NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2023

The Oilers get their first win under new head coach Kris Knoblauch, Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon and Pierre Turgeon are inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Zach Hyman, Connor McDavid and Evander Kane lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the New York Islanders 4-1, giving new head coach Kris Knoblauch his first NHL victory. Leon Draisaitl scored the tying goal for the 4-9-1 Oilers and finished the night with a goal and three assists while McDavid had two points. Mathew Barzal tallied for the Islanders (5-6-3) as they’ve lost four straight games.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of McDavid, he denied having anything to do with the club’s decision to replace Jay Woodcroft as bench boss with Knoblauch, who coached the Oilers captain during his Junior A days with the OHL’s Erie Otters.

McDavid said he’s aware of a perception that he’s had a hand in the decision to make the coaching change but insisted nothing could be further from the truth. “I woke up to a text, like probably a lot of you guys as well,” he said.

The Colorado Avalanche scored five unanswered goals as they rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Nathan MacKinnon collected three assists while Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Tomas Tatar each had two points as the Avalanche improved to 9-5-0. Brandon Tanev netted his first of the season for the 5-8-3 Kraken.


HHOF.COM: Former NHL stars Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon and Pierre Turgeon were officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

Joining them were former Colorado Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix, former NHL coach Ken Hitchcock and Canadian women’s star Caroline Ouellette.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2024 for their well-deserved induction into the Hall of Fame.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart, Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor and Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander are the league’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 12.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights visited the White House on Monday where they were honored by President Joe Biden on their Stanley Cup win.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy practiced with his teammates yesterday for the first time since undergoing back surgery in late September. He indicated that he’s at least two weeks away from coming off the injured reserve list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big step forward for Vasilevskiy and a promising sign that he could be back in action by the end of the month at the earliest.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov’s absence from practice on Monday sparked speculation he’s been nursing an injury. The 26-year-old winger has 15 points in as many games but hasn’t looked like himself for much of this season. Head coach Dean Evason said Kaprizov was a “little banged up” but was vague as to whether it’s been something that’s been bothering him for a while.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having their best player hampered by an injury could in part explain why the Wild are off to a 5-8-2 start to this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Wild, they placed forward Frederick Gaudreau on long-term injury reserve retroactive to Oct. 24. The move makes him eligible to play for the Wild against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Sweden this weekend. It also allows them to add Jesper Wallstedt to the roster as their third goaltender.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo will play in his 1,000th career NHL regular-season game on Tuesday against the Boston Bruins.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Anaheim Ducks placed center Trevor Zegras (lower body) on injured reserve. He has just two points in 12 games and was sidelined for their last two contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zegras missed training camp and preseason play due to a contract dispute that wasn’t resolved until Oct. 3. That could account for his slow start and his lower-body injury.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic is out for four to six weeks with a fractured ankle suffered during Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers. The club has recalled defenseman David Jiricek from their AHL affiliate in Cleveland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big blow for Roslovic and the Jackets. He had eight points in 14 games before his injury.

THE SCORE: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, rookie Adam Fantilli isn’t happy with his club’s losing skid. The 19-year-old rookie acknowledged they have a young team “but that does not matter,” he said. Fantilli added that he hates to lose and doesn’t want to get used to it. “I’m not happy about the series of losses we’ve had,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It hasn’t taken long for Fantilli to become a key player for the Blue Jackets. He’s tied for the club lead in scoring with nine points and sits fourth among this season’s rookie scorers.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Milan Lucic suffered a setback rehabbing his injured ankle which has delayed his return to the lineup by a week. He’s been sidelined since Oct. 21 and was placed on long-term injury reserve on Oct. 27.

CBS SPORTS: Chicago Blackhawks forward Andreas Athanasiou is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL Players Association Executive Director Marty Walsh expressed his frustration and concern on Monday over the Arizona Coyotes’ search for a new arena.

Walsh cited rumors of the NHL adding two more expansion clubs but felt the Coyotes are like an expansion club because of their arena woes.

They’re playing right now in a college arena, 5,100 fans that go to those games, and they don’t sell out. I think that’s the first thing we have to do – figure out what is the long-term play on Arizona.”

Walsh said the NHLPA would support a plan for a new arena but noted there is currently no plan or conversation on the matter. “So that, to me, is showing that there’s no urgency on their side.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently reassured fans that he and the league are committed to keeping the Coyotes in Arizona. He expressed the hope that the club could announce its new arena plans later this season.

In mid-October, Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez said the team is hoping to announce a new arena plan within the next 60 days. That suggests they should have something in place by mid-December.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2023

The Blackhawks upset the defending champion Golden Knights, the Kings rally to defeat the Coyotes, the Devils nip the Sabres, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Philipp Kurashev lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 upset of the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights, handing the latter their first loss of the season (7-0-1). Rookie Connor Bedard scored his third goal of the season for the 3-5-0 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks defenseman Alex Vlasic left this game in the second period with an undisclosed injury following a high hit from Golden Knights forward Brett Howden. Speaking of the Blackhawks, forward Andreas Athanasiou was a healthy scratch from this contest.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (NHL Images).

The Los Angeles Kings overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 5-4. Drew Doughty started and ended the rally for Los Angeles (4-2-1) with two goals, including the game-winner. Cam Talbot replaced Pheonix Copley in the Kings’ net after the latter gave up three goals on six shots. J.J. Moser had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes as they dropped to 3-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Credit the Kings for their comeback but the Coyotes let up after taking a 4-1 lead and it cost them the game. “We defended too much and we were not on our toes. We had no forecheck, no possession. We didn’t want to play with the puck. The other team played with the puck,” head coach André Tourigny said.

New Jersey Devils forward Erik Haula tallied twice, including the winning goal, in a 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Luke Hughes collected two assists while brother Jack scored to collect his league-leading 18th point of the season for the 4-2-1 Devils. Tage Thompson netted his fourth goal of the season and Rasmus Dahlin tallied his first as the Sabres fell to 3-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly game for both clubs. Devils captain Nico Hischier was forced to leave the game after suffering a head shot from Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton, who received a match penalty and faces a hearing with the NHL department of player safety. Sabres goalie Eric Comrie left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

The Carolina Hurricanes got a hat trick from Teuvo Teravainen and a 20-save shutout from Antti Raanta to blank the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis each collected two assists for the Hurricanes as they improved to 5-4-0. Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 saves for the 0-7-1 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov skated in his first game since undergoing knee surgery in March. He was held scoreless in this contest.

Washington Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper kicked out 39 shots as his club nipped the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2. John Carlson scored in the shootout to give the Capitals (3-3-1) the victory. Ryan Hartman sniped his fifth goal of the season while Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 31 shots for the 3-3-2 Wild.

The Vancouver Canucks shut out the St. Louis Blues 5-0 on Thatcher Demko’s 22-save performance. Quinn Hughes scored two goals and J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists for the Canucks as they improved to 5-2-0. Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for the 3-3-1 Blues.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a fracture in his right hand. Meanwhile, blueliner Erik Brannstrom suffered a concussion from a hit during Thursday’s games against the New York Islanders.

NHL.COM: Ed Sandford, the Boston Bruins’ oldest surviving player, passed away earlier this week at the age of 95. The winger spent eight of his nine NHL seasons with the Bruins from 1947-48 to 1954-55. He split the following season between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks before retiring. In 503 regular season games, Sandford had 106 goals and 251 points as well as 13 goals and 24 points in 42 playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sandford’s family, friends and the Bruins organization.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2023

Updates on the Golden Knights and Panthers ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the finalists for the King Clancy Trophy are announced, the Kings re-sign Vladislav Gavrikov, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights’ blueline depth is a key reason why they’re just two wins away from becoming Stanley Cup champions. Defensemen such as Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Zach Whitecloud have played significant roles in their club’s success thus far in this postseason.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights’ discipline has also been a crucial part of their 2-0 series lead over the Panthers. “Our guys are veteran enough that they can keep their cool and composure,” said Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy. “It’s easy to retaliate and get your instant gratification. But to hold it in takes a lot more.”

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leadership and experience made the difference for Vegas in the first two games of this Stanley Cup Final. They have a roster with several stars who’ve been here before and know what it takes. They’re not perfect – Pietrangelo received a one-game suspension in the second round for his lumberjack slash on Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl – but they’ve learned from their mistakes.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour had a busy couple of days between Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Following the first game, he rushed home to Florida to be with his wife as she gave birth to their son. He then returned to Las Vegas to suit up for Game 2.

DAILY FACEOFF: Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said Sergei Bobrovsky will be his club’s starting goalie for Game 3 tonight. Defenseman Radko Gudas will be in the lineup despite leaving Game 2 with an undisclosed injury and skipping practice on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as Gudas can skate he’s going to play for the Panthers in this series. The question is how effective the rugged blueliner will be. His injury could hamper his performance, making him less of a physical presence.


NHL.COM: Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund, New York Islanders captain Anders Lee, and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse are the finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award honors the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”

LA HOCKEY NOW: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $5.875 million. This signing came less than 24 hours after the Kings traded Cal Petersen and Sean Walker to the Philadelphia Flyers to free up salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He was a solid addition to the Kings’ defense core after being acquired from Columbus at the March trade deadline. It’s believed the Gavrikov camp wanted the short-term deal in order to capitalize on a much higher salary cap in two years’ time.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks signed Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year contract extension with an AAV of $4.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athanasiou reached 20 goals and 40 points this season for the second time in his career. Like Gavrikov, he was due to become a UFA on July 1.

The 28-year-old forward indicated his desire to stay with the rebuilding Blackhawks during his end-of-season interview. While the Hawks are focused on stocking their roster with promising young talent, they need veterans like Athanasiou in the lineup to mentor those players.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to re-sign pending UFAs Pius Suter and Alex Chiasson. Their other unrestricted free agents (Adam Erne, Alex Nedeljkovic, Robert Hagg, Jordan Oesterle, Mark Pysyk, Gustav Lindstrom and Magnus Hellberg) are not expected to return.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues hope to have replacements for fired assistant coaches Mike Van Ryn and Craig MacTavish before the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville on June 28-29.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Popular TV color commentator Darren Pang is reportedly heading to Chicago to join the Blackhawks broadcast team after 14 seasons calling Blues games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Panger would say, “Holy jumpin’!” Best of luck to him in his new gig.

DAILY FACEOFF: The AHL announced its inaugural Top Prospects Team for 2022-23. It includes the Iowa Wild’s Jesper Wallstedt in goal, the Utica Comets’ Simon Nemec and the Cleveland Monsters’ David Jiricek, and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ Tyson Foerster, the Rochester Americans’ Jiri Kulich and the Rockford IceHogs’ Lukas Reichel at forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to their promising youngsters. They’re all projected to have bright futures with their respective NHL clubs.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 3, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 3, 2023

A look at what the Blackhawks could get for their notable trade candidates plus the latest on the Blue Jackets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus recently examined the potential value of the Chicago Blackhawks’ potential trade candidates.

The Blackhawks are preparing as if Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews won’t ask to be traded. Both are eligible to become unrestricted free agents in July and each carries a salary-cap hit of $10.5 million and full no-movement clauses.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

If Kane decides to ask for a trade, the Blackhawks will probably seek a first-round pick and a decent prospect. Given his no-movement clause, the limited number of teams he’d agree to be dealt to will have some leverage. The Blackhawks will also have to retain part of Kane’s cap hit.

The asking price for Toews could be a first-round pick given his bounce-back performance this season. It’s less likely that a team will want half of his cap hit. That could mean getting a third team involved to spread the dollars around or the Blackhawks will have to take back a player in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Powers and Lazerus believe Kane is more likely to be moved by the trade deadline than Toews. It’s expected we’ll learn more about their fates this season once their agent Pat Brisson has met with Blackhawks management later this month.

Max Domi could also draw interest given his solid performance this season. The Blackhawks could seek a first-round pick but Domi might instead fetch a second-rounder. They could seek a second-round pick for Andreas Athanasiou but there might not be much interest in him at the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domi was assumed to be a goner at the trade deadline but Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported on Saturday that it might not be a done deal. He seems to have found a home in Chicago and there’s apparently been some discussion between his agent and management about the possibility of a contract extension.

Athanasiou could still be moved cheaply at the deadline. However, he’ll have to pick up his production over the next two months to draw more interest in the trade market.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson looked at the value of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov in the trade market and if he’d be a fit with the Oilers.

Gavrikov, 27, is putting up solid numbers as a stay-at-home defenseman with the struggling Blue Jackets. Eligible for UFA status in July, his current cap hit is $2.8 million and his next contract will likely be in the $5 million range. The Jackets want to re-sign him but he holds leverage given their limited depth on the left side of their blueline.

Matheson expects it would cost the Oilers a first-round pick and perhaps a third-rounder to acquire Gavrikov. They’d also have to shed salary to take him on. Matheson suggests Jesse Puljujarvi to Columbus but believes the Blue Jackets would want an asset in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson suggested it’s more worthwhile for the Oilers to acquire a defenseman with term remaining on their contract if they’re going to give up assets like a first-round pick and prospects. Possible options in that category this season include Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun, Montreal’s Joel Edmundson or Chicago’s Connor Murphy or Jake McCabe. However, Matheson suggested that could come at the cost of stifling the development of young Oilers blueliners like Markus Niemelainen and Philip Broberg.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger reports Gustav Nyquist might not finish the season with the Blue Jackets. A pending UFA, he could draw interest from rival clubs seeking an experienced forward at the trade deadline.

The versatile 33-year-old Nyquist has provided leadership and consistency for the struggling, injury-ravaged Blue Jackets. Hedger speculates he could fetch multiple picks in the lower rounds or perhaps a late first-round pick from a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist lacks no-trade protection but his $5.5 million cap hit could be difficult to move under this season’s flat cap unless the Jackets retain part of his salary. The two-way forward can play center or wing and has a respectable 18 points in 35 games this season.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2022

A look at several proposed trade destinations for Canucks winger Brock Boeser plus the latest Blackhawks speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin listed the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins as his proposed trade destinations for Brock Boeser. The Vancouver Canucks have allowed the 25-year-old winger’s agent to speak with other clubs about a potential trade.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

Given the Canucks willingness to take on some salary, Larkin suggested the Stars offer up Denis Gurianov as he could use a fresh start. Boeser would be a good fit playing in his home state of Minnesota with the Wild but their limited cap space beyond this season could make that move difficult to pull off.

Boeser could fill the power-play trigger man role for the Devils, who have plenty of mid-range forwards (such as Andreas Johnsson and Miles Wood) they could offer up as part of the return. He could also be a consistent scoring threat for the Islanders, who could offer up Anthony Beauvillier.

The Rangers need a scoring winger and Boeser could be a more affordable option than the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane. Larkin wondered if Canucks general manager Jim Rutherford might attempt to leverage his relationship with his former club into a deal for Boeser.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s $6.65 million annual salary through 2024-25 remains the major stumbling block in the path to a trade. Cap-strapped clubs like the Wild would have to get creative to acquire him, especially given the Canucks’ unwillingness to retain a portion of his salary.

I think the Islanders and Rangers could become serious suitors. Isles GM Lou Lamoriello tried in vain during the offseason to sign Johnny Gaudreau and Nazem Kadri and reportedly attempted to acquire Boeser’s teammate J.T. Miller during the first round of this year’s draft. The Rangers’ need for a reliable scoring right winger has been well-documented this season.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wondered if the Washington Capitals will get into the bidding for Boeser. He suggested they offer up forward Anthony Mantha, pointing out his salary is slightly lesser than Boeser’s and he has one fewer year on his contract.

TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos pondered the possibility of the Calgary Flames making a pitch for Boeser. He believes the Canucks will have difficulty moving him without withholding 20 to 30 percent of his contract. Kypreos wondered if the Flames would take on Boeser’s full contract in exchange for Milan Lucic’s expiring one.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mantha lacks no-trade protection but he also comes with a long injury history. Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber doesn’t think the Capitals are in the market for a trade right now as they battle for a wild-card berth following a slow start to the season.

It will take more than Lucic to tempt the Canucks into trading Boeser to a division rival. I think the Flames would have to sweeten that package with a first-round pick and a top prospect to tempt Rutherford. Lucic is a Vancouver native but he could be reluctant to become a part of the Canucks’ drama this season.


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently reported Patrick Kane intends to speak with his agent Pat Brisson and Chicago Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson about his future plans. The 34-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

The Blackhawks could shop Kane and fellow UFA Jonathan Toews but it doesn’t sound like the front office is convinced those two want to be traded. Management isn’t going to pressure them into making a decision. Of the two, the belief is Kane is the more likely to be moved.

Management would love to get high draft picks, even first-rounders, for pending UFA forwards Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou. However, the market isn’t there yet. A Western Conference executive believes Domi and Athanasiou could fetch third or fourth-round picks but acknowledged other teams could get desperate.

Other trade possibilities include pending UFAs Jack Johnson and Jujhar Khaira. Connor Murphy was mentioned but that seems unlikely as he has three seasons remaining on his contract.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Domi and Athanasiou topped Adam Proteau’s list of Blackhawks other than Kane and Toews who could become trade bait this season. He also included Murphy, Jason Dickinson and Seth Jones, though he considered the latter a long shot to be moved given his hefty contract and a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson will be a seller this season but he’ll likely wait until closer to the March 3 trade deadline to maximize the value of his trade chips. We’ll likely know by January whether Kane and/or Toews will finish the season in Chicago or ask to be moved to a contender.

I agree that Domi and Athanasiou won’t fetch much beyond third-rounders right now. However, that value will rise as the deadline approaches, especially for Domi, who’s on pace for a 65-point performance this season.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2022

The latest trade speculation on the Canucks’ Brock Boeser plus some suggested trade targets for the Wild in today’s NHL Rumor mill.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports Brock Boeser’s future with the Vancouver Canucks remains murky.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

It was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Saturday that the 25-year-old winger’s agent has been given permission to speak with other clubs about a trade. Boeser’s agent, Ben Hankinson, declined to comment about the story as Jim Rutherford, the Canucks president of hockey operations.

Johnston believes a trade seems unlikely given Boeser’s $6.65 million annual salary through 2024-25 plus a tight salary-cap situation for most teams around the league. Nevertheless, the door remains open.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal report Boeser’s status on the trade block isn’t new. They indicate the winger has not asked to be moved. There’s no ill will between the player and management but rather a mutual agreement to see if there’s a fit for him elsewhere.

Drance and Dhaliwal indicate there’s an understanding among the front office that the return could be “relatively pedestrian” because of Boeser’s expensive contract, his concerning two-way play and his limited goal production this season. The move would be made to garner salary-cap flexibility. The same would apply to other expensive supporting players such as Tyler Myers, Tanner Pearson and Conor Garland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet whether Boeser’s agent is having any success drumming up potential trade partners. I daresay we’ll likely start hearing of possible suitors over the next week or two.

Boeser lacks no-trade protection, giving Canucks management plenty of options for potential destinations. However, Cap Friendly shows just three teams (Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks) have the cap space to take his cap hit. Those clubs are rebuilding and Boeser might not fit into their long-term plans.

A trade seems unlikely at this point in the season. Perhaps the market might open up as the schedule draws nearer to the March 3 trade deadline. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the type of deal that occurs in the offseason when clubs have more cap space and a willingness to spend on players like Boeser.


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Joe Smith discussed some possible trade targets for the Minnesota Wild to land another top-six forward.

Smith suggested the Chicago Blackhawks’ Max Domi or Andreas Athanasiou would be affordable rental players. The Florida Panthers could move Anthony Duclair to become cap compliant but has another year on his contract at $3 million. Russo also mentioned Duclair and wondered if they might look at Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan.

Russo and Smith also agree that this is Matt Dumba’s final season with the Wild. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. They believe general manager Bill Guerin could shop Dumba before the trade deadline even if they’re in the playoff race. However, his $6 million cap hit and modified no-trade clause could make him difficult to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin could explore Dumba’s value in the trade market before the deadline. The odds of moving him will be better if the Wild are out of postseason contention. He could dangle Dumba as trade bait for a scoring forward. However, Russo and Smith also observed the Wild could risk depleting the right side of their blueline by moving him.

Cap Friendly indicates the Wild will have over $10 million in projected trade deadline cap space with their current roster. Moving out the remainder of Dumba’s cap hit will free up additional room to perhaps add a top-six rental forward and bring in a right-side blueliner if necessary.