NHL Rumor Mill – February 8, 2023
PATRICK KANE AND JONATHAN TOEWS
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Patrick Kane’s agent Pat Brisson said a decision by the Chicago Blackhawks winger over whether to waive his no-movement clause could be coming relatively soon. If the 34-year-old Kane opts for a trade, interested clubs will be notified at least seven-to-10 days before the March 3 trade deadline. He could also opt to reject a trade, finish out the season with the Blackhawks, and head to the free-agent market on July 1.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also reports we’ll know what Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews intend to do about 10 days out from the deadline. Both players hoped there could be a way to stay with the Blackhawks but the club wants to move on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane and Toews could ask Blackhawks management to provide a list of teams that have expressed interest in them. They could then narrow down that list to preferred destinations, then wait to see which ones are willing to meet the Hawks’ asking price by March 3 before reaching a decision to accept or reject a trade.
TSN/SPORTSNET: Pierre LeBrun and Elliotte Friedman reported the Boston Bruins have inquired about Arizona Coyotes left-shot defenseman Jakob Chychrun. Friedman noted the Bruins also have an interest in Columbus Blue Jackets lefty blueliner Vladislav Gavrikov and have looked at the Vancouver Canucks’ Luke Schenn as a right-shot option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cited an NHL scout saying acquiring Chychrun will cost the Bruins a roster defenseman. He believes Bruins GM Don Sweeney prefers to add without an impact subtraction.
The Coyotes asking price is believed to be two first-rounders (or a first-rounder and a comparable asset) along with either a top prospect or a good young NHL player. That could prove to be too expensive for Sweeney.
If the Bruins are keen to add to their blueline it’ll likely be more affordable options like Gavrikov and Schenn as they won’t cost a roster player to obtain.
LeBrun also pointed out that the Bruins aren’t the only club with an interest in Chychrun. The Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings are also in the market for left-shot defensemen like the Coyotes blueliner as well as Gavrikov and Montreal Canadiens rearguard Joel Edmundson.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wonders what effect Bo Horvat’s new contract with the New York Islander will have on Dylan Larkin’s negotiations with the Detroit Red Wings. He believes Larkin’s abilities as a center make him difficult to replace.
Friedman thinks the two sides will reach an agreement on a deal with an average annual value within the $8 million range. He felt if Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman believed he couldn’t re-sign Larkin, he would’ve traded him last summer before his no-trade clause kicked in.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larkin would be difficult to replace in both skill and leadership that he brings to the Red Wings. He’s also a local boy who wants to stay and help the Wings complete their rebuild.
A trade before the March 3 deadline is possible. Nevertheless, I still think the two sides will reach an agreement on a new contract.
LATEST ON THE LEAFS AND CANUCKS
TORONTO STAR: Chris Johnston reports the Maple Leafs are gauging the trade market for forwards and defensemen. He cited a league source that “strongly suggested” the Leafs’ main focus is improving a blueline weakened by Jake Muzzin’s absence. General manager Kyle Dubas could make multiple additions, just like he’s done leading up to previous trade deadlines.
Johnston noted the Leafs are running thin on tradeable assets. However, they’re not interested in parting with top prospect Matthew Knies or their first-round draft pick for a rental player. They’ll also have to get creative to free up more salary-cap wiggle room.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman doubts the Maple Leafs trade for a goaltender unless it’s for someone better than their current tandem or what they have on their farm tea.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston observed the Leafs have been linked to everyone from Ryan O’Reilly to Timo Meier to Jake McCabe in the rumor mill. However, they’re unlikely to land the bigger fish like O’Reilly and Meier if they’re not giving up Knies or their first-rounder.
Jim Rutherford denies rumors claiming he’s looking at resigning as the Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That rumor started with the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons. The Province’s Patrick Johnston cited sources close to the Canucks denying Rutherford is planning to step down. “He’s stepping back a little, but still involved,” one source told Johnston.
MORE NOTABLE RUMORS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman thinks Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk could help the Minnesota Wild improve their scoring. He also believes Anaheim Ducks defenseman Dmitry Kulikov would be a good fit for the Pittsburgh Penguins.