NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2024

A look at some of this summer’s notable restricted free agents in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently listed the latest rumors and reports regarding this summer’s top-12 restricted free agents.

The Vancouver Canucks recently offered an eight-year, $52-million contract extension ($6.5 million average annual value) to Filip Hronek. However, the 26-year-old defenseman’s camp rejected that proposal. Fox believes the Canucks want to keep Hronek’s salary below Quinn Hughes’ $7.85 million AAV but the blueline could try to push it into the $7 million range.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hronek is completing a three-year deal with an AAV of $4.4 million. He’s enjoying a career-high performance in his contract year with 45 points in 71 games. Hronek has arbitration rights and is a year away from UFA eligibility. It could cost the Canucks between $7 million and $7.5 million annually to keep him in the fold.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider (NHL Images).

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider is completing his entry-level contract. Fox doubted that Wings general manager Steve Yzerman would attempt to lowball the 23-year-old blueliner. He speculated Seider could get an eight-year deal worth $8.6 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seider is the Wings’ best defenseman and a key piece of their rebuilding roster, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2021-22. He’s yet to reach his playing prime. A long-term deal at $8.6 million AAV could become a bargain over time.

The Buffalo Sabres trading Casey Mittelstadt to the Colorado Avalanche earlier this month was based on the belief they would be unable to re-sign him to a long-term extension. Following the trade, the 25-year-old center pointed out how much the Avalanche wanted him by giving up defenseman Bowen Byram in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mittelstadt seems to be settling in well as the Avalanche’s second-line center. A strong performance over the rest of the regular season and in the 2024 playoffs will ensure he’ll get a lucrative long-term extension.

While Fox thinks Seider will get a long-term deal from the Wings, he believes Lucas Raymond could end up with a short-term contract. Like Seider, he’s completing his entry-level deal. Fox pointed out that Yzerman signed Alex DeBrincat last summer to a four-year contract averaging $7.875 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Yzerman handles Raymond’s contract situation. The 21-year-old winger leads the Wings in scoring with career highs in goals (24), assists (36) and points (60), but he has had bouts of inconsistency in his short NHL career.

Fox wondered if the Carolina Hurricanes will attempt to sign Seth Jarvis to a bridge deal coming out of his entry-level contract or bet big that the 22-year-old winger will break out and sign him to a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After struggling at times during his sophomore campaign, Jarvis has played well this season for the Hurricanes, sitting third in scoring with a career-high 57 points. I’d say bet big and lock him up long-term. A bridge deal could make him more expensive to sign down the road.

Despite Thomas Harley’s 40-point performance this season, Fox speculates that Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill could sign the 22-year-old defenseman to a bridge deal coming out of his entry-level contract. He noted that Nill did the same with winger Jason Robertson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Harley will get a bridge deal. This is his first full season after splitting the past two seasons between the Stars and their AHL affiliate.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman refused to comment on an early March report claiming contract extension talks had begun. However, he didn’t deny the report.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Swayman signed an affordable one-year deal last summer due to the Bruins’ limited cap space for this season. He’s going to get a big raise over his $3.475 million and will likely take over as their full-time starter next season. There’s already speculation that his goalie partner Linus Ullmark could be traded during the offseason.

Fox noted the emergence of Quinton Byfield this season leaves Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake facing a big decision. He could sign the 20-year-old forward to a bridge deal or attempt to ink him to a long-term contract. Fox suggested the latter might come in between $6.5 and $7 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, it’s tough to justify a lucrative long-term deal based on one good year. On the other, it’ll cost a lot more than $7 million to sign Byfield coming off a bridge deal if he continues to improve as projected. He’s steadily improved with each season.

Hurricanes winger Martin Necas is completing a two-year bridge deal worth $3 million annually and has arbitration rights. The 25-year-old forward is in a position to justify a significant raise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Necas has surfaced in trade rumors over the past two seasons. He might end up getting that raise from another club.

Turning to the remaining players on Fox’s list, Matty Beniers’ struggles in his sophomore season could see the 2023 Calder Trophy winner getting a short-term bridge deal from the Seattle Kraken.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Sean Durzi will seek a lucrative offer coming off his bridge contract. He’s on pace for a career-best performance.

The Buffalo Sabres could try to sign Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to a mid-term deal. He’s performed well this season but it’s a small sample size to justify a long-term contract.

NHL Rumor Mill – February 13, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – February 13, 2024

Check out the latest on Jake Guentzel, Juuse Saros, Chris Tanev, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jake Allen in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nick Horwat cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating the Pittsburgh Penguins will set a high price for Jake Guentzel if they put the 29-year-old winger on the trade block.

Friedman pointed to what the Philadelphia Flyers received from the Florida Panthers two years ago in the Claude Giroux trade. That deal fetched the Flyers a first-round pick in 2024, a third-rounder in 2023 and winger Owen Tippett, who’s blossomed into a scorer in Philadelphia.

Horwat’s colleague Adam Proteau believes the Penguins should move Guentzel if a team is willing to meet their high asking price. Trading him away would hurt in the short term but could prove beneficial over the long run.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Guentzel’s offensive numbers, team captain Sidney Crosby’s stellar play and Tristan Jarry’s solid goaltending, the Penguins are struggling to remain in the chase for a wild card spot.

The Penguins tried to make one more Stanley Cup run by re-signing aging stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang two years ago. Under new management last summer, they brought in Erik Karlsson and Reilly Smith.

It’s time to accept reality. The Penguins are not a Stanley Cup contender and haven’t been for several years. They’re not even holding a playoff spot right now. Even if they somehow rally and clinch a berth in the 2024 postseason they’ll probably be eliminated in the first round.

The Penguins don’t have to tear this roster down completely but they must restock with promising young talent for now as well as the future. If someone is willing to overpay for Guentzel, Dubas must pull the trigger.


SPORTSNET: During Monday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman brought up Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros as an intriguing trade target for teams seeking a starting goaltender. He noted the Predators are looking for a top offensive player and Saros could be the kind of guy to fetch that type of return.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (NHL Images).

The New Jersey Devils are searching for help between the pipes and recently spoke with the Calgary Flames about Jacob Markstrom, who carries a $6 million cap hit. However, the Devils have limited salary-cap space and the Flames could be reluctant to retain salary for a player signed through 2025-26.

Regarding Saros, Friedman noted the name of Los Angeles Kings center Quinton Byfield has been tossed around. However, he doubts Saros would fetch Byfield. The Carolina Hurricanes are another club in need of goaltending. Friedman mentioned Martin Necas could be attractive to the Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Saros, 28, is slated to become a UFA next summer. The Predators aren’t under pressure to move him now.

Predators GM Barry Trotz earlier this season said he intended to speak with Saros’ agent about opening contract extension talks on July 1. Even if that plan has changed, Trotz isn’t likely to trade his starting goalie while his team is battling for a wild-card berth.

Everything I’ve read and heard coming out of Nashville is skeptical of the Predators moving Saros. They point to the trade talk that swirled about him leading up to last year’s deadline but nothing came of it. They don’t expect anything to happen now.

Nashville Hockey Now’s Clay Brewer made a good point when he noted that it’s rare these days for a starting goalie to fetch a big return. He thinks the Predators should consider moving Saros if the return is two top prospects or young NHL players plus two high draft picks. He’s not holding his breath expecting anyone to pitch that type of offer.


CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal spoke yesterday with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman about Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev. Friedman believes the Flames seek a first-round pick for the 34-year-old Tanev but teams are offering up second-round picks.

Asked if the Vancouver Canucks could do that, Friedman didn’t think so. Nevertheless, he believes the Canucks have a lot of time for Tanev, who began his NHL career in Vancouver.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tanev spent 10 of his 14 NHL seasons with the Canucks before signing with the Flames in 2020. Speaking of the Flames’ asking price, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggested it was a second-rounder plus another asset or a first-rounder if teams lacked a second-round pick.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t paying any attention to the trade rumors swirling about him as he considers his options with the March 8 trade deadline approaching. The 32-year-old Senators winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and carries a no-trade clause. He has 34 points in 46 games this season.

Tarasenko hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Senators. He wouldn’t say if he’s spoken with general manager Steve Staios about the situation.

Garrioch noted that Tarasenko recently changed agents again but doubted that it had to do with signing a contract extension with the Senators. He cited an insider claiming the winger made this move to get a contract extension in place with a new club before agreeing to waive his no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Senators mired near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, I’ll be surprised if Tarasenko isn’t moved by the March 8 trade deadline. Whether he can get a contract extension as part of the condition of a trade remains to be seen. Interested clubs could be leery about investing long-term before seeing how well he performs for them first.


TVA SPORTS: Tony Marinaro and Jean-Charles Lajoie believe Jake Allen’s recent poor performance will adversely affect the Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender’s value in the trade market.

They believe Allen doesn’t want to leave the Canadiens. They speculate he was likely offered a role with the franchise following his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen’s enduring the worst season of his career with the Canadiens carrying three goalies. He seems like the odd man out with Sam Montembeault becoming their starter while promising Cayden Primeau looking more and more like Montembeault’s backup.

Some general managers could blame Allen’s struggles this season on the Habs three-goalie system. One of them could take the chance on him regaining his form with a change of scenery with a traditional two-goalie system..

Canadiens GM Kent Hughes said he’s comfortable carrying all three goalies for the rest of the season. However, it’s believed he’s still willing to trade Allen.

Some observers think Hughes has set his asking price for Allen and won’t budge from it. He’s signed through next season so Hughes doesn’t have to move him at the trade deadline. He could wait until the offseason for a club to meet his price.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 8, 2023

A promising prognosis for the Penguins’ Jake Guentzel, the Kings’ Quinton Byfield hopes for a healthy start, the Ducks sign Alex Stalock, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Jake Guentzel’s recovery from ankle surgery could be shorter than expected.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

Speaking with the press yesterday to discuss his acquisition of Erik Karlsson, Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas said Guentzel was expected to be sidelined until late October or early November. With the Penguins having a late schedule during that stretch, Dubas said the 28-year-old winger could end up missing just the first five games of the regular season.

Guentzel is to be reevaluated 12 weeks following his surgery last week. According to Dubas, he could be “ready to roll” if all goes well with his recovery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas cautioned that his five-game prognosis is “kind of a projected number, because it’s medical”, adding that they want to do what’s right for Guentzel. Nevertheless, it’s a more promising evaluation than the original assumption that he could start the season on long-term injury reserve.

NHL.COM: Quinton Byfield hopes for a healthy beginning to his third NHL season after injury and illness sidelined him from the start of his first two campaigns. The 20-year-old center believes those absences adversely affected his performance over those seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings had high hopes for Byfield after choosing him second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. The 6’5”, 220-pound center was limited to 32 points in 93 games in his first two full NHL seasons but put up a respectable four points in six playoff games against the Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of the 2023 playoffs.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks added more depth between the pipes by signing goaltender Alex Stalock to a one-year, $800K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stalock will slot in as the Ducks’ third goalie behind starter John Gibson and promising Lukas Dostal.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars hired Misha Donskov as an assistant coach. He was an assistant coach with the Vegas Golden Knights from 2019 to 2023.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers hired Christian Hmura as a skills and performance coach.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL defenseman Bryan Berard was arrested on July 30 in Newport, Rhode Island, for his alleged involvement in a bar fight. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. His initial court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-overall pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 1995 draft, Berard played 619 NHL games from 1996-97 to 2007-08.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL player Sean Avery is having a complicated summer. On the plus side, he has a small role in the hit film “Oppenheimer.” However, his personal life recently made news after his estranged wife, model Hilary Rhoda, successfully extended the temporary restraining order she took out against him.

NHL Rumor Mill – May 26, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 26, 2022

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


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

Florida Panther goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2022

Drew Doughty, Quinton Byfield and Aleksander Barkov celebrate milestones, Oilers sign Evander Kane, an update on the Coyotes search for a temporary home, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty collected an assist in his 1,000th game while teammate Quinton Byfield tallied his first NHL goal in a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Adrian Kempe tallied the winner as the Kings held off the Isles late in the third period. The Kings sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 50 points.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doughty, 32, has spent his entire 14-season NHL career with the Kings, winning two Stanley Cups and the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in 2015-16. He has 22 points in 25 games this season. Byfield, meanwhile, was the second-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The 19-year-old center appeared in six games last season and four this season.

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored his 200th career goal and 500th career point to lead his club over the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1. Sam Bennett scored twice and Spencer Knight made 24 saves for the win as the Panthers regained first place in the overall standings with 65 points. The Golden Knights sit on top of the Pacific Division with 53 points.

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras scored twice, including a lacrosse-style goal as his club held off the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Troy Terry had a goal and two assists as the Ducks moved to within one point of the Golden Knights in the Pacific.

J.T. Miller had a hat trick and collected an assist to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Brock Boeser had a goal and two assists while goalie Spencer Martin made 33 saves for his first NHL win. With 43 points, the Canucks moved two points ahead of the slumping Jets and sit three points behind the Calgary Flames for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Tampa Bay Lightning downed the New Jersey Devils 3-2 to remain two points behind the Panthers in the overall standings. Anthony Cirelli snapped a 2-2 tie and Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 31 shots for the Lightning. Jesper Bratt collected assists on both Devils’ goals.

A shootout goal by Andrei Svechnikov lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Nino Niederreiter tied the game for the Hurricanes in the third period. They’re tied with the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins with 60 points but sit first in the Metropolitan Division. Senators center Josh Norris left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are already without leading scorer Drake Batherson for perhaps the remainder of the season with a high-ankle sprain. They also signed defenseman Nick Holden yesterday to a one-year, $1.3 million contract extension.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their first overtime win in franchise history by nipping the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Jared McCann tied the game in the third period for the Kraken, setting the stage for Adam Larsson’s winning goal. Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins.

Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner scored twice and picked up an assist to lead his club to a 5-3 upset of the New York Rangers. Sean Kuraly also scored twice for the Jackets while Joonas Korpisalo stopped 33 shots for the win. Artemi Panarin scored and picked up two assists for the Rangers while teammate Adam Fox is listed as day-to-day after leaving the game in the third period with an upper-body injury.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 28 saves backstopping his club over the Calgary Flames 5-1. Husso is 6-0-0 in January while Brandon Saad scored two goals and picked up an assist. The Blues (57 points) sit one point behind the second-place Nashville Predators in the Central Division.

Connor McDavid scored in a shootout to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. McDavid also scored in regulation while Predators winger Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist. With 44 points, the Oilers are two back of the Flames.


SPORTSNET: The Oilers signed Evander Kane to a one-year contract after the NHL said its investigation into whether the winger breached COVID-19 protocols produced insufficient evidence to conclude he knowingly violated those protocols. Terms were not revealed but Elliotte Friedman reported it was worth $750K in base salary with a $625K signing bonus plus a no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers general manager Ken Holland seems to believe adding a goal scorer carrying tons of personal baggage will help this struggling club overcome its shaky goaltending. It smacks of desperation by a GM who failed to suitably address his issues in the crease last summer and is now grasping at straws to save his season.

THE SCORE: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was diagnosed with a broken nose following his collision with Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall on Wednesday. A clearer timeline for his recovery remains to be determined.

TRIBLIVE.COM: cites a report by Daily Faceoff indicating Pittsburgh Penguins forward Drew O’Connor is dealing with a collapsed lung suffered during the club’s recent road trip. Neither the Penguins or O’Connor’s agent is confirming the report.

CBJ PUBLIC RELATIONS: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier is expected to miss four weeks after fracturing a finger during Wednesday’s game against the Flames.

GOPHNX.COM: The Arizona Coyotes are reportedly in advanced discussions with Arizona State University to use the school’s new multi-purpose arena as their temporary home for the next three seasons while they await approval and construction of a new arena in Tempe. The facility seats just 5,000 people. The Coyotes lease at the Gila River Arena has been terminated at the end of this season by the city of Glendale.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is being done with the NHL’s blessing. The league is determined to maintain a franchise in the lucrative Arizona market.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers will be retiring Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30 in a ceremony before tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars will retire Sergei Zubov’s No 56 before tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to both players for their upcoming honours. Lundqvist was one of the greatest players in the Rangers’ long history while Zubov was a key player in the Stars rise to NHL dominance in the late-90s and early-2000s.

THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen has been charged with sexual assault by Vancouver police stemming from a 2017 allegation. He’s currently playing in the KHL but is expected to make his first provincial court appearance on Feb. 10.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2021

The Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov expected to miss the start of the season, Wild owner discusses his club’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Sharks prepare to start the season without Evander Kane, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports an undisclosed injury could sideline New York Islanders starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov for the upcoming start of the season. It’s uncertain if Varlamov’s condition is tied to a nagging knee injury that hampered him during the 2021 playoffs. His absence would mean Ilya Sorokin becomes the Isles’ start with Cory Schneider as his backup. 

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Varlamov wouldn’t be the only noteworthy starter expected to miss the start of this season. Montreal’s Carey Price will also reportedly remain sidelined when the schedule begins next week. Speaking of the Canadiens…

TSN: Habs defenseman Joel Edmundson will be sidelined two-to-three weeks with an undisclosed injury. He’s been day-to-day since training camp opened.

NHL.COM: Bad news for Los Angeles Kings’ Quinton Byfield as the 19-year-old center was diagnosed with a fractured left ankle suffered during Tuesday’s preseason loss to the Arizona Coyotes. He’s been placed on injured reserve and sidelined indefinitely.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An unfortunate setback for Byfield. Selected second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, he was hoping to garner a full-time roster spot with the Kings this season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto will miss tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. He could have a concussion after suffering the injury during Monday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

THE SCORE: New York Rangers enforcer Ryan Reaves is day-to-day with an injured left leg after his skate was clipped by New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban as they went into the corner chasing a loose puck. Reaves had to be helped off the ice.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold told Michael Russo he supported general manager Bill Guerin’s decision to buy out winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter this summer. However, he expressed no regrets about signing the duo to their 13-year contracts back in 2012.

It totally changed our franchise,” said Leipold. “We went from not selling any tickets and having a future that looked bleak to overnight being a sellout team for the next five, six years.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The additions of Parise and Suter didn’t translate into a Stanley Cup for the Wild but Leipold’s right about how much they improved the franchise. Before they joined the Wild, the club reached the playoffs just four times in 11 seasons. With Parise and Suter in the lineup, they qualified for the postseason eight times in nine seasons.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said his club is preparing to start the season without Evander Kane in the lineup. The 30-year-old winger has been out of the lineup while under investigation by the league regarding allegations of spousal abuse and using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.