NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2022
A look at several proposed trade destinations for Canucks winger Brock Boeser plus the latest Blackhawks speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
PROPOSED TRADE DESTINATIONS FOR BROCK BOESER
DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin listed the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins as his proposed trade destinations for Brock Boeser. The Vancouver Canucks have allowed the 25-year-old winger’s agent to speak with other clubs about a potential trade.
Given the Canucks willingness to take on some salary, Larkin suggested the Stars offer up Denis Gurianov as he could use a fresh start. Boeser would be a good fit playing in his home state of Minnesota with the Wild but their limited cap space beyond this season could make that move difficult to pull off.
Boeser could fill the power-play trigger man role for the Devils, who have plenty of mid-range forwards (such as Andreas Johnsson and Miles Wood) they could offer up as part of the return. He could also be a consistent scoring threat for the Islanders, who could offer up Anthony Beauvillier.
The Rangers need a scoring winger and Boeser could be a more affordable option than the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane. Larkin wondered if Canucks general manager Jim Rutherford might attempt to leverage his relationship with his former club into a deal for Boeser.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s $6.65 million annual salary through 2024-25 remains the major stumbling block in the path to a trade. Cap-strapped clubs like the Wild would have to get creative to acquire him, especially given the Canucks’ unwillingness to retain a portion of his salary.
I think the Islanders and Rangers could become serious suitors. Isles GM Lou Lamoriello tried in vain during the offseason to sign Johnny Gaudreau and Nazem Kadri and reportedly attempted to acquire Boeser’s teammate J.T. Miller during the first round of this year’s draft. The Rangers’ need for a reliable scoring right winger has been well-documented this season.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wondered if the Washington Capitals will get into the bidding for Boeser. He suggested they offer up forward Anthony Mantha, pointing out his salary is slightly lesser than Boeser’s and he has one fewer year on his contract.
TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos pondered the possibility of the Calgary Flames making a pitch for Boeser. He believes the Canucks will have difficulty moving him without withholding 20 to 30 percent of his contract. Kypreos wondered if the Flames would take on Boeser’s full contract in exchange for Milan Lucic’s expiring one.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mantha lacks no-trade protection but he also comes with a long injury history. Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber doesn’t think the Capitals are in the market for a trade right now as they battle for a wild-card berth following a slow start to the season.
It will take more than Lucic to tempt the Canucks into trading Boeser to a division rival. I think the Flames would have to sweeten that package with a first-round pick and a top prospect to tempt Rutherford. Lucic is a Vancouver native but he could be reluctant to become a part of the Canucks’ drama this season.
LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS
THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently reported Patrick Kane intends to speak with his agent Pat Brisson and Chicago Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson about his future plans. The 34-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
The Blackhawks could shop Kane and fellow UFA Jonathan Toews but it doesn’t sound like the front office is convinced those two want to be traded. Management isn’t going to pressure them into making a decision. Of the two, the belief is Kane is the more likely to be moved.
Management would love to get high draft picks, even first-rounders, for pending UFA forwards Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou. However, the market isn’t there yet. A Western Conference executive believes Domi and Athanasiou could fetch third or fourth-round picks but acknowledged other teams could get desperate.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Domi and Athanasiou topped Adam Proteau’s list of Blackhawks other than Kane and Toews who could become trade bait this season. He also included Murphy, Jason Dickinson and Seth Jones, though he considered the latter a long shot to be moved given his hefty contract and a full no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson will be a seller this season but he’ll likely wait until closer to the March 3 trade deadline to maximize the value of his trade chips. We’ll likely know by January whether Kane and/or Toews will finish the season in Chicago or ask to be moved to a contender.
I agree that Domi and Athanasiou won’t fetch much beyond third-rounders right now. However, that value will rise as the deadline approaches, especially for Domi, who’s on pace for a 65-point performance this season.