NHL Rumor Mill – February 16, 2023
Friedman thinks the Edmonton Oilers have reached out and the Dallas Stars have considered it. He also wondered about the Vegas Golden Knights while the Toronto Maple Leafs want to know if they’re in the mix.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has been playing of late like he’s still in a daze over the Rangers opting to acquire Vladimir Tarasenko instead of him. He seems to have acknowledged that his future isn’t in Chicago. The Rangers may have been his preferred choice, perhaps even his only one.
The Toronto Star’s Nick Kypreos believes Kane could shut it down this season for health reasons and focus on getting ready for next season. With the trade deadline just two weeks away, we’ll soon find out what his intentions are.
Rumors have tied Chychrun to the Los Angeles Kings but nothing’s happened yet.
One theory has the Kings made a standing offer that the Coyotes deem insufficient, while another has some contracts needed to be moved and the two clubs couldn’t make it work. The Kings have also made clear that they’re not moving top prospect Brandt Clarke or promising center Quinton Byfield.
Friedman looked at other possible trade partners for Chychrun. He said the Boston Bruins have considered the idea but he doesn’t know how likely that is. The Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets could be destinations but Chychrun probably wouldn’t be happy with going to a non-contender in Columbus. Meanwhile, the Oilers, Florida Panthers and Maple Leafs appear to be out of the running.
There was speculation that Karel Vejmelka would’ve been included in the trade. However, it’s believed adding him to the deal made it too complex.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun would be a great fit for the Kings. Coyotes management knows this, however, and seems to be trying to squeeze the Kings for a bigger return. Sufficient time remains before the March 3 trade deadline for the two sides to work something out or for another club to swoop in and meet the Coyotes’ asking price. For now, the waiting continues.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are pursuing San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier. The Maple Leafs have checked in and Friedman wonders about the Vegas Golden Knights and Bruins. The Dallas Stars have been mentioned but Friedman isn’t sure they can do it.
TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos also mentioned the Devils and Hurricanes but also wondered about the Winnipeg Jets. He points out they could have the fund to sign Meier to a contract extension with Pierre-Luc Dubois wanting out while Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler are on contracts that expire in 2024.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets coach Rick Bowness has praised Dubois’ performance and been quite vocal about his hope of convincing the center to re-sign. Maybe adding Meier and putting him on Dubois’ wing could convince the latter to stick around.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Vladislav Gavrikov doesn’t make sense for the Kings unless he signs a contract extension. The Blue Jackets defenseman has drawn interest from the Bruins, Oilers and Leafs to some degree.
Mark Spector suggested Gavrikov and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson among his list of affordable trade options for the Oilers. They carry more affordable contracts than Chychrun or the San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson. However, the asking price is said to be a first- and a third-rounder for both.
THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline believes the Blue Jackets set a first-round pick as part of their asking price for Gavrikov as a starting point but it could prove difficult to land one. They could also be in the market for a prospect or prospects, particularly at center. They could also retain part of Gavrikov’s $2.8 million cap hit or take back an unfavorable contract in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could provide the Oilers with an opportunity to move Jesse Puljujarvi and get something in return. The Jackets will likely want a first-rounder or a high-quality prospect to take that contract off the cap-strapped Oilers’ hands. The same goes for the Bruins and Leafs if they want the Jackets to take on a contract in return.
MORE “32 THOUGHTS” TRADE RUMORS
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports all remains quiet on the Jonathan Toews trade front until he returns to the roster. He’s currently sidelined by an illness.
There are lots of discussions about the Blackhawks’ defensemen but it’s quieter about the forwards. They haven’t found a club willing to meet their high asking price for Sam Lafferty. Meanwhile, there’s definitely a belief that Max Domi wants to stay in Chicago.
Potential suitors for Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk include Dallas, Minnesota, Vegas and Winnipeg. Friedman doesn’t believe they want to move Travis Konecny unless they get a significant offer. Defenseman Nick Seeler has come up in rumors but the Flyers might not be in a hurry to move him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor believes the Flyers could get a conditional second/third-round pick for van Riemsdyk.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gotisbehere is among several options that could interest the Oilers. GM Ken Holland has said he’s wary of players with health issues, which is why Friedman thinks he’ll hesitate on Joel Edmundson or Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who’s drawn interest from Dallas and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the chatter about the Oilers looking into acquiring Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, that’s a move I don’t see happening until the offseason. His $11.5 million cap hit is simply too difficult to move right now plus we don’t know if he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause to go to Edmonton. That’s why I see Holland considering more affordable options like Gostisbehere.
The Calgary Flames are looking for a winger who can create space for playmaking winger Jonathan Huberdeau as Anthony Duclair did in Florida. Friedman doesn’t see the Flames shopping MacKenzie Weegar but he wants to see how they feel about it later on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I assume he’s referring to how they finish the season. He’s in the final season of his current contract with a $3.25 million annual cap hit and lacks no-trade protection. However, his eight-year, $50 million extension (with full no-trade protection) kicks in on July 1.
Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is believed looking for a forward. He could also attempt to add a defenseman but his roster is deeper on the blueline.
It’s believed the New York Rangers are seeking as high a draft pick as possible for winger Vitaly Kravtsov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: ESPN’s Kevin Weekes believes they could get a third-round pick or a prospect in exchange for Kravtsov.
The Wild could gauge the trade value of winger Jordan Greenway leading up to the March 3 trade deadline or at the June draft.