NHL Rumor Mill – June 22, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 22, 2022

Are the Canucks listening to offers for J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser? What’s the latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Campbell, Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Necas? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON MILLER AND BOESER

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Vancouver Canucks are interested in listening to offers for J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. Miller, 29, is coming off a career-best 99-point season and is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Boeser is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Dreger said there isn’t a Stanley Cup playoff team (including the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning) who wouldn’t consider Miller a good addition. The Canucks aren’t interested in draft picks as they need good young NHL players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin and president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford appear intent on putting their stamp on this team right away, perhaps by retooling with an eye on the shortest possible turnaround. They won’t want offers of castoffs or struggling young players for Miller or Boeser.

Miller will have the best value but Boeser will also draw interest despite his struggles last season as he dealt with injuries, COVID-19 and his father’s declining health. Rutherford has indicated they intend to qualify Boeser’s rights (at a cost of $7.5 million) rather than let him walk away as a UFA.

Those two aren’t the only Canucks who could be shopped this summer. The Province’s Ben Kuzma wondered if they’ll find trade partners for wingers Tanner Pearson and Conor Garland in cost-cutting moves. He pointed out that the Boston Bruins were interested last summer in Garland before the Arizona Coyotes shipped him to the Canucks.

UPDATES ON GAUDREAU, CAMPBELL, FLEURY AND MANSON

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported the Calgary Flames already sent a contract offer to Johnny Gaudreau and there’s been ongoing dialogue between the two sides. He felt it won’t be about money if the 28-year-old left winger departs via free agency on July 13 as the Flames can offer up an extra year.

Chris Johnston reports the Toronto Maple Leafs seemingly haven’t reached out to Jack Campbell and Ilya Mikheyev. There have been ongoing discussions but no numbers offered up yet and no real negotiation. Mikheyev seeks between $4 million to $5 million annually while Campbell could go higher than that depending on the goalie market on July 13.

Darren Dreger said Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin would love to bring back goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to tandem with Cam Talbot for another season. Those talks haven’t started yet as the 37-year-old Fleury just returned from vacation with his family.

LeBrun also reported Colorado Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson is expected to hit the UFA market as they’ve got other key free agents such as Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin and Darcy Kuemper to deal with. Manson’s former club, the Anaheim Ducks, would like to speak to him when he hit the open market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everything’s still in the talking stage for most of this summer’s notable unrestricted free agents. With three weeks until the market opens on July 13, there’s still plenty of time for those negotiations to intensify and work out a deal. Nevertheless, the closer we get to that date with those players still unsigned, the more speculation will grow over their respective futures.

COULD THE HURRICANES MOVE NECAS?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are calling the Carolina Hurricanes about Martin Necas. The promising 23-year-old forward is coming off his entry-level contract and had an inconsistent 40-point performance. LeBrun doesn’t know if the Hurricanes really want to move him but didn’t rule it out if they can get an offer of a good defenseman.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2022

The latest on the Avalanche and Lightning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Golden Knights hire former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss, Ducks goalie John Gibson denies trade rumors, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar hadn’t named his starting goalie for tonight’s Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Darcy Kuemper has fully recovered from the upper-body injury that sidelined him for most of the Western Conference Finals. Backup Pavel Francouz picked up the wins in all four games in that series as the Avs swept the Edmonton Oilers.

THE DENVER POST: Avalanche center Nazem Kadri’s status for Game 1 remains uncertain. He underwent surgery on his right thumb last week and wasn’t seen skating with his teammates in practice. Kadri wasn’t available to the media because of his injury status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested Kadri could return at some point in the Stanley Cup Final. Given the severity of his injury, I’ll believe it when I see it.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning coach Jon Cooper said all signs indicated Brayden Point (lower-body injury) could return to the lineup for the first time in 31 days in Game 1. However, the final decision will be made on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Point will definitely be in the line for Game 2 if he doesn’t play in Game 1 tonight.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights confirmed they’ve hired former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fired by the Bruins on June 6, Cassidy wasn’t unemployed for long. That’s because of his solid resume during his six seasons in Boston, guiding the Bruins to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final and winning the Presidents’ Trophy the following season, earning himself the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year for 2019-20.

The Golden Knights will be counting on Cassidy to get them back on the winning track after missing the playoffs this season for the first time in franchise history.

THE ATHLETIC: John Gibson denied a recent rumor claiming he would welcome a trade from the Anaheim Ducks. The 28-year-old goaltender said he first learned of the speculation in a call with his agent, Kurt Overhardt.

All of the rumors that I got in a call from Kurt yesterday are false because I haven’t had a conversation with anybody there, “ said Gibson. “None of that is true.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Eric Stephens suggested Gibson, who has a 10-team no-trade clause, could be traded if Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek gets a “blow-me-away” offer. That appears unlikely if the goalie wants to stay put.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks intend to qualify Brock Boeser’s rights, according to president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford. “No, we’re not going to let him walk,” said Rutherford. “We recognize he’s a good player. We can figure out a way to fit him in next season with him taking his qualifying offer. Everything gets tricky and difficult, but we can figure it out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will cost the Canucks $7.5 million to qualify Boeser’s rights. With limited cap space, they’ll like have to make a cost-cutting trade or two to work it out.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: cited ESPN’s Kevin Weeks reporting the Flyers are in “late-stage negotiations” with John Tortorella regarding their head-coaching job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As of early this morning a deal has not yet been reached. There could be an announcement coming soon. Stay tuned…

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed Juho “Jussi” Olkinuora to a one-year, two-way contract. The 31-year-old goaltender helped Finland win gold at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He also backstopped them to gold at the 2022 World Championship, earning MVP honors.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins promoted Chris Pryor to assistant general manager.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed forward Fredrik Karlstrom to a one-year, two-way contract extension. He appeared in three games with the Stars this season.

NHL.COM: Al Morganti and Bill Clement will be honored this year by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Morganti will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism while Clement will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Morganti and Clement on winning these prestigious awards honoring their many years in their respective fields.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are hopeful of reaching an agreement on a new arena with the city of Tempe by the end of this year.

IDNES.CZ: Czech goaltender Patrik Bartosak is under investigation by police after his father accused him of assault. He’s a former prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to Alexander Wirdzek for the link.

TSN: Carter Hutton announced his retirement on Tuesday. The 36-year-old goaltender spent 10 seasons in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. In 235 games, he had a record of 94 wins, 90 losses and 27 overtime losses, with a career goals-against average of 2.76, a save percentage of .908 and 13 shutouts.

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

CALGARY SUN: Jim “Bearcat” Murray passed away Tuesday at age 89. He was the trainer for Flames from 1980 until 1996, transitioning into retirement in a community ambassador role. Murray became one of the most popular and colorful characters in Flames’ history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I saw Murray’s popularity in Calgary during the four years I lived there in the mid-1990s. He took part in many community and charity activities and was among the city’s most recognizable local celebrities. My condolences to his family, friends, and the Flames’ organization.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 11, 2022

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and the Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST CANADIENS SPECULATION

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports there’s still no word on Jeff Petry’s future with the Canadiens. If the club is still intent on moving him (and he’s still intent on being traded), there could be some news before next month’s NHL draft (July 7 and 8) and the start of free agency (July 13) the following week. General manager Kent Hughes has indicated he’d be in the market for an experienced defenseman if Petry is moved.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cites The Athletic’s interview with Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill in which the latter indicated he’d be in the market for a right-shot defenseman this summer. He also cited The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun speculating Hughes could call Nill to gauge the latter’s interest in Petry if the Stars lose John Klingberg to free agency.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

D’Amico noted there had been trade talks between the Canadiens and Stars before the trade deadline. He also stated some sources made the same suggestion as LeBrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two factors working against a “Petry-to-Dallas” trade are the blueliner’s age (34) and his $6.25 million annual average value through 2024-25. Still, he would be more affordable than re-signing Klingberg, who could seek over $8 million annually on an eight-year deal.

D’Amico also cited Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek recently named the Canadiens and Seattle Kraken as two possible destinations for Tyson Barrie if the Edmonton Oilers shop him in a cost-cutting deal.

Marek’s colleague Elliotte Friedman speculated Barrie’s name could be out there in the trade market because of the growth of young blueliner Evan Bouchard. The Oilers must clear some cap space to address their glaring need for a goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie to Montreal works only if they trade away Jeff Petry. The 30-year-old Oilers rearguard is younger than Petryand carries a more affordable $4.5 million annual cap hit through 2023-24. He also lacks no-trade protection, giving the Habs the option of shopping him if he doesn’t pan out or if a rival club makes a tempting offer.

D’Amico cited TVA hockey analyst Maxim Lapierre saying the Canadiens should do all they can to acquire the second-overall pick in this year’s draft from the New Jersey Devils. With the top two picks, the Canadiens could select top prospects Shane Wright and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Lapierre suggested the Canadiens offer up some of the veterans on their roster. However, D’Amico said sources claim Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald isn’t interested in the Canadiens’ more tradeable assets like Jeff Petry and Christian Dvorak. Ultimately, he doesn’t believe the Habs have what the Devils would want in return for the second-overall selection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fitzgerald has said he’d part with that pick to bring in an impact player to help his club become a contender. His most pressing needs are a scoring winger and a starting goalie.

The Canadiens aren’t parting with Cole Caufield and I don’t see Josh Anderson as the type of impact player Fitzgerald has in mind. The Habs also have goaltending issues of their own to deal with. Speaking of which…

Jimmy Murphy suggested Ville Husso as a possible option for the Canadiens if Carey Price doesn’t return from his knee injury next season. The St. Louis Blues netminder is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 and it’s uncertain if they can afford to re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nobody is in this summer’s free-agent and trade markets is comparable to Price. Nevertheless, the Canadiens will need to find a suitable short-term replacement if he can’t play next season.

The 27-year-old Husso would be considerably more affordable than Price, perhaps coming in at between $4 and $5 million annually. However, there’s no certainty he’ll want to come to Montreal and could seek more than a short-term deal. The Canadiens won’t be the only club interested in him as the Oilers and Devils are among the clubs in need of help between the pipes next season.

UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS

VANCOUVER IS AWESOME: Daniel Wagner cited insiders Nick Kypreos and John Shannon telling Bob McCown they believe Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford has some big changes in store for the Canucks.

Kypreos said Rutherford doesn’t like what he considers a “country club” atmosphere in the dressing room, expecting him to “make a splash” this summer. Shannon agreed, suggesting the only untouchables are Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Thatcher Demko and Bo Horvat, leaving out stars J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser.

Wagner pointed out it’s Patrik Allvin who is the Canucks GM, though Rutherford would hold great influence over his decisions. He also cited Rutherford having gone on record claiming the Canucks don’t need a full rebuild and has said the Canucks will try to sign Miller to a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot will depend on how much it’ll cost to sign Miller and Boeser. The former is coming off a career-best 99-point performance and is a year away from UFA eligibility while the latter is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights eligible for a $7.5 million qualifying offer. If they prove too expensive to retain, one or both could be on the move this summer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2022

The Avalanche advance over the Blues to the Western Conference Finals, the latest on the Hurricanes and Rangers, Brad Marchand is sidelined by hip surgery and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years with a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of their second-round series. J.T. Compher scored twice and Darren Helm snapped a 2-2 tie with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation time. Justin Faulk and Jordan Kyrou scored for the Blues.

Colorado Avalanche forward J.T. Compher (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a nail-biting, tight-checking contest that seemed headed to overtime until Helm’s goal in the dying seconds of the third period. The Avalanche are 5-0 on the road in this postseason and will face the Edmonton Oilers in the Conference Finals.

This was a disappointing end to a better-than-anticipated season for the Blues. They finished third overall in the Central Division with 109 points and defeated the Minnesota Wild in the opening round. Their potential offseason moves will be examined in today’s Rumor Mill update.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant expressed confidence in his struggling stars Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider heading into Game 6 tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. “They’re character players, they’ll do it for us. They’ve done it for us all year,” said Gallant.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, they’ll need more from sniper Andrei Svechnikov. He was scoreless in six games until tallying a crucial goal during Game 5 against the Rangers on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers need Panarin and Kreider at their best to avoid elimination on home ice tonight in Game 6. Meanwhile, Svechnikov’s goal-scoring skills will be vital for the Hurricanes to pick up their first road win of the postseason and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

NHL.COM: The Western Conference Finals between the Avalanche and Oilers begin Tuesday, May 31 at 8 pm ET. The Eastern Conference Finals start on Wednesday, June 1 at 8 pm ET between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the winner of the Hurricanes-Rangers series.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Brad Marchand underwent surgery to repair labral tears in both hips and will require six months to recover.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That means the Bruins will be without Marchand for the first two months of 2022-23. They’ll also be without defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to start the season as he recently underwent shoulder surgery.

THE PROVINCE: Duke Boeser, father of Vancouver Canucks star Brock Boeser, passed away Friday at age 61 following a long battle with cancer and dementia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Boeser and his family.

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reports Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev played with a torn labrum, a separated shoulder and a sprained neck in the final two games of his club’s playoff series with the Oilers. He’s slated to undergo surgery next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lengths NHL players will go to play through pain in the postseason never ceases to amaze me. Here’s hoping Tanev makes a full recovery.

MLIVE.COM: Check out the trailer for ESPN’s upcoming documentary on the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry from 1996 to 2002.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was one of the greatest rivalries in NHL history and certainly among the best I’ve witnessed. The intensity of the games and the hatred between the two teams were off the charts.

SPORTSNET: A change to a Michigan insurance law means Vladimir Konstantinov and thousand of others who suffered serious traffic-related injuries could lose their round-the-clock medical care.

Konstantinov suffered career-ending and life-changing brain injuries from a limousine crash in 1997 and requires constant care at home. The change to the law and the high costs of his home care could force him to be put into an institution where restraints or medication would be required to keep him safe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings and the NHLPA are reportedly looking into ways to maintain Konstantinov’s home care. Here’s hoping they can work something out for him. At least he has a wealthy hockey club and a players’ union to help him. The other Michigan residents facing the same predicament won’t have that option.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 26, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 26, 2022

Could the Panthers try to trade Sergei Bobrovsky? Can the Canucks afford Brock Boeser? Which LA Kings could become trade candidates? Are the Senators still willing to trade their 2022 first-round pick? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE PANTHERS SHOP BOBROVSKY?

NHL WATCHER: On a recent “32 Thoughts” podcast, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suspected the Florida Panthers tried hard to trade Sergei Bobrovsky during the season or lay the groundwork to do so. He doesn’t know if it’s possible to move the goaltender but he heard the Panthers really worked on it to see if it was possible.

Florida Panther goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good luck with that. Bobrovsky, 33, carries a $10 million annual salary-cap hit through 2025-26. He also has a full no-movement clause until 2024-25 when the no-trade portion is modified to a 16-team no-trade list.

The only way I see this happening is for the Panthers to retain between $3 million to $5 million of that annual cap hit. That’s assuming Bobrovsky is willing to accept a trade. If he does, it’ll be to a limited number of clubs.

Anything can happen, of course, but I wouldn’t hold my breath anticipating a Bobrovsky trade this summer.

CANUCKS CAN AFFORD BOESER, SAYS RUTHERFORD

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reports Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford dismissed speculation his club would have to trade Brock Boeser or negotiate off his $7.5 million qualifying offer. Rutherford indicated they can afford to fit the 25-year-old winger’s QO within their budget for 2022-23. “We are definitely not pressured to trade him for financial reasons,” he said.

Simpson said that doesn’t suggest the Canucks will qualify Boeser by the July 11 deadline or that any decisions have been reached about the winger’s future in Vancouver. Rutherford said they’ll see how things work out and see if a fair deal can be reached for Boeser and the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. His performance was below expectations this season in part because of injuries and concern over his father’s battle with dementia. The two sides could require arbitration to resolve the issue but I daresay they’ll try to avoid that possibility.

Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks have $69.4 million invested in just 13 players for 2022-23. If necessary, they can exceed the $82.5 million cap by $3.5 million with all-but-retired Micheal Ferland on long-term injury reserve.

Nevertheless, fitting in Boeser’s $7.5 million qualifying offer could mean Rutherford ends up shipping out a salaried player to free up cap space. Maybe he parts with J.T. Miller ($5.25 million cap hit) if the two sides fail to agree to a contract extension. Perhaps he puts Bo Horvat or Conor Garland on the trade block. Maybe he tries to move defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

On the other hand, he and Boeser could agree to a new contract at a lower cap hit than his qualifying offer. Depending on how much of a reduction it is, Rutherford might not have to employ a drastic measure like moving Miller or Horvat.

LATEST ON THE KINGS

THE ATHLETIC: Lisa Dillman included Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo and Sean Durzi on her list of potential Los Angeles Kings trade candidates. She also didn’t rule out the possibility of general manager Rob Blake listening to trade offers for Quinton Byfield or Arthur Kaliyev but doubted either guy will be moved.

There’s been speculation Blake might consider using his 2022 first-round pick to add an experienced player to the roster. However, Dillman doesn’t see him going that route, pointing out the Kings prefer to hang onto their high draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blake was rumored to be interested in Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun this season. He has the depth in promising young players and prospects to make a decent offer and the cap space to take on his $4.6 million cap hit.

The Coyotes reportedly want a first-round pick as part of the return. Maybe Blake decides to part with his pick (which sits outside the top-16) if it’ll bring Chychrun to Los Angeles.

SENATORS STILL WILLING TO SHOP THEIR FIRST-ROUNDER

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion told TSN 1200 is willing to move his 2022 first-round pick if it’ll fetch an impact player to help the club. He’d like to add a top-four defenseman and some depth up front, though the latter could be addressed internally. Dorion also indicated he’s not interested in acquiring a player who could depart via the UFA market in a year or two.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 22, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 22, 2022

In the Sunday NHL rumor roundup, a collection of the latest Canucks speculation, the latest coaching rumors plus updates on the Stars and Devils.

LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal recently reported the Vancouver Canucks were thought to be ready to restart contract talks this past week with Brock Boeser’s representatives. They have sufficient salary-cap flexibility to tender a $7.5 million qualifying offer to Boeser by the July 11 deadline to retain his rights.

They feel the Canucks are unlikely to take Boeser to arbitration and could qualify him if a compromise isn’t reached beforehand. It’s believed that’s something the winger’s camp prefers as well. It could be a short-term extension, perhaps for three years and below the $7.5 million qualifier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s annual cap hit on his current deal is $5.875 million. He’s going to seek a significant raise, especially after seeing what teammates Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes got last season. Granted, their raises came from the previous management but Boeser’s within his rights to seek a big pay bump. It probably won’t reach $7.5 million but it could be close to $7 million.

Team sources also doused reports suggesting Oliver Ekman-Larsson could be shopped in a cost-cutting move this summer. While the club may have done some due diligence on his trade value, they remain impressed with Ekman-Larsson as a player and a person.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s big cap hit ($7.26 million) through 2026-27 plus his full no-movement clause would’ve made him difficult to move during an offseason when the salary cap is rising by just $1 million.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes J.T. Miller will draw plenty of trade interest if the Canucks cannot free up sufficient cap space to sign the 29-year-old center to a contract extension. He drew plenty of interest in this season’s trade market from the New York Rangers but Kuzma believes his career-best 99-point performance this season will draw a number of suitors attracted to his versatility.

If the Rangers still want Miller, Kuzma speculates the Canucks would want 2020 first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere as part of the return. His former agent is Canucks assistant general manager Emilie Castonguay.

Re-signing Miller will be expensive. Kuzma cited the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad and the San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl as comparables. Both were making similar to Miller’s current cap hit ($5.5 million) before signing lucrative long-term deals. Zibanejad’s is for eight years and $68 million while Hertl’s is also for eight years and is worth $65.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Either decision comes with risk for the Canucks. Trade Miller and the return might not pan out as hoped for their long-term plans. Sign him for over $8 million annually on an eight-year deal and it could become a drain on their cap space that grows burdensome as his skill decline in the final years of the deal.

The Rangers could revisit their interest in Miller but that will depend on whether they get pending UFAs Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp signed before July 13. They could also consider more affordable options on long-term deals in the trade market, such as the Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele if he becomes available.

TIDBITS FROM THE LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” SATURDAY SEGMENT

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman provided an update on Barry Trotz as the former New York Islanders head coach is drawing interest from teams seeking a new bench boss. He will meet with the Philadelphia Flyers this week. Marek believes the Flyers want to be thorough in assessing their coaching candidates. The Winnipeg Jets also met with Trotz while the Vegas Golden Knights and Detroit Red Wings could also be among his suitors.

The Dallas Stars could circle back to Rick Tocchet as a coaching candidate to replace Rick Bowness, who stepped down earlier this week. They had spoken with Tocchet earlier this season but couldn’t reach an agreement. They could also have an interest in the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires’ Marc Savard.

Speaking of the Stars, Marek believes they’d like to sign center Roope Hintz to a contract extension this summer. That could mean moving out a body. There could also be some clarity soon regarding the future of pending UFA defenseman John Klingberg.

Friedman reports the New Jersey Devils are considering all their options for the offseason. That could include shopping their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft. He believes they should soon have a list of players that they would be interested in acquiring in exchange for that pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald stated he’d like to bring in an established player to complement his core of young forwards. He’s likely seeking a top-six winger to skate alongside Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier. Fitzgerald could also seek a starting goaltender given Mackenzie Blackwood’s ongoing injury and consistency problems.