NHL Rumor Mill – February 7, 2024
UPDATES ON NOAH HANIFIN AND CHRIS TANEV
TSN: Chris Johnston reports a resolution in the Calgary Flames’ contract negotiations with Noah Hanifin could be coming soon. The agents for the 27-year-old defenseman are expected to meet soon with Flames management to present their final position. Johnston speculated that Hanifin could be moved before the March 8 trade deadline if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a new contract.
Meanwhile, Pierre LeBrun said Hanifin’s teammate Chris Tanev is considered the top defenseman in the trade market because he is available. Where the 34-year-old Flames blueliner ends up could dictate the direction of the market for defensemen.
The asking price for most teams is expected to be a second-round pick plus another asset. However, for teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs who lack a second-rounder, the price is a first-round pick. Leafs general manager Brad Treliving might be unwilling to do that.
THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of Tanev, the Leafs are Julian McKenzie and Shayna Goldman’s list of potential trade destinations for the Flames’ rearguard. Others include the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tanev may be the top defenseman currently available but that will change if Hanifin ends up on the trade block. However, the Flames will set a higher asking price for Hanifin because he plays a more complete game. I daresay that teams who express an interest in him will also want to know if he’ll be willing to sign a contract extension.
LATEST ON DAVID SAVARD AND ERIK JOHNSON
TSN: Pierre LeBrun acknowledged David Savard doesn’t want to be traded. The Montreal Canadiens could move the 33-year-old defenseman if they receive a suitable offer but they’re not committed to trading him and haven’t brought him up in trade talks with other clubs.
Speaking of veteran defensemen, LeBrun said there’s a chance that the Buffalo Sabres move Erik Johnson. However, they haven’t committed to that yet and want to speak with the 35-year-old rearguard and his agent before reaching a decision.
RECENT RED WINGS SPECULATION
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen believes Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman isn’t shopping promising winger Jonatan Berggren, who surfaced at No. 39 on TSN’s latest trade-bait board. However, he doesn’t rule out Yzerman moving him for the right offer.
Allen also mused about whether the Red Wings might attempt to pry another player away from the Ottawa Senators such as defenseman Jakob Chychrun…If the Red Wings fall out of playoff contention before the March 8 trade deadline they could approach Patrick Kane about waiving his no-movement clause…David Perron, Shayne Gostisbehere, Daniel Sprong and James Reimer could also become trade candidates if the Wings become sellers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings are jockeying for a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Yzerman could be a buyer rather than a seller this year.
RANGERS NOT WILLING TO MOVE THEIR 2024 FIRST-ROUNDER
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the New York Rangers could be unwilling to part with their 2024 first-round pick in their efforts to acquire a forward. Team owner James Dolan is the owner of Sphere in Las Vegas where the 2024 NHL Draft will be held. He wants his club to be part of the spotlight in that draft. Dreger believes they could be willing to part with their 2025 first-rounder.
FLYERS AND DEVILS GET CAP RELIEF
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW/NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils will receive salary cap relief due to leave of absence by the Flyers’ Carter Hart and the Devils’ Michael McLeod and Cal Foote as they deal with charges of sexual assault in the 2018 World Junior Hockey Canada criminal proceedings.
That would provide both clubs the opportunity to free up cap space to put to use acquiring players leading up to the March 8 trade deadline. Those three players are currently listed as non-roster players. Hart earns a cap hit of $3.979 million while McLeod and Foote earn a combined $2.2 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a rumor but it could become a factor during any future trade speculation involving the Flyers or Devils leading up to the March 8 deadline.