NHL Rumor Mill – August 12, 2023
Check out the latest on the Canucks, Sharks and Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
CANUCKS NEED TO SHED SALARY AFTER SIGNING SUTER
THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston believes the Vancouver Canucks need to make a cost-cutting trade as their signing of Pius Suter on Friday pushes them above the $83.5 million salary for this season by around $1 million.
Johnston observes that the Canucks have a glut of wingers for the coming season. Even if Tanner Pearson were a healthy scratch, there’s little room for Nils Hoglander, Conor Garland, Brock Boeser and Vasily Podkolzin.
Garland and Boeser have been mentioned as trade candidates in the past but their contracts have proven difficult to move. The Canucks could be reluctant to part with young forwards like Hoglander and Podkolzin.
Johnston considers Tyler Myers as the obvious trade candidate. The 33-year-old defenseman is in the final season of his contract. While he carries a $6 million cap hit, he’ll earn $1 million in actual salary for the season once the Canucks pay his $5 million signing bonus in September.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston pointed out that there was talk last month claiming the Canucks had a deal lined up with the San Jose Sharks. With the Sharks trading away Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins last Sunday, they could be in the market for short-term blueline depth.
The Sharks only carry $3.9 million in cap room but they might be open to acquiring Myers if the Canucks agree to retain half of his cap hit for the season. That’s assuming, of course, that they aren’t on Myers’ 10-team no-trade list.
Speaking of the Sharks…
SHARKS IN THE MARKET FOR A DEFENSEMAN
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng believes the San Jose Sharks are in the market for some offense from their defense. He cited PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reporting they had some interest in Matt Dumba before the free-agent blueliner signed with the Arizona Coyotes.
Peng observes that the pickings are slim in the free-agent market. Ethan Bear is still available but won’t return to action until December as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Alex Edler, 37, could retire and hasn’t played on the power-play in four years.
Other UFA options include Simon Benoit, Nick Holden and Scott Harrington. Peng also noted the pickings aren’t much better in the trade market. He cited general manager Mike Grier will look at possible choices within his system during training camp and preseason play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Grier could be forced into the trade market or watching the waiver wire if his internal options for an offensive-minded rearguard fail to pan out.
LATEST ON THE PANTHERS
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards believes the Panthers are likely done trying to bolster their roster via free agency. Like Peng, he points out the lack of remaining talent in this summer’s market.
Richards speculates that the Panthers might be interested in Patrick Kane when he’s recovered from offseason hip surgery and is ready to return to action later this season. That will depend on whether the 34-year-old winger sees them as a fit.
If the Panthers make any further additions it could be via professional tryout offers during training camp. If Aaron Ekblad or Brandon Montour start the season on long-term injury reserve, it could open the door to adding someone like center Paul Stastny if he’s still available.