NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner cited NHL insider John Shannon saying he believes the New York Islanders could soon sign Nazem Kadri, perhaps by the end of this week. Appearing on the Sekeres & Price podcast, Shannon felt the holdup was general manager Lou Lamoriello has to free up sufficient salary-cap space for Kadri’s contract.
Free agent center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).
Information about a player acquisition rarely leaks out from a team run by Lamoriello. Shannon expressed amazement that it had, adding he got the info “from a very good source” that it’s going to happen soon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shannon is among the more reliable NHL insiders. He isn’t the only one linking Kadri to the Islanders but is the first to suggest the 31-year-old center could be signing with them by week’s end.
The Islanders have over $11 million in salary-cap space with restricted free agents Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov and Kieffer Bellows to re-sign. It’s rumored they’ve offered Kadri a seven-year (!) contract worth an average annual value of $7 million.
They’ll have to shed a significant salary to free up enough room for all of them. Josh Bailey ($5 million AAV) and Anthony Beauvillier ($4.15 million) are the rumored cost-cutting trade candidates. Speaking of the latter…
CANADIENS INTERESTED IN BEAUVILLIER?
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports the Canadiens are believed to be among the teams with an interest in Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier. However, the Isles’ unwillingness to retain salary is a sticking point in these exploratory discussions.
Murphy points out the Canadiens are pressed against the $82.5 million salary cap for the coming season. They’d have to send a roughly equivalent salary to the Isles in return, with Mike Hoffman ($4.5 million), Christian Dvorak ($4.4 million) or Joel Armia ($3.4 million) as possible candidates.
Unless they’re shipping one of those guys (Hoffman?) to the Isles or another team, I don’t see where Beauvillier fits into their lineup, especially given his cap hit.
UPDATE ON MOTTE
CANUCKS ARMY: Mike Gould cites CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal recently reporting between four-five teams have shown a serious interest in Tyler Motte. The 27-year-old checking-line winger spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers. Dhaliwal explains financial constraints are the hold-up as teams are trying to shed salary to make room.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Motte earned an annual cap hit of $1.225 million on his previous contract. He’s not that expensive to sign but the limited increase of the salary cap for the coming season has made it difficult for teams to add affordable depth talent.
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).
With the 2022 draft and the start of the 2022 free-agency period now history, Powers believes the 2023 trade deadline will be the next time frame when Kane and/or Toews could be moved. He anticipates the Blackhawks will be more willing by that time to retain part of their salaries to facilitate a trade, expecting the club will keep around $10 million in cap space open this season to prepare for that.
It’s expected the two long-time Blackhawks stars want to see how this season plays out as Davidson presses ahead with rebuilding the roster. Powers claims neither player really wants to leave Chicago. “Kane and Toews are going to be allowed to determine their future,” he writes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has featured prominently in this summer’s trade rumors, Toews less so. Nevertheless, we can expect these two will continue to surface in the coming season’s rumor mill, especially when the trade deadline approaches in February.
Both players carry $10.5 million salary-cap hits and full no-movement clauses so they have complete control over their fates for the coming season. The Blackhawks will be expected to retain up to half of those cap hits in a trade, which is why they’ll be more inclined to do so at the trade deadline when most of the season has been played.
UPDATE ON THE ISLANDERS
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner cites ESPN’s Kevin Weekes’ cryptic tweet anticipating “at least 4 transactions with the NY Islanders coming down the line”.
Rosner recently cited sources indicating the 31-year-old Kadri would be joining the Islanders but they first have to move out a contract to make room for him. They’ve reportedly attempted to shop winger Josh Bailey but are now looking at another avenue in winger Anthony Beauvillier.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve noted in the past the silence from the Islanders and from the Kadri camp. One or the other could bring this speculation to an end by issuing a statement denying the “Kadri to the Isles” talk.
Bailey is 32 and carries a $5 million cap hit through 2023-24. Beauvillier, on the other hand, is younger (24) and has a more affordable $4.15 million cap hit.
Bultman anticipates Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman will tell us that his club doesn’t need to get both players under contract before the coming season. He’s got plenty of time between now and next July to sign both. Nevertheless, Bultman expects there could be some concern if neither player is signed by opening night.
If the Red Wings aren’t in the playoff race before the trade decision, Yzerman could face some tough decisions if one or both remain unsigned. Larkin has a no-trade clause which gives him some leverage and could lead to a new contract this summer. Bertuzzi lacks no-trade protection.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two, I think Larkin is the more likely to be re-signed given his status as the Wings’ captain. This is a young team with plenty of promise and Larkin’s been a big part of that.
New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (NHL Images).
Given the Islanders’ limited salary-cap space, Brooks believes they’ll have to make a cost-cutting trade to accommodate Kadri’s contract. He believes center Jean-Gabriel Pageau would make the most sense on paper given his $5 million annual salary-cap hit.
However, Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello gave up a lot to acquire and sign Pageau, who plays a reliable two-way game. The Isles would have to move out a player for pennies on the dollar if the rest of the league believes Lamoriello is in a bind to clear cap space.
Brooks also suggested Josh Bailey or Anthony Beauvillier if the Isles don’t shop Pageau. With Bailey just seven games away from his 1,000th career contest, it’s hard to know whether that’ll factor into any deal. Beauvillier is seven years younger than Kadri and moving him means sacrificing youth from the roster. Dealing either one would also mean sacrificing depth on the wing.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner reports some Islanders fans were worried about Oliver Wahlstrom being a trade candidate after he made a minor change to his Instagram bio. However, sources tell him the 22-year-old winger isn’t a player the Islanders want to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello or Kadri could bring this situation to an end by simply issuing a statement denying the speculation. Their silence stokes rumors that they’ve already got an agreement in place and will officially announce it once the Isles clear sufficient salary-cap space.
I daresay there would be lots of interest in Wahlstrom. Trading him, however, wouldn’t resolve the Islanders’ need to clear salary-cap space for Kadri unless they’re peddling more than one player to do so. Even then, it wouldn’t make much sense to give up on a promising winger after just two seasons just to dump some salary. My guess is Bailey or Beauvillier get shopped.
LATEST ON KERFOOT
THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle recently wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs addition of free agent Calle Jarnkrok might make Alex Kerfoot expendable. Jarnkrok signed a four-year contract with an average annual value of $2.1 million. Kerfoot, meanwhile, earns $3.5 million this season and is slated to become a UFA next summer.
Mirtle feels Jarnkrok would be a downgrade from Kerfoot. He’s three years older and his stats suffered following stints last season with the Seattle Kraken and Calgary Flames. Kerfoot may be the better player but he could have value in the trade market.
The Leafs could prefer moving defenseman Justin Holl instead. However, they might not want to do that until they’ve got more clarity on Rasmus Sandin’s contract situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Mirtle points out, something’s got to give for the Leafs given their salary cap limitations. Jarnkrok’s addition could make Kerfoot the odd man out. Then again, it could be Holl once they get Sandin signed.
Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has some notable free agents to deal with, starting with forwards Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 13 and are coming off strong regular-season and playoff performances.
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, winger Andre Burakovsky and defenseman Josh Manson could receive lucrative offers from other clubs in the upcoming free-agent market. Trade deadline acquisition Artturi Lehkonen is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility.
Hanging over all of his is the knowledge that superstar center Nathan MacKinnon is a year away from UFA eligibility. Sakic must manage his future cap space carefully and might have to get creative if they hope to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with over $25 million in salary cap space with 14 players under contract for 2022-23. They’re enough room to re-sign Kadri, Nichushkin, Kuemper and Manson but it will eat up most of that cap space as well as bite deeply into their available space for 2023-24 when MacKinnon will be due for a big raise on a long-term deal.
Sakic might keep one of those key UFAs. It could be Kadri to ensure their depth at center but he could price himself out of their market. It could be Kuemper to maintain their solid goalie tandem with Pavel Francouz. I don’t think Burakovsky and Manson will be back.
My guess is Nichushkin is the most likely to return. Sakic took a chance on him after the Dallas Stars bought him out and he found his game with the Avs. He’s completing a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season and should be the more affordable to retain.
The Lightning’s decisions start with pending UFAs Ondrej Palat, Nick Paul and Jan Rutta. They’re up against the salary cap once again with 19 players under contract for next season. That makes a major roster overhaul unlikely.
Like Sakic, GM Julien BriseBois will have to use some creativity to maximize his bargaining power. He’ll need to decide if he’s happy with the club’s current depth, especially on the blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBois has proven skillful at finding inventive ways to maintain a championship roster. That ability will once again be put to the test.
The Lightning will get some wiggle room with Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million) on permanent long-term injury reserve. Still, it’s unlikely BriseBois be able to bring back all three of those UFAs. I expect BriseBois will put his efforts into signing Palat.
COULD THE ISLES SHOP BEAUVILLIER FOR A DEFENSEMAN?
THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently pondered the possibility of the New York Islanders shopping Anthony Beauvillier for help on their blueline. While the 25-year-old winger’s development has stalled, he’s still young enough to improve. He also carries a reasonable $4.15 million annual cap hit for the next two seasons and lacks no-trade protection.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun could be a trade target. Most Isles fans polled by Kurz would be fine with bundling Beauvillier with their first-round pick (13th overall) in this year’s draft for Chychrun, though Kurz believes the Coyotes would want a prospect included in the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders aren’t the only team expected to have an interest in Chychrun. However, the Coyotes have set a very high asking price. Beauvillier, a first and a prospect might not be enough to land him. I suspect GM Lou Lamoriello will explore more affordable options if he uses the winger as trade bait for a blueliner.
He doesn’t see the Sabres being interested in Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. Toronto’s Jack Campbell might want a deal of three or four years and the Sabres aren’t interested in that type of term. He also believes St. Louis’ Ville Husso will want dollars and term that the Sabres aren’t interested in handing out.
Harrington advocates pursuing Braden Holtby to share the goalie duties and mentor promising Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen, suggesting they offer up a two-year, $8 million deal. It would also help the Sabres reach the $61 million salary-cap minimum.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see who the Sabres bring in to share the goalie duties with Luukkonen if Anderson hangs up his pads. The focus seems to remain on building up with their younger players, though I do see them adding affordable veterans to provide depth and leadership for next season.
What’s the latest on Filip Forsberg and Jeff Petry? Could the Devils attempt to move Jesper Bratt? What will the Capitals do about their goaltending? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WILL FORSBERG RE-SIGN WITH THE PREDATORS?
TSN: Chris Johnston reports the Nashville Predators would like to bring back Filip Forsberg. However, it’s not clear at this point if they’ll be able to do that. He said there hasn’t been much progress in contract extension talks since March and both sides seem entrenched in their current positions.
THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan recently examined three options for the Predators to replace Forsberg if he hits the open market on July 13. The bold move could be attempting a major trade to acquire David Pastrnak if he’s reluctant to sign a contract extension with the Boston Bruins.
Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plenty of time remains for Forsberg and the Predators to work out a deal. However, if there hasn’t been any progress in talks when the calendar flips to July, the more likely it’ll be that the 27-year-old left winger goes to market.
I don’t anticipate the Bruins shopping Pastrnak as both sides seem open to working out a contract extension starting on July 13. Sure, it’s possible talks could stall and the Bruins could start listening to offers but I’d say the odds of that happening are low right now.
Nichushkin won’t replace Forsberg’s offense or star power. Nevertheless, he’d be a more affordable option and his two-way game could be a good fit in the Predators’ system.
Puljujarvi’s trade value is low right now and he could be available given the Oilers’ limited cap space. It shouldn’t cost very much to acquire him if the Predators are interested.
CANADIENS WORKING ON PETRY TRADE
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens are working on trading Jeff Petry though there’s no guarantee a deal will take place. Five or six teams have expressed an interest in the 34-year-old defenseman.
The Dallas Stars are among those clubs, especially if they lose blueliner John Klingberg to free agency next month. LeBrun said it appears Klingberg could test the UFA market as there have been no contract talks of late with the Stars. The Detroit Red Wings are another potential destination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Petry-to-Dallas speculation has been around since March when there was talk the Stars looked into acquiring him before the trade deadline. As for the Wings, they have plenty of salary-cap space to absorb the Michigan native’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 and are in need of experienced blueline depth.
A LOOK AT DAILY FACEOFF’S UPDATED TRADE TARGETS LIST
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli added five new names to his NHL offseason trade targets list.
New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt is the notable new name, checking in at No. 10. Seravalli noted Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald recently said the 23-year-old winger is a big part of the club’s future. However, sources said Bratt was available at the trade deadline and there’s been no contract extension talks to this point. He also noted Fitzgerald’s pursuit of “hard skill” this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bratt completed a career-best 73-point season and is coming off his second NHL contract. Fitzgerald can take his time negotiating with him though Bratt does have arbitration rights and is in line for a big raise.
I’m skeptical that Bratt will get traded but I don’t rule it out. It will depend on what type of skill player Fitzgerald is pursuing this summer and if Bratt would be a trade chip necessary to acquire that type of player.
Speaking of the Devils, Seravalli has Mackenzie Blackwood at No. 20. There’s a sense they’re losing faith in the 25-year-old goaltender after two seasons of injury and inconsistent play. He could be a bounce-back candidate in tandem with a veteran on a deeper club with limited cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Improving the goaltending depth is a must for Fitzgerald this summer. He could shop Blackwood but could also keep him as a backup to be mentored by whoever he brings in as a starter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: These three have previously surfaced in trade speculation mostly as cost-cutting candidates.
LATEST CAPITALS SPECULATION
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Andrew Gillis recently examined possible goaltending candidates for the Capitals if they part ways with Ilya Samsonov or Vitek Vanecek this summer. He suggested monitoring the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov and Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick.
Both have a year remaining on their respective contracts. He also doesn’t anticipate they’ll be among the bidders for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jack Campbell if he tests the open market in July.
Silber wondered if the Capitals would be interested. She also suggested the Capitals could prefer keeping their options open with Campbell, Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper and St. Louis’ Ville Husso possibly available via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Varlamov might approve a trade back to where his career began but I don’t see the Capitals investing in him unless they can get him signed to a contract extension. The Kings could stick with Quick for his final season before passing the full-time goalie duties to Cal Petersen.
Bobrovsky’s contract expires in 2026. Even at $5 million annually, that’s a lengthy investment in a 33-year-old goaltender who struggles at times with consistency. I think the Capitals will test their luck in the UFA market and make a cost-cutting deal if necessary to add a goalie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m including this one just for fun. And no, I don’t see Kane signing with the Capitals. They already have a first-line left winger (hello there, Ovechkin) and they’ll likely invest their limited cap space in improving their goaltending and perhaps their blueline depth.
Is Ducks goalie John Gibson open to a trade? Could the Canadiens trade winger Josh Anderson? What’s the latest Tyson Barrie speculation? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
DOES GIBSON WANT OUT OF ANAHEIM?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steven Ellis cited a tweet by Sportsnet’s Nick Alberga claiming John Gibson has informed the Anaheim Ducks that he’s open to being dealt. The 28-year-old goaltender has five years remaining on his contract with an annual salary cap hit of $6.4 million.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (NHL Images).
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber believes the Capitals should at least inquire if Gibson is open to a trade. However, the Ducks would have to retain some salary to make it worthwhile for the Capitals.
TSN: Bryan Hayes reported Gibson’s agent dismissed Alberga’s report, claiming there was nothing to it and they don’t want out of Anaheim. Nevertheless, he and panelists Jamie McLennan and Jeff O’Neill didn’t rule it out. McLennan observed Gibson’s contract provides cost certainty, suggesting his stats would improve with a better team in front of him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt there would be teams willing to gamble on Gibson if he and the Ducks agree it’s time to part ways. As the TSN panel observed, he’ll be in his early-30s and nearing the end of his contract when the rebuilding Ducks are ready to become contenders. He could be unwilling to waste what remains of his playing prime in that situation.
However, Gibson’s $6.4 million annual average value is a sticking point. Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek could be reluctant to retain any portion of that contract given how many years remain on his contract. There’s also his 10-team no-trade clause, which could feature some of the teams mentioned by Ellis and Silber.
I’m not suggesting there isn’t a market for Gibson. I just believe that moving him could prove easier said than done when the salary cap is only rising by $1 million for next season.
COULD THE CANADIENS SHOP JOSH ANDERSON?
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico recently reported Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is getting lots of calls from some rival GMs expressing interest in Josh Anderson. The 28-year-old winger has five years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million.
D’Amico believes Anderson could be an excellent trade chip for the Canadiens if Hughes decides to capitalize on the power forward’s strong reputation around the league. He also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer that Anderson is a hot commodity right now.
A high-ranking NHL executive told D’Amico the Canadiens haven’t floated Anderson in trade talks. However, they are willing to listen if case a team is willing to meet their high price.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner wondered if the New York Islanders could pry Anderson away by offering up the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft. The Canadiens are pressed for cap space and Hughes could have little choice but to unload some players.
The Islanders also have limited cap space for next season. Based on that, Rosen also proposed they offer Quebec native Anthony Beauvillier ($4.15 million annually) for Anderson.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Bob Stauffer suggesting to Elliotte Friedman it might be a good idea for the Oilers to acquire Anderson if they were to lose winger Evander Kane to free agency.
Friedman countered by suggesting the Oilers would be better off re-signing Kane as they lack the draft picks to meet the Canadiens’ high asking price. Failing that, he recommended finding Kane’s replacement via free agency rather than chasing players through trades.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Canadiens listening to offers for Anderson. The fact they’ve set an expensive price tag on him indicates how highly they think of him as a player and a person. Sure, Hughes could move him if someone’s willing to overpay but I doubt he’ll be upset if nobody does.
Would Hughes listen if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello offered up that first-rounder plus Beauvillier? Maybe, but we don’t know if Lamoriello is even looking at anyone on the Canadiens roster. His focus could be elsewhere.
LATEST ON TYSON BARRIE
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski suggested the Penguins should consider Tyson Barrie as a replacement for Kris Letang if the latter departs this summer via free agency. He believes the 31-year-old defenseman would fit the Penguins’ style well and would cost nearly $3 million less than the $7.25 million AAV of Letang’s current contract.
VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson suggested Barrie could be a good fit with the Canucks. He doesn’t consider him too old at 31, believing he’d bring qualities and depth that the Canucks could use on their blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie is signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $4.5 million and lacking no-trade protection. Some observers suggest he could become a cost-cutting casualty for the cap-strapped Oilers. His improved play this season could have teams like the Oilers, Canucks or perhaps the Dallas Stars looking into his availability this summer.