out of the market. However, the Rangers and Devils have plenty of cap space and depth in promising young players and prospects to make competitive offers. The Bruins could offer up Jake DeBrusk but I don’t think the Canucks would be interested having shown none thus far since his trade request in late November.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner noted Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic took in Sunday’s game between the Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. A league source believes he was scouting Isles forward Cal Clutterbuck.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Clutterbuck would be a good addition to the Rangers’ bottom-six forwards. However, he doubts Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello would make a deal with his club’s long-time rival, pointing out he never made a trade with the Blueshirts during his 28 years as GM of the Devils nor has he made one with them since joining the Isles four years ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clutterbuck has value among playoff contenders seeking a gritty checking-line forward. It remains to be seen if he ends up with the Avalanche given their supposed interest in Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. I agree with Brooks that Lamoriello shipping Clutterbuck to the Rangers is probably fantasy.
ANALYSIS OF DAILY FACEOFF’S UPDATED TRADE TARGETS LIST
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli added Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, Dallas Stars goaltender Braden Holtby, Ottawa Senators goalie Anton Forsberg and Chicago Blackhawks center Ryan Carpenter to his trade targets list.
Olofsson, 26, debuts at No. 12. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer, which could prompt the Sabres to move him. Holtby (No. 15) is an unrestricted free agent this summer carrying an affordable $2 million cap hit. With Jake Oettinger getting more starts, Seravalli suggests the Stars could shop Holtby and recalled Anton Khudobin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Olofsson’s production has declined since his 20-goal, 42-point debut in 52 games in 2019-20. It wouldn’t be surprising if the rebuilding Sabres shipped him to a playoff contender willing to gamble on him regaining his form with a deeper roster.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun believes Stars general manager Jim Nill could wait until the final couple of games leading up to the March 21 trade deadline to decide if he’s a buyer or seller. I believe he’ll be the latter if the Stars fall out of contention by then, which could see them peddle their pending UFAs like Holtby, John Klingberg and perhaps Joe Pavelski.
Seravalli speculates the Senators could shop Forsberg (No. 17 on the list) if they feel comfortable with Matt Murray as their starter going forward. The 29-year-old Forsberg is slated to become a UFA this summer. Carpenter (No. 20) is a 31-year-old hardworking defensive forward who’s also UFA-eligible this summer. Seravalli wonders if he might be a fit with the New York Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch speculates teams could inquire about Forsberg. He mentioned the Edmonton Oilers’ well-documented goaltending issues but suggests they might want a netminder with more of a pedigree.
As for Carpenter and the Rangers, their need seems to be for a scoring right winger. Still, they have considerable cap space if they wish to make a depth addition to their checking lines.