NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2022
The opening day of the 2022 NHL Draft saw several established players change teams. Could there be more on the move during Day 2? Read on to find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST ON THE BLUES
THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reported a source said Vladimir Tarasenko hadn’t rescinded his trade request from last summer despite his career-best performance in 2021-22 with the St. Louis Blues. This comes despite Blues general manager Doug Armstrong downplaying the notion of moving the 30-year-old winger earlier this spring.
ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reported yesterday he’d heard that Tarasenko has drawn some interest in the trade market. Rutherford listed the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers as possible trade partners. He believes the Blues will want a defenseman as part of the return.
Rutherford also cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting they were gauging Torey Krug’s value in the trade market. He said a source close to Krug said on Wednesday that the club hasn’t approached the 31-year-old defenseman about waiving his no-trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko has an annual cap hit of $7.5 million but his actual salary for 2022-23 is $5.5 million, making him more affordable in that department compared to last summer. However, he has a full no-trade clause giving him control over where he could go. Like last year, Armstrong will set a high asking price and is in no hurry to move Tarasenko until someone meets it. He could retain the winger as an “own rental” for next season if he doesn’t get what he wants.
Krug could be harder to move because of his $6.5 million AAV through 2026-27 along with that full no-trade clause. His actual salary jumps to $8 million which will be another sticking point.
NHL GOALIE MARKET COULD HEAT UP
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Edmonton Oilers could be the most interested in Darcy Kuemper when the 32-year-old Colorado Avalanche goaltender hits the free-agent market on July 13. The Avalanche signaled their intent to cut ties with Kuemper by acquiring Alexandar Georgiev yesterday from the New York Rangers. He could seek a multiyear deal in the range of $6 million annually.
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports the Toronto Maple Leafs could also be among Kuemper’s suitors if they fail to sign Jack Campbell before next Wednesday. The Leafs freed up $3.8 million per season for the next two years by shipping Petr Mrazek to the Chicago Blackhawks during the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft on Thursday.
Koshan speculated they could still attempt to re-sign Campbell but he expects the 30-year-old netminder will look to double or triple his $1.6 million annual cap hit from his previous contract on a longer-term. The Ottawa Senators’ Matt Murray would be a long shot unless the Senators retain part of his $6.25 million AAV over the remaining two years of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All eyes will be on the Oilers and Leafs regarding how they’ll address their respective goalie situations in the coming days. The Oilers have also been linked to Campbell if he becomes available but could put more of a focus on Kuemper. St. Louis Blues netminder Ville Husso could also be an option for either club.
UPDATES ON THE AVALANCHE, FLYERS, SENATORS AND BLACKHAWKS
THE DENVER POST: With the Colorado Avalanche parting company with Darcy Kuemper, Mark Kiszla believes Nazem Kadri will be next out of town. He believes they would be crazy to pay top dollar for a 31-year-old center coming off an outlier of a career-best performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Joe Sakic didn’t become general manager of the year because he’s fond of overpaying for talent. He’s a tough negotiator who has no problem shipping out players who could be expensive to retain or those due for free agency who prove too costly to sign. Kadri’s a goner unless he accepts a hometown discount.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: With Alex DeBrincat no longer on the market, Sam Carchidi wonders if the Philadelphia Flyers will set their sights on Johnny Gaudreau if the 28-year-old Calgary Flames winger becomes a UFA on July 13. They’ll need to free up cap space to do so. Carchidi indicated they intend to try and move winger James van Riemsdyk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could cost over $9.5 million annually on a seven-year deal for the Flyers to sign Gaudreau, who grew up a Flyers fan. Moving van Riemsdyk would clear $7 million from their books. The 33-year-old winger has a year left on his contract and lacks no-trade protection. His actual salary is $4 million after the Flyers paid his signing bonus on July 1.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have kicked tires on Florida Panthers defenseman (and Ottawa native) MacKenzie Weegar. They also haven’t ruled out pursuing Panthers forward Claude Giroux if he becomes available via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Careful there, Senators GM Pierre Dorion. If the Panthers are entertaining offers for Weegar and his $3.25 million cap hit for next season, it’s probably because they’re trying to shed salary to re-sign Giroux.
In CHI-related news, not overly surprising, but it doesn’t sound as if the Hawks will be qualifying centre Dylan Strome. Expectation is he will be going to UFA on July 13. July 11 is deadline to issue Qualifying Offer but no reason to believe that will happen here. #outsider https://t.co/wIIbOd82Qd
— Bobby Margarita (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 7, 2022