NHL Rumor Mill – July 26, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – July 26, 2023

How will the Bruins replace Patrice Bergeron? What’s the latest on Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce? Which members of the Kings could become trade candidates? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NBC SPORTS: Nick Goss believes the Boston Bruins face an enormous challenge attempting to replace Patrice Bergeron, who announced his retirement on Tuesday.

If they go with internal options, Goss speculates Charlie Coyle will take over centering the first line between Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk. That will leave Pavel Zacha as their second-line center, assuming David Krejci follows Bergeron into retirement.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

Trade targets could include Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets and Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames. Goss considers Lindholm the better fit given his all-around skill set plus the 28-year-old Flames center is two years younger than Scheifele.

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy also considers Lindholm and Scheifele as the most likely trade targets should the Bruins go that route to replace Bergeron. He shares Goss’ view that Lindholm would be the better fit.

Conroy also looked at which Bruins could become trade chips to bring in someone like Lindholm or Scheifele.

He wondered if they might bite the bullet and break up their goalie tandem by shopping Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman. He also mused whether Jake DeBrusk has a long-term future in Boston after this season. Like DeBrusk, defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames are said to be trying to convince Lindholm to sign a contract extension while the Jets are hoping to do the same with Scheifele. One or both could become available in this summer’s trade market if they reject new contract offers from their current clubs.

Swayman would be the easiest to move as Ullmark has a 16-team no-trade list. Like Swayman, DeBrusk and Grzelcyk lack no-trade protection while Forbort has a three-team no-trade list.

A package of Swayman and DeBrusk could be quite tempting to the Flames or Jets. The Bruins could prefer moving one or the other packaged with Grzelcyk or Forbort and a draft pick. Whether that’s enough to land Lindholm or Scheifele is another matter, especially if other clubs with better trade assets get into the bidding.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ann Kimmel noted the rumors that linked the Nashville Predators to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce. Given the Hurricanes’ recent signing of Tony DeAngelo, she wonders if that means Pesce is off the table.

Kimmel observed that the Hurricanes were among the clubs interested in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. Acquiring him would’ve meant making a cost-cutting trade, which in part fueled trade speculation that Pesce could become a trade candidate.

With the DeAngelo signing, the Hurricanes now appear out of the bidding for Karlsson, meaning they don’t need to shed salary to free up cap space for the Sharks blueliner. That means they can afford to retain Pesce for at least this season before his UFA eligibility next July.

As for the Predators, Kimmel believes they’re likely to stick with their current blueline corps considering they’ve invested $30 million in defensemen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes could peddle Pesce if they’re looking at adding another scoring forward to their lineup. However, they’re now bumping up against the $83.5 million salary cap. Swapping Pesce and his $4.025 million cap hit for a scorer would have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out transaction.


LA HOCKEY NOW: Austin Stanovic recently looked at several Los Angeles Kings players that they “wouldn’t necessarily be shopping if they dipped into the trade market.” However, he thinks they would be willing to move them without much fuss this season.

Trevor Moore, Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Roy could be moved because of their contracts or young players potentially stepping up and taking their spots on the roster. Young players with something to prove such as Arthur Kaliyev, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Tobias Bjornfot could also become trade chips as they attempt to prove they deserve a spot on the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend on where the Kings are in the standings and what their roster needs are as they approach the trade deadline. Arvidsson and Roy surfaced in last season’s rumor mill near the trade deadline. Their names could pop up again whenever management decides to go shopping this season.

NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2023

Are more moves coming for the Flyers, Kings and Blue Jackets following their deal to move Ivan Provorov to Columbus? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PHILADELPHIA HOCKEY NOW: Chuck Bausman reports more moves could be coming for the Flyers after they shipped Ivan Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday in a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Kings.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (NHL Images)

Flyers general manager Daniel Briere was asked about the status of Carter Hart during his press conference announcing the Provorov trade. The 24-year-old goaltender has been the subject of trade speculation after Briere recently indicated he would listen to offers.

I’m still in the same spot I was,” said Briere. “We’re open for business. We listen on everybody. Everybody’s being treated the same way for us on our side.”

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont noted a rumor that surfaced immediately following the Provorov trade claiming the Flyers were working on a deal involving Hart. He mused over whether the Canadiens should pursue him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been nothing new thus far regarding that rumored Hart trade. Perhaps we’ll learn more details soon or maybe it’ll come to nothing. What’s clear is Briere isn’t afraid to make bold moves involving one of his core players provided he gets a solid return. He could trade Hart if someone makes him a good offer.

LA HOCKEY NOW: Austin Stanovich reports the Kings cleared $5.6 million by shipping goaltender Cal Petersen and defenseman Sean Walker. That will give them more cap room to re-sign defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and forward Gabriel Vilardi. Gavrikov and Korpisalo are due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 while Vilardi is a restricted free agent.

Stanovich expects Gavrikov will be signed soon, perhaps to a three-year, $6 million per year deal. He also stated there’s nothing linking the Kings to Carter Hart but wouldn’t be surprised if they were in the mix.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens also weighed in on what the Kings’ next moves could be. He agrees the Provorov trade makes it easier for them to re-sign Gavrikov. Stephens cited colleague Pierre LeBrun indicating the blueliner’s agent seeks a two-year deal while Eric Duhatschek speculated Gavrikov could get around $5.7 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The thinking here for the Gavrikov camp is he could be in line for a much bigger payday in 2025 when the salary cap is expected to rise by a significant amount. He made $2.8 million annually on his current deal so something between $5.5 million and $6 million would be a healthy raise.

As for Korpisalo, Stephens suggested they could re-sign him or look at bringing in another goalie to share the duties with Pheonix Copley.

MAYOR’S MANOR: The influential Kings’ blog offered their analysis of what the Provorov deal means for this club. In addition to re-signing Gavrikov, they believe it allows the Kings to retain forwards Alex Iafallo, Trevor Moore and Viktor Arvidsson. The trio was to be considered cost-cutting trade candidates.

They anticipate the Kings will add another goaltender but will likely only have around $2 million to make that move. “We are not expecting Joonas Korpisalo to be an option for LA.” They also ruled out the possibility of pursuing Anaheim’s John Gibson or Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just over $13 million in projected cap space and 16 active roster players under contract, the Kings can easily afford Gavrikov. However, it will take a substantial bite out of their cap space. That’s why they’ll likely pass on Korpisalo in favor of more affordable goaltending options.

The Provorov trade might be the only major one the Kings make this summer. They could look at a smaller deal for a goalie or seek a cost-effective option via free agency.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline speculates Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen might not be done dealing after acquiring Provorov. He noted that Kekalainen said his club will keep evaluating with free agency coming up and he didn’t rule out making another trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets have some promising centers on their roster (Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger. Dmitri Voronkov) and could attempt to select another such as Leo Carlsson with the third-overall selection in this year’s draft. However, they still need more experienced depth at that position. With $12 million in cap space and 19 active roster players under contract for next season, Kekalainen could set his sights on a center through the trade or free-agent markets.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 21, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 21, 2023

Could the Sabres pursue a trade for Connor Hellebuyck? Would the Capitals trade Tom Wilson or attempt to acquire Alex DeBrincat? Could the Kings shop Viktor Arvidsson? Check out the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup to find out.


THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn recently noted that colleagues Michael Russo and Eric Duhatschek had reported hearing that the Buffalo Sabres could be interested in Connor Hellebuyck. The 29-year-old Winnipeg Jets goaltender is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

Russo and Duhatschek stated that the Sabres believe acquiring a genuine No. 1 goaltender will be the final piece that turns them into contenders. It would also enable them to hold off on passing the reins to promising Devon Levi until he’s NHL-ready.

Fairburn believes Hellebuyck would be the best option compared to who’s available in this summer’s free-agent market and potentially in the trade market. He thinks they should be monitoring the situation but shouldn’t give up top prospects like Matthew Savoie or Jiri Kulich given Hellebuyck’s contract status. If the Jets goalie can be had for less than that, Fairburn thinks he’d be worth it.

THE BUFFALO NEWS’ Lance Lysowki also weighed in on the Sabres’ rumored interest in Hellebuyck. He thinks general manager Kevyn Adams will look into the netminder’s availability. However, he anticipates a high asking cost combined with Hellebuyck being essentially a rental player for next season would make this an unlikely move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t be surprised if Adams reached out to the Jets about Hellebuyck. The Sabres GM is in a good position to acquire the 2019 Vezina Trophy winner (who’s also a finalist this season) with the cap space to absorb his $6.1 million cap hit and the depth in promising young assets to offer up as trade bait.

The only way I think this works for the Sabres is if Hellebuyck is willing to sign a contract extension. Otherwise, it’s a waste of assets for a player who’ll be heading out the door next summer. I understand the impatience to reach the playoffs after 12 seasons but it’s not worth sacrificing too much of their future on just one season.

Adams must also determine what he’s got in promising goalies like Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and how close they could be to handling the full-time starter duties. He could prefer bringing in an affordable veteran on a short-term deal until one of those youngsters is good to go.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber dismissed any talk of the retooling Washington Capitals shopping winger Tom Wilson. The 29-year-old power forward can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Wilson said he has no intention of leaving the Capitals and won’t play hardball with them when it comes to his next contract. The feeling is mutual with management as GM Brian MacLellan indicated in April that the plan is to sign him to a contract extension.

Silber also examined whether the Capitals could afford to make a pitch for Alex DeBrincat if he proves reluctant to sign a long-term deal with the Ottawa Senators. They could offer up Evgeny Kuznetsov or Anthony Mantha but both forwards are coming off disappointing performances this season.

DeBrincat would be a good fit with a Capitals roster that’s hoping for a quick turnaround. However, it seems unlikely they can acquire him given the expense of doing so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuznetsov and Mantha will be very difficult to move this summer given the number of teams (22) with less than $15 million in cap space. Their performances this season did nothing to improve their trade value. I don’t see the Senators having any interest in them if they put DeBrincat on the trade block.


SPORTSNET: On Friday’s episode of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said the Los Angeles Kings are looking to clear some cap space. He’s hearing winger Viktor Arvidsson could be available.

Co-host Jeff Marek suggested moving Arvidsson could clear room for a goaltender. Friedman also speculated it could be done to re-sign defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arvidsson, 30, is earning $4.25 million per season through 2023-24 and will be eligible for UFA status next summer. He’s played a role in the Kings’ return to playoff contender, scoring 26 goals and 59 points this season.

The Kings, however, need to sort out their goaltending situation. They also thought highly of Gavrikov, who fit in well on their blueline as a trade-deadline acquisition. Arvidsson’s contract status and his lack of no-trade protection could make him a trade candidate.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2023

Oilers Stars Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid reach scoring milestones, Matt Boldy nets his second hat trick of the month, the three stars of the week are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers nipped the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins snapped a 4-4 tie in the third period. Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard each had a goal and an assist for the 42-23-9 Oilers as they hold third place in the Pacific Division with 93 points. Barrett Hayton and Mattias Macelli each scored two goals while Lawson Crouse collected three assists for the 27-36-13 Coyotes.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl became the fourth-fastest active player to reach 300 career goals. Teammate Connor McDavid collected his career-best 80th assist of the season and is the first player to reach 140 points in a season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96.

Minnesota Wild winger Matt Boldy collected his second hat trick of the month and his first natural one of his career in a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots as the Wild (43-22-9) hold a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Central Division with 95 points. Jaden Schwartz tallied for the Kraken as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 88 points.

The Colorado Avalanche remained one point back of the Wild by defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Nathan MacKinnon and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist for the 44-23-6 Avalanche. Doug Grant replied for the 23-41-10 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks center Trevor Zegras left this game with a lower-body injury in the second period. The Ducks were already playing without Troy Terry as he was out of this contest for personal reasons.

New York Islanders winger Kyle Palmieri tallied twice and collected an assist in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Ilya Sorokin stopped 30 shots as the Islanders improved to 38-28-9 and hold a three-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 85 points. Erik Haula replied for the Devils (46-20-8) as they remain three points back of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division with 100 points.

The Ottawa Senators kept their playoff hopes alive while dealing a blow to the Florida Panthers with a 5-2 victory. Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist while Mads Sogaard turned aside 32 shots as the Senators (36-33-5) sit five points behind Pittsburgh with 77 points. Gustav Forsling scored both goals for the 36-31-7 Panthers as they remain three points behind the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers forward Sam Bennett missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury.

A shootout goal by Michael Pezzetta lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 upset of the Buffalo Sabres. Brendan Gallagher’s game-tying goal was also the 200th goal of his career for the 30-38-6 Canadiens. Rookie Lukas Rousek scored his first goal and collected his first assist in his first NHL game for the 35-31-7 Sabres, who set five points behind the Penguins for that final Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pezzetta delighted Canadiens fans by riding his stick “Tiger Williams style” to celebrate his game-winner. The Sabres played without Tage Thompson as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Ilya Lybushkin was the only Sabre who declined to take part in the club’s Pride Night warmups.


NHL.COM: The New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t play on Monday night but both clubs clinched playoff berths. The Rangers secured their spot due to Monday’s losses by the Panthers and Sabres while the Leafs are in due to the Panthers’ loss.

Los Angeles Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson, Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki, and Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 26.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights set an NHL record following their win against the Edmonton Oilers by becoming the first team to win four straight games with four different goaltenders. Jiri Patera, Jonathan Quick, Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit gained those respective wins.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso and forward Robby Fabbri are sidelined by injuries for the rest of the season.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets defensemen Nick Blankenburg and Erik Gudbranson and forward Mathieu Olivier are also done for the season due to injuries.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The front office changes continue for the Flyers as Dave Scott is stepping down as chairman of the club’s parent company (Comcast Spectacor) and governor of the franchise. Dan Hilferty will take over as Scott’s successor.

OTTAWA SUN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he’ll leave it up to the Senators’ new owner where, and if, they’ll build a new arena for the franchise. He stressed that the club won’t be leaving Ottawa. “If this team is going to move, the only move that will be permitted is to downtown,” he said. Bettman doesn’t want to back the new owner into a corner regarding a new arena.

The Senators signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Capital Commission to build a new arena at LeBreton Flats which is as close to the downtown core. However, Ottawa mayor Mark Sutcliffe last week said it wasn’t the only possible site for an arena.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman also said there are six ownership groups bidding for the Senators. The new owner could be announced by late April at the earliest.

SPORTSNET: Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov suggests Russia should withdraw from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in order to negotiate directly with the NHL for the release of its players to represent their country in international tournaments. The IIHF has suspended Russia over its ongoing war with Ukraine.

TSN: Speaking of international competition, Hockey Canada has deemed all players from Canada’s 2018 World Junior Team will be ineligible to participate in the 2023 World Hockey Championship until an investigation into an alleged group sexual assault is completed.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2022

Golden Knights fire head coach Pete DeBoer, Patrice Bergeron sheds light on his future, Mitch Marner was the victim of a carjacking, Islanders name Lane Lambert as their new coach & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights fired head coach Pete DeBoer on Monday after less than three seasons in the role. The decision comes after the club failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Former Vegas Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics suggest DeBoer was made the fall guy for the club’s inability to clinch a postseason berth. He had a number of his core players sidelined by injuries this season as well as management’s inability to suitably address that problem because of limited salary-cap space. The club’s messy split with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury last summer was also a factor, as was the cost of acquiring Jack Eichel and his late addition to the lineup due to his recovery from neck surgery.

Speculation has already started over DeBoer’s potential replacement. Former NHL coaches such as Barry Trotz, Paul Maurice and Joel Quenneville have been mentioned, though the latter would require the approval of league commissioner Gary Bettman due to his role in the Kyle Beach scandal.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron shot down rumors he could sign with the Montreal Canadiens as a free agent in July. He indicated he’ll either re-sign with the Bruins or retire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That rumor was fueled in part by NBC Sports Boston analyst Tony Amonte claiming Bergeron grew up as a Canadiens fan, as well as pointing out his former agent was now the Habs general manager. In fact, Bergeron grew up as a Nordiques fan plus the Canadiens’ limited cap space would’ve made it almost impossible to sign him even if they wanted to.

I believe the Bruins will bring back Bergeron for at least another season. The 36-year-old remains among the NHL’s elite two-way centers and his departure would leave the Bruins quite thin at that position.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner was the victim of a carjacking at gunpoint in Etobicoke on Monday evening. Three suspects armed with two handguns and a knife robbed Marner of his black Range Rover at the Cineplex Theatre on The Queensway.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marner and his friend were shaken up but unhurt in the incident and didn’t have guns pointed at them. The suspects apparently didn’t know who he was and were only interested in the vehicle.

TSN: The New York Islanders announced Lane Lambert has been named their new head coach. He served as an associate coach under former bench boss Barry Trotz for the past four seasons.

NHL.COM: New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara, Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price for this season’s finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point is “highly doubtful” for Game 1 of the second-round series with the Florida Panthers. Point appeared to injure his right leg during Game 7 of their first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, he could potentially return later in the second round.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow might return at some point during their upcoming second-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes. Goodrow is believed to have fractured his foot or ankle in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPORTSNET: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone will likely undergo back surgery on Wednesday. He’s expected to be available for the start of training camp in September.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba confirmed the upper-body injury that sidelined him for 12 games in April was a punctured lung and a dislocated rib. He returned for their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues but admitted being less than 100 percent in that series. The Wild were eliminated by the Blues in six games.

THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a herniated disc. The injury kept him out of the Kings’ series with the Edmonton Oilers. They were eliminated by the Oilers in seven games.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will undergo surgery for an injured right shoulder that nagged him most of this season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brian Boyle underwent surgery on his left knee on Monday.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Tim Stuetzle suffered an injured left leg playing for Germany against France during a World Championships game on Monday. He left the game and there’s no word yet as to the severity of the injury.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2021

The Predators trade Viktor Arvidsson to the Kings, the Sabres and Jack Eichel nearing a resolution on potential surgery, updates on the Lightning and Canadiens and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators yesterday traded winger Viktor Arvidsson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a second-round pick in this year’s NHL draft and a third-round pick in 2022.

The Predators trade Viktor Arvidsson to the Kings (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings general manager Rob Blake was reportedly in the market for a couple of top-six forwards in their late twenties with two or three seasons on their contracts. Arvidsson fits that profile.

A former 30-goal scorer with good speed and a solid work ethic, he should provide a welcome boost to the Kings’ offense. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million. The only concern is an injury history that hampered his performance over the past three seasons.

The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman believes the 28-year-old winger’s versatility could allow Kings coach Todd McLellan to employ him alongside first-line center Anze Kopitar or fellow Swede Adrian Kempe on the second line.

Dillman’s colleague Adam Vingan indicates the Predators now have over $23 million in projected cap room. General manager David Poile can put that toward re-signing key free agents this summer such as Dante Fabbro, Mikael Granlund, Juuse Saros and Eeli Tolvanen. It also frees up long-term cap room for new contracts for Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm. That cap room could be used to find a replacement if necessary for Arvidsson via trade or free agency.

Blake could soon make another addition. Having acquired one top-six forward, the other could be coming via trade or free agency later this month.

For those of you wondering why this trade took place during the Stanley Cup Final, non-playoff clubs or those eliminated from postseason competition are allowed to make trades with each other during the playoffs.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Joe Yerdon reported yesterday the Buffalo Sabres are nearing a resolution with captain Jack Eichel regarding treatment for the herniated disk in his neck. Both sides declined to elaborate as to what the outcome could be. GM Kevyn Adams said the team’s stance in denying the 24-year-old center’s request for surgery hasn’t changed as per the club’s medical staff recommendation as it has never been performed on an NHL player before.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks with his health being an ongoing concern. Reports indicate Adams is receiving calls from interested clubs but he’s said to have set a high asking price. The outcome of this upcoming resolution will have an effect on Eichel’s trade status.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme will return behind the bench for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in Montreal. A positive COVID-19 test forced Ducharme to miss the Canadiens’ final four games of their semifinal series with the Vegas Golden Knights and the first two games of this series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Alex Killorn traveled with his teammates to Montreal but his status for Game 3 remains questionable. He missed Game 2 with a leg injury and is considered day-to-day.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes officially introduced former Ottawa 67s coach Andre Tourigny as their new head coach during a press conference yesterday.

CAP FRIENDLY: provided a detailed breakdown of key dates regarding the upcoming NHL expansion draft, the 2021 NHL Draft, free agency and the first contract buyout period.