Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 18, 2024

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 18, 2024

Check out the latest on Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom and defenseman Noah Hanifin plus updates on Flyers forward Scott Laughton and Oilers blueliner Philip Broberg in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes that Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom’s situation has reached the point where he’s told management that if they get an offer to bring it to him and he’ll decide if he’ll agree to be traded.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

Friedman’s colleague Eric Francis noted that Markstrom is trying to ignore the trade speculation swirling about him. However, it can’t be easy for the 34-year-old netminder, especially after being lit up for four goals on 12 shots on home ice during Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Francis believes Markstrom’s situation could linger through the summer, if not addressed leading up to the March 8 trade deadline. He also believes Markstrom’s teammates Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin will be moved by deadline day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As frequently noted whenever Markstrom comes up in trade chatter, he’s signed through 2025-26 with an average annual value of $6 million plus a full no-movement clause. Even if the Flames can hammer out a potential trade to move his contract, he must give his approval for the deal to go down.

It’s been over a week since Friedman reported the Flames had trade discussions with the New Jersey Devils about Markstrom, which fell through over salary retention. The Hockey News’ Adam Proteau wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs or Carolina Hurricanes might be interested but I daresay his contract would be more cumbersome for those two teams than it would for the Devils.

Friedman also said it appears that Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin intends to head to the free-agent market on July 1. He said he’s had no confirmation from the blueliner’s representatives or the Flames but he believes it’s “pretty clear” that Hanifin is going to market.

Friedman believes there are Canadian teams interested in the 27-year Hanifin but there are American clubs more confident of signing him to a long-term contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Hanifin isn’t going to re-sign with the Flames they have no choice but to trade him for the best possible return. He’ll become the top defenseman in the trade market, garnering the Flames a solid return, one that could be even better if Hanifin agrees to a contract extension as part of the deal.

Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy believes the Bruins and Florida Panthers could be among the suitors for Hanifin if he hits the trade block. I daresay we’ll learn about more as the trade deadline approaches.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple and Kevin Kurz noted there are reports the New York Rangers are interested in Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton. The 29-year-old has two seasons remaining on his contract with an affordable AAV of $3 million.

Staple and Kurz speculate it could cost the Rangers at least their first-round pick to acquire Laughton. With the Blueshirts being a division rival, perhaps the asking price might be higher than for other clubs.

If they prefer offering up a current player or prospect, the Flyers could prefer a young forward with scoring upside. Staple doesn’t see the Rangers sending someone like Kaapo Kakko to Philadelphia where he could haunt them for years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Flyers asking price would be a first-rounder plus a prospect. I agree that it’s unlikely the Rangers would send Kakko to Philadelphia. They could ask for a prospect like Gabe Perreault or Brennan Othmann but both are probably off-limits.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers intend to do something leading up to the trade deadline. Promising defenseman Philip Broberg has come up in trade rumors but they’re not going to part with him for a playoff rental player. He thinks teams have asked but they’ve made that point quite clear.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It makes sense to try and add someone who can be part of the lineup beyond this season. This could also be the Oilers’ way of discouraging rival clubs from calling about Broberg. Unless someone is willing to overpay, they’re not going to part with a promising player.

NHL Rumor Mill – February 14, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – February 14, 2024

More info on the Devils’ attempt to acquire Jacob Markstrom, Sabres GM Kevyn Adams denies shopping Casey Mittelstadt, Boone Jenner wants to remain with the Blue Jackets, plus the latest on the Flyers and Oilers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols cites Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting Calgary Flames management recently approached goaltender Jacob Markstrom about waiving his no-movement clause to accept a trade to the New Jersey Devils.

Seravalli doesn’t think there were any issues on Markstrom’s part about joining the Devils. Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the two sides were in agreement on a deal that would’ve worked for both sides, with Devils forward Alexander Holtz believed to be part of the return to the Flames.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

Friedman indicated the deal fell apart over the issue of the Flames retaining part of Markstrom’s $6 million average annual value through 2025-26. Seravalli doubts the deal can be revived as the Devils are looking elsewhere for goaltending help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Markstrom were an unrestricted free agent this summer or next perhaps the Flames might’ve been more agreeable to retaining part of his salary cap hit. Having part of his cap hit on their books for the remainder of this season plus the next two wasn’t something they seemed keen to do.


WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams denied recent speculation claiming he was shopping Casey Mittelstadt.

Appearing Tuesday on “Schopp and the Bulldog”, Adams praised the versatile 25-year-old forward, who leads the Sabres with 43 points this season. He also indicated that he hopes to work toward a contract for Mittelstadt and get him signed.

Mittelstadt is due to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mittelstadt’s contract status plus the fact several of his teammates have already signed long-term contracts sparked speculation he could be shopped because the Sabres didn’t want to sign him.

Adams could be tempted if a rival GM made an enticing pitch for Mittelstadt. However, I’m taking him at face value when he says he wants to re-sign him. Bear in mind that Mittelstadt’s RFA status means his rights still belong to the Sabres so Adams is under no pressure to move him by the March 8 trade deadline.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Speaking of the Sabres, Lance Lysowski reports Victor Olofsson is remaining patient while awaiting a trade. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has been the subject of trade speculation this season.

Moving Olofsson could be tricky. His production is down this season, he’s been a frequent healthy scratch and he carries a $4.75 million cap hit.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Michael DeRosa cited The Fourth Period claiming the Colorado Avalanche have been linked to Olofsson. They need depth at center but DeRosa thinks they could also use more scoring among their bottom six.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres might have to retain half of Olofsson’s cap hit to move him by the March 8 trade deadline. Even that might not fetch much of a return.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner has become a wanted man in this season’s trade market. However, the 30-year-old forward made it clear that he doesn’t want to be traded.

Jenner said he wants to be part of the rebuilding roster’s development. He acknowledged there’s a lot of work to be done but believes they can get it done.

A versatile, hardworking forward, Jenner carries an affordable $3.75 million AAV through 2025-26. That contract along with his style of game makes him attractive to playoff contenders. However, Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said it would take an over-the-top offer before he would consider trading his captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jenner also seems keen to spend his entire NHL career with the Blue Jackets. That might change in a couple of years when he becomes eligible for UFA status if the Jackets haven’t improved by then.

If Kekalainen gets replaced at the end of this season a new GM could have designs on trading Jenner, who carries an eight-team no-trade clause. For now, however, it seems unlikely that he’ll be moved by the March 8 trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reports Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella recently said that his club isn’t shopping defenseman Sean Walker. However, Tortorella thinks they’d be dopes if they didn’t listen to offers, adding they’d move him if it made sense for the organization.

Walker’s been the Flyers most consistent defenseman this season. Moving him would hurt their blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers’ acquisition of Jamie Drysdale has heightened anticipation that Walker could be traded. However, Kurz cited Tortorella saying the 21-year-old Drysdale remains a work in progress.

Kurz noted the Flyers have been carrying eight defensemen. One way to address this would be to trade Rasmus Ristolainen while attempting to re-sign Walker and defense partner Nick Seeler. While Ristolainen is on The Athletic’s trade board, any deal would involve the Flyers retaining part of his $5.1 million AAV through 2026-27. Walker, however, is simply more valuable in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decision would be easier for Flyers management if the club was out of playoff contention. However, they’re holding on to third place in the Metropolitan Division. GM Daniel Briere said that wouldn’t affect his decision to make trades for the future but he could be feeling pressure from ownership to keep this group intact for the rest of the season.

I’ll be very surprised if Briere can find a taker for Ristolainen. While his play has improved under Tortorella’s coaching, his cap hit is a significant obstacle in the path to a trade.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s recent appearance on “Oilers Now” telling Bob Stauffer that Oilers top prospect Philip Broberg could factor into the club’s plans for the trade deadline.

Seravalli wasn’t talking about the Oilers shopping Broberg, who’s spent most of this season with their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Instead, he believes that Brober is now NHL-ready. That could give them the flexibility to move out other players.

Staples speculates blueliner Brett Kulak could be that player. While the Oilers like Kulak, Daily Faceoff pointed out that replacing him with Broberg represents an immediate $2 million in cap savings.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2024

Jakob Chychrun denies that he wants out of Ottawa plus the latest speculation on the Oilers’ Philip Broberg, the Kings’ Arthur Kaliyev and the Canadiens’ Arber Xhekaj in the NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes reports Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun dismissed the recent trade rumors about him as “ridiculous,” saying he doesn’t believe it’s based on anything.

Chychrun was acquired last season from the Arizona Coyotes and there’s talk the Senators could shop him before the March 8 trade deadline. He understands there’s a possibility he could be moved given the club’s position in the standings and management’s need to shake things up.

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Nevertheless, he denied speculation that he wanted out of Ottawa. “I’m loving every moment here,” he said, noting the family ties he has to the city and the region. “I feel at home here. I bought a house and it’s five minutes from my sister and 10 minutes from my grandpa.”

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli speculates Chychrun could be a trade candidate based on the Senators having two left-side defensemen Thomas Chabot and Jake Sanderson under long-term contracts worth $8 million annually. Chychrun, meanwhile, has one year remaining on his deal.

Seravalli doubts the Senators will invest a total of $24 million on just the left side of their blueline. Management needs to determine which players are part of their core going forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Senators move Chychrun it’ll be because of the reasons listed by Seravalli. If it’s up to the defenseman he’d like to stay on a long-term contract but that’s not going to happen unless they move out Chabot or Sanderson and that’s not happening.

Bear in mind that the Senators aren’t under pressure to move Chychrun before the March trade deadline. Given his current contract, they can wait until the offseason if they don’t find any suitable offers now.


TSN: Darren Dreger is keeping an eye on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Philip Broberg and Los Angeles Kings forward Arthur Kaliyev.

Broberg was assigned to the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Bakersfield in early December, where he’s been playing well. Dreger said that teams continue to call Edmonton general manager Ken Holland about the 22-year-old blueliner.

Kaliyev, meanwhile, has been a healthy scratch from several games with the Kings. That’s drawn some attention around the league. Dreger said the Kings aren’t ready to move the 22-year-old winger just yet but something has to change.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could listen to offers for Broberg but I think they’d prefer to hang onto him. There’s not as much urgency right now for them to address roster issues given their recent signing of Corey Perry as well as their rise up the standings thanks to their 14-game win streak.

Dreger noted the Kings are waiting for Viktor Arvidsson’s return from injury next month to provide a boost to their offense. Maybe that’s what they’re waiting for regarding Kaliyev’s status. Perhaps they also need to sort out the club’s direction under head coach Todd McLellan before making any roster changes.


TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie noted the return of fan-favorite Arber Xhekaj to the Montreal Canadiens lineup after he spent several weeks with their AHL affiliate in Laval.

Canadiens GM Kent Hughes recently said he has no plans to trade Xhekaj or employ him as a fourth-line winger. However, Lajoie isn’t convinced that the big blueliner remains part of management’s long-term plans for the club.

Lajoie wouldn’t be surprised if Xhekaj was involved in a trade between now and the NHL Draft in June. He pointed out that Hughes moved another popular defenseman at the 2022 draft by shipping out Alexander Romanov in a three-team deal that fetched center Kirby Dach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Canadiens’ depth in promising young defensemen it’s expected that Hughes could bundle one of them in a trade to bring in some established offensive help. Moving Xhekaj in a package deal would be an unpopular move among the Habs faithful unless the return is a scoring star.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 20, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 20, 2023

The annual holiday roster freeze runs from Dec. 20 – 27 but that hasn’t stopped the trade speculation. Check out the latest on Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau plus updates on the Predators, Devils, Hurricanes and Oilers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Bailey cited a recent report by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch in which a league executive told him the Columbus Blue Jackets “are willing to discuss just about anybody.” That prompted Bailey to speculate whether Johnny Gaudreau could be “up for grabs.”

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Bailey pondered the possibility of the Flyers acquiring Gaudreau. He acknowledged the Blue Jackets won’t give the 30-year-old winger away plus he carries a no-movement clause through 2026-27 and a $9.75 million average annual value. The asking price would likely be a first-round pick and either two really good roster players or two top prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bailey believes Gaudreau would approve a trade to Philadelphia as he cheered for the Flyers while growing up in South Jersey. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that deal to happen.

Flyers general manager Daniel Briere recently stated he’s sticking to his rebuilding plan and wasn’t going to sacrifice assets for a return that could improve his team’s chances of clinching a playoff berth this season. I daresay that also extends to struggling 30-something players carrying expensive contracts through 2028-29.


NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Michael Gallagher recently noted that Predators general manager Barry Trotz is still actively shopping Tyson Barrie after granting the 32-year-old defenseman permission to speak with other clubs about a trade.

Gallagher also wondered if Trotz might be peddling more than one blueliner. He cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently pondering the futures of Dante Fabbro and Alexandre Carrier in Nashville. Friedman noted that they’ve both been healthy scratches several times during this season.

Fabbro seems the more likely of those two to be moved. Citing a team source, Gallagher stated they’d prefer to retain Carrier as he’s better suited to head coach Andrew Brunette’s system.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also worth noting that Carrier is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July while Fabbro becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

I think Trotz’s priority for now is finding a trade for Barrie. As long as the Predators remain a playoff team, he could hang onto Fabbro and Carrier for the playoffs. However, if the Preds fall out of contention by the March 8 trade deadline, both blueliners could become available.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils don’t have a firm deadline for when defenseman Dougie Hamilton will return from surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. LeBrun’s understanding is he’s probably out until the playoffs. That means they’ll have his $9 million cap hit to play with leading up to the March 8 trade deadline, which they could put toward adding a defenseman and a goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils haven’t placed Hamilton on long-term injury reserve yet because they’re sitting just under the $83.5 million salary cap. However, they could do so at any time if they need to add players to their roster. Keep an eye on them in the coming weeks.

Chris Johnston believes the Carolina Hurricanes will be looking for help in the goalie market. He pointed out they raised a lot of eyebrows recently by demoting Antti Raanta to the minors while his replacement (Yaniv Perets) came from the ECHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes got some good news recently as starter Frederik Andersen has resumed skating after a blood-clot issue sidelined him for six weeks. They also signed Aaron Dell to a professional tryout offer. Perhaps they’re hoping to buy some time here with Perets and/or Dell backing up Pyotr Kochetkov until Andersen is ready to return to action.

Darren Dreger believes a trade remains likely for Philip Broberg. The 23-year-old Edmonton Oilers defenseman was recently demoted to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield but still wants to play in the NHL. Dreger suggested the possibility that he becomes a sweetener if they want to try and move Jack Campbell’s contract and free up some salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will likely take more than Broberg in the deal to tempt any club from taking on Campbell’s contract right now. Even then, the Oilers will probably have to retain some salary in the deal.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2023

A roundup of trade and free-agent rumors involving defensemen and goaltenders in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving wants to add a right-shot defenseman. However, the asking prices around the league are too high and the Leafs are limited in what they could offer up in terms of draft picks.

Dreger speculates that Treliving would be willing to part with a second-round pick for Calgary Flames blueliner Chris Tanev. However, the Leafs currently don’t have a second-rounder. Philadelphia Flyers rearguard Sean Walker could cost a first-rounder if they were willing to part with him. The Anaheim Ducks’ Ilya Lyubushkin has also been the subject of trade rumors but they don’t want to part with the former Leaf just yet.

Pierre LeBrun said the Flames have received calls on Tanev. However, they’re in no rush to move him and are willing to let his value on the market grow.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There is a risk in hanging onto Tanev as he could get injured. Still, it’s best to let some time go by and see if they can get a better return for him near the March trade deadline.

It’s going to cost the Leafs to find a suitable right-shot defenseman. They don’t have enough trade capital right now to make it work right now. Perhaps they’ll have better luck later in the season when more blueliners become available as the trade deadline approaches.

Nashville Predators defenseman Tyson Barrie (NHL Images)

LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes’ Tony DeAngelo and the Nashville Predators’ Tyson Barrie are on the market. They’re both puck-moving, power-play defensemen but there’s nothing imminent on either player right now. LeBrun doesn’t think the Predators want to retain any part of Barrie’s $4.5 million salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie recently expressed his frustration over being a healthy scratch. He said he wants to play but whether it’s in Nashville or elsewhere is up to the Predators’ front office. The reality may be that his salary is simply too expensive to move in a season when so many teams are pressed for salary-cap space. If the Preds won’t retain salary, Barrie could be cooling his heels for a while waiting for a trade.

Chris Johnston reports unrestricted free agent defenseman Ethan Bear is close to returning to action after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The Vancouver Canucks are interested in bringing him back but the Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed among the interested clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear will be a very affordable addition to any club’s blueline right now. That’s why there’s so much interest among teams looking for a cost-effective right-shot defenseman.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka poured cold water on a recent rumor by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying he had “no doubt” the San Jose Sharks wanted to trade Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Pashelka noted that the 36-year-old Vlasic’s age, declining performance and expensive contract (with a three-team trade clause) make him very difficult to move. Even if the Sharks included a sweetener in the deal, they’d still have to retain half of Vlasic’s $7 million average annual value, and they’re not in a good position to do that.

If the Sharks want to part ways with Vlasic, one option is buying out the remainder of his contract next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks only have one salary-retention spot left. They could be saving that for another player with more years remaining on his contract than Vlasic.

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently listed six possible trade destinations for Flyers defenseman Sean Walker. The Maple Leafs topped her list, followed by the Devils, Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche and the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walker’s value is growing in the trade market as a lot of clubs like his style of play and affordable ($2.65 million) cap hit. If the Flyers were out of playoff contention (as they were projected to be when this season began), they’d have no problem with peddling him for the right offer.

However, the Flyers are outperforming expectations this season. Walker’s fit in well since coming over from the Los Angeles Kings in an offseason trade. Unless GM Daniel Briere receives a mindblowing offer, he could hang on to Walker if the Flyers remain a playoff club by the trade deadline.

TSN: The Oilers yesterday loaned Philip Broberg to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Trade rumors have swirled about the 22-year-old defenseman after a report emerged that he’d been permitted to seek a trade. Oilers GM Ken Holland denied the report but Broberg’s agent claimed he’s “actively collaborating” with Holland to address this matter.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Detroit Red Wings are comfortable carrying the trio of goaltenders Ville Husso, James Reimer and Alex Lyon for the full season. He adds the caveat that they could listen if someone steps up with a good enough offer.

The Montreal Canadiens, however, are still willing to move one of their three netminders. They’re listening to offers on Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau and would be willing to trade either goalie. He indicated there hasn’t been an offer yet but it’s still early. LeBrun noted the Devils, Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes are teams to monitor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And bang goes the illusion that the Canadiens inked Sam Montembeault to a three-year deal to bolster his trade value. He’s their guy and once they move Allen or Primeau we’ll see him garner a lot more starts.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 7, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 7, 2023

The latest on the Leafs’ search for a defenseman, an update on the Oilers’ Philip Broberg, plus speculation on Chris Tanev, Tyson Barrie, Jake Allen and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman expressed his belief that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving is looking to see what’s on the trade market with defensemen John Klingberg, Timothy Liljegren and Mark Giordano sidelined by injuries.

Treliving said he wants to improve his defense but there aren’t a lot of high-end defensemen available at a low cost. It’s believed the Leafs GM wants to bring in a right-shot blueliner with an edge to their game.

Friedman believes the Leafs took a long look at Philadelphia Flyers rearguard Rasmus Ristolainen, who has three seasons left on his contract with an average annual value of $5.25 million. However, he doesn’t think the Flyers are in a rush to move him when they’re currently playing well. He also wondered about the San Jose Sharks’ Matt Benning, who’s signed through 2025-26 with an AAV of $1.25 million.

Another possibility is unrestricted free agent Ethan Bear. However, the Vancouver Canucks would like to bring him back and there are other clubs also interested.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch also weighed in on the Leafs’ pursuit of a defenseman, citing a source claiming Treliving remains interested in the Flames’ Chris Tanev. He’s in the final season of his contract with an AAV of $4.5 million. Garrioch claims there’s a belief around the league that Flames owner Murray Edwards is in no hurry to help his former general manager.

Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving denied this during an interview with Sportsnet’s Justin Bourne and Nick Kypreos, claiming he has “a great relationship with the people of Calgary.”

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran also cited Tanev as a possible trade target. The Flyers’ Sean Walker and the Columbus Blue Jackets Andrew Peeke could also be available.

McGran noted that help is on the way for the Leafs as Liljegren is close to returning to action. He also pointed out that their defensive numbers have improved since Klingberg was sidelined thanks in part to call-ups Simon Benoit and William Lagesson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving will continue to search for a deal that makes sense in terms of return and cap hit for the Leafs. As long as his club is in the thick of the playoff race he can take his time and wait for the trade market to improve.

Ristolainen didn’t make sense in terms of cap hit unless the Flyers are willing to retain half of his salary. Benning would be affordable but that doesn’t mean he’s available. Treliving could kick tires on Bear but I don’t think he’ll be coming to Toronto.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted that Philip Broberg may not have received official permission from the Edmonton Oilers to seek a trade but “the word is out and teams are interested.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the difficulty Broberg’s faced cracking Edmonton’s defense corps, I doubt the Oilers will get much of a return for him. Interested clubs will look at him as a cheap reclamation project.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Calgary Flames might not be done attempting to re-sign Noah Hanifin. Talks broke off earlier this season with the 26-year-old defenseman, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. There’s been no shortage of interest in him in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides were reportedly close to a seven-year, $60 million extension back in October. However, it’s believed Hanifin wanted to wait and see how the season unfolded and the Flames withdrew the offer.

Garrioch believes the New Jersey Devils could be a good fit for Tyson Barrie. The Nashville Predators have allowed the 32-year-old defenseman to speak with other clubs about a trade. The Devils will be without puck-moving blueliner Dougie Hamilton for a while as he’s recovering from surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: New Jersey Hockey Now’s James Nichols cited ESPN’s Kevin Weekes saying the Devils have been impressed by the play of call-up Simon Nemec following Hamilton’s injury. Rather than pursuing another offensive-minded defenseman, Weekes suggested they might have more interest in a stabilizing blueliner such as Calgary’s Chris Tanev. Nichols also mentioned the Anaheim Ducks’ Ilya Lyubushkin or the Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Walker.

Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis is in the market for a goaltender. It’s believed he reached out to the Montreal Canadiens, who could be willing to move Jake Allen or possibly Cayden Primeau. The Buffalo Sabres have also sniffed around Allen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen is earning an AAV of $3.85 million through 2024-25 with a seven-team no-trade clause for this season. The Habs might have to retain part of his cap hit to make a deal work if they’re willing to move him.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are willing to discuss “just about anybody” when it comes to the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets already made a move by shipping depth forward Eric Robinson to Buffalo yesterday. Rookies Adam Fantilli and David Jiricek are out of bounds. They’d probably love to ship out disinterested winger Patrik Laine but his $8.7 million annual cap hit through 2025-26 is a showstopper.

Teams are kicking tires on the Winnipeg Jets’ Logan Stanley. The Jets are shopping the 25-year-old defenseman but teams are looking into seeing what it would take to land him.