Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 4, 2024

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 4, 2024

Check out the latest on Jake Guentzel plus updates on the Bruins and Wild in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST GUENTZEL SPECULATION

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski cited Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos making an off-hand comment during his Friday show that he’d heard the Penguins offered Jake Guentzel a six-year, $50 million contract, but it had not yet been signed.

Kingerski would be surprised if Guentzel rejected such an offer from the Penguins. He might get a little more than that on the open market, but his stats are a little inflated from skating on Sidney Crosby’s wing for most of his career.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That rumored offer cited by Kypreos breaks down to an average annual value of $8.33 million. I agree with Kingerski that it’s unlikely Guentzel would reject that deal unless it comes without some no-trade protection. That could be a sticking point as a lot of high-end pending unrestricted free agents prefer to have no-trade or no-movement clauses to give them a measure of control over the life of their contracts.

The Montreal Canadiens trading Sean Monahan on Friday to the Winnipeg Jets has prompted some to ponder how much the Penguins might get for Guentzel in the trade market. Kingerski looks at what the Canadiens got for Monahan and the Calgary Flames for sending Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks and doubts the Penguins would get significantly more for Guentzel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski noted that any first-round pick the Penguins might get as part of the return for Guentzel would likely be somewhere between 20th and 32nd overall. Recent draft analysis indicates a 35 percent probability that a player selected in that range will even play 200 career NHL games.

It’ll be interesting to see what Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas does with Guentzel leading up to the March 8 trade deadline. He could put the winger on the trade block if the club remains out of playoff contention or if there’s no progress in contract talks.

What he could fetch in the trade market should be better than what the Flames got for Lindholm and the Canadiens got for Monahan. Kingerski pointed out that there are more buyers than sellers in this year’s trade market but little money to spend. As a result, he believes the return for Guentzel might not be the manna from heaven that some Penguins fans believe it could be.

CAN THE BRUINS AFFORD CHRIS TANEV OR NOAH HANIFIN?

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss pointed out the Bruins still need to add another veteran defenseman to their blueline before the trade deadline. He suggested the Calgary Flames’ Chris Tanev as he would fit the role of physical d-man who can log big minutes, kill penalties, block shots and clear the front of the net.

Goss cited TSN’s Pierre LeBrun indicating the general price tag for Tanev is believed to be a second-round pick plus another asset. A team could probably get him now if they offered up a first-round pick. The Bruins, however, don’t have a second-rounder until 2026 and don’t own a first-rounder in this year’s draft. Giving up their 2025 first-round pick would be too much for a 34-year-old defenseman.

Tanev’s teammate Noah Hanifin would be a better long-term fit. He’s 27 and possesses a very good two-way skill set. However, it would cost the Bruins a lot to acquire him, assuming he’s willing to sign a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s rumored Bruins GM Don Sweeney would love to land Hanifin. That seems something more likely to occur in the offseason when he becomes a UFA and the Bruins have the cap space to pursue him.

Given the Bruins’ lack of tradeable assets and limited salary cap space, I don’t see them landing Tanev or Hanifin by the trade deadline. They’ll have to pursue more affordable options on the blueline.

Boston could make it work if they were to shop Jake DeBrusk. Like Tanev and Hanfin, the 27-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

The Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy suggested the Bruins should attempt to move him in a blockbuster deal if they’re unable to sign him to a contract extension before March 8. However, the Flames might not be interested unless he’s willing to sign a new contract with them. He might not even suit their needs if they’re attempting to rebuild.

POTENTIAL WILD TRADE BAIT.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Joe Smith recently looked at the Minnesota Wild’s potential trade candidate if they become a seller by the March 8 trade deadline.

Their pending UFAs include Pat Maroon, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brandon Duhaime, Zach Bogosian and Alex Goligoski. Connor Dewar is due to become a restricted free agent who could be available if the Wild don’t like what it could cost if he takes them to arbitration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury has come up recently in the rumor mill but it seems unlikely he’ll agree to a trade unless he gets a significant role with a new club. At age 39 and with his career winding down, he’ll be at best a backup with a contender and that might not hold much interest for him.

Maroon and Bogosian have Stanley Cup experience which could make them enticing for contenders seeking affordable playoff depth.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2023

Anze Kopitar reaches a milestone goal as his Kings extend their road wins streak, a four-point night for the Senators’ Tim Stutzle, and the Wild make two trades. Get the details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

RECAPS OF WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored his 400th career goal as his club beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 to extend their season-opening road win streak to seven games. Kopitar and Adrian Kempe each had a goal and an assist while Cam Talbot made 37 saves as the Kings improved to 8-2-2. William Karlsson scored for the Golden Knights (11-2-1) as they’ve lost two straight but remain on top of the overall standings with 23 points.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are road warriors but they’ve won only once (1-2-2) on home ice. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights were without center Chandler Stephenson as he is sidelined with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to miss one more game.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3. Tim Stutzle had a goal and three assists, Claude Giroux and Dominik Kubalik each tallied twice and Mathieu Joseph collected three assists for the 5-6-0 Senators. William Nylander had a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening points streak to 13 games but his Leafs dropped to 6-5-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators were short three regular defensemen for this game with Thomas Chabot, Artem Zub and Erik Brannstrom sidelined. However, it was the Leafs who struggled defensively in this contest.

An overtime goal by Sam Reinhart lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Reinhart, Aleksander Barkov, Evan Rodrigues and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers improved to 7-4-1. Anthony Mantha tallied two goals for the 5-4-2 Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Capitals, they placed center Nicklas Backstrom (hip) on long-term injury reserve. He’s taken time away from the team and isn’t expected to return to action this season.

HEADLINES

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild made two trades on Wednesday. They shipped defenseman Calen Addison to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for winger Adam Raska and a fifth-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft. They also acquired defenseman Zach Bogosian from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2025 seventh-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bogosian is in the final season of a three-year contract with an average annual value of $850K while Addison is on a one-year deal worth $825K.

The Wild wanted an experienced physical presence on their blueline. They traded away Addison to free up room and salary-cap dollars to take on the 33-year-old Bogosian, who appeared in just four games this season with the Lightning. Raska is a 22-year-old winger with eight games of NHL experience who is likely heading to the Wild’s AHL affiliate.

Addison could use a fresh start after struggling with the Wild over the past two years. The 23-year-old blueliner should get plenty of opportunities to get his NHL career back on track in San Jose.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken winger Jordan Eberle suffered a deep cut from a skate blade to the upper part of his leg during practice on Wednesday. General manager Ron Francis said Eberle appeared to avoid serious injury but was taken to a hospital for an MRI to determine if there was any tendon damage. The Kraken have called up Shane Wright as an emergency replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis believes Eberle “dodged a bullet” but they won’t know for certain until they get the results of the MRI. An update on his condition could be released today.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers goalie Jonathan Quick joined starter Igor Shesterkin on the “day-to-day” list. They’ve recalled netminders Louis Domingue and Dylan Garland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are being cautious with Shesterkin and Quick, who have experienced “soreness” from recent play. Shesterkin participated in an optional practice on Wednesday so he could be ready for their matchup tonight with the Wild.

NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld the four-game suspension of Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Bruins, forward Morgan Geekie is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Derek Forbort (undisclosed) remains questionable for Thursday’s contest with the New York Islanders.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell cleared waivers yesterday and has been sent to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. The Oilers are expected to recall netminder Calvin Pickard.

DAILY FACEOFF: Colorado Avalanche forward Ross Colton was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for crosschecking New Jersey Devils winger Timo Meier on Tuesday.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott is expected to miss some time with an undisclosed injury.

CBS SPORTS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob MacDonald could be out for at least a week with an undisclosed injury.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins placed forward Andreas Johnsson on waivers to terminate his contract. Johnsson, 28, is expected to return to his native Sweden.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnsson tallied a career-best 20 goals and 43 points with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018-19 but never regained those heights again.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2023

Several notable players hit the waiver wire before setting their season-opening rosters, an update on Penguins winger Jake Guentzel, the Leafs and Canucks make a trade,  and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

DAILY FACEOFF: Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Martin Jones, Montreal Canadiens forward Joel Armia and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian are among 46 players to be placed on waivers Sunday as the 32 NHL teams make final preparations to set their season-opening rosters by 5 pm ET today.

Others on the list include (in order of team): Alex Stalock, Anaheim Ducks; Zach Aston-Reese, Detroit Red Wings; Raphael Lavoie, Edmonton Oilers; Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Los Angeles Kings; Mark Friedman, Magnus Hellberg, Vinnie Hinostroza and Colin White, Pittsburgh Penguins; Calle Rosen, St. Louis Blues; Simon Benoit, Kyle Clifford, and Dylan Gambrell, Toronto Maple Leafs.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of those 46 players will be heading to the AHL once they clear waivers. Some, like Armia, will probably go unclaimed because of their contracts and might not be sent down as doing so won’t clear much cap space for their respective teams.

White and Aston-Reese recently signed affordable one-year, two-way contracts with their respective clubs. Both could end up claimed by other teams before today’s noon ET deadline.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel could be in his club’s opening-night lineup on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. The 29-year-old winger underwent ankle surgery on Aug. 1 and was slated to be re-evaluated on Nov. 1. However, he began skating early in training camp and rejoined his teammates in full practice last week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for the Penguins as they’ll have their first-line left winger back in the fold well ahead of schedule.

TORONTO SUN/THE PROVINCE: The Maple Leafs shipped forward Sam Lafferty to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per the reports, the Leafs made this move (along with putting six other players on waivers yesterday) to become cap-compliant before their season opener on Wednesday. Shipping out Lafferty removes his $1.15 million cap hit from their books, creating room to potentially sign free agent forward Noah Gregor off his professional tryout offer (PTO).

The Canucks, meanwhile, add more size, grit and speed to their checking lines for the coming season. Lafferty, 28, is in the final season of his contract and could become a useful bargaining chip later in the season if the Canucks are out of playoff contention by the March 8 trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Canucks, defenseman Carson Soucy is listed as week-to-week after suffering an undisclosed injury during Friday’s preseason game against the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injury appeared to be to Soucy’s left knee after he became entangled with Flames forward Yegor Sharangovich.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Six noteworthy players were recently released from their professional tryout offers. They were Ryan Dzingel, who played with the Arizona Coyotes; Artem Anisimov by the Detroit Red Wings; Josh Bailey by the Ottawa Senators; Nick Ritchie by the St. Louis Blues; Scott Harrington by the Anaheim Ducks; and Nathan Beaulieu by the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many players recently released from their PTOs will be scrambling to find work in other leagues or face the end of their playing careers. A handful, however, could land with other NHL clubs based on their preseason performances. I’d keep an eye on Bailey, who had six points in as many preseason contests with the Senators.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2022

Alex Ovechkin becomes the all-time power-play goal leader, the Blues and Wild prepare to meet in the 2022 Winter Classic, plus the latest COVID updates and more in the first NHL morning coffee headlines of the New Year.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin became the NHL’s all-time power-play goal leader as his Washington Capitals defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. The Capitals captain tallied his 275 career power-play goal to pass Dave Andreychuk in what also proved to be the game-winner. Ovechkin added an empty netter to seal the win for the Capitals (47 points), who moved into first place in the overall standings.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 754 career goals, Ovechkin is now just 12 behind Jaromir Jagr for third place on the all-time goal list.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes scored twice, including the winner in overtime, in a 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Hughes finished with three points for the second straight game. Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto each tallied twice for the Oilers (37 points), who moved one point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Mika Zibanejad’s shootout goal lifted the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Former Lightning forward Barclay Goodrow scored twice against his former club. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist.

The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their 10th win in their last 12 games by dropping the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. The Golden Knights sit atop the Western Conference with 44 points and three ahead of the Ducks in the Pacific Division. Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 42 saves in a losing cause.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild are preparing to meet in the 2022 Winter Classic at Target Field commencing at 7 pm ET today. It’s the first Winter Classic to be staged in Minnesota and could be the coldest outdoor game in league history as temperatures could reach between minus-3 and minus-9 Fahrenheit. The Blues and Wild enter this game jockeying for first place in the Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could prove to be a more competitive game compared to some of the previous Winter Classics. The extreme cold, however, will affect the players’ performance and test the hardiness of the anticipated 40,000 fans in attendance.

COVID-19, meanwhile, continues to affect the regular-season schedule as the league postponed nine more games yesterday, bringing the total of deferred games to 90. Eight of those games were postponed due to current attendance restrictions in some Canadian cities.

SPORTSNET: NHL senior vice president Colin Campbell said the league will try to preserve as many full-capacity home games for Canadian teams as possible. All seven Canadian teams currently have reduced capacity due to recent provincial restrictions introduced to reduce the spread of the COVID Omicron variant.

A number of Canadian home games have been postponed. The league hopes to reschedule those contests as restrictions are eased or lifted over time.

Alberta and British Columbia joined Ontario in reducing its isolation requirements from 10 days to five for fully vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That means the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators will get players who test positive back sooner than the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens, whose home provinces of Manitoba and Quebec still have mandatory 10-day self-isolation periods.

United States-based teams are also now under the five-day rule after the US Centers for Disease Control reduced their isolation requirements earlier in the week.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Jeff Carter, New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff and St. Louis Blues assistant coach Mike Van Ryn were among the latest to enter COVID protocol.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher (lower-body injury) is questionable for today’s game against the Florida Panthers.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin has been sidelined with an upper-body injury.

CBS SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian missed yesterday’s game against the Rangers with a lower-body injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Patrick Marleau’s wife Christina said the second of the couple’s four sons was nearly kidnapped during a family trip earlier this week. An unnamed couple attempted to coax 11-year-old Brody into coming with them after he returned to the hotel pool to collect the sunglasses he’d left behind. A good samaritan family intervened and alerted hotel security.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thank goodness for the other family stepping in when they did. Christina also said she saw the woman who attempted to lure away Brody and informed him the police had been called, hotel security was watching her and she had to leave. The report didn’t indicate if that woman and her partner were detained.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2021

The Kraken get their first victory, impressive opening-night performances by Anze Kopitar & Tyler Bertuzzi, the Blue Jackets honor the late Matiss Kivlenieks with a big win, my take on the Senators finally signing Brady Tkachuk and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken picked up their first-ever NHL victory by holding off the Nashville Predators 4-3. Brandon Tanev scored twice and Jared McCann and Alex Wennberg each had a goal and an assist. Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists for the Predators.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a historic night in his club’s 6-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. He matched his single-game career-high (five points) with three goals and two assists, joined Luc Robitaille and Jari Kurri as the third King to score a hat trick on opening night and became the oldest player (34 years, 51 days) in league history to collect five points in a season opener. Teammate Drew Doughty had a four-point night. It was a tough loss for the Golden Knights as captain Mark Stone left the game with a lower-body injury in the second period.

Detroit Red Wings center Tyler Bertuzzi scored four goals but it was the Tampa Bay Lightning emerging victorious with four unanswered goals in a wild 7-6 overtime victory with Ondrej Palat tallying the winner. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had four points and Steven Stamkos scored twice for the Lightning.

The Columbus Blue Jackets honored the memory of the late Matiss Kivlenieks with a pregame ceremony, then went on to thump the Arizona Coyotes 8-2. Elvis Merzlikins made 36 saves for the win while Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied two goals and two assists and Max Domi collected three points.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Aaron Ekblad set the stage for Carter Verhaeghe’s overtime winner as the Florida Panthers rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4. Penguins forward Jeff Carter tallied his 400th career goal.

Andrei Svechnikov scored twice and added an assist to power the Carolina Hurricanes over the New York Islanders 6-3. Frederik Andersen made 25 saves for his first victory with the Hurricanes.

An overtime goal by Miro Heiskanen lifted the Dallas Stars over the New York Rangers 3-2. It was a costly win for the Stars as defenseman John Klingberg left the game twice with an apparent leg injury while goaltender Braden Holtby was sidelined by dehydration with 11:53 remaining in the third period. Anton Khudobin stepped in and stopped all six shots he faced.

The Buffalo Sabres got off to a good start to this season with a convincing 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Victor Olofsson and Zemgus Girgensons each had a goal and an assist.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg made a career-high 46 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Senators opened a 3-0 lead in the first period and held off a third-period rally by the Leafs, who also lost goaltender Petr Mrazek with an apparent injury to his left leg late in the second period.

HEADLINES

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, they finally signed Brady Tkachuk after he missed all of training camp and their season-opener. The 22-year-old left winger agreed to a seven-year, $57.5 million contract. The annual average value is over $8.33 million for this season, followed by an AAV of $8.205 million for the remainder of the deal. It also pays him $10.5 million in actual salary during the third, fourth and fifth seasons of the deal, and includes a full no-movement clause in the final three seasons. There are no signing bonuses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a significant signing for the Senators, getting one of their best forwards under a long-term deal without ponying up any money upfront in each season. It’s still a good deal for the winger, making him the club’s highest-paid player in terms of annual average salary.

The Tkachuk camp had reportedly sought a three-year deal but general manager Pierre Dorion said what impressed him was the winger’s desire to stay in Ottawa for the long term. This move sends a positive message to the club’s long-suffering fans that they can retain their best young players.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL approved the Montreal Canadiens’ request to place Shea Weber on long-term injury reserve. The league will continue monitoring the defenseman’s health and injuries but he legitimately cannot play right now. This move also allows the Canadiens to activate Carey Price when the goaltender returns from the league’s player assistance program.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cynics believe Weber could return to the Canadiens’ lineup in time for the 2022 playoffs when his cap hit no longer applies. While that’s possible, everything I’ve heard and read coming out of Montreal suggests it’s also unlikely. Weber is reportedly recovering from three different injuries (knee, ankle, thumb) that could bring his career to an end.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog received a two-game suspension from the league’s department of player safety for boarding Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach on Wednesday.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Emil Bemstrom is out four-to-six weeks with a left oblique strain suffered during practice on Tuesday.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals claimed defenseman Dennis Cholowski off waivers from the Kraken.

SPORTSNET: According to Sportico, the Toronto Maple Leafs has the highest value of all NHL franchises. The New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins round out the top five. In last place are the Arizona Coyotes.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2021

The Panthers re-sign Sam Bennett and trade Anton Stralman to the Coyotes, the Jets re-sign Paul Stastny and acquire Brenden Dillion from the Capitals, the Golden Knights close to re-signing Alec Martinez and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Florida Panthers were busy on Monday. They signed forward Sam Bennett to a four-year deal worth an annual average value of $4.4 million. The club also traded defensemen Anton Stralman and Vladislav Kolyachonok plus a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2023.

The Florida Panthers re-sign forward Sam Bennett to a four-year deal (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not surprising the Panthers re-signed Bennett. Slated to become a restricted free agent on July 28, the 25-year-old netted 15 points in his first 10 regular-season games after being acquired at the trade deadline from Calgary. He also had five points in as many playoff games. Bennett should be a key part of their top-two forward lines.

The Stralman trade was a straightforward salary dump by the Panthers. He had a year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $5.5 million. The 35-year-old blueliner reportedly had to be convinced to waive his modified no-trade to go to Arizona. He’ll likely become a bargaining chip at next season’s trade deadline if the rebuilding Coyotes are out of playoff contention by then.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets also had a busy day, re-signing center Paul Stastny to a one-year, $3.75 million contract and acquiring defenseman Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022 and a second-rounder in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny isn’t the offensive talent he once was. Nevertheless, the 35-year-old should be an affordable short-term answer to their need for a second-line center while management seeks a long-term solution. Dillon will help address a glaring need for reliable stay-at-home depth on their blueline, though the cost of two second-rounders seems a little high.

The Capitals, meanwhile, freed up $3.9 million in annual cap space for the next three seasons. They now have over $12 million in cap room if they call up Martin Fehervary as expected for next season. That gives them some additional wiggle room to re-sign Alex Ovechkin and goaltender Ilya Samsonov.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights are reportedly close to signing Alec Martinez to a three-year contract extension. The 35-year-old defenseman would receive an annual cap hit close to $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez proved his worth to the Golden Knights this season, especially in the playoffs where he was their best all-around blueliner. The contract is a bit long for a shot-blocking rearguard of his age but that seems the price the Golden Knights are willing to pay to remain in Stanley Cup contention.

That signing could push them over the $81.5 million salary cap. They could make a cost-cutting trade before the start of next season involving Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes expected to sign forward Dmitrij Jaskin to a one-year, $3.2 million contract. The 29-year-old spent seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals before spending the past two seasons playing for the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have been everyone’s favorite dumping ground for unwanted contracts this summer. General manager Bill Armstrong has been clearing up long-term cap space while restocking with draft picks and prospects.

Most of the contracts he’s taken on have only a year or two remaining, with most belonging to still-serviceable players who could become trade bait to playoff contenders later next season. He also did a great job shedding Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s hefty contract by shipping that off to Vancouver during the recent NHL draft.

THE SCORE: Several notable restricted free agents didn’t receive qualifying offers at yesterday’s deadline. Among them were Boston’s Nick Ritchie, Chicago’s Pius Suter, Edmonton’s Dominik Kahun and Anaheim’s Danton Heinen. They are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because they didn’t get qualifying offers doesn’t mean they can’t re-sign with their now-former teams. Sometimes teams don’t offer a QO because they want to sign those players to a more affordable contract. That’s what the Blackhawks did with Adam Gaudette, inking him to a one-year deal worth just over $997K.

TORONTO STAR: Defenseman Zach Bogosian won’t be back with the Maple Leafs. He’s likely headed to an American market via free agency on July 28.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are expected to sign Patrik Nemeth when free agency opens tomorrow. The Colorado Avalanche allowed the pending UFA defenseman to speak with other teams.

TSN: The New Jersey Devils traded forward Nick Merkley to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Christian Jaros. The Devils signed Jaros to a one-year, two-way contract.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers re-signed defenseman Sam Morin to a one-year, $750K contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is expected to be named head coach of the United States’ Men’s hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.