NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2022
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps recently wondered if the Golden Knights have enough to make a bid for Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat in the NHL trade market. His suggested proposal was “Brett Howden, Kaeden Korczak, Laurent Brossoit, a 2023 first-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick.”
Krepps, however, doubted that package would be enough to bring Horvat to Vegas. He believes the Canucks would seek bigger packages.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights have made several significant acquisitions in recent seasons via trades, landing Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Jack Eichel. However, as Krepps observed, they lack the cap space and depth in tradeable assets to make a competitive bid to the Canucks for Horvat.
Speaking of the Golden Knights, they’re currently carrying three goaltenders. Logan Thompson isn’t going anywhere, meaning a pending free agent like Brossoit or Adin Hill could be moved before the March 3 trade deadline.
Krepps suggested the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers and Canucks as possible trade partners. He believes Jets backup David Rittich is struggling, the Flyers are relying on inexperienced backups such as Samuel Ersson and Felix Sandstrom, while Canucks starter Thatcher Demko is sidelined for six weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers appear in more dire need of depth between the pipes, especially if Carter Hart (upper-body injury) is sidelined for a lengthy period of time.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger wondered if the Blue Jackets will put Vladislav Gavrikov on the trade block before deadline day. The 27-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Gavrikov and his wife love living in Columbus and he’d prefer to stay with the Blue Jackets. Contract talks, however, have been at a standstill since the summer. Salary and term are the sticking points.
Hedger suggested a healthy Gavrikov could fetch a first-round pick as part of the return. His $2.8 million cap hit shouldn’t be difficult to move by March 3. On the other hand, it wouldn’t make much sense for a team that’s struggling defensively to part with one of its few experienced blueliners.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill linked to playoff contenders such as the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. His solid all-around game and cost-effective cap hit should draw even more interest as the trade deadline approaches.
Armia’s difficulties this season and $3.4 million cap hit make him tough to move in the trade market even if the Canadiens retain half of his salary. They could assign him to their AHL affiliate in Laval, freeing up $1.125 million in cap relief but still carrying $2.275 million of his remaining cap hit.
Dumont believes buying out the remaining two years of his contract in June is the only workable option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has proven quite savvy at making shrewd trades. However, he’d probably have to include a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect as well as retain 50 percent of Armia’s cap hit to drum up any interest in the trade market. a buyout in June as Dumont suggested seems the more likely option.