NHL Rumor Mill – December 16, 2022
NOTE: The NHL’s annual holiday roster freeze begins at 11:59 pm ET on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, and expires at 12:01 am ET on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022.
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): published the first installment of their 2022-23 NHL trade board featuring 25 potential trade candidates. Among the notable tidbits:
Pierre LeBrun believes the St. Louis Blues could start listening to offers in the new year for center Ryan O’Reilly. LeBrun thinks the Toronto Maple Leafs have talked internally about the Blues pending UFA captain. He also believes the Colorado Avalanche would be a sensible destination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues could listen to offers but I think they’d like to re-sign O’Reilly. There will be plenty of interest if he hits the trade block. Whether the Leafs can win a bidding war for his services is another matter. However, Vladimir Tarasenko seems the most likely to be dealt by the Blues, though his full no-trade clause gives him control over where he could go.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger believes the Canucks want to free up salary cap space if they move Horvat or winger Brock Boeser. However, they’d also like to add a young NHL centerman and a young NHL defenseman.
Speaking of Boeser, LeBrun claimed the Minnesota Wild have spoken to the Canucks about the 25-year-old winger. Cap space, however, is an issue and the Canucks don’t want to retain any salary. They could take back a contract in return but clearing maximum cap space in a Boeser trade is important to them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they’ll take back a salary that is considerably less than Boeser’s $6.65 million average annual value on a contract that extends past this season. It’s also been previously reported that they might take on an expiring contract depending on what else is included in the return.
LeBrun considers the Ottawa Senators as the destination that makes the most sense to him for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. However, he’s not sure they’ll pay the Arizona Coyotes’ high asking price. He also wondered if the Los Angeles Kings might be a fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun continues playing well since his return from offseason wrist surgery with nine points in 11 games and a plus-minus of plus-five. Someone will step up before the trade deadline and meet the Coyotes’ asking price if he stays healthy and maintains that level of performance. Whether it’s the Senators or Kings remains to be seen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s also assuming the Rangers can afford the Blackhawks’ asking price. They’ll likely want at least a first-round pick plus a top prospect or a good young NHL player as part of the return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Appearing on TSN’s “Insider Trading” on Thursday, Pierre LeBrun reported the Oilers have been internally discussing the merits of Klingberg and of Montreal Canadiens blueliner Joel Edmundson. He said the Canadiens aren’t looking to move Edmundson but could be willing to listen to offers.
Russo also believes the Florida Panthers don’t want to trade Anthony Duclair but might not have much choice if they can’t clear sufficient cap space for the winger’s return from a torn Achilles tendon.