Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 15, 2023
LATEST ON THE CANUCKS
SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports the Vancouver Canucks have spoken with several teams regarding their captain Bo Horvat. Marek claims that “at least one of those conversations revolved around three players, including the team’s No. 1 prospect.” He cautioned that none of those conversations can be described as serious, adding the Canucks are currently just trying to read the marketplace.
Horvat, 27, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He’s currently enjoying a career-best performance, sitting fifth among NHL scorers with 30 goals.
Marek envisions two trade scenarios for Horvat. One would see him moved as a rental player. The other would allow the acquiring team the opportunity to discuss a contract extension with Horvat and his agent, something the Canucks at this point have not allowed teams to do.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marek believes the Canucks could circle back to the Horvat camp to see if a contract extension can be done. If not, I believe we can expect the trade rumors linking Horvat to specific teams will start to increase once the calendar flips to February.
Elliotte Friedman reports Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn could be reunited with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He signed a two-year contract with the Canucks in 2021 after helping the Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Friedman believes the Bolts are a legitimate contender for Schenn’s services and he wouldn’t be surprised if they made a pitch to acquire him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schenn, 33, carries a very affordable $850K cap hit for this season and is slated to become a UFA in July. He could be shopped before the March 3 trade deadline if the Canucks are out of playoff contention by then.
The Lightning could squeeze the remainder of his cap hit within their limited salary-cap payroll. They could also ask the Canucks to retain part of his salary for the right return.
THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal recently included Canucks winger Conor Garland and defenseman Tyler Myers among his list of under-the-radar trade candidates. He also mentioned J.T. Miller but admitted it could be a long shot that management trades him or that another club picks up his seven-year, $56 million contract that kicks in next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garland has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill. The 26-year-old winger has three years left on his contract with an average annual value of $4.95 million. He could become a cost-cutting casualty if management decides to shed his salary at the trade deadline or in the offseason.
Myers, 32, has one year left on his deal worth $6 million along with a 10-team no-trade clause. The decline in his performance could force the Canucks to retain part of his cap hit if they hope to move him.
UPDATES ON DUMBA, MANTHA, EDMUNDSON AND NYQUIST
“We’re not actively shopping him,” said Wild general manager Bill Guerin. “It would have to be something that works extremely well for us.” Guerin would want another defenseman in return that can help them in the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, a hockey trade or nothing at all. Then again, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch recently wondered if Guerin would trade Dumba for a return that he could then flip to the Arizona Coyotes as part of a return for Jakob Chychrun.
Unless Guerin gets an irresistible offer for Dumba, I think he’ll retain him as an “own rental” for the remainder of the season.
The 28-year-old Mantha is also among the Capitals’ highest-paid players with an AAV of $5.7 million. Dayal wondered if they’ll stick with him or consider a change of scenery trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber writes that Mantha held himself accountable following his two-game benching, calling it a “wake-up call.” She feels the Capitals aren’t ready to hit the panic button just yet. That could change, however, if his performance doesn’t improve.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Capitals, The Athletic’s Marc-Antoine Godin recently suggested in a recent episode of Le Support Athletique that they might be a good fit for Joel Edmundson. The Montreal Canadiens defenseman has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $3.5 million and a 10-team no-trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every Capitals defenseman except for John Carlson is on an expiring contract this season. Edmundson could bring them depth for this season and a cost-certain asset for 2023-24.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist’s experience and versatility could make him enticing for playoff contenders seeking depth on the wing. The Jackets might have to wait until closer to the March 3 trade deadline to move him as that’s when interested clubs could be better placed to acquire the remainder of his cap hit. Perhaps they could hasten things by retaining part of his prorated salary for a decent return.