NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2023

Could the Devils pursue Timo Meier before the trade deadline? Could the Rangers and Sabres get into the bidding for him? Will Sean Monahan become an Avalanche trade target? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

DEVILS INTERESTED IN MEIER?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported he spoke with New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald, who indicated he’s looking for a top-six winger before the March 3 trade deadline. Fitzgerald didn’t say which player he was interested in as that would violate the NHL’s tampering rules, but LeBrun believes the San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier would fit the Devils’ needs.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

Fitzgerald said that ideally, he’s not interested in a rental player but someone who could remain with the Devils beyond this season. Meier could fit that description as he’s a restricted free agent on July 1, meaning the Devils would hold his rights after this season if they acquire him from the Sharks.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also pointed out that the Devils still hope to re-sign RFA winger Jesper Bratt and must determine his place in this picture. He believes that Fitzgerald hopes to ink Bratt to a long-term extension somewhere between Nico Hischier’s $7.25 million AAV and Jack Hughes’ $8 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun indicated that the Devils have the depth in draft picks and prospects to make a suitable offer to the Sharks. However, Fitzgerald will also have to work out a suitable contract offer for Meier, who will cost $10 million simply to qualify his rights before July 1. That’s in addition to working on a contract extension for Bratt.

Fitzgerald could consider Meier as insurance if Bratt’s contract talks become difficult. Like Meier, Bratt’s an RFA with arbitration rights who’ll be a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility. Fitzgerald could trade him in the offseason and use the savings to re-sign Meier.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng wondered if the Devils might offer up prospect Shakir Mukhamadullin, a 2024 first-round pick (top-15 protected) and Andreas Johnsson for Meier.

Peng also took note of rumors linking the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres to Meier. He suggested a package from the Rangers consisting of prospect Brennan Othmann, a 2024 first-rounder (top-10 protected) and winger Sammy Blais. From the Sabres, Peng suggested Jiri Kulich, the Flyers’ 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-rounder.

UPDATE ON SEAN MONAHAN

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Colorado Avalanche are a “team to monitor” regarding Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan.

The Avalanche expect captain Gabriel Landeskog will come off long-term injury reserve later this season, leaving them with limited salary-cap spaced. LeBrun anticipates they’ll keep an eye on Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly but lack sufficient future assets to use as trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan would be more affordable to acquire than Horvat or O’Reilly. However, the Canadiens won’t just give him away, especially if he picks up where he left off before he was sidelined in early December (17 points in 25 games).

The Canadiens reportedly aren’t actively shopping Monahan but it’s believed they move him for the right offer. That would probably be a first-round pick in this year’s draft or a top prospect.

BARBASHEV ON THE BLOCK?

TSN: Chris Johnston reports St. Louis Blues forward Ivan Barbashev is starting to circulate a little bit in the rumor mill. While he’s off last season’s 60-point pace, Johnston said several playoff contenders have him on their list. He’s slated to become a UFA this summer and carries an affordable $2.25 million cap hit for this season.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2023

Check out the latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Bo Horvat, Jakob Chychrun, Anthony Mantha and Andrei Kuzmenko in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

O’REILLY HOPES TO REMAIN WITH THE BLUES

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly sounds like he doesn’t want to be moved by the March 3 trade deadline.

This is where I really want to be,” said the 31-year-old center. “I hope I don’t get moved, but I think things will probably progress, especially with the deadline coming up and the talks with that. We’ll see how it goes. We’re starting to get into that.”

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images)

O’Reilly was referring to his contract negotiations. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and is earning an average annual value of $7.5 million on his current contract. He also lacks no-trade protection. O’Reilly is currently sidelined with a broken foot until mid-February.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday night that O’Reilly was “officially in play” in the trade market. General manager Doug Armstrong could be gauging the market on the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner in case discussions fail to produce a new contract by the trade deadline.

It’s believed the Blues would prefer to retain their captain but he’ll have to accept a short-term contract with a lower salary cap hit.

O’Reilly will draw interest in the trade market. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy believes Bruins GM Don Sweeney should give the Blues a call but cautions against pursuing him if the asking price is similar to what the Vancouver Canucks seek for Bo Horvat. Speaking of Horvat…

LATEST CANUCKS SPECULATION

TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos is hearing that the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils are among the teams that could aggressively pursue Canucks captain Bo Horvat. He said both clubs want an extended playoff run this spring and seem willing to pay for it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat’s also been linked to the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken in recent trade conjecture.

Teams will be interested in him as a rental player but I think they’ll pay larger returns if they can sign him to a contract extension. So far, the Canucks reportedly haven’t allowed his agent to speak with other clubs yet.

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reports agent Dan Milstein said contract discussions have started with the Canucks regarding his client Andrei Kuzmenko. His camp’s preference is for a short-term “bridge deal.”

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Kuzmenko’s representatives seek a two-year contract worth an average annual value of between $5 million and $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzmenko is an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s steadily improved this season as he adjusted to the NHL game, sitting second among Canucks scorers and 22 goals and third in points with 43 in 47 games.

Kuzma pointed out that the Canucks’ rabid fan base prefers management sell high on Kuzmenko at the trade deadline for a return that helps them rebuild instead of retooling. However, I think we’ll see him re-signed to a two-year deal worth $5.5 million per season, especially if they end up moving Bo Horvat at the trade deadline and Brock Boeser in the offseason.

ISLANDERS EYEING CHYCHRUN?

NYIHOCKEY.COM: Stefen Rosner cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting someone told him the New York Islanders were looking around at Jakob Chychrun. He said they’d previously had an interest in the 24-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman. However, Friedman doesn’t think the Islanders should pay the Coyotes’ high asking price.

THE ATHLETIC: The Islanders are also on Shayna Goldman’s list of potential trade destinations for Chychrun. She noted the Isles need offense and he can provide it from the blueline. However, their more pressing need is for a high-end winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Going after Chychrun would be a desperate move by Isles GM Lou Lamoriello at this stage in the season with his club sliding out of playoff contention. He spent last summer trying in vain to land a scoring forward and I believe that’s where his priority lies this summer.

NO TRUTH TO “MANTHA-TO-MONTREAL” RUMORS

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reported Anthony Mantha’s recent scratching from the Capitals’ lineup sparked trade rumors about the 28-year-old forward. One of them had the Montreal Canadiens shipping defenseman Joel Edmundson to the Capitals for Mantha. However, a source told Silber that there haven’t been any trade discussions involving Mantha between those two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The oft-injured Mantha’s had a frustrating season in Washington. He’s been healthy but managed just nine goals and 24 points in 46 games.

Mantha is a native of Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal, which might explain why this rumor popped up linking him to the Canadiens. I don’t see him as a fit with the rebuilding Habs.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2023

Check out the latest on Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly, Timo Meier and Max Domi plus updates on the Hurricanes, Lightning and Senators in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

UPDATE ON HORVAT, O’REILLY, MEIER AND DOMI

SPORTSNET: During the Jan. 25 episode of “32 Thoughts”, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed potential trade destinations for Bo Horvat. The 27-year-old Vancouver Canucks center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Friedman thinks everyone is wondering if the Boston Bruins could make a pitch for Horvat. He believes the New Jersey Devils would be more interested in San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier because they’ve got Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes at center. The Detroit Red Wings could be an option depending on the state of contract talks with center Dylan Larkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa believes the Bruins acquiring Horvat is complex but doable. Getting the Canucks to retain part of his $5.5 million cap hit, finding the right player to offer up as part of the return, sending a contract back to Vancouver and parting with a prospect such as Fabian Lysell are among the multiple factors in play.

I don’t rule out the possibility of the Bruins landing Horvat. However, there are other clubs that could have fewer hoops to jump through with better assets to offer up for the Canucks captain.

Friedman also reported that the Canucks haven’t allowed potential suitors to talk to Horvat’s agent about a contract extension. He believes they’re trying to determine which clubs have serious interest and are willing to meet their asking price.

TSN: Darren Dreger said Ryan O’Reilly is “officially in play” in the trade market. This comes while the St. Louis Blues captain is currently sidelined until mid-February but the Blues are willing to gauge his value. Dreger speculates the asking price could involve “draft picks, you’re talking about a prospect, the draft pick could be determined by the quality of the prospect.”

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly’s solid reputation as a two-way center and leader will make him a player of interest in the trade market despite his injury and offensive struggles in the first half of this season. Nevertheless, clubs will want to see how well he performs once he returns to action before they start making offers before the March 3 trade deadline.

Pierre LeBrun reports the San Jose Sharks have not yet granted permission to Timo Meier’s agent to speak directly to teams interested in a trade where a contract extension could be part of the deal. It’s not out of the question that the Sharks could try to sign the restricted free-agent winger but they haven’t yet put an offer on the table.

LeBrun suggests contenders like the Toronto Maple Leafs would make sense. The Carolina Hurricanes have some interest while the Buffalo Sabres have also reached out to the Sharks about Meier.

SPORTSNET: During his Jan. 23 “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman told Jeff Marek that he believes the New Jersey Devils are among the teams interested in Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are in a better position cap-wise and prospect-wise than the Leafs for Meier. The Sabres, however, could outbid both clubs. They are loaded with cap space and promising young players to tempt the Sharks.

Given the salary-cap congestion around the league, Chris Johnston believes teams will be looking at a value player such as the Chicago Blackhawks’ Max Domi. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent carrying an affordable $3 million contract who is putting up good numbers this season.

LATEST ON THE LIGHTNING, HURRICANES AND SENATORS

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBrois lacks a first-round pick in 2023 and 2024 or a second-round pick in order to make a big splash at the trade deadline. If he makes a move it’ll likely be a dollar-in, dollar-out swap like his acquisition of Nick Paul at last year’s deadline. BriseBrois said he’s unconcerned over whether rivals like the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs make a big splash.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBrois has proven a very savvy dealer at the trade deadline over the past three years. Despite his lack of draft capital to use as trade bait, he could find a creative way to add a good depth player or two by the deadline.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also reported the Carolina Hurricanes could have $10 million to work with at the trade deadline if they placed sidelined winger Max Pacioretty on long-term injured reserve. GM Don Waddell said his team will explore the trade market but they’re not in a rush to get a deal done.

LeBrun doesn’t believe we should rule out the Hurricanes on pending UFAs like Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly or Vladimir Tarasenko. However, he believes they would want a shot at re-signing that player to get involved. That’s why he thinks they might look at the Sharks’ Timo Meier given his RFA status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun recently said the Hurricanes had spoken with the Canucks about Bo Horvat but the asking price was too high. He also pointed out that Waddell usually doesn’t pursue big-ticket pending UFAs at the deadline, preferring instead players with term remaining on their contracts. Any moves that he makes will depend on the depth of talent available in the trade market and the asking prices for them.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is still looking for a defenseman. While he’d ideally like a blueliner with term remaining on his contract he’s also interested in unrestricted free agents. He could have an opportunity to re-sign that UFA or perhaps flip him at the March 3 trade deadline. Dreger also said Dorion is also exploring all of his own UFAs including goaltender Cam Talbot.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2023

More speculation linking the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens, the Canucks haven’t given up on re-signing Bo Horvat, plus the latest on Vladimir Tarasenko and David Pastrnak in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

MORE “DUBOIS TO MONTREAL” SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: During a Jan. 17 appearance on “Tim and Friends”, NHL insider Nick Kypreos expressed his belief that Pierre-Luc Dubois doesn’t have a long-term future with the Winnipeg Jets.

The 24-year-old center is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1 with arbitration rights and will also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. He was repeatedly linked last summer to the Montreal Canadiens before signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Jets.

Kypreos didn’t rule out the possibility of Dubois joining the Canadiens this summer. “He is not staying in Winnipeg long term,” said Kypreos. “There is nothing that can change his mind from what I’m hearing”.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

According to Kypreos, the Jets’ surprisingly strong performance this season is the only reason Dubois isn’t on insiders lists of candidates to be moved at the trade deadline. He doesn’t believe there’s anything that could change Dubois’ mind even if the Jets were to win the Stanley Cup this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ agent raised eyebrows last summer saying his client wouldn’t mind playing for the Canadiens one day. The center downplayed the rumors tying him to the Canadiens last summer and did so again last week when the Jets played the Habs in Montreal.

Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness recently sang Dubois’ praises, adding he’d do everything he could to convince him to sign a long-term contract. There’s no indication thus far that Jets management has engaged in contract extension talks with the Dubois camp.

The Canadiens, of course, haven’t mentioned any interest in Dubois because they’d run afoul of the league’s anti-tampering rules. His addition would accelerate the Habs’ rebuild but they could be leery of investing in a big-ticket player at this early stage of the process. If there were interested, they could balk at the cost of trading for him and then inking him to an expensive new contract.

It’s clear the “Dubois to the Canadiens” speculation isn’t going away as long as uncertainty remains about his future in Winnipeg.

AN UPDATE ON BO HORVAT

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal of the “Donnie and Dhali” show reports it is believed the Vancouver Canucks are still looking at ways to keep Bo Horvat “as tough as that may be”.

Horvat is eligible for unrestricted free-agent status on July 1. The 27-year-old center has become a fixture in the rumor mill since rejecting a contract offer from the Canucks weeks ago.

Dhaliwal said they want to see how things work between Horvat and new head coach Rick Tocchet. They can only sign Horvat or Andrei Kuzmenko but not both and so far no offer has been made to Kuzmenko.

Can they send one final offer Horvat’s way?” asked Dhaliwal, who nodded and said the two sides did talk over the weekend. He firmly believes the Canucks won’t give the Horvat camp permission to talk with other teams as they don’t want to lose leverage in negotiations.

Dhaliwal suggested keeping an eye on Brandon Carlo if the Boston Bruins came calling about Horvat. “Right-shot D, 25 years old, that’s who I would ask for. Brandon Carlo,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dhaliwal stressed there is no confirmation the Bruins have an interest in Horvat. The Canucks need blueline depth but Carlo’s injury history should be a concern.

Media consensus believes Horvat’s a goner. As always, however, it’s worth remembering that this season was supposed to be J.T. Miller’s last with the Canucks before he was signed to a long-term contract extension.

LATEST ON TARASENKO AND PASTRNAK

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford believes trade-deadline talk involving the St. Louis Blues should pick up once Vladimir Tarasenko returns from a hand injury later this month. The 31-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

Rutherford believes Tarasenko’s return will become a showcase of whether he can prove he’s healthy and can help playoff contenders. He has a full no-trade clause so it remains to be seen if he’ll waive it to go to a contender or ride out the season in St. Louis and hit the open market in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford wondered if the Carolina Hurricanes would be interested in Tarasenko after losing Max Pacioretty to injury for the rest of the season. They have nearly identical average annual values with Pacioretty earning $7 million and Tarasenko $7.5 million.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming the Boston Bruins and winger David Pastrnak are getting closer to a contract extension. He believes the two sides are meeting almost every day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins aren’t going to let Pastrnak hit the open market in July. He’s going to stay in Boston on an eight-year contract. It’s just a question of how much the average annual value breaks down.

Pastrnak is a former Richard Trophy winner who is jockeying with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the goal-scoring crown this season. He sits fifth in total goals (251) since 2016-17. I expect he’ll get around $12 million annually. That’s the going rate for goal scorers of his caliber.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2023

Would Anthony Duclair or Vladimir Tarasenko be worthwhile trade targets for the Flames? Could the Kraken become trade deadline buyers? What’s the latest on the Senators? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

SHOULD THE FLAMES LOOK AT DUCLAIR OR TARASENKO?

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek noted the Calgary Flames still haven’t found a suitable replacement for Johnny Gaudreau after the winger signed last summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He wondered if the Florida Panthers’ Anthony Duclair or the St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko would fit for the Flames.

Duclair is expected to soon return to action from a torn Achilles tendon while the Panthers are trying to stay in the Eastern playoff race. Duhatschek believes that discussion should wait until it’s determined Duclair hasn’t suffered any lingering effect from his injury as well as where the Panthers are in the standings.

St, Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images)

Duhatschek wondered how well Tarasenko would respond to playing under Flames coach Darryl Sutter’s demanding system. He noted, however, that Marian Gaborik thrived under Sutter with the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have been rumored to be in the market for a top-six winger for some time. There was speculation linking them to Montreal’s Josh Anderson but the Canadiens appear unwilling to part with him.

Tarasenko seems a more likely option for the Flames than Duclair as the Panthers reportedly wish to keep him. Tarasenko is an unrestricted free agent this summer who reportedly never rescinded his 2021 trade request. Whether the Flames can find a way to take on the remainder of his $7.5 million cap hit and meet the Blues’ asking price remains to be seen.

WILL THE KRAKEN BECOME DEADLINE BUYERS?

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker recently reported that Kraken general manager Ron Francis is keeping an eye on this season’s March 3 trade deadline. Carrying three second-round picks in his year’s draft, Francis could use one or two of them to add a talented player.

The Kraken’s blue-line depth remains thin and they’ve been lucky to be relatively healthy over the course of this season. He pointed out they went 3-3-1 over the seven games Jamie Oleksiak was sidelined by a November injury and a December suspension.

Baker noted that Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg has been linked to the Kraken in the trade rumor mill. He’s under a one-year, $7 million contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken jockeying with the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Francis goes shopping to shore up his blueline depth before March 3.

Klingberg might be an option for Francis. He could also make a pitch for Jakob Chychrun but I doubt he’d meet the Arizona Coyotes’ asking price of two first-rounders and a high-end prospect. Perhaps Chychrun’s teammate Shayne Gostisbehere could be a trade target.

SENATORS SCOUTING KINGS

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO’s Charlie Roumeliotis reported Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion was in attendance for yesterday’s game between the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks. Dorion also attended the Kings’ game against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are loaded with right-shot defensemen. Apart from Drew Doughty and Sean Durzi, they could be willing to part with one of them. Perhaps Sean Walker or Matt Roy might be available.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Updates on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Bo Horvat, Vladislav Gavrikov, Timo Meier and Jake McCabe in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” RUMORS.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports that it sounds like long-time Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aren’t prepared to make a decision on their respective futures until sometime in mid-February.

Marek also believes Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty’s season-ending injury could make things interesting for Kane and Toews and maybe other players who could move by the trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a second-line center and could use a winger to replace the sidelined Pacioretty’s offense. Toews or Kane could fit into one of those roles in Carolina.

Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala included the Hurricanes among their four suggested trade destinations for Toews along with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.

Marek reports the Vancouver Canucks’ asking price for Bo Horvat is three players, including a top prospect. Friedman believes the Canucks are narrowing down the possible suitors to those willing to meet that price or at least willing to continue discussions about it. He doesn’t think that they’re close to a trade at this time.

Friedman didn’t name any clubs that could be among the interest parties for Horvat. However, he mentioned the Seattle Kraken and Minnesota Wild during his “32 Thoughts” podcast on Friday. He doesn’t believe the Canucks are allowing teams to speak with the pending unrestricted free-agent center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could still surprise us as they did with J.T. Miller and re-sign Horvat but I think he’s a goner now. Based on recent comments by Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford, they aren’t comfortable paying Horvat for what they consider an outlier performance this season. It remains to be seen which team will meet their asking price before March 3 and whether the Canucks will allow them an opportunity to speak with Horvat about a contract extension.

Friedman also believes the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams to have inquired about Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. It’s believed the Jackets are allowing interested clubs to speak with him.

Marek thinks the Blue Jackets’ preference may have been to re-sign Gavrikov but he doesn’t believe that’s going to happen. He thinks they’ll seek a first and a third-round pick or a first-rounder plus other assets in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov isn’t the only defenseman the Leafs and Oilers are looking at in the trade market. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports they’re interested in Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, who carries a seven-team no-trade list. The Los Angeles Kings are also thought to be among the suitors.

Seravalli believes McCabe’s no-trade list includes every Canadian team except for the Leafs. He’s carrying a $4 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 but Seravalli wondered if the Leafs could sway the Blackhawks into retaining half of it.

Speaking of teams being allowed to speak to players, Friedman thinks the San Jose Sharks will allow that to happen for restricted free-agent winger Timo Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Winnipeg Jets could be among those teams talking to Meier. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck believes the 26-year-old left winger could be a dream catch for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Billeck believes Meier would be a perfect replacement for Blake Wheeler, who has one season remaining on his contract. The Sharks asking price and Meier’s $10 million qualifying price, however, are two significant hurdles.