NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2019

The Lightning edged the Sabres in the first game of the 2019 Global Series, 2020 Global Series sites and teams revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in the first of their two-game NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, and Yanni Gourde scored for the Bolts while Sam Reinhart tallied both Sabres’ goals. Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka left the game following a low-bridge hit by Kucherov, who could face supplemental discipline.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov was among the scorers in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at the 2020 NHL Global Series in Stockholm (Photo via NHL Images).

Robby Fabbri scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings upset the Boston Bruins 4-2. It was Fabbri’s first game with the Wings since they acquired him in a trade with the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Anthony Mantha also tallied a goal and an assist for the Wings. Bruins winger David Pastrnak picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 14 games.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen turned in a 29-save shutout performance in a 4-0 blanking of the New Jersey Devils. Leon Draisaitl scored to extend his points streak to eight games while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson had two points each. Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen left the game in the first period after being elbowed in the head by Chiasson.

The Winnipeg Jets extended their points streak to four games with a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves while Kyle Connor scored and collected an assist. Earlier in the day, the Jets reassigned defenceman Ville Heinola from the Manitoba Moose to Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Liiga.

HEADLINES

The NHL announced it will stage regular-season games next season in the Czech Republic and Finland in the 2020 NHL Global Series and preseason contests in Germany and Switzerland as part of the 2020 Global Series challenge. The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators will take part in the Global Series Challenge while the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will face off in the Global Series.

THE SCORE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remains resistant to his league’s participation in the Winter Olympics. “I don’t want to sound like a broken record on the subject, but I think going to the Olympics is a challenge for us,” Bettman said during a press conference Friday at the Global Games in Sweden. He feels the Olympic break is very disruptive to the NHL season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Artem Anisimov was placed on injured reserve with a nagging groin injury. There’s no timetable for his return.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov is sidelined indefinitely after taking a puck to the face during Thursday’s win over the Nashville Predators. He joins sidelined Avs Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Colin Wilson, and Philipp Grubauer.

CBS SPORTS: Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno (lower body) is questionable for tonight’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes.

NJ.COM: A New Jersey Devils spectator struck by a puck during a 2017 game filed a lawsuit against the club.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2019

The Oilers set a season-opening record, the Hurricanes winning streak ends, the Wild keep struggling, the Senators upset the Lightning, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers set an NHL record with their fifth straight come-from-behind season-opening victory by beating the New York Rangers 4-1. Leon Draisaitl scored twice and set up another while Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist. Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko tallied his first NHL goal. The Oilers sit atop the league’s overall standings. Earlier in the day, the Oilers placed center Colby Cave on waivers.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl scored twice in a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A surprising strong start by the Oilers. I’m interested to see how they do against tougher opposition.

Vladislav Namestnikov tallied twice and added an assist as the Ottawa Senators doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2. Senators center Artem Anisimov left the game with a lower-body injury and didn’t return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bolts are blowing hot and cold. They crushed the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 the game before, split a season-opening home-and-home against the Florida Panthers, and dropped an overtime decision to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Los Angeles Kings recovered from blowing a 4-1 lead to down the Nashville Predators 7-4. Alex Iafallo scored the winner with 59 seconds remaining in the game while empty-netters by Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty sealed the deal. In other news, the Kings intend to cover up singer Taylor Swift’s “most soldout performances” banner at the Staples Center during their home games. The banner has been an eyesore for Kings fans, as their club hasn’t won playoff series since it was raised in 2015.

Mark Scheifele’s overtime goal completed a three-goal rally for the Winnipeg Jets as they edged the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets depleted defense remains a cause for concern but their offensive punch has powered them to four wins in their first six games.

Tuukka Rask’s 31-save shutout backstopped the Boston Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils, handing the latter their fifth-straight loss. Brad Marchand had the game-winner and set up another.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are struggling despite the presence of a healthy Taylor Hall and the offseason additions of P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Nikita Gusev, and Jack Hughes. Their lousy special teams haven’t helped. They’ve yet to tally a power-play goal while their penalty-killing percentage (50.0) is the league’s worst.

The Montreal Canadiens overcame a 3-2 deficit to upset the St. Louis Blues 6-3. Brendan Gallagher had a goal and two assists while Jonathan Drouin collected two points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin is silencing his critics with his early-season play. He’s tied with Gallagher (six points) for the Habs scoring lead with a five-game points streak.

Ilya Mikheyev had a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped a three-game losing skid by beating the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Frederik Andersen kicked out 25 shots for the victory. In other Red Wings news, senior vice-president and alternate governor Jimmy Devellano will undergo surgery on Monday to remove a non-cancerous brain tumor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Devellano on a speedy recovery. As for the Leafs, they can thank their secondary scoring for this victory. John Tavares collected an assist while Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander were held scoreless.

New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov turned aside 35 shots and Brock Nelson tallied the shootout winner in a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, handing the latter their third straight loss. Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and an assist. Islanders winger Jordan Eberle left the game with a leg injury.

The Carolina Hurricane’ five-game win streak came to end as they fell 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Pierre-Luc Dubois netted the game-winner in the third period. Earlier in the day, the Hurricanes activated defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk from injured reserve.

Tom Wilson and John Carlson each had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1. The Capitals successfully killed off six penalties to end a three-game losing streak. The Stars have dropped five of their last six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How long before Stars president Jim Lites publicly dumps on Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin again? Asking for a friend.

The Minnesota Wild are off to their worst start in franchise history, suffering their fourth straight loss in a 7-4 drubbing by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rookie Sam Lafferty had a goal and two assists for the Penguins while Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Patric Hornqvist, and Adam Johnson each had a goal and an assist.

Andre Burakovsky scored in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche nipped the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. Michael Grabner and Nick Schmaltz scored for the Coyotes as they rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force the extra frame. Coyotes winger Phil Kessel played his 1,000th NHL game.

Shootout goals by Elias Pettersson and Tanner Pearson carried the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves for the win.

Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and William Carrier each had a goal and an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Calgary Flames 6-2. Golden Knights center Cody Eakin made his season debut after suffering a lower-body injury in preseason play. They also called up Oscar Dansk to replace sidelined backup Malcolm Subban.

TSN: Former NHL defenseman and coach Ted Green died on Tuesday at age 79. He spent nearly 11 seasons with the Boston Bruins from 1960-61 to 1971-72, winning the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972. He also overcame a gruesome head injury after becoming involved in a stick-swinging incident with Wayne Maki in 1969.

Green finished his playing career with seven seasons in the World Hockey Association. He went on to win five Stanley Cups as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Green’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

The Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to the Senators for Zack Smith, plus the latest free-agent signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/OTTAWA SUN: The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday traded center Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for forward Zack Smith. 

The Chicago Blackhawks traded Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for Zack Smith (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move addresses needs for both clubs. The Senators get some offensive skill in Anisimov while Smith brings more defensive skill and toughness up front for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also free up an additional $1.3 million in cap space by swapping Anisimov’s $4.55-million annual average value (through 2020-21) for Smith’s $3.25 million. The Senators, meanwhile, will only pay $2 million of Anisimov’s actual salary for this season and $1.5 million in 2020-21. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals re-signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vrana, 23, completed his entry-level contract and lacked arbitration rights this summer. With the Capitals squeezed for cap space, he’s doing them a favor by accepting this bridge deal. Vrana’s coming off a career-best 24-goal, 47-point performance. If he continues to improve he’ll be in line for a significant raise on his next contract. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Connor Carrick to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $1.5 million. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed winger Ryan Donato to a two-year, $3.8-million contract. He netted 16 points in 22 games after being acquired from the Boston Bruins in a late-season trade. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year, one-way contract worth $750K per season. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks confirmed their signing of defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $750K contract. Blueliner Chris Wideman was inked to a one-year, two-way contract. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed defenseman Haydn Fleury to a one-year, $850K contract and defenseman Gustav Forsling to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $874,125 at the NHL level.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed UFA forward Josh Archibald to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed goaltender Cal Petersen to a three-year contract worth over $858K per season. It’s a two-way deal for 2019-20 and one-way for the next two seasons. 

SEATTLE TIMES: Hall-of-Famer Ron Francis is set to become the general manager of the NHL’s Seattle expansion franchise. Francis is also the former general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The budget-conscious Hurricanes failed to reach the playoffs during Francis’ tenure. However, he brought in young players like Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Warren Foegele to Carolina and developed young talent like Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce. All played key roles in the Hurricanes’ march to the 2019 Eastern Conference Final.

THE SCORE: U.S. Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are pushing their colleagues to honor Willie O’Ree with the Congressional Gold Medal. O’Ree was the first black player in the NHL and was inducted last year into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 










NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2019

The Blue Jackets reportedly looked into signing Mitch Marner to an offer sheet. The details plus the latest on the Canadiens, Blackhawks, and Bruins in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BLUE JACKETS SPOKE TO MARNER ABOUT AN OFFER SHEET

TSN: cited a tweet by The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reporting the Columbus Blue Jackets were among “many teams” that spoke to Mitch Marner about an offer sheet. The Maple Leafs winger is a restricted free agent but Portzline said he’s seen no indication he wants to leave Toronto. He’s also convinced the Leafs would match any offer, “perhaps by trading (William) Nylander.”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman said he also believes the Columbus Blue Jackets were thinking about signing Marner to an offer sheet. This came after a report a week ago by a Sportsnet colleague claiming everyone was talking about the New York Islanders pursuing the winger. Friedman believes term was the sticking point, with the Jackets preferring seven years and Marner less than that. He added sources told him if anyone was going to pursue Marner with an offer sheet, it was the Blue Jackets.

The Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly had interest in signing Mitch Marner to an offer sheet (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Around and around we go in what’s become “The Summer of Marner.” Last week, it was the Islanders supposedly poised to sign him despite carrying insufficient cap space to pull it off. Now, it’s the Blue Jackets. Some pundits even wondered if the Montreal Canadiens, fresh off their failed attempt to sign Sebastian Aho away from the Carolina Hurricanes, might make a pitch. Wonder what team will be linked to Marner next week? 

Yes, a rival club could sign Marner to a expensive short-term offer sheet too expensive for the cap-strapped Leafs to match. Perhaps they could be forced to trade Nylander to free up the dollars to match. The longer this goes on, however, the less likely that scenario seems to be. 

I don’t doubt the Blue Jackets looked into it. Cap Friendly indicates they’ve got over $15 million in cap space and need something to significantly bolster their offense after losing Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel to free agency.

However, restricted free agent defenseman Zach Werenski is due a substantial raise that would eat up a big chunk of that cap room. And no, they’re not going to ink him to a short-term bridge deal when defense partner Seth Jones is pulling down $5.4 million per season. So I don’t see how Marner’s a fit there.

As I noted earlier this week, only a handful of teams – the Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, and Minnesota Wild – have enough cap space to make a competitive offer for Marner.

Some, like the Jackets, Avalanche, Fyers, and Jets, have significant restricted free agents of their own to re-sign, cutting deeply into their cap space. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues are more interested in keeping as much of their roster intact as possible. The Wild, meanwhile, don’t strike me as a club with serious interest in going the offer sheet route. 

SUGGESTED MOVES FOR THE CANADIENS

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine, New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere are among seven suggested trade targets for Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin. Others include Vegas Golden Knights forward Nikita Gusev, New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy, Calgary Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie, and Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The piece acknowledged pursuing Laine via trade or offer sheet was a pipe dream. I daresay it was included simply because some observers wondered if Bergevin would try his luck again after failing to land Aho.

Kreider could become a cost-cutting candidate by the Rangers. There’s also the risk he’ll depart next summer via free agency. Trade rumors last month linked the Habs to Gostisbehere, Leddy and Brodie. The Canadiens need another good left-side blueliner so perhaps there’s a deal to be made with one of those teams.

Gusev reportedly seeks a two-year deal worth $4 million annually, which might explain why he hasn’t been traded yet. Puljujarvi is a reclamation project at this point. Still, the Oilers will want a decent return. 

TVA SPORTS: suggested Bergevin should target some of the few available Quebec-born players still available in the UFA market. They include forwards Jason Pominville, Derick Brassard, and Gabriel Bourque. A report out of Edmonton earlier this week claimed Brassard sought $4 million per season, which he denied on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rather than target one of the few remaining Quebeckers, all of whom are past their playing primes, how about pursuing the best available and affordable talent that might actually improve the roster? Just throwin’ that out there. I don’t presume to know Bergevin’s intentions for the remainder of the offseason. Signing a fading veteran merely to add another Quebecker to the roster doesn’t appear to be a front-burner issue. 

BRUINS MUST SHED SALARY

NBC SPORTS: In the wake of the Boston Bruins signing Danton Heinen earlier this week, Joe Haggerty notes they’ll have to shed salary to re-sign defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. The Bruins now have around $8 million in cap space.

Haggerty believes it could cost around $10 million to re-sign the two young blueliners. He suggests shopping a sidelined blueliner like Kevan Miller ($2.5 million AAV) or John Moore ($2.75 million) once they become healthy enough to play. In the meantime, the Bruins could one of them on LTIR to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rival club could also squeeze the Bruins by insisting on a draft pick, a prospect, or a young NHL-ready player be included in the deal. It’ll depend, of course, on how much it costs to re-sign McAvoy and Carlo. 

 










NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2019

An updated list of the best remaining UFAs, the latest Sabres speculation and possible destinations for Nikita Gusev in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

UPDATED NHL UFA LISTING

THE SCORE: Center Joe Thornton, defenseman Jake Gardiner, right wing Justin Williams, and left wing Ryan Dzingel are the notable names remaining in the NHL’s unrestricted free agent market. Others include wingers Patrick Maroon and Micheal Ferland. 

Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner is still awaiting a new contract (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pickings are slim and will deplete throughout the summer. Thornton is expected to play one more season with the Sharks. Gardiner was reportedly hoping to return with the Toronto Maple Leafs but that no longer seems possible. Williams will either return with the Carolina Hurricanes or retire.

Dzingel enjoyed a career-best 56-point performance last season but his declining play down the stretch and the postseason is a concern. He also reportedly sought $5 million annually on a five-year contract from the Ottawa Senators before he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Maroon is believed seeking a better deal than the one-year, $1.75-millon contract he inked last summer with the St. Louis Blues. Several teams are said to be interested in Ferland but there’s no indication he’s close to a new deal.

LATEST SABRES SPECULATION

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Following the Sabres’ signing Marcus Johansson on Saturday, Lance Lysowski suggested they could trade defenseman Rasmus Ristolanen for scoring help. With over $6.6 million in salary-cap space, he points out general manager Jason Botterill has the cap flexibility to shore up the offense. 

Lysowski also listed Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris, Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov, and Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers among several suggested trade targets. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lysowski didn’t say the Sabres are pursuing those players he listed or that they’ll use Ristolanen to get one of them. Of those mentioned, Botterill won’t waste a solid trade chip like that on Turris or Anisimov. It could take Ristolanen to land Ehlers. 

The rumblings over Ristolainen’s future could persist throughout the summer but Botterill isn’t under pressure to trade the 24-year-old defenseman. If there’s no suitable deal available he’ll retain Ristolainen and see how the coming season plays out. 

DESTINATIONS FOR GUSEV

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steven Ellis recently listed the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, and Columbus Blue Jackets among five possible trade destinations for Vegas Golden Knights winger Nikita Gusev. The Ottawa Senators and  Edmonton Oilers round out his list. 

The Golden Knights and Gusev are said to be $2 million per season apart on a new contract. Lacking salary-cap space, the Golden Knights are reportedly listening to offers for Gusev, whose skills have been compared to those of Artemi Panarin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things have gone quiet on the Gusev front since last week’s report claiming Vegas was shopping him. The Golden Knights could be taking their time evaluating offers before pulling the trigger. Gusev could end up going to one of Ellis’ proposed destinations or perhaps another club could jump into the bidding. 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2019

Latest on the Blackhawks, Leafs, Lightning, and Ducks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

NOTABLE POTENTIAL BLACKHAWKS TRADE CANDIDATES

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz explored the Chicago Blackhawks’ trade options as the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches. He believes defensemen Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith could be at the top of their “sale list”, as they’re both over 33 and still under long-term contracts. Both carry no-movement clauses and Seabrook reportedly declined to waive his for the time being. Gretz feels there will be a point when their performances take a steep dive over the remaining tenure of their contracts so it’s worthwhile for the Blackhawks to at least try to move them. 

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook has declined to waive his no-movement clause for the time being. (Photo via NHL Images)

Other trade possibilities include center Artem Anisimov (limited no-trade clause until July 1) and winger Brandon Saad. Both are signed beyond this season and have seen their production decline. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Jason Lieser reports the Blackhawks recent improvement could make their trade deadline plans murkier. The Blackhawks have risen to within five points of a wild-card berth, prompting Lieser to wonder if management might hold off making moves to see how far the team can take this run. He noted they’re already exploring whether they can shed the contracts of Keith and Seabrook. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t blame general manager Stan Bowman for trying to find suitors for Keith or Seabrook.  If they weren’t under contract for so long (Keith has four more years remaining on his deal while Seabrook has five) they would have an easier time drumming up interest.

Maybe they find one but the interested party will probably want the Blackhawks to either take back a toxic contract, absorb a significant chunk of their annual salary-cap hit, or include a juicy sweetener (like a good young player, a first-round pick or a top prospect) to make the deal work.

The Hawks will likely have an easier time moving Anisimov by waiting until July 1, when his no-trade clause expires, though they might have to pick up part of his $4.55-million cap hit to make him more enticing to rival clubs. Saad, 26, has struggled to regain his 30-goal form of 2015-16 but has shown improvement of late, with 17 goals and 29 points in 51 games. If they can shed one of the other higher-salaried players they could retain Saad. 

WILL MARNER RECEIVE AN OFFER SHEET?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin is skeptical about the possibility of Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner getting an offer sheet this summer. Noting a recent report by TSN’s Darren Dreger saying there are teams who are “100 percent” preparing one for Marner, Larkin questions the wisdom of telegraphing their intentions to Leafs management, pointing out that will increase their urgency to re-sign the winger before July 1. 

Larkin also points out Marner could get a longer-term deal from the Leafs (eight years maximum) than from a rival club (seven years). Any offer north of $10.144 million per season would require sending four first-round picks to Toronto as compensation if he’s successfully signed away from the Leafs. There’s also the ill-will that would be created between the Leafs and whatever team signs Marner to an offer sheet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Offer sheets rarely happen. Sure, Marner could sign on July 1 but there’s no certainty he will. For that matter, he could be disinterested in talking to other clubs. 

As tempting as Marner might be, I’m in agreement with Larkin. Given the type of season Marner’s having, it could cost well over $10 million per season to ink him to an offer sheet, so that compensation of four first-round picks could be too expensive for most clubs to seriously entertain.

It’s a really stupid move for any club to leak their offer sheet intentions to the media about any player, especially this early in the year. That only increases the likelihood of the Leafs getting him re-signed before the end of June. 

LIGHTNING TRADE OPTIONS

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Smith speculated over possible trade-deadline moves by the Tampa Bay Lightning. An intriguing option could be a right-shot defenseman signed beyond this season, such as the LA Kings’ Alec Martinez, Ottawa’s Cody Ceci (restricted free agent), or Vancouver’s Chris Tanev. A physical forward like Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds or Carolina’s Micheal Ferland could also make sense. Smith adds it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lightning stands pat. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bolts are dominating the standings so management isn’t under any real pressure to improve the roster. Still, if a reasonable offer presents itself I don’t doubt they’ll consider it. 

NO MORE MOVES FOR THE DUCKS?

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford speculates Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray might be done dealing. Murray already tweaked the roster with four separate trades this season, making the Ducks younger, faster and cheaper. He’s also attempting to re-sign pending UFA winger Jakob Silfverberg, though Teaford suggests he could be moved for draft picks and/or prospects if unsigned by the trade deadline. He expects they’ll soldier on with their veteran-laden roster for the remainder of this season and explore changes in the offseason.