NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2022
Leafs and Capitals not on Marc-Andre Fleury’s trade list? Will it take a three-team deal to move Claude Giroux? Should the Rangers pursue Rickard Rakell or Hampus Lindholm? All this and much more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LEAFS, CAPITALS REPORTEDLY NOT ON FLEURY’S TRADE LIST.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals have talked to the Chicago Blackhawks about Marc-Andre Fleury. However, they’re not believed on his shortlist of preferred destinations and both clubs were merely conducting due diligence in the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The options beyond Fleury aren’t great for either club. The Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan listed the Dallas Stars’ Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin, the Vancouver Canucks’ Jaroslav Halak, Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo, New York Rangers’ Alexander Georgiev, and the Ottawa Senators’ Anton Forsberg as possible options. None of them are likely to resolve the Leafs and Capitals’ goaltending issues.
WILL IT TAKE A THREE-TEAM TRADE TO MOVE GIROUX?
Pierre LeBrun said it could take a three-team deal for the Philadelphia Flyers to move Claude Giroux before the trade deadline. It’s not the preferred option as the Flyers would rather make a straight deal with another team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot of the teams linked to Giroux (Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues) have limited salary-cap space. Pulling off a straight trade with one club remains possible but absorbing the remainder of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit won’t be easy.
SHOULD RANGERS PURSUE RAKELL OR LINDHOLM?
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple suggests the New York Rangers shift their focus for a top-six right winger on the Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell if the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller is no longer on the table. If general manager Chris Drury intends to use defenseman Nils Lundkvist as his main trade chip, Staple wondered if there’s a deal with Anaheim that could include blueliner Hampus Lindholm.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carrying over $30 million in projected trade-deadline cap space and plenty of promising young assets, the Rangers are expected to be buyers before the trade deadline. Maybe Rakell or Lindholm is on Drury’s radar or maybe he’s eyeing up other options. Perhaps he’s looking at Seattle’s Mark Giordano, Vancouver’s Conor Garland or Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen. Speaking of Miller…
CANUCKS DOWNPLAY MILLER AND BOESER TRADE SPECULATION
SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre reports Vancouver Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin continue to downplay media trade rumors swirling about forwards J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. While acknowledging receiving calls from other clubs, they’re not shopping either player.
Allvin maintains the club’s plan for Miller, who has a year remaining on his contract, is to meet with the 29-year-old center this summer to discuss his future with the Canucks. While it will cost the club $7.5 million to qualify Boeser’s rights this summer, management feels they still have time to navigate this issue.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller or Boeser could be moved by March 21 if a rival club steps up to meet what will be a high asking price for either player. However, they’re not facing the same pressure to move either guy as they would if they were eligible for UFA status this summer.
REPORT: BRUINS’ SWAYMAN “OFF-LIMITS” IN TRADE MARKET
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams undoubtedly called the Bruins to ask about him but they have no reason to trade him. There was speculation they could use him as trade bait in a package deal for a second-line center because Linus Ullmark is signed through 2024-25 with a $5 million cap hit. However, Swayman’s signed through next season at a dirt-cheap $925K. They’re not going to move the February rookie of the month.
LATEST ON THE KRAKEN, SABRES, COYOTES
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis is willing to use his salary-cap space to act as a third-party broker for a cap-strapped playoff contender attempting to acquire an expensive trade target. However, it will have to be the right price, perhaps in the form of a second- or third-round draft pick. Francis could also use his cap space to acquire a player with term left on his contract who could fit into the Kraken’s long-term plans.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Buffalo Sabres are in the market for a top-end defenseman to pair with top prospect Owen Power when he makes the jump to the NHL next season. If unable to land that blueliner before the trade deadline, they could attempt to sign one via this summer’s free-agent market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll require quite a sell job on the part of Sabres management given the many years of upheaval that have enveloped this club.
Chris Johnston reports the Arizona Coyotes could put goaltender Karel Vejmelka on the trade block before the deadline if unable to sign him to a contract extension. He’s earning less than $900K and is a year away from UFA eligibility.