NHL Rumor Mill – January 19, 2023
LATEST CANUCKS SPECULATION
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek and Michael Russo suggested the Boston Bruins could be a good destination for Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat. They mused over the possibility of the Bruins acquiring Horvat and signing him to a contract extension should Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci retire at the end of this season.
THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports the Bruins, Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche are kicking tires on the Canucks captain. However, there are cost certainty concerns and the Canucks have not granted permission for potential suitors to talk contract with Horvat’s agent.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source confirming the Bruins and Canucks have talked about Horvat. The Avalanche, Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings and Seattle Kraken are also believed to be really interested in Horvat but the Canucks’ asking price is high. The source expected prospect Fabian Lysell and a first-round pick would have to be the starting point in any talks between the Bruins and Canucks.
THE ATHLETIC/VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Jesse Granger and Owen Krepps included Horvat in their lists of potential trade targets for the Golden Knights if winger Mark Stone and his $9.5 million cap hit end up on long-term injury reserve. Stone is currently listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
POST MEDIA: Michael Traikos added the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins as possible suitors for Horvat. He wondered whether an offer of a first-round pick, a top prospect and a young roster player would be too much or too little.
Traikos also believes the Canucks can’t afford to wait too long to move Horvat. St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, San Jose’s Timo Meier, Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat, Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk and Montreal’s Sean Monahan could soon become available in the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot of playoff contenders would love to have Bo Horvat on their roster for the 2023 playoffs and perhaps beyond if they can reach an agreement on a contract extension. Most, however, won’t be able to afford the Canucks’ asking price. A number of them will lack sufficient cap space to pull it off unless they get creative and pull off a three-team swap to spread around the remainder of Horvat’s $5.5 million cap hit.
As for the Canucks’ asking price, Rutherford said earlier this week that he’d be interested in acquiring players on entry-level contracts who are struggling with their current teams. He probably won’t balk at getting a first-round pick but he’d like to add young NHL-ready players given ownership’s insistence on retooling the roster rather than rebuilding.
All of this is just spitballing right now. Teams are making inquiries into Horvat’s availability and what it would cost. It’ll likely only be two or three clubs that’ll come up with suitable bids. I don’t rule out Horvat getting traded in January but I think a February deal is more likely.
THE ATHLETIC’s Pierre LeBrun and Michael Russo report teams are still interested in Canucks winger Brock Boeser. He’s signed through 2024-25 with a $6.65 million annual cap hit. It’s possible the only way he gets traded is if the Canucks retain part of his salary. The Minnesota Wild have spoken to them about Boeser but they might not be able to make it work cap-wise without Vancouver retaining salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Province’s Ben Kuzma shares that view. Canucks management reportedly wants to clear the entirety of Boeser’s cap hit from their books. If they maintain that stance, they might have to wait until the offseason to move him when teams have more cap room.
UPDATES ON THE OILERS
THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman believes it’s time for the Edmonton Oilers to part ways with Jesse Puljujarvi after he was made a healthy scratch for Evander Kane’s return to the roster on Tuesday.
GM Ken Holland has been working the phones. However, he couldn’t find any takers for Puljujarvi last summer because he refused to accept discounted future assets for a player who was a top-six forward last season. The decline in the 24-year-old winger’s performance this season leaves management praying that someone will take his $3 million contract off their hands.
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reported the Oilers have had some promising conversations with a couple of teams regarding Puljujarvi. That’s potentially good news for Oilers fans concerned that the club might have to package Puljujarvi with an asset to move him before the March 3 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Color me skeptical about the Oilers’ chances of moving Puljujarvi before deadline day without bundling him with a draft pick or prospect. Sure, anything’s possible but his stock has really tumbled since last summer when it wasn’t that high to begin with.
Matheson considered it unlikely to happen because the Oilers don’t see Chychrun as a fit they need plus they like Broberg too much.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ focus seems to be on acquiring a shutdown defenseman like Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov or Montreal’s Joel Edmundson. And no, they won’t part with Broberg for either of those guys.
POTENTIAL CANADIENS TRADE BAIT
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports the Canadiens could have a different look following the March 3 trade deadline. Veterans like Edmundson and forwards Jonathan Drouin, Evgenii Dadonov, Sean Monahan and Josh Anderson could be in play as the Habs continue their rebuilding process.
Drouin, Dadonov and Monahan are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. GM Kent Hughes will attempt to get something for them by the deadline. Hughes acknowledged Edmundson and Anderson have frequently surfaced in media trade rumors but called those reports “not necessarily accurate.”
Don’t expect the Canadiens to shop Samuel Montembeault. Hughes said they want to keep the 26-year-old goaltender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin and Monahan have been sidelined by injuries while Dadonov hasn’t played well this season. Those factors will affect their value in this season’s trade market. I doubt he’ll be able to get first-round picks or top prospects for them.
Edmundson and Anderson would have more value but they’re both signed beyond this season. Hughes could be less inclined to move them but I don’t doubt that he’ll listen to offers that include a first-rounder.