NHL Rumor Mill – March 10, 2022
Check out the latest on players such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Claude Giroux, Hampus Lindholm and Reilly Smith plus updates on the Canadiens and Penguins in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST ON FLEURY, GIROUX, LINDHOLM AND REILLY SMITH
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying he believes the Capitals remain interested in Marc-Andre Fleury. He doesn’t consider it impossible that they pursue the 37-year-old Chicago Blackhawks goaltender,
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether Fleury wants to go to Washington is another matter. Friedman also said yesterday they’re among four-or-five clubs really interested in the veteran netminder but he’s not convinced Fleury is mentally in the right spot to join the Capitals. That’s based on his many years playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi recently mused over whether Flyers captain Claude Giroux might reunite with former Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette with the Capitals. Carchidi observed the Flyers have been scouting the Capitals and their AHL affiliate in Hershey, starting speculation linking Giroux to the Caps. He also suggested the Capitals could be scouting Flyers defensemen Justin Braun and Rasmus Ristolainen, forwards James van Riemsdyk and Derick Brassard or goalie Martin Jones.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Capitals’ limited cap space, they could’ve been checking out the more affordable options on the Flyers roster. Giroux’s been linked mostly with the Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues.
SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston listed the Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers as possible trade destinations for Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs, Blues and Panthers have a need for a top-four left-side defenseman. The Rangers’ focus seems to be more on adding a top-six right wing. The Ducks are reportedly attempting to sign the 28-year-old Lindholm to a contract extension but are expected to shop him if an agreement on a new deal isn’t reached by the March 21 trade deadline.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks still believes Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith makes the most sense as a playoff rental option for the Rangers. The Golden Knights might still have to shop him before the trade deadline if there’s a chance winger Mark Stone and his $9.5 million cap hit come off long-term injury reserve before the end of the regular season.
UPDATES ON THE CANADIENS AND PENGUINS
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Artturi Lehkonen could be drawing lots of interest in the trade market as his stock keeps rising. The 26-year-old Canadiens winger is a restricted free agent this summer. Habs general manager Kent Hughes said he’s not trying to trade Lehkonen but Cowan reminds us he said the same thing last month about Tyler Toffoli, who was eventually traded to the Calgary Flames.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites a trusted NHL source claiming the Canadiens are being scouted by the Carolina Hurricanes, prompting speculation they could be looking at a blueliner such as Jeff Petry or Ben Chiarot. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell recently noted he’s down a couple of defensemen due to injury, hinting that would be the area of his roster he might address if the deadline were today. He also cautioned a lot can happen between now and March 21.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehkonen is only a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. I think the Canadiens will trade him if he’s only interested in a one- or two-year deal.
The 34-year-old Petry’s age and $6.25 million annual cap hit over the next three seasons could be stumbling blocks in the path toward a trade. Chiarot is younger (30), carries a more affordable $3.5 million cap hit and is slated to become a UFA this summer.
If the Hurricanes are scouting those two I think Chiarot’s the more likely to move. They aren’t the only club interested in his services as the Blues have also been linked to him.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Mike DeFabo recently reported Brian Burke, the Penguins’ president of hockey operations, doesn’t expect his club to make a splash at this year’s trade deadline. “We’re capped out,” he said. “I can’t imagine we’re going to do some big or noisy at the deadline.”
Burke ruled out moving out a high-priced player such as Jason Zucker, Mike Matheson or Marcus Pettersson in a cost-cutting move, stressing the importance of those players to their lineup.
Matt Vensel, however, wondered what the future holds for Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen after he was benched during Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers. He’s been struggling to score this season despite getting opportunities alongside Evgeni Malkin when the latter returned from injury.
Vensel suggests Kapanen could be the one to watch if the Penguins attempt a player-for-player deal at the deadline to add a middle-six forward. He carries a $3.2 million cap hit this season and is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports the Penguins broached the idea of acquiring winger Brock Boeser from the Vancouver Canucks. However, there haven’t been any serious discussions and none are expected before the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A player-for-player swap is a possibility. However, I don’t think Kapanen will bring in a player who’ll help improve the Penguins’ middle-six depth. It could be a case of swapping him out for a guy struggling with another club and hoping for the best.
As for Boeser, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek believes he’ll likely go to a team that can afford his $7.5 million qualifying offer. He suggested the Capitals (??) and Los Angeles Kings as possible suitors.
A couple of months ago I was gung ho on trading Lehkonen. With both he and the team playing better, I wouldn’t trade him now. The Habs still have some control over him for another year. No rush to trade him now. After the season they should try to sign him to a reasonable longer term deal. He can be part of the solution going forward. If talks don’t work out they can trade him during the off-season.
It will be interesting to see how Montreal handles the next 3-4 months.
Sitting at 78+ million in Cap for next season, they will be able to spend up to roughly 90 million this off season. However they also have several RFA’s and those QO’s will, at a minimum eat up roughly 4-5 million of that Cap space. I also find it interesting that Price has started back with the on ice workouts, and Shea Weber has been hanging out as several practices lately.
Any player can be traded for the right price, Hurricanes are willing to move whom or Lehkonen or Chiarot?
I doubt it but these are the names that the pundits need to put forward
How about Kotkaniemi for Lehkonen or Chiarot? LOL
Carolina would be like a divisional rival – they would have to pay more than market to get a deal done with MTL. Their Junior High B.S. after the KK deal was embarrassing. Taking the low road never works out.
Trocheck is UFA at the end of the season and no use to the Habs. Plus he’s a useful player for the playoffs.
I would try to get Seth Jarvis if I was Mtl.
a) I think KK will be a UFA
b) Trocheck is UFA but so is Chiarot
c)Necas plays centre
d) its irrelevant until pundits name the dance partners
Hi Howard – Lehkonen, like Armia are enigmas (they sort of remind me of Lars Eller in that they show flashes of promise and then nothing). There are times (like in last years playoffs) when they play real well and then there are times when they are invisible (like Armia this year). I think Lehkonen has value as a 3rd/4th line hard working checker but this recent blip in scoring is unlikely to repeat itself. So if he agrees to a 3-5 yr deal at around 3 million per I’d keep him- otherwise if I could get a good prospect or 1st rounder, I’d trade him
You’re not wrong Habman. Obviously, he hasn’t scored on a consistent basis throughout his career like he’s done the past 2 weeks. He’s basically a solid, defensively sound 3rd line forward who’ll contribute 15G, 30P. Those are important players to have, but not to overpay. What I’m saying is, no need to trade him now as he’s not a UFA. Wait till the end of the season. If a reasonable deal at a longer term can’t be worked out, trade him then.
@Howard, I basically agree with you. The funny thing is, Lehkonen was allegedly drafted to score goals, then was labelled as having hands of stone, and then became a defensive forward. This St.Louis experiment is really producing some interesting results … though as a recent comment spate touched on: is this the real Lehkonen or an aberration? Time will tell but consistency is the requirement. I’m in the hopeful camp of keep him.
But perhaps Lecky is playing much better under Marty. Maybe he will keep it up. Nobody to tell him defence only!
I agree with your evaluation of Armia. He is often invisible. Lehkonen, on the other hand, has always played a solid, high effort game consistently. While his scoring is streaky, the rest of his game is consistent and solid. He is a perfect bottom 6 forward that any coach would love to have.
I think the Rangers are or at least should be focused on much more than adding a top 6 RW.
Their top players have scored 100 goals. )Kreider, Zibanejad have 60 combined) Strome, Panarin and Laffrienere have 40 combined.
Not including Goodrow, who i didn’t add to their top players because he plays up and down the lineup, the bottom 6 have contributed 29 goals. Not one of them in double digit goals.
That’s a problem come playoff time.
This team lives and dies by Sheterkin (didn’t we just see this with Lundqvist?) Kreider, Panarin Zibanejad and Fox.
You can’t expect a handful of players to carry them through multiple rounds in the playoffs with almost no production on that bottom 6.
I agree, they need a top 6 RW and a 3rd line center to push guys down into the right spots
Ny should be looking for a center capable of the #2 spot long and short term, just in case the Strome negotiations break down. A RW, a left d-man and maybe a security blanket at goaltender.
I’m not convinced on Georgiev, Nemeth at all.
They have a ton of deadline cap space, they probably need to use it.
NY is in a bit of a strange place. Somewhere in between rebuild and contender. I’m on the fence on how hard they should push this year. But by all appearances, it looks like they almost have to push all in right now.
I’m not sure they’ll be better next year than they are today, They certainly will have bigger cap complications beyond this year.
Take Ristolainen off the board.
Flyers just made a 2nd huge mistake. Trading a 1st rounder for Risto and now 5 years at 5 million. Thats a lot of loot for a turnstile.
I agree Ron,
A lot of people love this guy, I just don’t see it?
Not a fan.
With you on that
Career Minus 174…. I know he has size and the minutae metrics people poo poo the +/-….. but Minus 174 sticks out there like a sore thumb.
Very surprised at this extension ($’s and term)
Any gm who gives up a #1 draft pick and prospect for a 38 year old rental ( mark G) Should be fired asap.
Unless that GM wins the Cupl
When you consider the amount of D becoming UFAs in 22, to offer that for Gio is nuts
I just don’t see much speed left from Giordano. But the playoffs are a funny animal with defensemen. They seem to get a bigger pass from the officials.
Isn’t the talking horse gonna call out Lyle for being delusional about Kapanan?
Hey Sweeney let’s get Grzelcyk, Reilly & DeBrusk out of Boston add a draft pick if need be or whatever else and get back a LD&RD with size and toughness who can actually play D
Canes and Habs as trade partners ?
I would hazard a guess that relationship is contentious at best
Capitals need defence and goaltending not God Giroux.
Re: “Burke ruled out moving out a high-priced player such as Jason Zucker”…. no need to enter the rest of the quote…. ruling out moving JZ is not prudent or strategic. Not at all.
He may not move him…. but ruling it out…. that hurts all Pens fans
There is talk of moving Kappy; and his production, which is way down, still is way better than JZ’s not only nominally but pro-rated over the full season and his Cap hit is less. If they are considering moving Kappy, they then MUST consider moving JZ
Re moving Kappy— trading at the very lowest point is always not the optimum time
I agree that no major moves should be done for Pens…. long uphill battle to get to the promise land; no early round picks should be given for UFAs
Round 1 and 2 are expendable IF acquiring players with term.
Tweak trades that would work for low cost (Cap, Cash and/or in-trade)…
Pens should shore up depth D, in particular RD….
Schenn (‘Nucks…. if they fall out of it)
De Z….. he can play both LD and RD
I would not mind Pens ponying up a 1st + for Hagel (seems back and forth whether he truly is available)
Re The Flower
Per media he has already nixed a trade to Caps, why would he change his mind?
Re “Dan Kingerski reports the Penguins broached the idea of acquiring winger Brock Boeser from the Vancouver Canucks. “…. if Burke says he is Capped out…. how would this have been realistically considered?…. JZ ++ for BB? I’m not seeing it. Maybe Jimbo see’s it !!!!
Re talk of moving Kappy
As I said— trading at bottom value not prudent; but another thing is that he is RFA and his QO come summer is only $840 K (barely over league min)….
so trade him now and basically get diddly; or wait it out; qualify him at $840 K to maintain his rights… to me that is the better option
Sid Guentz Rusty
Gino Hagel ERod
Carter Heinen Kappy
Blueger McG ZAR
Zoho , Boyle
De Smith (if he falters in next week…Forsberg)
That roster not too shabby and would have Hagel for two more years + (he’s RFA then)
Goaltender Campbell is out multiples weeks with a supposed rib injury
This may be favourable, might move the needle , as per a trade…
Perhaps this was an ongoing hindrance to his play ?>
However, I think his play decline may have been more between the ears in confidence.
Not sure what they do… muliple weeks (??) …. is that 3 , 4? Can that LTIR get them to end of season?– They would need to have the cap space to bring him back on board if he was returning before EOS.
Mrazek/Kallgren or Mrazek/Hutton or Mrazek/Hutch or Mrazek/Woll…. not a confident set of goalie pairings
George won’t like it…. Anton Forsberg????
Heh. That would make sense for the Leafs – but totally out of the question where the Senators are concerned. Murray is unreliable (in terms of “injury of the week” syndrome), and Gustavsson is struggling at the AHL level – never mind the NHL.
Dorion will do everything he can to get Forsberg signed to a contract both sides can live with. If not, the LAST place he trades him at the deadline is Toronto. Check our Craig Anderson’s performance last night.
Many on here (rightfully so) talk about grit and toughness needed in the playoffs
Found a link (below) that rated the 60 toughest NHL players in history.
Laroque only at 44 …. ????
Didn’t see Willard Reeves strapping son
I would have put Dave the Hammer Shultz top two
Schultz only “hammered” those he carefully selected … when he came face-to-face with Larry Robinson in a pier 6 brawl involving both benches, he became exposed and was never the same again.
I would have loved to have seen him go back in time and face off with John Ferguson.
Ferguson is before I can really remember…. My dad always talked about how tough he was
My memory of Shultz is from when I was a kid and I was impressed by his pugilistic abilities….what do kids know!
John Ferguson allowed Jean Beliveau to be a gentleman.
Tough as nails, the enforcer who could put the puck in the net.
He wasn’t big by todays standards but he beat the crap out of anybody who thought of hurting Beliveau
Denis Polonich fought Shultz 8 times . Only 5’7” . Captain of Detroit prior to Yzerman. Story has it Shultz went after him in the parking lot at Joe Louis after a morning skate.
Also tangled with Clark Gilles through minors Juniors and NHL … countless times
Quote of the day from RWM
Any gm who gives up a #1 draft pick and prospect for a 38 year old rental ( mark G) Should be fired asap.