NHL Rumor Mill – March 21, 2022
The Trade Deadline is 3 pm ET today. Check out the latest in this morning’s NHL rumor mill.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With so many notable names already moved in recent days, there’s not much in terms of rumors involving noteworthy trade candidates. Here’s a quick roundup of this morning’s speculation.
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Boston Bruins will look at acquiring a forward before today’s trade deadline. Targets could include the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Max Domi, the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller and the New Jersey Devils’ Pavel Zacha.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Canucks are unlikely to move Miller today. Anything can happen, of course, but the extra year on his contract means they could keep him and perhaps try to sign him this summer to a contract extension.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports the Flyers are getting lots of calls on defenseman Justin Braun. Winger James van Riemsdyk could also be available as he has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Braun seems more likely to move than van Riemsdyk considering the latter’s cap hit. Braun is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and carries an affordable $1.8 million annual average value.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers are believed to be interested in Jets forward Andrew Copp. Meanwhile, talk around Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell seems to have quieted. Rangers GM Chris Drury could also bring in a defenseman. Options could include the Chicago Blackhawks Calvin de Haan, Montreal Canadiens Brett Kulak, the Flyers’ Justin Braun and the Buffalo Sabres’ Colin Miller.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek has made good on his vow to trade his pending UFAs rather than risk losing them for nothing this summer to free agency. He already shipped out Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson. I expect Rakell will be on the move before today’s deadline.
THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma ponders the trade possibilities for several Canucks. They appear willing to remain patient with pending restricted free agent Brock Boeser while Conor Garland’s speed and reasonable contract still make him a good fit in Vancouver. Pending UFAs Tyler Motte and Luke Schenn are more likely to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser could be moved today but I think that’s more likely an offseason move if they can’t reach an agreement on a contract. Garland is reportedly drawing lots of interest but I think it’ll take a significant offer (first-round pick?) to pry him away from the Canucks.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports the Los Angeles Kings have expressed interest in Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen and defensemen Jeff Petry and Brett Kulak. The Edmonton Oilers have also been linked to Kulak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 and his 15-team no-trade clause could make him difficult to move today. That could be an offseason transaction.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes the Oilers would like to add a defenseman. His suggested options include the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy, the Ottawa Senators’ Nick Holden, and the Canadiens’ Brett Kulak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leavins also included the New Jersey Devils’ Ryan Graves on his list but I don’t believe he’s available.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: It appears the Capitals will continue to make calls for a goaltender and a middle-six forward.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames could add an affordable defenseman. Targets could include the Flyers’ Justin Braun, the Canadiens’ Brett Kulak, the Kraken’s Carson Soucy, the Sabres’ Colin Miller, the Red Wings Marc Staal and the New York Islanders’ Zdeno Chara.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Chara going anywhere today. It seems like he’s willing to finish the season with the Isles.