NHL Rumor Mill – October 15, 2022
Could the Blackhawks trade Jonathan Toews but not Patrick Kane? Could the Blues re-sign Vladimir Tarasenko but not Ryan O’Reilly? Will the Flyers trade a key veteran this season? Read on for the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
Mark Lazerus observed the consensus is the Blackhawks will trade Patrick Kane because he’ll be too valuable at the trade deadline to retain while Jonathan Toews is untradeable. However, he suggests Toews could be valuable to clubs like the Colorado Avalanche that could be in the market for a third-line center. As for Kane, Lazerus believes the winger could be looking for a reason to stay in Chicago and finish his career with the Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would certainly be a swerve from the current narrative suggesting Kane could end up playing for a contender like the New York Rangers by deadline day.
As Lazerus observed, Kane would have the best trade value of the two. However, the 33-year-old winger’s no-movement clause gives him complete control over his fate this season.
Toews also has a full NMC and the same cap hit ($10.5 million) as Kane. Nevertheless, he would be more affordable in terms of return for contenders seeking experienced postseason depth at center.
Jeremy Rutherford, meanwhile, made the bold prediction of the St. Louis Blues re-signing Vladimir Tarasenko and parting ways with team captain Ryan O’Reilly. He pointed out teams weren’t willing to trade for Tarasenko and wondered if they’d be willing to pay for his services in the free-agent market. He also asked if the Blues can afford to lose the skilled winger.
Rutherford suggested O’Reilly could be expendable with centers Robert Thomas and Brayden Schenn on long-term contracts. He also reminded us that general manager Doug Armstrong has parted company with previous captains like Alex Pietrangelo and David Backes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford admitted he didn’t fully believe this scenario either. Still, the topic was bold predictions and this one certainly fits into that category.
Tarasenko’s probably a goner after this season. His unhappiness with the club’s medical staff over the treatment of his injured shoulder led to a trade request in 2021 that he reportedly hasn’t rescinded. They’ll likely re-sign O’Reilly to a five-year deal for slightly less than his current $7.5 million AAV.
Turning to the Flyers, Charlie O’Connor’s bold prediction is they’ll trade one of their “recognizable veterans on long-term contracts.” That player would likely be one who doesn’t buy into head coach John Tortorella’s game plan. If it happens, they could be quickly on the move as GM Chuck Fletcher can’t afford to be patient anymore.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Connor didn’t single anyone out because we don’t know yet which players might not see eye-to-eye with Tortorella as the season unfold. Recognizable veterans on long-term contracts could include Sean Couturier or Kevin Hayes.
I’m not saying one of those guys will clash with Tortorella. For all I know, they could be fully onboard. Still, it’ll be interesting to follow the Flyers this season to see who buys into what their new coach is peddling and who doesn’t.