NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2022
MORE PATRICK KANE TRADE SPECULATION
Starting with the Western Conference, Button suggested the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. Kane could offset some of the offense the Flames lost during the offseason. He could also help the Kings progress in their development.
Turning to the Eastern Conference, Button believes the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers could benefit from Kane’s services. He thinks the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner could bolster the Penguins’ production in the postseason. Kane could also help improve the Rangers’ Stanley Cup chances.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Button reminds us that Kane carries a hefty $10.5 million cap hit plus a full no-movement clause giving him full control over where he might go. Those will be crucial factors that determine where he ends up if he agrees to be traded.
I don’t see Kane heading to Pittsburgh or Calgary unless they’re willing to move a fair chunk of salary to the Blackhawks as part of the return. Even then, it would probably take a three-team deal to spread his cap hit around.
Kane’s experience and offensive skills would certainly help the Kings. However, acquiring a player like him as a postseason rental is a move usually made by a Stanley Cup contender, not a club emerging from a rebuilding phase but isn’t yet a legitimate Cup hopeful. It’s not a good idea to waste those future assets that could help you become a contender within a couple of years on a rental player simply to win a playoff round next spring.
The Rangers, of course, have been linked to Kane for months. Some in the New York media share the belief that the Blueshirts could make a play for him by the March 3 trade deadline. However, there are also those encouraged by the performance of young Rangers like Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko to suggest perhaps they might not need Kane after all.
Button also doesn’t believe the Edmonton Oilers or Toronto Maple Leafs will attempt to acquire Kane. He felt those clubs have no problem scoring goals but must instead add defensemen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed.
LATEST ON THE LEAFS
TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos believes the Maple Leafs can acquire Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes without having to clear Jake Muzzin’s salary from their books or giving up top prospect Matthew Knies in return.
Kypreos reports the Coyotes told the Leafs and Ottawa Senators that if a trade cannot be made involving prospects like Knies or the Senators’ Ridly Greig that one could be built around two first-round picks. He thinks the Coyotes would also want one of Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren or Topi Niemela.
To balance the cap hit, the Coyotes would have to accept Alex Kerfoot and his $3.5 million cap hit. A solid performance by Nick Robertson in the coming weeks could make Kerfoot easier to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kypreos acknowledged Chychrun’s injury history and the concerns over his feel for the game. Nevertheless, he also felt that the blueliner’s $4.6 million cap hit through 2024-25 fits well within the Leafs’ payroll plus his powerful shot and ability to log big minutes would take some of the burden off Morgan Rielly.
Kypreos also pointed out that other clubs (Senators, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets) have been linked to Chychrun in the rumor mill. He suggested the Leafs acquire the Coyotes’ rearguard sooner rather than later or risk seeing him shipped to another team.
The Senators still strike me as the more likely destination for Chychrun. They’ve got the cap space to absorb most of his contract and wouldn’t have to send much back salary-wise to make the dollars fit. They’ve also got plenty of promising talent to use as trade bait to outbid the other clubs.
THE ATHLETIC: Joshua Kloke observed Wayne Simmonds remains in limbo with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They currently have no room for him within their current forward lines and haven’t had any luck yet finding a suitable trade partner for him.
The 34-year-old winger’s best seasons are now behind him but Kloke suggests the intangibles he brings would be invaluable to “teams in transitory stages with rosters stocked with young players.”. He suggested the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators as two examples, along with perhaps returning to one of his former teams like the Los Angeles Kings or Philadelphia Flyers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds has a 10-team no-trade list and it’s believed he wants to play for a contender at this stage of his career. He might agree to go to one of those clubs if they come calling. So far, however, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in him.