NHL Rumor Mill – December 6, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 6, 2022

Could there be a reunion between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin this season? What’s the latest on Brock Boeser? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD PATRICK KANE REUNITE WITH ARTEMI PANARIN?

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Arthur Staple recently wondered if there could be a reunion of Patrick Kane with his former Chicago Blackhawks teammate Artemi Panarin later this season with the New York Rangers. Kane and Panarin were highly productive linemates for two seasons before the latter was traded to Columbus in 2017. He subsequently signed with the Rangers in 2019.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Kane’s eligibility for unrestricted free-agent status in July combined with the Blackhawks’ ongoing rebuild has sparked speculation that he might favor a trade to the Rangers. The 34-year-old winger has a full no-movement clause giving him complete control over where he finishes this season.

Both players would welcome the opportunity to skate together again but they also realize it’s not that simple. Powers and Staple suggest the Blackhawks would want a first-round pick and a prospect in exchange for Kane and half of his salary.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker also took note of the trade rumors linking Kane to the Rangers. However, she believes the Blueshirts must improve their recent play and become a postseason contender to convince him to waive his no-movement clause to join them before the March 3 trade deadline.

The Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season but are currently struggling for a wild-card berth. She pointed out they have two first-round picks in the 2023 draft. Walker doubted they would part with top prospect Brennan Othmann.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most NHL pundits consider the Rangers as the likely destination for Kane by the trade deadline. As Walker points out, however, the Blueshirts might not get the chance to bid for him if they’re not holding down a playoff berth by the time he decides if he’ll waive his no-movement clause.

The Rangers might not be the only New York club interested in Kane. NYI Hockey Now’s Stefen Rosner wondered if the Islanders might be able to pry the future Hall-of-Famer away from the Blackhawks.

The Islanders are currently sitting in a better position in the standings than the Rangers. Rosner speculates it could cost perhaps a first and a second-round along with a top prospect to acquire Kane, especially if the Blackhawks agree to retain some salary.

THE LATEST ON BROCK BOESER

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports it’s his understanding that Brock Boeser’s agent has spoken to half-a-dozen teams since receiving permission last week from the Vancouver Canucks. He’s expected to speak with some more this week.

LeBrun doesn’t believe a trade is imminent as it will take some work. However, he feels it could be inevitable that he ends up playing elsewhere before the end of this season.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: suggested Boeser’s situation could create an opportunity for the Canadiens to acquire Boeser. The 25-year-old winger could act as a mentor for some of the Habs’ upcoming stars while he is also young enough to be part of the club’s long-term plans.

Boeser could also help fill the void if the Canadiens trade some of their veterans before the trade deadline. Josh Anderson, Jonathan Drouin, Sean Monahan, Evgenii Dadonov, Christian Dvorak and Mike Hoffman have surfaced in the rumor mill this season. The Canadiens could use a younger forward to provide them with much-needed secondary scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sticking points are Boeser’s injury history, his inconsistent production over the past couple of seasons, and his $6.65 million annual salary through 2024-25.

I’m not saying a trade won’t happen before the March 3 deadline. Given the high number of teams with limited cap space (including the Canadiens), it wouldn’t be surprising if Boeser got moved in the offseason when teams have more cap room.










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.

LATEST ON BROCK BOESER

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.

SUGGESTED TRADE TARGETS FOR THE WILD

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.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 4, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 4, 2022

The Canucks give Brock Boeser’s representatives permission to speak with other teams, how the Avalanche could bolster their roster, and the latest on the Senators scouting the Canadiens in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

CANUCKS GIVE BOESER PERMISSION TO SPEAK WITH OTHER CLUBS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported the Vancouver Canucks have given Brock Boeser and his representatives permission to speak with other teams about a potential trade. The 25-year-old winger has been struggling to score this season.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

Friedman speculates the situation is reaching a point where it’s time to explore a possible move. He doesn’t know, however, where this is going to go. He also said the Canucks and the Boeser camp “have not confirmed” and aren’t commenting.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance reported Boeser was slated to be a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes but go into the lineup owing to an injury to Dakota Joshua. He scored the game-tying goal in their 3-2 overtime win.

The initial decision to scratch Boeser from this game seemed heartless. It was on Hockey Fights Cancer night. Boeser’s father died of cancer earlier this year.

Drance indicated that the Boeser camp being given permission to talk to other clubs isn’t tied to what occurred on Saturday. Instead, it’s being done to enable the Canucks to free up some cap space and because this situation isn’t working out for either side. He questions the club’s decision to attempt to scratch Boeser from the lineup on Saturday when they’re trying to trade him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser has struggled with consistency due in part to frequent injuries taking him out of the lineup for lengthy periods. Nevertheless, he might benefit from moving on to another club with steadier management where he can get a fresh start.

Boeser’s skills as a scoring winger will draw interest around the league. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an average annual value of $6.65 million, which could prove difficult to move during this season with so many clubs carrying limited cap space. Still, a deal remains possible before the March 3 trade deadline.

The hiring last season of Jim Rutherford as president of hockey operations and Patrik Allvin as general manager was expected to bring stability to a franchise in need of it after the chaotic stewardship of the previous management.

Instead, there were months of uncertainty over J.T. Miller’s contract negotiations before he was finally re-signed in September. A similar situation is taking place with captain Bo Horvat’s contract talks. Head coach Bruce Boudreau’s been called out publicly by Rutherford twice, making his future in Vancouver an unnecessary distraction.

And now there’s the Boeser saga. Canucks followers are increasingly frustrated over the club’s ongoing lack of direction, which doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon.

WHAT CAN THE AVALANCHE DO TO IMPROVE THEIR ROSTER?

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently observed the Colorado Avalanche’s need to improve their forward depth. He acknowledged part of the problem is the injuries that sidelined five forwards, including wingers Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin.

The Avalanche still haven’t fully addressed filling the second-line center role following Nazem Kadri’s departure this summer via free agency. Duhatschek suggested Bo Horvat as a playoff rental if the Vancouver Canucks captain becomes available before the trade deadline.

THE DENVER POST: In a recent mailbag segment, Bennett Durando was asked if the Avalanche might seek a gritty, hard-nosed top-six forward. He believes the grit will be addressed once Landeskog and Nichushkin return from injury. Like Duhatschek, he believes they need a top-six forward comfortable playing center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone anticipates the defending Stanley Cup champions will be buyers again at the trade deadline. The second-line center position is their biggest weakness. Maybe they’ll pursue Horvat if he becomes available or opt for a more affordable choice in terms of return like Montreal’s Sean Monahan.

THE SENATORS STILL SCOUTING THE CANADIENS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont reports the Ottawa Senators have been scouting the Canadiens for some time. With the holiday roster freeze just over two weeks away (Dec. 20-27), he observed the Senators sent five scouts to the Canadiens home game on Nov. 29. Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion was also at a recent Habs game.

Dumont speculates Josh Anderson could be trade bait. The 28-year-old winger has struggled to adjust to Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis’ system.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators’ biggest need is blueline depth, which is why they’ve been frequently linked to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. The Canadiens have a bit of a log jam on their blueline, resulting in promising Jordan Harris becoming the odd man out in recent games.

Perhaps the Senators are scouting Joel Edmundson, who has also been the subject of some trade conjecture. Then again, maybe they’re scouting the Canadiens in preparation for the upcoming game between the two clubs on Dec. 14.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

A look at the early season trade targets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

ANALYSIS OF THE EARLY-SEASON TRADE TARGETS

DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat top Frank Seravalli’s first list of trade targets for 2022-23. He pointed out there hasn’t been much talk about a contract extension between the pending free agent and Canucks management since prior to training camp. Seravalli suggests “Colorado, Detroit, Boston and Edmonton” among the clubs that could use a top-flight center like Horvat.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford is in no hurry to decide what to do with Horvat. That’s understandable since the trade deadline isn’t until March 3 so there’s no reason for Rutherford to rush into a decision regarding his captain at this point.

Nevertheless, the longer Horvat remains unsigned the more speculation over his future will increase as the trade deadline approaches. We’ll find out in due course if those clubs mentioned by Seravalli actually get into the bidding for the Canucks captain.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews sit second and third on Servalli’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli indicated the Blackhawks are expected to start a conversation with Kane in December to gauge his interest in a trade. He and Toews have complete control over their fates given their no-movement clauses.

Friedman wonders whether the Los Angeles Kings would make a pitch for Kane. He indicates they have the picks and prospects to make this move. Provided Kane is willing to accept a trade to Los Angeles, I question whether the Kings can comfortably afford to pick up the remainder of his $10.5 million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Anaheim Ducks blueliner John Klingberg sit fourth and fifth on this list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman reported the Coyotes are still asking for “two first-rounders (upcoming picks or recently-drafted prospects), plus something else.”

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Coyotes based their high asking price for Chychrun on what the Ducks received from the Boston Bruins last season for Hampus Lindholm. That package included a first-round pick and two second-rounders. He also cited the two first-round picks the Chicago Blackhawks received as part of the return from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Brandon Hagel deal.

As for Klingberg, Seravalli reminds us that the pending UFA’s no-trade clause is lifted on Jan. 1. We can expect to hear his name more frequently in trade rumors between New Year’s Day and March 3.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier, Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Sean Walker and Sharks rearguard Erik Karlsson fill positions six through 10.

Seravalli points out Meier’s expensive qualifying offer ($10 million) will have teams looking at him as a rental player than as a restricted free agent…Duclair is only on the list because the Panthers will have to shed salary when he’s ready to return from his offseason Achilles tear but he might not necessarily be the player who gets traded. He carries a $3 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier could be shopped unless he and the Sharks can agree to a new deal with a more affordable cap hit. Given his RFA status next summer, the Sharks can wait until the offseason to shop him if they don’t get any offers they like before the trade deadline.

As for Duclair, I think the Panthers intend to keep him after he rediscovered his game playing for them last season. They’ll have to shed around $3 million to become cap compliant.

Gavrikov is a pending UFA but I’m not convinced the Blue Jackets will move him unless contract talks go south before the trade deadline…Seravalli pointed out the Kings have a glut of defensemen. They don’t want to move Walker but he could be the odd man out given his injury history.

Karlsson would help any NHL club but, as Seravalli notes, his $11.5 million annual cap hit and full no-movement clause significantly limit the number of potential trade destinations. That could be a trade that happens in the offseason provided Karlsson is willing to waive his NMC and the Sharks retain a big chunk of his cap hit.

Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, Blackhawks winger Andreas Athanasiou, Coyotes blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere and Sharks goalie James Reimer coming in at spots 11 through 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roslovic’s inconsistency really hurts his trade value…The Capitals could peddle Jensen if they’re out of playoff contention leading up to the trade deadline. The same goes for Athanasiou and Reimer…I would place Gotisbehere higher on this list, perhaps in the bottom half of the top 10. The puck-moving defenseman had 51 points in 82 games last season on the offensively anemic Coyotes and has 10 points in 17 games this season. He should draw plenty of interest near the trade deadline from teams seeking offense from the blueline.

Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Blackhawks center Max Domi, New York Rangers winger Ryan Reaves, Canadiens center Sean Monahan and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen round out the remainder of this list.

If the Canucks continue to spiral they could start unloading expensive contracts like Boeser’s…Reaves has been a healthy scratch in recent games. The Rangers wouldn’t want much in return as they’d prefer the cap flexibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s a scoring threat when healthy but his injury history could make him difficult to move…Domi would draw interest from contenders seeking a versatile depth rental…Reaves’ toughness should make him an affordable and enticing option for contenders seeking postseason grit…Monahan’s having a solid season (11 points in 17 games) with the Canadiens and would make a good depth center on a playoff contender…Kapanen’s trade value is so low right now that the Penguins probably couldn’t give him away at this point.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2022

The Islanders’ Ilya Sorokin shut out the Rangers, Brad Marchand could return to the Bruins sooner than expected and the Senators’ Josh Norris could be sidelined for the season. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin turned in a 41-save shutout to blank the New York Rangers 3-0. Kyle Palmieri scored two goals and Josh Bailey also tallied for the Islanders, who raise their record to 3-4-0. The Rangers (3-3-2) are winless in their last four games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Islanders placed forward Kieffer Bellows on waivers.

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tallied his 200th career goal and Stuart Skinner turned aside 37 shots in a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist for the Oilers as their record improves to 4-3-0. Ryan O’Reilly netted the only goal for the Blues (3-2-0), who’ve lost two straight games.

Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev each had two points as their club doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Nick Paul also had two points for the Bolts as they improve to 4-4-0. Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry replied for the Ducks, who fall to 1-5-1.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins could have Brad Marchand back in the lineup sooner than expected. Originally projected to return from double hip surgery by the American Thanksgiving weekend in late November, the 34-year-old winger has been skating regularly in practice with his teammates over the past two weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand requires medical clearance from team doctors before he can return to action. Given he’s already ahead of schedule in his recovery, he could be back before mid-November.

OTTAWA SUN: Bad news for Senators center Josh Norris as he’s sidelined long-term with an injured left shoulder that could require surgery. It’s possible he could miss the rest of this season but the club will learn more about his condition over the next four or five days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Norris for a significant period is a big blow for the Senators but not necessarily a fatal one for their season. With Tim Stutzle having moved up to center the first line, veterans Claude Giroux and Derrick Brassard in the lineup and rookie Shane Pinto off to a promising start, they have the depth to offset Norris’ absence.

General manager Pierre Dorion also has the cap space and young assets to draw up if necessary to acquire a center in the trade market. For now, I expect he’ll see how well his club adjusts before going that route.

THE PROVINCE: The bad news keeps coming for the struggling Vancouver Canucks as forwards Brock Boeser and Curtis Lazar head to the injured reserve list, joining Quinn Hughes and Travis Dermott. Tucker Poolman was recently placed on long-term injury reserve.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens rookie winger Juraj Slafkovsky (upper-body injury) still hasn’t been given the green light to resume play but will travel with the club for their upcoming road trip.

Speaking of the Canadiens, they acquired minor-league defenseman Nicolas Beaudin from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for minor-league forward Cam Hillis. Beaudin has 22 games of NHL experience since 2019-20.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets placed defenseman Adam Boqvist on injured reserve and called up 18-year-old David Jiricek, who was their first-round pick (sixth overall) in this year’s NHL Draft. Boqvist will be sidelined for six weeks with a broken foot.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets head coach Rick Bowness will not be accompanying the team on their three-game road trip. He suffered dizzy spells on Monday that could be related to his recent bout with COVID-19.

TWINCITIES.COM: Former Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, 36, is trying his hand at broadcasting. He’s working as an analyst with NHL Network.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2022

Wayne Simmonds, Nazem Kadri and Akim Aliu take issue with a Toronto Sun columnist, an update on David Pastrnak’s contract talks, the Golden Knights sign Nic Hague while the Senators sign Derick Brassard and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

YAHOO SPORTS/TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds and Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri took issue with Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons regarding an article the latter wrote about former NHLer Akim Aliu. The three players are members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, formed in 2020 by several current and former players of color to eradicate racism in hockey.

Simmons suggested Aliu, chair of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, was using racism as an excuse for not achieving his potential as a player. “By my count, Aliu played for 23 teams in nine different leagues in 12 professional seasons and rarely finished any season with the same team he started with. If that was color-related, how is it that Wayne Simmonds spent just about the same 12 seasons playing in the NHL?”

Aliu replied on social media saying Simmons had “no clue” what he and his family endured physically and emotionally since he started playing hockey. He recounted several instances of racism he faced throughout his career.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Simmonds replied to the Sun columnist on Twitter, saying he didn’t appreciate what Simmons was trying to do. “Do not ever use my name or any other player of color’s name to try and make your point.”

Kadri, meanwhile, said Simmons is the last person who would know about experiencing racism. “He’s always been a writer that’s kind of been on the line and created a lot of controversy so people can read his articles,” said the Flames center. “He’s just a guy who’s a little dated in his writing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The number of teams Aliu played for or the number of leagues he played in or his ability as a player doesn’t disqualify him from speaking out against racism in hockey. His story and those of other players who’ve endured racism and bigotry in the sport must be heard and their concerns must be addressed. Remember, hockey is supposed to be for everyone.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said contract talks with David Pastrnak are ongoing but offered up no timetable to finalize a deal. The 26-year-old winger said he’s comfortable with negotiations carrying on into the season. Meanwhile, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said ownership’s mindset in trying to re-sign Pastrnak was “aggressive.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact those discussions are ongoing bodes well for the two sides reaching an agreement before Pastrnak’s eligibility for unrestricted free-agent status next July.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights signed Nicolas Hague to a three-year contract worth an average annual value of $2.294 million. The 23-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights’ limited cap room factored into why it took so long to get Hague under contract. With Shea Weber, Robin Lehner and Nolan Patrick on LTIR, Owen Krepps of Vegas Hockey Now speculates they’ll squeeze under the $82.5 million cap by $700K depending on which players they demote to their AHL affiliate.

OTTAWA SUN: Derick Brassard earned a one-year, $750K contract with the Senators following a professional tryout offer. It’s the 35-year-old forward’s second tour with the Sens, having skated with them from 2016 to 2018.

CBS SPORTS: The New Jersey Devils placed captain Nico Hischier on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. It’s unclear if the 23-year-old center will be ready for the Devils’ season opener on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks placed Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott and Tyler Myers on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Brock Boeser will start the season on their active roster. Boeser had been recovering from hand surgery.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals placed Nicklas Backstrom on long-term injury reserve. The 34-year-old center is recovering from off-season hip surgery. Carl Hagelin (lower-body injury) and Tom Wilson (knee surgery) are listed as non-roster to start the season.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers placed Anthony Duclair (torn Achilles tendon) on LTIR. They will start the season with a 20-player roster due to salary-cap constraints. They also released Eric Staal from his professional tryout offer but are hoping to find a way to sign him to a contract.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Limited salary-cap space is also delaying the Carolina Hurricanes from signing Derek Stepan. They demoted Jordan Martinook after he cleared waivers but it’s considered merely a paper transaction until Jake Gardiner is officially placed on LTIR to start the season. Martinook will remain with the club and Stepan is expected to be signed shortly.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs demoted Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford after they cleared waivers on Monday.

98.5 THE SPORTS HUB: The Boston Bruins demoted Nick Foligno, Mike Reilly and Chris Wagner after they cleared waivers. It’s expected they’ll be recalled with Brad Marchand (hip surgery) and Charlie McAvoy (shoulder) going on LTIR to start the season.

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: The Blues assigned Jake Neighbours and Josh Leivo to the minors but in reality, they’re not going anywhere. The move is a paper transaction until sidelined defenseman Marco Scandella is placed on LTIR today.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens did the same thing with defenseman Arber Xhekaj. He made the roster due to a strong performance in training camp but the Canadiens must first place forward Paul Byron on LTIR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clubs can be over the cap during the off-season by 10 percent but must be compliant when the regular season officially opens. Lots of teams with limited cap space were forced to do some creative accounting until they can officially place players on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Juraj Slafkovsky also made the Canadiens’ roster to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 2022 first-overall pick faced considerable scrutiny and criticism from pundits and fans for his play during training camp and preseason games. His improvement over the course of that period garnered him at least a nine-game regular-season tryout.

After that, the Canadiens must decide if they’ll keep Slafkovsky on the roster for the season or send him to their AHL affiliate in Laval. If he’s sent down before his 10th game, the first year of his entry-level contract won’t count against this season and will slide to 2023-24.