NHL Rumor Mill – January 3, 2023
A look at what the Blackhawks could get for their notable trade candidates plus the latest on the Blue Jackets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus recently examined the potential value of the Chicago Blackhawks’ potential trade candidates.
The Blackhawks are preparing as if Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews won’t ask to be traded. Both are eligible to become unrestricted free agents in July and each carries a salary-cap hit of $10.5 million and full no-movement clauses.
If Kane decides to ask for a trade, the Blackhawks will probably seek a first-round pick and a decent prospect. Given his no-movement clause, the limited number of teams he’d agree to be dealt to will have some leverage. The Blackhawks will also have to retain part of Kane’s cap hit.
The asking price for Toews could be a first-round pick given his bounce-back performance this season. It’s less likely that a team will want half of his cap hit. That could mean getting a third team involved to spread the dollars around or the Blackhawks will have to take back a player in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Powers and Lazerus believe Kane is more likely to be moved by the trade deadline than Toews. It’s expected we’ll learn more about their fates this season once their agent Pat Brisson has met with Blackhawks management later this month.
Max Domi could also draw interest given his solid performance this season. The Blackhawks could seek a first-round pick but Domi might instead fetch a second-rounder. They could seek a second-round pick for Andreas Athanasiou but there might not be much interest in him at the deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domi was assumed to be a goner at the trade deadline but Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported on Saturday that it might not be a done deal. He seems to have found a home in Chicago and there’s apparently been some discussion between his agent and management about the possibility of a contract extension.
Athanasiou could still be moved cheaply at the deadline. However, he’ll have to pick up his production over the next two months to draw more interest in the trade market.
Gavrikov, 27, is putting up solid numbers as a stay-at-home defenseman with the struggling Blue Jackets. Eligible for UFA status in July, his current cap hit is $2.8 million and his next contract will likely be in the $5 million range. The Jackets want to re-sign him but he holds leverage given their limited depth on the left side of their blueline.
Matheson expects it would cost the Oilers a first-round pick and perhaps a third-rounder to acquire Gavrikov. They’d also have to shed salary to take him on. Matheson suggests Jesse Puljujarvi to Columbus but believes the Blue Jackets would want an asset in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson suggested it’s more worthwhile for the Oilers to acquire a defenseman with term remaining on their contract if they’re going to give up assets like a first-round pick and prospects. Possible options in that category this season include Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun, Montreal’s Joel Edmundson or Chicago’s Connor Murphy or Jake McCabe. However, Matheson suggested that could come at the cost of stifling the development of young Oilers blueliners like Markus Niemelainen and Philip Broberg.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger reports Gustav Nyquist might not finish the season with the Blue Jackets. A pending UFA, he could draw interest from rival clubs seeking an experienced forward at the trade deadline.
The versatile 33-year-old Nyquist has provided leadership and consistency for the struggling, injury-ravaged Blue Jackets. Hedger speculates he could fetch multiple picks in the lower rounds or perhaps a late first-round pick from a contender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist lacks no-trade protection but his $5.5 million cap hit could be difficult to move under this season’s flat cap unless the Jackets retain part of his salary. The two-way forward can play center or wing and has a respectable 18 points in 35 games this season.