NHL Rumor Mill – March 9, 2023
WHAT NEXT FOR KONECNY, GIBSON AND SCHMALTZ?
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun looked ahead at what the offseason could hold for several notable NHL players, including Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny, Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson and Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz.
LeBrun believes the Flyers could entertain trade offers ahead of the June draft for Konecny, who has two years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million. It doesn’t mean they’ll trade him but they could look at what his market value might be. LeBrun said he knew of at least one playoff contender that was planning to make an aggressive trade offer before Konecny go hurt.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Konecny could be the Flyers’ best trade chip this summer but that depends on what their plans are going forward. Are they continuing to “aggressively retool” or will they finally engage in a roster rebuild? If it’s the latter, he could fetch the type of return that could help them over the long term.
Turning to Gibson, LeBrun reports most teams still view the 30-year-old goalie as a difference maker. He’s halfway through his eight-year contract with a $6 million AAV and a 12-team no-trade clause. LeBrun believes Gibson could agree to a trade to a playoff contender. There wasn’t much interest in him at the trade deadline but LeBrun thinks some teams could contact the Ducks during the offseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson’s contract (especially the annual cap hit) is a sticking point, especially given his less-than-stellar numbers in recent years, though in fairness those can be attributed in part to the depleted roster in front of him. I don’t doubt that some teams could come calling but they’ll either want the Ducks to retain half of that cap hit or take back a toxic contract in return.
The Arizona Coyotes weren’t able to move Nick Schmaltz despite his nearly point-per-game pace over the past couple of seasons and reasonable $5.85 million AAV. LeBrun believes it’s because the final three years of his contract are backloaded, meaning Schmaltz will earn $8.15 million in actual salary per season during that period. It could take a deep-pocketed team that likes the player to take him off the Coyotes’ hands.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmaltz’s injury history is also a concern. He missed 43 regular-season games in 2018-19, nine playoff games in 2020, 19 games last season and 16 games this season.