NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2023
LATEST FROM TSN’S “INSIDER TRADING”
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the conversation between Blackhawks management and Patrick Kane about his future won’t be happening until the 34-year-old winger has returned from the “little injury” that has been nagging him this season. Teams with an interest in Kane are monitoring his health status closely. He’s expected to resume play on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable why interested clubs are closely watching Kane’s health in the coming weeks. Assuming he agrees to be traded, those teams will have to deal with difficult financial gymnastics and what could be an expensive asking price to obtain him.
Darren Dreger observes the Winnipeg Jets have the cap space to become buyers at the trade deadline if they wish. They are slowly getting back players that were sidelined during the first half of the season and a lot will depend on the health of their roster as the deadline nears.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets did a fine job handling the absence of those injured players. Still, I think general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will keep an eye on the trade market for a deal or two that bolsters his roster for the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates it’s a 10-team no-trade list to the end of the season. Bit of confusion there. Regardless, LeBrun points out Klingberg will want to join a playoff contender so there shouldn’t be too much issue with him waiving it should one of them make a suitable pitch to the Ducks.
Dreger was asked if the Seattle Kraken could draw on their stockpile of 11 picks in this year’s draft (including three second-rounders) if they wish to boost their roster for the postseason. While it’s too early in the season for GM Ron Francis to start shopping picks, there’s a belief he could do so for the right fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, if there’s an affordable depth option or two out there. I can see Francis making that type of move if the Kraken remains in the thick of the postseason hunt by the March 3 trade deadline. I don’t see him pursuing a big-ticket player like Patrick Kane.
ESTIMATING PROVOROV’S TRADE VALUE
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Giana Han examined the pros and cons of the Flyers trading Ivan Provorov. The 25-year-old defenseman has recently become the subject of rumors suggesting it might be best for all concerned if he was traded to a playoff contender.
Han believes potential buyers would want to determine how much of Provorov’s struggles stem from himself or his current environment. With an annual average value of $6.75 million through 2024-25, he wouldn’t be a rental player. Given his age, he could still have some upside for contenders as a top-four blueliner.
NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton believes the Flyers shouldn’t trade Provorov for anything less than a first-round pick. He also thinks two other pieces should be included in the return. Han points out the Flyers aren’t under pressure to move Provorov by the March 3 trade deadline. However, they should be willing to listen to offers given their need to accumulate assets for the future.
THE SCORE: Josh Wegman lists the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres as five clubs that should try to acquire Provorov. He believes the Flyers defenseman would make a good consolation prize for teams that fail to acquire Jakob Chychrun. Provorov could also be more affordable to acquire than the Arizona Coyotes blueliner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Time is on the Flyers’ side here. They can afford to wait for the offseason if they don’t get any suitable offers for Provorov before the trade deadline.
Provorov has heard the recent trade talk but insists he wants to remain with the Flyers. He lacks a no-trade clause so he won’t have any say in the matter if GM Chuck Fletcher (or his replacement?) decides to peddle him.
His contract offers interested teams cost certainty for the next two seasons. However, his cap hit could prove difficult to move this season given the high number of cap-strapped teams.
UPDATES ON THE BRUINS AND CANUCKS
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney won’t hesitate to move any of his prospects, including Fabian Lysell or Mason Lohrei, if they’ll help to fetch a return that helps them pursue the Stanley Cup this season.
Shinzawa points out the Bruins are all-in to win the Stanley Cup this year. He also noted that Sweeney hasn’t had any qualms over shipping out prospects in his recent trades, pointing to last season’s deal with the Anaheim Ducks for Hampus Lindholm.
Given where they are in the standings right now, Bruins fans will likely forgive Sweeney if shipping out promising youngsters fetches a return that turns them into Stanley Cup champions in June.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin have had talks with Rick Tocchet. Now a TNT hockey analyst, Tocchet was an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins when Rutherford was their general manager and Allvin his assistant GM.
Friedman doesn’t think the Canucks are close to a coaching change, suggesting it could be at least a couple of weeks away. Still, Rutherford and Allvin could go with someone they’re familiar with if they decide to part ways with current bench boss Bruce Boudreau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Media consensus suggests Boudreau is the most likely head coach to be replaced during this season. Whether Tocchet becomes his replacement remains to be seen. In my opinion, it’ll take more than a coaching change to address the Canucks’ roster weaknesses. That’s the management’s responsibility.