NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2023
Are more moves coming for the Flyers, Kings and Blue Jackets following their deal to move Ivan Provorov to Columbus? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE FLYERS, KINGS AND BLUE JACKETS?
PHILADELPHIA HOCKEY NOW: Chuck Bausman reports more moves could be coming for the Flyers after they shipped Ivan Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday in a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Kings.
Flyers general manager Daniel Briere was asked about the status of Carter Hart during his press conference announcing the Provorov trade. The 24-year-old goaltender has been the subject of trade speculation after Briere recently indicated he would listen to offers.
“I’m still in the same spot I was,” said Briere. “We’re open for business. We listen on everybody. Everybody’s being treated the same way for us on our side.”
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont noted a rumor that surfaced immediately following the Provorov trade claiming the Flyers were working on a deal involving Hart. He mused over whether the Canadiens should pursue him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been nothing new thus far regarding that rumored Hart trade. Perhaps we’ll learn more details soon or maybe it’ll come to nothing. What’s clear is Briere isn’t afraid to make bold moves involving one of his core players provided he gets a solid return. He could trade Hart if someone makes him a good offer.
LA HOCKEY NOW: Austin Stanovich reports the Kings cleared $5.6 million by shipping goaltender Cal Petersen and defenseman Sean Walker. That will give them more cap room to re-sign defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and forward Gabriel Vilardi. Gavrikov and Korpisalo are due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 while Vilardi is a restricted free agent.
Stanovich expects Gavrikov will be signed soon, perhaps to a three-year, $6 million per year deal. He also stated there’s nothing linking the Kings to Carter Hart but wouldn’t be surprised if they were in the mix.
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens also weighed in on what the Kings’ next moves could be. He agrees the Provorov trade makes it easier for them to re-sign Gavrikov. Stephens cited colleague Pierre LeBrun indicating the blueliner’s agent seeks a two-year deal while Eric Duhatschek speculated Gavrikov could get around $5.7 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The thinking here for the Gavrikov camp is he could be in line for a much bigger payday in 2025 when the salary cap is expected to rise by a significant amount. He made $2.8 million annually on his current deal so something between $5.5 million and $6 million would be a healthy raise.
As for Korpisalo, Stephens suggested they could re-sign him or look at bringing in another goalie to share the duties with Pheonix Copley.
MAYOR’S MANOR: The influential Kings’ blog offered their analysis of what the Provorov deal means for this club. In addition to re-signing Gavrikov, they believe it allows the Kings to retain forwards Alex Iafallo, Trevor Moore and Viktor Arvidsson. The trio was to be considered cost-cutting trade candidates.
They anticipate the Kings will add another goaltender but will likely only have around $2 million to make that move. “We are not expecting Joonas Korpisalo to be an option for LA.” They also ruled out the possibility of pursuing Anaheim’s John Gibson or Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just over $13 million in projected cap space and 16 active roster players under contract, the Kings can easily afford Gavrikov. However, it will take a substantial bite out of their cap space. That’s why they’ll likely pass on Korpisalo in favor of more affordable goaltending options.
The Provorov trade might be the only major one the Kings make this summer. They could look at a smaller deal for a goalie or seek a cost-effective option via free agency.
THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline speculates Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen might not be done dealing after acquiring Provorov. He noted that Kekalainen said his club will keep evaluating with free agency coming up and he didn’t rule out making another trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets have some promising centers on their roster (Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger. Dmitri Voronkov) and could attempt to select another such as Leo Carlsson with the third-overall selection in this year’s draft. However, they still need more experienced depth at that position. With $12 million in cap space and 19 active roster players under contract for next season, Kekalainen could set his sights on a center through the trade or free-agent markets.