NHL Rumor Mill – March 28, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 28, 2022

In today’s NHL rumor mill, more speculation linking Claude Giroux to the Senators, questions about Anthony Beauvillier’s future with the Islanders and a look at the Kraken’s potential offseason plans.

COULD GIROUX SIGN THIS SUMMER WITH THE SENATORS?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported it’s believed the Senators and Montreal Canadiens could be among several clubs attempting to sign Claude Giroux if the Florida Panthers forward tests this summer’s free-agent market.

Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux (NHL Images)

Giroux, 34, has been linked to his hometown club and there’s a sense he’d like to finish his career in Ottawa. Garrioch said he’s been told Giroux is “interested and intrigued” by the possibility of playing for the rebuilding Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch goes on to say there are folks in Ottawa hoping Giroux wins a Stanley Cup with the Panthers so that he’ll return home to finish his career. If he doesn’t win a Cup this year, perhaps he’d prefer signing with a club that’ll give him that opportunity rather than joining his still-rebuilding hometown squad.

Should Giroux win that elusive Cup, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of him signing with the Senators. As Garrioch indicated, however, it’ll come down to dollars and sense.

In other words, how much would Giroux want from the Senators per season and for how long? It’s believed he’ll seek a three-year term on his next deal. It could cost between $6 and $7 million annually to sign him.

Giroux signing with the cap-strapped Canadiens is a long shot unless they can shed considerable cap space for him.

IS BEAUVILLIER STILL PART OF THE ISLANDERS’ PLANS?

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner believes Anthony Beauvillier has until the remainder of this season to prove he deserves to remain a part of the New York Islanders. The 24-year-old winger has been inconsistent this season with just 10 goals.

Beauvillier is under contract for two more seasons with an annual average value of $4.15 million. He could be a player packaged in a trade or moved in a cost-cutting deal to clear cap space to bolster the defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello resisted a sell-off of assets at the trade deadline but expressed disappointment in his scorers. He’s not expected to tear down his roster and rebuild in the offseason but a shakeup could be coming for this lineup. Beauvillier could become the subject of trade rumors this summer.

THE KRAKEN COULD SHOP SOME DRAFT PICKS

THE ATHLETIC: Ryan S. Clark recently noted the Seattle Kraken has 12 picks in this year’s draft, 13 picks in the 2023 draft and nine in 2024. He reminded us that general manager Ron Francis has suggested he might not use all of those picks. They could be used for other purposes such as acquiring a player who can provide immediate help to the Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the Kraken’s dozen picks in this year’s draft, four of them are second-rounders and three are in the fourth round. Their first-rounder is likely to be among the top three so Francis won’t be parting with that unless someone overpays. His second-rounder could be attractive to veteran-laden clubs looking to shed salary this summer.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup (Part Two) – March 20, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup (Part Two) – March 20, 2022

Check out the latest on the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Islanders, Coyotes and Rangers in Part Two of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers wonders what Plan B will be for the Colorado Avalanche after failing to acquire Claude Giroux yesterday. He suggested the Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Max Domi and the Ottawa Senators’ Nick Paul as potential rental options.

THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh suggested the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp, Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel and Montreal Canadiens’ Artturi Lehkonen among his list of possible Avalanche trade targets.

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic could stand pat after acquiring Josh Manson and Nico Sturm last week. However, I don’t think he’s done scouring the market. One of those aforementioned forwards could end up with the Avs by tomorrow’s 3 PM ET deadline.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander mused over whether Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell will be active in the trade market before tomorrow’s deadline, especially when Eastern rivals such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers have already made moves to bolster their rosters. He wondered if they might be interested in a forward like the Ducks’ Rickard Rakell, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dominik Kubalik or the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes GM Don Waddell has a recent history of making moves at the trade deadline. In 2020, he acquired center Vincent Trocheck and defenseman Brady Skjei. I wouldn’t rule out Waddell swinging a deal before tomorrow’s deadline.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz cites sources suggesting there’s a good possibility the New York Islanders won’t move pending unrestricted free agents such as Zdeno Chara, Zach Parise, Andy Greene and Cal Clutterbuck. Recent speculation also suggests Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov and defenseman Scott Mayfield could stay put.

One source didn’t rule out Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello attempting to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun either at the deadline or during the offseason. Doing so could mean shipping out a forward such as Andrew Beauvillier or Josh Bailey in a separate deal and using the savings to improve the blue line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello is the most secretive GM in the NHL. He’s been known to cancel potential deals that get leaked to the media. He could stand pat, make a minor move or surprise us all with a blockbuster. Your guess is as good as mine.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan noted recent reports suggesting the Arizona Coyotes could move pending UFA goalie Karel Vejmelka. However, he feels the Coyotes could get him under contract.

The Coyotes still seek a king’s ransom for Jakob Chychrun but there are limited resources and few playoff hopefuls willing to make that move. The Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins were considered among the suitors but the latter is out now that they’ve acquired Hampus Lindholm. With Chychrun signed beyond this season, the Coyotes can revisit this in the offseason.

The Coyotes haven’t found any takers for winger Phil Kessel, who sought a trade to a contender earlier in the season. Morgan also doubts the Coyotes will part with forward Christian Fischer. He wondered if there might be any interest in sidelined pending free agents Johan Larsson and Jay Beagle. Both players are set to return to full practice on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d expect a Chychrun deal to go down in the offseason when teams have more resources and cap space they’re willing to invest in a major move. Kessel could draw some interest provided the Coyotes retain half of his $6.8 million cap hit.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks doesn’t see the Rangers trading goaltender Alexandar Georgiev at the trade deadline unless they bring in a suitable backup to replace him. He suggested the Detroit Red Wings’ Thomas Greiss as an option.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2021

The Flames collect their league-leading seventh shutout of the season, Marc-Andre Fleury blanks the Canucks with a 40-save effort, Leafs rookie Joseph Woll gets his first shutout, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames picked up their league-leading seventh shutout of the season by blanking the Boston Bruins 4-0. Dan Vladar made 27 saves for his second shutout, Johnny Gaudreau tallied the game-winner and Andrew Mangiapane scored his 15th goal of the season. With 27 points, the Flames (11-3-5) move a point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers into first place in the Western Conference.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 40 stops to backstop his club to a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Brandon Hagel scored the only goal as the Blackhawks (6-10-2) have won five of their last six games. The free-falling Canucks (6-11-2) have won just three of their last 10 contests.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll kicked out 20 shots for his first career NHL shutout to beat the New York Islanders 3-0. Mitch Marner scored twice for the Leafs. The COVID-ravaged Islanders got Anthony Beauvillier back following a false positive on Saturday but Kieffer Bellows sat out following a positive test. Center Brock Nelson left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

Steven Stamkos’ shootout goal gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild. The Lightning blew a 4-2 lead as the Wild rallied back late in the third period on goals by Kevin Fiala and Joel Eriksson Ek. Anthony Cirelli netted two goals for the Lightning. Earlier in the day, the Lightning revealed center Brayden Point will be sidelined indefinitely by an upper-body injury.

The New York Rangers nipped the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Ryan Lindgren’s goal with 0.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Artemi Panarin collected three assists for the Rangers (11-4-3), who’ve won five of their last six contests.

Seattle Kraken netminder Philipp Grubauer turned aside 37 shots as his club snapped a six-game losing skid by downing the Washington Capitals 5-2. Jaden Schwartz scored a goal and collected three assists for the Kraken while Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin potted his 745th career goal.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their fourth win of the season and their second in a row by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Kyle Capobianco scored in overtime while Karel Vejmelka made 37 saves for his first NHL victory. The Kings have lost four straight.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have sent goaltender Cayden Primeau back to their AHL affiliate in Laval.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2021

The Islanders sign five free agents, Colton Parayko inks a lengthy contract extension with the Blues, Jack Johnson gets a tryout with the Avalanche, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: After weeks of speculation, the New York Islanders yesterday officially announced the signings of unrestricted free agents Kyle Palmieri and Casey Cizikas and of restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier.

Anthony Beauvillier was among four players signed to new contracts by the New York Islanders on Sep. 1. (NHL Images)

Palmieri received a four-year, $20 million contract, Beauvillier agreed to a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $4.15 million while Sorokin accepted a three-year, $12 million agreement. Details of Cizikas’ contract (six years, $15 million) were leaked to the media the day prior.

The Islanders haven’t officially announced a contract for Zach Parise but the former Minnesota Wild winger confirmed he agreed to terms earlier this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Islanders sitting over $3.7 million above the $81.5 million salary cap. However, they’ll address that issue for the coming season by placing permanently sidelined defenseman Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million annual cap hit on long-term injury reserve.

The annual cap hits of these deals are reasonable. The term of Cizikas’ contract is unusually long for a 30-year-old checking-line center even if he is among the league’s best in that role. As I suggested yesterday, the longer term was probably what it took for the Isles to get him to accept a $2.5 million AAV.

It’ll be interesting to see what Parise’s contract will look like. There’s conjecture it’ll be a one-year deal for between $750K to $1.5 million because of the buyout dollars he’ll be getting from the Wild.

These signings will likely put the kibosh on rumors linking the Isles to St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko. However, there are other needs general manager Lou Lamoriello could still attempt to address before the season opens next month. I’ll have more on that in today’s Rumor Mill.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues signed Colton Parayko to an eight-year, $52 million contract extension. The 28-year-old defenseman will receive an annual average value of $6.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a major investment in Parayko though the annual cap hit is just $1 million more than his current one. A back injury affected his play last season but the 6’6, 230-pounder is a solid all-around blueliner when healthy. The report indicates he’s fully recovered and ready for the coming season.

Having lost Alex Pietrangelo to the Vegas Golden Knights via free agency last fall, the Blues didn’t want to run that risk with Parayko, who was eligible for UFA status next summer. GM Doug Armstrong said he saw what some defensemen were getting this summer and decided to get him under contract now. A wise decision on Armstrong’s part considering the big rearguard could’ve received offers worth around $9 million on the open market next July.

THE DENVER POST: Jack Johnson will attend the upcoming Colorado Avalanche training camp on a professional tryout offer. He played 13 games with the New York Rangers last season until sidelined by core muscle surgery. The 34-year-old defenseman was bought out last fall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests Johnson will be a long shot to crack the Avs defense corps. However, a solid training camp and preseason with the Avs could help him land a contract with another club.

TSN: The Seattle Kraken signed unrestricted free agent forward Riley Sheahan to a one-year, $850K contract.

Rick Westhead reports the Chicago Blackhawks have resolved a lawsuit by an Illinois man claiming the club inappropriately used facial recognition software to obtain and store his biometric data. The plaintiff has decided to withdraw the suit.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau remembers the victims of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv plane crash that took place on Sep. 7, 2011. Among those who perished were coaches Brad McCrimmon, Igor Koralev and Alexander Karpovtsev and former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Karlis Skrastins, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek and Josef Vasicek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since that tragic day. Writing out their names today, it’s still difficult to acknowledge they’re no longer with us.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2021

With the expansion draft over, here’s the latest on the Kraken, Oilers, Islanders, Canadiens, Capitals, Senators, Kings and Sharks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TIME TO GET KRAKEN IN THE TRADE AND UFA MARKETS?

RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon reports the Seattle Kraken’s inaugural roster is thin on scoring punch. However, that could change once the expansion draft roster freeze lifts at 1 pm ET Thursday.

Francis has approximately $29 million in salary-cap space to put toward adding players to help his club over the short and long term. The Kraken GM could target cap-strapped clubs looking to shed salary. He could also try his luck in the free-agent market when it opens on July 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trades involving the Kraken could be announced as early as today following the lifting of the roster freeze. It will be interesting to see how Francis navigates the trade and free-agent markets this summer. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t land one or two quality players before the puck drops in October.

LATEST OILERS RUMORS

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports Zach Hyman was in Edmonton yesterday discussing a possible long-term contract that could be announced as early as Thursday. The 29-year-old winger’s preference is to remain with the Leafs but his asking price of eight years at $5 million annually could be too much for the cap-strapped Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman (NHL Images).

If Hyman agrees to terms with the Oilers, his rights could be traded to Edmonton before the free-agent market opens on July 28. It’s believed the Leafs would want draft picks in return. The winger has drawn interest around the league, with one offer (not from the Oilers) said to be as high as $7 million annually. Hyman is only interested in playing for a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason for the sign-and-trade is for the Oilers to get an extra year on the contract. Teams can re-sign players to a maximum of eight years. Unrestricted free agents from other teams can be signed for no more than seven years.

Whoever the general manager is that’s offering Hyman $7 million should be fired at once. The winger’s a good player but he’s not worth $7 million per season. With some GMs apparently succumbing to auction fever already, Hyman’s going to make a lot of money on his next contract.

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports the Oilers are trying to figure out how to replace Adam Larsson following his signing with the Seattle Kraken yesterday. General manager Ken Holland will look at bringing back Tyson Barrie but they still need a shutdown defenseman on the right side. If Barrie is signed, Ethan Bear could become a trade candidate.

Should Holland pass on Barrie, his options in the free-agent market include Tampa Bay’s David Savard or Vancouver’s Travis Hamonic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports yesterday indicated the Oilers were circling back to Barrie. He seeks a long-term deal that could prove more expensive than the four-year, $16 million contract Larsson signed with the Kraken. Savard could cost less than Barrie but perhaps a little more than Larsson.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE ISLANDERS?

THE ATHLETIC: With Jordan Eberle gone, Arthur Staple wondered what the New York Islanders will do with the cap space they’ve freed up. Eberle’s selection by the Kraken in the expansion draft plus the recent trades of Nick Leddy to Detroit and Andrew Ladd to Arizona give the Isles over $17.6 million in cap room.

Restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Ilya Sorokin need new contracts. Pending UFA Casey Cizikas could also return. It’s believed former Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise is on the Isles radar plus they must find a left-side defenseman to replace Leddy.

The Islanders have also been linked to St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Colorado Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog. Adding one or the other could involve making a cost-cutting move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple also noted the Islanders can put the permanently sidelined Johnny Boychuk ($6 million annual cap hit) on long-term injury reserve if necessary to free up additional cap room. They could go that route depending on what it takes to re-sign those RFAs and Cizikas. Landeskog will cost a fortune as a free agent so I don’t see a fit there. Tarasenko is a possibility in the trade market but making the dollars work will be difficult.

CANADIENS LINKED TO BEAUVILLIER, DVORAK

TVA SPORTS: reports the Montreal Canadiens were linked to New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier and Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak. The Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Vegas Golden Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins are also said to be interested in Dvorak. The 25-year-old forward carries a $4.45 million annual cap hit through 2024-25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ rumored pursuit of both players could depend on what the future holds for Shea Weber and Jonathan Drouin. They have over $14 million in cap space but could get more wiggle room if necessary should Weber ($7.85 million) and/or Drouin ($5.5 million) end up on long-term injury reserve.

The Canadiens’ supposed interest in Beauvillier is tied to the small number of Quebec-born players on their roster. Drouin and Phillip Danault were the only two in the lineup this season and Danault is expected to depart via free agency next week. I think Beauvillier will be staying on Long Island. The Coyotes, meanwhile, are rebuilding their roster and believed to be listening to offers for Dvorak.

CAPITALS MUST SHED SALARY

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: J.J. Regan reports the Seattle Kraken’s selection of goaltender Vitek Vanecek leaves the Capitals facing a salary-cap crunch. They have just $8.9 million in cap space with captain Alex Ovechkin and goalie Ilya Samsonov to re-sign. They also have to find a replacement for Vanecek.

With eight defensemen under contract, the Capitals could end up moving one of Dmitry Orlov ($5.1 million cap hit), Brenden Dillon ($3.9 million), Justin Schultz ($4 million) or Nick Jensen ($2.5 million). Depending on the cost of re-signing Ovechkin and Samsonov, that still might not be enough. A bolder move could be trying to trade center Evgeny Kuznetsov and his $7.8 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A salary dump or two is in the cards for the Capitals this summer. Kuznetsov’s been a fixture in the rumor mill for weeks but his cap hit and personal baggage could be difficult to move without tossing in a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect.

UPDATES ON THE SENATORS, KINGS AND SHARKS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Chris Tierney may have played his final game with the Senators. He and forward Evgenii Dadonov and defenseman Josh Brown were exposed in the expansion draft.

Garrioch also reports the Los Angeles Kings are willing to move their first-round pick (eighth overall) in this year’s draft.

THE ATHLETIC’s Kevin Kurz reports the San Jose Sharks are seeking a veteran goaltender to pair with recently acquired Adin Hill. That means Martin Jones has played his final game with the Sharks.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2021

The Islanders force Game 7 against the Lightning, Patrice Bergeron wins the Mark Messier Leadership Award, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: There will be a Game 7 in the semifinal series between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning. Anthony Beauvillier’s overtime goal gave the Isles a 3-2 victory in Game 6, tying their best-of-seven series at three games apiece. Game 7 is Friday evening in Tampa Bay.

New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (NHL Images).

The Lightning took a 2-0 lead on goals by Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli. Point extended his goal streak to nine straight games and leads all postseason scorers with 14 goals.

Jordan Eberle got the Isles to within one in the second period. Scott Mayfield tied it at 11:16 of the third, setting the stage for Beauvillier’s overtime heroics. Mathew Barzal collected assists on the Eberle and Mayfield goals.

It was a costly loss for the Lightning as leading scorer Nikita Kucherov left the game early in the first period with an undisclosed injury following a cross-check by Mayfield. It happened in full view of the officials but no call was made. Bolts defenseman Erik Cernak missed this game with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That missed penalty call (the latest in a long string during this postseason) was the only blight on what was otherwise an entertaining Game 6 between these two clubs. If that becomes the final game played at Nassau Coliseum it was a helluva way to go out.

It was a solid response by the Islanders after being thumped 8-0 in Game 5. It appeared they were on their way out after falling behind 2-0 but they showed a lot of character and determination battling back for the win.

Not to take anything away from the Islanders’ performance but the Lightning felt the absence of their leading scorer and best shutdown defenseman in this game. No word as of this morning whether Kucherov and Cernak will be back for Game 7.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is this year’s winner of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed John Sedgwick, their VP of hockey operations and legal affairs, to a three-year contract extension, sparking speculation general manager Marc Bergevin could get a similar extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin has a year remaining on his current contract. I daresay an extension is likely after the Canadiens’ surprising run to the semifinal this spring. It’ll become a certainty if they eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights tonight and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

TSN: Rick Westhead reports a former team marketing official with the Chicago Blackhawks said the alleged sexual assault of two former Blackhawks players by a former video coach in 2010 was an open secret among staff both within and outside the club’s hockey department. One of those players has filed a lawsuit against the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have declined to comment because of the ongoing lawsuit. The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers believe the allegations over how the club handled the sex abuse complaints could cast a stain on its championship legacy from 2010 to 2015. Former team president John McDonough and current general manager Stan Bowman are among the club officials linked to this purported incident.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Speaking of the Blackhawks, their Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Pat Foley will be retiring at the end of 2021-22 after 39 seasons in the job.

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators defenseman Chris Phillips has resigned as the executive director of the Senators Community Foundation.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson announced his retirement yesterday. In 12 NHL seasons with the Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs, he tallied 30 goals and 138 points in 629 games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019, scoring the overtime time in Game 2 of the Cup Final against the Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Gunnarsson and his family in their future endeavors.