NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2023

Recaps of Friday’s game, the Islanders acquire Robert Bortuzzo from the Blues, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers overcame 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to tame the Minnesota Wild 4-3. Evan Bouchard scored two goals and set up another to extend his points streak to 10 games, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected four assists while Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who picked up their sixth straight win and improved their record to 11-12-1. Matt Boldy had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who suffered their second straight loss and slipped to 9-12-4.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild also lost Jonas Brodin as the defenseman left the game early in the third period after being crunched into the boards by Oilers winger Evander Kane.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Eetu Luostarinen broke a 1-1 tie in the third period while Anton Lundell picked up two assists for the 16-8-2 Panthers. Tristan Jarry turned aside 30 shots while Reilly Smith scored for the Penguins (11-12-5), who’ve won just three of their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins also played without winger Bryan Rust as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets upset the St. Louis Blues 5-2. Jet Greaves kicked out 41 shots for his first career NHL victory while Yegor Chinakov scored twice and collected an assist for the 9-15-3 Blue Jackets. Robert Thomas tallied both goals for the Blues as they dropped to 13-12-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Blue Jackets as center Boone Jenner left this game after taking a puck to the face in the second period.


NYI HOCKEY NOW: The New York Islanders acquired defenseman Robert Bortuzzo from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

This trade came after the Islanders placed blueliner Ryan Pulock (leg) on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 7. He’s the third Isles rearguard to be sidelined over the past two weeks, joining Adam Pelech and Sebastian Aho.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move indicates the Islanders preferred a more experienced NHL depth defenseman to help fill the void on their blueline rather than calling up someone from their AHL affiliate.

Bortuzzo is a 13-year NHL veteran who won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019. However, he was a frequent healthy scratch this season as Scott Perunovich and Tyler Tucker garnered more playing time. Bortuzzo is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken winger Andre Burakovsky is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. It was his first game since suffering a different upper-body injury that sidelined him for six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burakovsky has been banged up a lot this year. He also suffered a season-ending groin injury in January.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Devils, defenseman Brendan Smith was fined $2,864.58 by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip against Kraken forward Devin Shore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second fine for Smith since 2022.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Austin Watson was fined $2,022.57 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during his club’s loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As time expired in that game, Watson deliberately shot the puck at Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. It’s the third time since 2017 that he’s been fined by the league.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2023

Brandon Hagel’s contract with the Lightning could lead to a big raise for the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, the Oilers officially announce Evan Bouchard’s new contract and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PUCKS WITH HAGGS: Joe Haggerty believes Bradon Hagel’s eight-year, $52 million contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning could have ramifications for the Boston Bruins and their negotiations with winger Jake DeBrusk.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

Eligible next July for unrestricted free-agent status, the 26-year-old DeBrusk is in the second season of a two-year, $8 million contract. He’s endured inconsistency earlier in his career but reached a career-high 50 points (including 27 goals) in 64 games last season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins should sign DeBrusk to a comparable extension as soon as possible. He opines that the $6.25 million (or close to it) average annual cap hit will be more team-friendly in 2026 than it is right now.

Goss noted the depletion of the Bruins’ veteran core in recent years. He points out that Brad Marchand can’t keep playing forever and there’s not a lot of depth on the Bruins’ left wing. He warns that waiting to evaluate his performance this season could make DeBrusk more expensive to sign if he scores at the same pace as he did last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news for the Bruins is they’ve got a projected $23.8 million in cap space with 12 active roster players under contract. That’s plenty of room to sign DeBrusk to a contract comparable to Hagel’s.

The bad news is they must also shell out big bucks if they hope to acquire or sign a first-line center next summer. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman could be in line for a big raise provided they don’t trade him. That could force them to make a cost-cutting trade or two that could deplete their depth elsewhere in the lineup.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers officially confirmed they’ve signed Evan Bouchard to a two-year contract. The 23-year-old defenseman will earn an average annual value of $3.9 million.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers hired Hockey Hall of Famer Angela Ruggiero as a hockey operations advisor. One of the most decorated women’s hockey players of all time, Ruggiero trained with Rangers general manager Chris Drury during their playing days. Both were inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL player Sven Baertschi officially announced his retirement. In a statement, the 30-year-old forward cited a number of injuries that have taken a toll. He played 10 seasons in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights, scoring 66 goals and 138 points in 292 games.

THE DENVER POST: Former NHL player Kyle Quincey is building a psychedelic retreat center for former athletes and military members.

Quincey, 34, experienced emotional instability following his retirement in 2019, citing 20 concussions and massive mood swings. In 2020, his youngest son was diagnosed with brain cancer. The youngster is now in remission following a year of treatment but that ordeal also took its toll on Quincey’s mental health.

Introduced to “magic mushrooms” by former NHL enforcer and psychedelics advocate Daniel Carcillo, Quincey found they had a profound effect on him. He’s building the retreat where he hopes to provide psilocybin therapy for individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury, addictions, anxiety and depression.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 24, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 24, 2023

The Leafs sign Auston Matthews to a four-year contract extension while teammate William Nylander hopes to stay in Toronto, Canucks center Elias Pettersson is in no rush to sign an extension, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs reached an agreement with Auston Matthews on a four-year, $53 million contract extension that begins in 2024-25. The average annual value is $13.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Starting in ’24-’25, Matthews will have the highest AAV in the league, surpassing Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon ($12.6 million) and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid ($12.5 million).

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

The deal is front-loaded, paying $16.7 million in actual salary for ’24-’25, $15.2 million in 2025-26, $11.080 million in 2026-27 and $10.020 million in 2027-28. Of that $53 million total, $50 million will be paid out as signing bonuses. That means he’ll get $15.925 million of his actual salary on July 1 of the first season, $14.425 million for the second season, $10.180 million in season three and $9.120 million in the final season.

Matthews turns 26 on Sept. 17 and will be 27 when the ’24-’25 regular-season schedule begins. He’ll be 30 when his new contract expires. If he maintains his annual 40-plus goal pace, he’ll be in line for yet another lucrative deal.

Top NHL stars usually sign expensive contracts for the maximum number of years under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). That’s eight years for re-signing with their current team as a restricted free agent and seven years if they sign with a new club as an unrestricted free agent.

Matthews, however, is breaking that trend. Signing deals that are four or five years in length ensures he’ll remain among the highest-paid players during most of his career.

It also ensures that Matthews is not locked into one team for too long, especially if management decides to rebuild the roster. Had he signed an eight-year extension and the Leafs ended up rebuilding four years from now, he’d be stuck on a club with no chance of winning the Stanley Cup over the remaining term of a contract that would prove difficult to trade.

Other NHL superstars are likely taking notice. Don’t be surprised if we start seeing similar deals among the league’s current and future top players in the coming years.

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, William Nylander claims there’s no other place he wants to play. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The 27-year-old winger indicated his representatives have spoken with Leafs management but doesn’t think there’s much going on right now. He’s unconcerned about the situation, adding that his focus is on getting ready for the coming season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was reported earlier this summer that negotiations between the Leafs and Nylander’s camp weren’t going well, with speculation claiming he seeks $10 million annually on his next deal.

With Mitch Marner due for a hefty raise in 2025, it’s believed the Leafs could retain Nylander for this season as a self-rental as they chase that elusive Stanley Cup and let him depart via free agency in July. Time will tell if that comes to pass.

THE PROVINCE: Elias Pettersson told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that he’s not in a rush to sign a new contract with the Vancouver Canucks. The 24-year-old center is in the final season of his three-year deal with an AAV of $7.35 million but he’ll earn $10.25 million in actual salary in 2023-24. He’ll become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next July.

Pettersson indicated that contract discussions are on hold as he focuses on preparing for the coming season. He wants to ensure that he gets the right contract for himself, be it a short or long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report goes on to point out that the Canucks performance this season could determine the length of Pettersson’s next contract. It also noted that his camp has positioned itself well given the anticipated rise in the salary cap to over $90 million within the next two seasons.

Because Pettersson signed his current contract after the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) extending the CBA, it won’t cost the Canucks $10.25 million to qualify his rights next summer. It will instead cost them $8.82 million to do so.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed winger Alexis Lafreniere to a two-year, $4.65 million contract. The AVV is $2.325 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise that Lafreniere agreed to a bridge contract. The 2020 first-overall pick has struggled to play up to expectations with the Rangers. Only 21, he still has plenty of time to reach his full potential and perhaps land a more lucrative deal when the new one expires as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly finalizing a two-year, $7.8 million contract for defenseman Evan Bouchard. The AAV is $3.9 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That deal will leave the Oilers with just over $382K in cap space for this season with 21 roster players under contract.

The puck-moving Bouchard, 23, gets a decent pay raise for now on a short-term contract. He stands to cash in down the road when the Oilers have more cap space, especially with the cap projected to rise to $92 million for 2025-26 when he’ll become an RFA with arbitration rights.

NHL.COM: As expected, the Arizona Coyotes formally announced the re-signing of head coach Andre Tourigny. He has received a three-year contract extension.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed defenseman Darren Raddysh to a two-year extension with an AAV of $975K.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Lightning also inked former Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson to a professional tryout offer.

Speaking of PTOs, the Columbus Blue Jackets have added goaltender Aaron Dell and defenseman Nicolas Meloche.

TSN: The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Scott Harrington to a PTO.

NHL: The league and the NHL Players Association are working on plans to begin a rotation of international competition starting with a tournament in February 2025 and followed by tournaments every second year starting with the 2026 Winter Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s about damn time too. The last tournament involving NHL players was the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The last Olympic participation was in 2012.

NHL Rumor Mill – August 1, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 1, 2023

The top remaining unrestricted free agents, Sharks speculation that has nothing to do with Erik Karlsson, and the latest on the Oilers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


DAILY FACEOFF: Patrick Kane and Matt Dumba sit first and second on Frank Seravalli’s list of the top remaining NHL unrestricted free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane won’t be entertaining contract offers until he’s recovered from his recent hip surgery. That’s expected to be sometime in early December. Dumba, meanwhile, is the top defenseman in the market and has been linked to the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks.

Forwards Max Comtois, Tomas Tatar and Jonathan Toews sit in positions three through five on the listing.

Former Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Comtois recently said that he’s received calls from interested clubs but no contract offers yet. He indicated that the Montreal Canadiens have not contacted him. There’s been no rumors of late linking Tatar to any NHL club but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t received any calls.

Toews, meanwhile, has been silent except for releasing a statement in response to the recent death of Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz. The agency that represents him did not have his name on their list of clients who are free agents this summer, fuelling speculation that he’s mulling retirement.

Forward Pius Suter, winger Noah Gregor, goaltender Jaroslav Halak, center Paul Stastny and winger Phil Kessel rounded out the top 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Suter said he doesn’t intend on returning to his native Switzerland and hopes to sign an NHL contract. Kessel, 35, has indicated he wants to continue his NHL career. So does the 38-year-old Halak. No word on Stastny or Gregor.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: For those of you who are weary of all the speculation about Erik Karlsson, here’s the latest on the San Jose Sharks that has nothing to do with the 33-year-old defenseman. Enjoy!

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng observed that Sharks general manager Mike Grier has been pursuing devalued assets this summer that still appear to possess real upside. He’s acquired goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood and wingers Anthony Duclair and Filip Zadina and made a failed attempt at signing Vladimir Tarasenko.

Peng listed defenseman Matt Dumba, winger Tomas Tatar and winger Max Comtois as three free agents that he believes Grier should target.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks have over $5 million in projected cap space for 2023-24. They will have more if they somehow manage to trade a certain expensive Norris Trophy-winning defenseman this summer. That will give Grier more room to perhaps add a free agent or two such as those listed by Peng.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Max Miller wondered if the Sharks might consider trading Alexander Barabanov. The 29-year-old winger has been a good player, netting 93 points in 147 games. However, he could become the odd man out among their top-six forwards with the additions of Duclair and Zadina and with promising William Eklund expected to crack the lineup this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller suggested that Barabanov, who is slated to become a UFA next July, could be an enticing target for playoff contenders at the March trade deadline. He carries an affordable $2.5 million cap hit but his 10-team no-trade clause could affect the number of possible trade partners for the Sharks.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins reported on Sunday that he’d heard the Oilers were closing in on new contracts with defenseman Evan Bouchard and center Ryan McLeod. The latter has an arbitration hearing on Aug. 4.

Leavins believes the goalposts have been slightly moved in terms of what it might cost to sign them. That leads him to conclude that the Oilers might have to go the professional tryout offer (PTO) route to add a center or two rather than signing UFAs. He also doesn’t rule out an in-season trade, suggesting Washington’s Nic Dowd and Montreal’s Jake Evans as possible trade options.

Robert Tychowski, meanwhile, believes the Oilers have dodged a “potential grenade” of an offer sheet for Bouchard. If it was going to happen, he thinks it would’ve by now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed regarding the Bouchard offer sheet. There aren’t many teams with the cap space to pull it off. It also remains a rarely-used tactic that most general managers tend to avoid.

NHL Rumor Mill – July 17, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – July 17, 2023

The latest on Erik Karlsson, three teams that should attempt to sign Evan Bouchard to an offer sheet, and three assets the Oilers could use to acquire Brett Pesce in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski believes the stalemate in the Penguins’ efforts to acquire Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks is less of an impasse and more of a bluff on the Sharks’ part. If Sharks general manager Mike Grier isn’t bluffing as he attempts to drive up the asking price on the 33-year-old defenseman, Kingerski believes he’ll buckle because the Sharks don’t have a strong position.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Acquiring Karlsson carries risks such as his injury history,  his age, upsetting team chemistry and decreased production. Kingerski believes the Penguins don’t need Karlsson and neither do the Carolina Hurricanes, the other club reportedly a front-runner for the blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Penguins and Hurricanes would like to acquire him but they aren’t going to sell the farm to get him. They can move on for 2023-24 without Karlsson on their respective rosters. The Sharks, on the other hand, have a greater need to move him and his hefty contract so they can start investing the freed-up cap space in rebuilding the roster.

With Karlsson under contract for four more years, the Sharks could attempt to wait a year or two in the hope of getting a better deal. However, Kingerski pointed out the Arizona Coyotes took the same position with Jakob Chychrun and wound up shipping him to Ottawa for less than the oft-quoted asking price of two first-round picks and a prospect or NHL player.

The Sharks are attempting to sell high with Karlsson, whose value will never be higher than it is right now. It will drop if he gets hurt or his production sags.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These are good points by Kingerski. The bottom line is the Sharks are never going to get “equal value” for Karlsson despite his 101-point performance this season that earned him his third Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman. Grier is trying to generate a bidding war among the interested parties in the hope that they can get a return that is close to their best-case scenario.

Karlsson’s value remains high until his skates touch the ice for the Sharks’ opening game in 2023-24. That’s assuming he doesn’t suffer an injury in training camp or preseason play. The Sharks also don’t need questions about Karlsson’s future becoming an unwanted distraction during the coming season.

Grier knows this. He can stretch this situation throughout the summer but at some point, perhaps before training camp opens in September, I expect he’ll pull the trigger and accept the best offer.


THE SCORE: Josh Wegman considers Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard a prime target for an offer sheet. He’s due for a raise coming out of his entry-level contract but the Oilers have just $5.62 million in cap space for 2023-24 and center Ryan McLeod still to be re-signed.

Wegman believes the Oilers would be in a bind if a rival club offered Bouchard a five-year contract with an annual cap hit of $8.58 million. He suggested the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Seattle Kraken make the attempt.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Sabres, Hurricanes and Kraken going this route. Wegman acknowledged that this tactic is rarely used. He pointed out that general managers could be reluctant to part with the compensatory draft picks or overpaying on a short-term contract or wishing to avoid a retaliatory offer from another club down the road.

For an offer sheet to happen, the player must be open to signing with another club. There’s no indication that Bouchard is willing to consider that option. If he is, no one seems to be knocking down his door to do so. One has to think it would’ve happened by now.

The Sabres now have nine defensemen under NHL contract with their recent additions of Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton. They’re also negotiating lucrative long-term extensions for Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power. I doubt they’re interested in adding another blueliner, especially one on an expensive deal via an offer sheet that could complicate efforts to re-sign Sandin and Power.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are reportedly quite interested in acquiring Erik Karlsson from San Jose. Should that fall through, they could go the offer-sheet route with Bouchard. However, I don’t think that’s something they want to entertain, especially after their tit-for-tat offer-sheet signing of Jesperi Kotkaniemi two years ago.

Kraken general manager Ron Francis has the cap space to make it happen but, as Wegman points out, a big chunk of it will be taken up re-sign blueliner Vince Dunn. Yes, they could free up room to pursue Bouchard if they wanted to, but why bother with that headache when less troublesome options could appear at some point?


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Michael DeRosa recently noted the rumor mill has linked the Edmonton Oilers to Brett Pesce. The Carolina Hurricanes are said to be open to moving the 28-year-old defenseman because of his expiring contract.

DeRosa looked at what it would cost the Oilers to acquire Pesce. He believes they would have to offer up their 2024 first-round pick, defenseman Cody Ceci and prospect Carter Savoie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes don’t seem in any hurry to move Pesce, though that could change if they need to clear cap space to acquire Erik Karlsson. Otherwise, they could likely find better offers for Pesce from other clubs.

Pesce also has a 15-team trade list. If the Oilers aren’t part of that group it won’t matter what they offer up.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 18, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 18, 2023

The latest on the Leafs, the Devils could shop Yegor Sharangovich and an update on the Oilers in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is still expected to sign a contract extension. Matthews and his agent met in Arizona this week with Brad Treliving, the Leafs new general manager.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported on Friday that he believes Matthews will re-sign with the Leafs. He felt the club will try to sign him to a maximum eight-year extension though he’s not sure how likely it is that Matthews will agree to a term that long.

Freidman believes there’s a sense of urgency on the Leafs’ part to get this done as soon as possible rather than have negotiations drag on through the summer so as not to adversely affect their long-term plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s rumored the Matthews camp envisions a three to five-year deal so the 25-year-old superstar can still cash in on another lucrative contract while he’s still in his playing prime. Either way, his next deal will likely exceed the league-leading $12.6 million average annual value of Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.

Hornby also noted there are rumors suggesting the Carolina Hurricanes might trade Brett Pesce if they fail to sign the 28-year-old defenseman to a contract extension.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander (NHL Images).

At $4.025 million, Pesce would be a welcome addition to the Leafs blueline but they’d have to trade a salary. Hornby suggested William Nylander, who would play a larger role with the Hurricanes than his current one in Toronto. The 26-year-old winger is a year away from UFA eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Hurricanes are intent on signing Pesce but there are rumors that the negotiations got off to a rocky start. It’ll be interesting to see how those talks unfold in the coming weeks.

I’m just spitballing here but I think the Hurricanes would be interested in a Pesce-for-Nylander swap if the Leafs were on board. The Canes have the cap space to take on the winger’s $6.962 million cap hit for next season.

Nylander has a 10-team no-trade clause starting July 1. If the Hurricanes are on that list, this hypothetical deal would have to go down by June 30 unless he’s willing to waive it for Carolina.

In other Leafs news, Hornby believes pending unrestricted free agents Alex Kerfoot and Justin Holl won’t be back. UFA forward Michael Bunting will have to accept a hometown discount to remain with the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliotte Friedman believes Bunting has priced himself out of Toronto.

The Leafs would welcome back UFA center Ryan O’Reilly. However, many clubs will look to pay him more than the cap-strapped Leafs.

Hornby mentioned the Leafs could buy out or attempt to trade goaltender Matt Murray.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The preference would be trading him but they’ll have to package him with a sweetener or retain some of his salary to make it happen. Given his injury history, a buyout before the June 20 deadline wouldn’t be surprising.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Leafs reportedly aren’t close to a new contract for pending UFA defenseman Luke Schenn. It’s believed he’s seeking term and no-trade protection in his next deal.


NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondering about whether the Devils could put Yegor Sharangovich on the trade block. The 25-year-old is a restricted free agent coming off a down year of 13 goals and 30 points following a 24-goal, 46-point performance in 2021-22.

Friedman said that he’d heard that “some talks picked up around him”. He indicated that someone told him not to be surprised if something went down here.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Evan Rawal believes the Avalanche could be interested in Sharangovich if he hits the trade block. He pointed out how they’d landed players in the past such as Andre Burakovsky, Devon Toews and Alexandar Georgiev made available by other clubs looking to cut salary or in need of a change of scenery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharangovich is coming off a two-year deal with an AAV of $2 million. He’d be an affordable pickup for any club seeking a versatile middle-six forward in his mid-twenties with 20-goal ability. The asking price could be a second-round pick.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins thinks Kailer Yamamoto is in play this offseason. He believes the Oilers want to get an asset in return to clear his contract from their books. A buyout is also a possibility.

Leavins also anticipates that defenseman Cody Ceci will be back next season. He felt Ceci when fully healthy can return to being the player he was a year ago plus his $3.25 million AAV is a good fit for the cap-strapped Oilers.

The Oilers are unlikely to part ways with Philip Broberg. Leavins also dismissed the notion of defenseman Evan Bouchard signing an offer sheet with another club.