NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2022
The latest on the Ducks’ efforts to re-sign three key free agents plus updates on the Canucks and Flyers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WILL THE DUCKS TRADE OR SIGN LINDHOLM, MANSON & RAKELL?
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Anaheim Ducks new general manager Pat Verbeek intends to sign Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell to new contracts or he will move them before the March 21 trade deadline.
“At the end of the day, there’s no guarantee I can get those three free agents back,” said Verbeek. “I’m going to attempt to sign them, if it doesn’t happen, I can’t just let them walk out the door free.”
Verbeek has reportedly started contract talks with Lindholm last week. There’s no word of discussions yet with Manson or Rakell.
LeBrun’s colleague Eric Stephens considers Lindholm a player the Ducks would prefer not to move but might have to if they can’t get him signed to an extension. He believes they’re willing to listen on Manson and Rakell. Stephens also suggested Max Comtois might benefit from a change of scenery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Lindholm would draw the most interest in the trade market. Former GM Bob Murray listened to offers on Rakell last season but ultimately retained him. Manson remains week-to-week with an injured finger and might not be back before the trade deadline.
UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS
CHEK TV: Appearing on the “Donnie and Dhali” show on Monday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Vancouver Canucks have thrown almost every player’s name out there except for Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Thatcher Demko to gauge their worth if they became available. However, they’re still in the playoff chase and don’t have to make any decisions by the trade deadline with players like J.T. Miller under contract for next season and Brock Boeser a restricted free agent this summer.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers got a good look at Miller during their 5-2 loss to the Canucks on Sunday with Miller setting up the Canucks’ first two goals. Brooks believes he’d be a great fit on the Rangers but the asking price and the lack of pressure on the Canucks to trade him would make Miller an expensive acquisition for the Blueshirts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks management could be more willing to entertain offers for players such as Miller if they tumble out of contention over the next three weeks leading up to March 21. Nevertheless, they can afford to wait until the offseason if they don’t get any offers to their liking.
COULD THE FLYERS SHOP RISTOLAINEN OR BRASSARD?
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating Rasmus Ristolainen could get moved. The 27-year-old Philadelphia Flyers defenseman has never played in the postseason in his NHL career and Friedman thinks his physical style is best-suited to playoff hockey. Murphy wonders if Ristolainen would be a good fit with the Bruins, citing rumors claiming general manager Don Sweeney was interested in the blueliner before he was traded to the Flyers by the Buffalo Sabres.