NHL Rumor Mill – October 1, 2023
ATLANTIC DIVISION TEAMS PURSUING PATRICK KANE?
Kane, 34, underwent a hip resurfacing procedure in June with a recovery period of four-to-six months. His agency released a video last week showing him rehabbing and performing skating drills.
McGuire believes that the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs could be a fit for Kane. He believes the future Hall-of-Famer could make a “massive difference” to the Red Wings, who acquired his former Chicago Blackhawks teammate Alex DeBrincat in a July trade with the Ottawa Senators.
Allen noted that the Red Wings have $5.1 million in salary-cap space while the Sabres have $8.7 million. The Leafs, however, don’t have any cap space remaining. He also pointed out that it was reported that Kane was interested in reuniting with his old linemate DeBrincat.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs would have to shed sufficient cap space for Kane. Given the uncertainty over their blueline and goaltending depth, I don’t think they’re going to be serious suitors once he’s ready to return to action.
As I’ve said before, Kane playing for his hometown Sabres makes a great story but they’re loaded with plenty of scoring punch. Goaltending is a big question mark for them so they shouldn’t waste their cap space on something they don’t need.
The Red Wings could be a more suitable destination for Kane but his agent indicated during the summer that his client would evaluate offers from teams that would give him the best chance to win the Stanley Cup. With all due respect to the Wings, they haven’t even proven yet that they’re a playoff contender. Unless Kane doesn’t get any offers from Cup contenders, Detroit might not be on his list.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy contacted McGuire on Friday to find out if the Bruins might also be among Kane’s potential Atlantic Division suitors.
“Hard to think that he would come to Boston,” replied McGuire. “They are a team that is going into a mini rebuild.” He also noted that Kane needs to be healthy if he’s to help any team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ biggest need could be shoring up their top two centers if Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha should struggle in those roles. They also lack the cap space to outbid other clubs for Kane’s services.
SENATORS AND PINTO GROWING APART IN NEGOTIATIONS
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the gap between the Ottawa Senators and restricted free agent Shane Pinto has widened. Sources said the 22-year-old center was disappointed with a recent offer in the one-year, $1-million range.
The Senators are pressed for cap space while Pinto lacks arbitration rights and is ineligible to receive an offer sheet. They’ve been attempting to move another contract to free up cap space to sign Pinto, who’s believed seeking a salary in the range of $2.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t blame Pinto for being disappointed with that offer. He’s coming off a 20-goal season that had him finishing fifth among NHL rookies in that category last season. His camp has reportedly cited Philadelphia Flyers center Morgan Frost as a comparable. The 22-year-old Frost inked a two-year, $4.2 million contract ($2.1 million average annual value) on Sept. 6.
Pinto’s not making an unreasonable request. The fault here lies with general manager Pierre Dorion for spending $5 million on a one-year contract for Vladimir Tarasenko before signing Pinto or ensuring he’d have enough cap space for the latter.
LATEST ON TYLER MYERS
SEKERES & PRICE: During an interview last Tuesday, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli said he doesn’t see the Vancouver Canucks moving Tyler Myers anytime soon. There was anticipation of a trade after he received his $5 million signing bonus on Sept. 15 but nothing materialized.
Seravalli believes the Canucks want their team to be as competitive as possible this season. Keeping Myers among their top-six defenseman will help them plus he could potentially be a worthwhile bargaining chip at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds like the Canucks may have had second thoughts about moving Myers to free up cap space. Since July, they got additional cap room with Tucker Poolman going on LTIR, trading Tanner Pearson to Montreal and having Spencer Martin plucked off waivers by Columbus.
This season is in all likelihood Myers’ last with the Canucks. He’s an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and is a defenseman in decline. Still, they could try to move him near the trade deadline if they’re out of playoff contention at that point.