NHL Rumor Mill – May 24, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 24, 2022

A look at the Panthers’ potential offseason plans plus the latest on the Islanders and Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE PANTHERS?

ESPN.COM: Kristen Shilton previews the Florida Panthers’ potential offseason plans after being swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning from the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The first will be deciding if Andrew Brunette becomes their full-time head coach or is replaced. Brunette took over on an interim basis in October after Joel Quenneville stepped down. He’s a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year after guiding the Panthers to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy with the NHL’s best record and their first playoff series victory since 1996 with their first round elimination of the Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brunette’s done enough to earn the job full-time. However, general manager Bill Zito could be tempted into hiring a better-experienced bench boss like Barry Trotz, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness or Paul Maurice. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

Shilton also felt the Panthers will have to replace Claude Giroux and Ben Chiarot. They acquired the duo before this year’s trade deadline. Both are unrestricted free agents this summer and it’s unlikely they’ll re-sign long-term with the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap space will be an issue for the Panthers. According to Cap Friendly, they have $78.6 million invested in 16 players for 2022-23. That includes over $6.5 million in dead cap space due to the buyouts of Keith Yandle and Scott Darling.

In addition to Giroux and Chiarot, Joe Thornton and Mason Marchment are also eligible for UFA status in July. The 42-year-old Thornton is facing retirement and won’t be back. Marchment, however, blossomed into a reliable middle-six forward this season. The 27-year-old winger would be more affordable and worthwhile to retain.

Philly Hockey Now’s Sam Carchidi wonders what the future holds for Giroux. He was a great fit with the Panthers but will be expensive to sign. Carchidi pondered whether Giroux might return to the cap-strapped Flyers or perhaps return to his hometown of Ottawa and sign with the Senators.

The latter theory, by the way, was based on a rumor out of Ottawa that depended on whether Giroux won the Stanley Cup with the Panthers. It could also be applied to the Flyers. Both scenarios could be dashed if playing for a contender becomes the determining factor in where he decides to continue his NHL playing career.

Shilton expects Zito will spend the summer upgrading the Panthers’ blueline. She also believes it’ll be on whoever is their coach next season to improve their forwards’ defensive game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barry Trotz could certainly improve the Panthers’ team defense. Food for thought.

As for improving the defense corps, that could take dollar-for-dollar trades considering how little cap room Zito has to work with for next season. Maybe he tries to move forward Patric Hornqvist ($5.3 million cap hit) to a club that isn’t on his eight-team no-trade list. Perhaps Zito shops a forward lacking no-trade protection like Sam Bennett ($4.425 million) or Anthony Duclair ($3 million).

LATEST ON THE ISLANDERS AND BLACKHAWKS

THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked about the futures of New York Islanders forwards Oliver Wahlstrom, Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey.

Kurz felt the Islanders still believe Wahlstrom can develop into a top-six forward despite his struggles this season. However, he sees Beauvillier as a possible trade chip to bring in a more consistent winger or a left-shot defenseman to pair with Noah Dobson.

Bailey, meanwhile, could still attract interest in the trade market though the winger’s $5 million salary-cap hit is a bit inflated. His contract has just two years remaining which makes it more palatable. Clubs with depth issues at forward, such as the Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames, could use someone with Bailey’s experience and two-way skills.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wahlstrom won’t be going anywhere as the Isles will want to see if his performance improves under new head coach Lane Lambert. Beauvillier, 24, has shown the potential to be a more reliable top-six scorer. He’s under contract for two more years but teams could balk at his $4.125 million annual average value.

Bailey lacks no-trade protection but his age (32) and that $5 million cap hit could make him difficult to move. I don’t see him as a fit cap-wise with Flames, Oilers and Stars given the limited room they’ll have once they’re done signing their key free agents this summer. Still, there could be other clubs with the cap space seeking someone with his skills.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis recently reports Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson is interested in acquiring a first-round pick in this year’s draft. The Blackhawks’ 2022 first-rounder belongs to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of last summer’s Seth Jones trade.

The Blackhawks don’t have many players who could fetch a first-rounder. Someone will have to step up with a big offer for Davidson to consider shopping winger Alex DeBrincat. The only way Patrick Kane gets moves is if he requests a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roumeliotis suggested Connor Murphy as a “maybe” in that category. His long injury history, however, hurts his trade value.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2022

The Flames and Hurricanes win the opening games of their respective second-round series, the Lady Byng Trophy finalists are revealed, the Kings extend GM Rob Blake, the Predators re-sign coach John Hynes, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames drew first blood in the “Battle of Alberta” by downing the Edmonton Oilers 9-6 in Game 1 of their second-round series. Calgary blew a 6-2 lead as the Oilers rallied to tie the game before the Flames scored three unanswered goals in the third period for the win.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images).

Matthew Tkachuk tallied a hat trick, Johnny Gaudreau collected three assists, Andrew Mangiapane and Rasmus Andersson each had a goal and two assists and Blake Coleman scored twice for the Flames. Connor McDavid had four points, Leon Draisaitl three points and Zach Hyman tallied twice for the Oilers, who pulled goalie Mike Smith after he gave up three goals on 10 shots in just over six minutes early in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a wild throwback to high-scoring ’80s-style hockey though the two clubs had far more low-scoring games during their previous playoff games back in their rivalry’s heyday. This was a wildly entertaining match to kick off this series but I daresay we’ll see more closer-checking games as this series progresses.

An overtime goal by Ian Cole gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their second-round series. Filip Chytil opened the scoring in the first period for the Rangers, who clung to that narrow lead until Sebastian Aho tied it late in the third period. Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta made 27 saves while Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin stopped 24 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers controlled the play for most of this game. However, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour’s line shuffling in the third provide the spark his club needed to find a way to win.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and Minnesota Wild blueliner Jared Spurgeon are this year’s finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s most gentlemanly player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some will wonder why Spurgeon made the cut given he was fined $5,000.00 for cross-checking St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. This award honors regular-season performance and the votes were likely cast before the start of the postseason.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings have signed general manager Rob Blake to a new three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. Blake’s done a good job rebuilding the Kings since taking over as their GM.

THE ATHLETIC: A source claims the Nashville Predators have signed head coach John Hynes to a new multi-year contract. An official announcement is expected at the Predators’ end-of-season press conference on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators weren’t expected to qualify for the playoffs this season. Hynes’ coaching played a key role in the club exceeding expectations.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins GM Don Sweeney said his contract with the club has yet to be extended but he expects a resolution should be reached soon.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Philadelphia Flyers will be meeting with former New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz, who interviewed with the Winnipeg Jets earlier this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz is said to be weighing his options as to his next NHL coaching gig. There’s been speculation linking Trotz to the Vegas Golden Knights. So far, however, there’s no indication they’ve scheduled an interview with him.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Golden Knights, captain Mark Stone underwent back surgery on Wednesday. A timeline for when he’ll return to the ice isn’t expected until a month into his rehab.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Tim Stueztle’s participation in the IIHF World Championships has been derailed by a knee strain. The injury isn’t serious but he faces a two-week recovery period.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers defenseman Ben Chiarot was fined $5,000.00 for head-butting Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ross Colton during Game 1 of their second-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Incidents of head-butting among NHL players have been on the rise recently. The league should do more to address this but I don’t hold out much hope given their foot-dragging on other disciplinary issues over the years.

NHL.COM: Ratings for the opening round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs were the highest since the advent of cable television.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because of the league’s return to ESPN and the additional coverage TNT and TBS in the United States. Something that should’ve happened a long time ago.

 










Chiarot to the Panthers, Vatrano to the Rangers, Jarnkrok to the Flames

Chiarot to the Panthers, Vatrano to the Rangers, Jarnkrok to the Flames

The Montreal Canadiens trade defenseman Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers in exchange for prospect forward Ty Smilanic, a conditional first-round pick in 2023 or 2024 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022. The Canadiens also retain 50 percent of Chiarot’s $3.5 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarot, 30, was one of the notable names floating around the rumor mill for months because of his unrestricted free agent status this summer and the Canadiens’ low placement in the standings. He was among the defensemen on the Panthers’ rumored list of trade targets back in January. Chiarot should provide experienced depth on the left side of their blueline in a second-pairing role behind MacKenzie Weegar.

Montreal Canadiens trade defenseman Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers (NHL Images).

The Panthers gave up a fair bit for a rental player but that was likely the price to be paid to entice the Canadiens to retain half of Chiarot’s cap hit. Cap Friendly indicates the Panthers have $3.7 million in projected trade deadline cap space, leaving a bit of wiggle room for another move if necessary. Speculation suggests Panthers general manager Bill Zito might not be done dealing.

Canadiens general manager set a high price for Chiarot with a first-rounder and he got it plus more. Smilanic is in his second season with Quinnipiac University in the NCAA. Elite Prospects calls the 20-year-old center “a complete talent who can be relied on in all situations.” Overall, not a bad haul for the rebuilding Canadiens.

Before acquiring Chiarot, the Panthers traded forward Frank Vatrano to the New York Rangers in exchange for the later selection of either the Rangers’ own fourth-rounder in the 2022 draft or the fourth-rounder the Rangers acquired from the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shipping out Vatrano was a cost-cutting move for the Panthers to clear sufficient space for Chiarot. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he carries a $2.53 million cap hit for this season. He’d seen fourth-line duty and was a healthy scratch at times this season.

Vatrano is expected to help boost the Rangers’ bottom-six forward lines. This move doesn’t put a big dent in the Rangers’ projected trade deadline cap space ($31 million) and didn’t cost them any of their promising young players. GM Chris Drury has plenty of cap room and trade assets to make a more substantial move before Monday’s trade deadline.

The Calgary Flames acquire forward Calle Jarnkrok from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2022 draft, a third-rounder in 2023 and a seventh-rounder in 2024. The Kraken also retained 50 percent of Jarnkrok’s $2 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After making a big splash last month by acquiring Tyler Toffoli, the Flames make a depth addition to their checking lines with the 30-year-old Jarnkrok. He’s a versatile two-way forward who can play all three forward positions. Like Chiarot and Vatrano, Jarnkrok is slated to become a UFA this summer.

It’s a decent return for the first-year Kraken. GM Ron Francis is aiming at loading up on picks to stock up his prospect pipeline.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 16, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 16, 2022

Are the Avs setting the table for a big move? Could Tyler Bertuzzi or Sean Monahan be moved before the trade deadline? What’s the latest on Ben Chiarot and Andrew Copp? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

AVALANCHE COULD HAVE A BIGGER DEAL IN STORE

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers speculates Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic could be preparing for a bigger move after making two trades in as many days. On Monday, he shipped a draft pick and prospect to the Anaheim Ducks for Josh Manson. Yesterday, he sent Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild for the more affordable Nico Sturm.

Chambers believes Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl could be most enticing to the Avalanche if they can find sufficient salary-cap space to acquire them. Swapping Jost for Sturm gives them almost $3 million in projected trade deadline cap space. They could also garner additional flexibility by placing sidelined winger Gabriel Landeskog ($7 million annual cap hit) and defenseman Samuel Girard ($5 million) on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic isn’t done dealing. I believe he’s in “go-for-it” mode this season with his club riding high in the standings, especially after they came up short in last year’s playoffs. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make a major move before Monday’s trade deadline.

BERTUZZI, MONAHAN LATEST DAILY FACEOFF TRADE TARGETS

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli added Detroit Red Wings winger Tyler Bertuzzi and Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan to his growing list of NHL trade targets as the March 21 deadline approaches. Bertuzzi debuts at No. 13 and Monahan at 15.

Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (NHL Images).

Seravalli said Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has told teams he’s “open for business”. Just about everyone other than rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond is believed to be available.

The Flames, meanwhile, would prefer not to move Monahan now while his trade value is at its lowest. However, there are teams said to be interested to see if the 27-year-old center can reboot his career with another club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi is signed through next season with a $4.75 million annual cap hit and lacks no-trade protection. Monahan, meanwhile, carries a $6.375 million cap hit through next season and has a 10-team no-trade list.

The Wings and Flames don’t have to move either guy at the trade deadline but it doesn’t hurt to gauge the market. They could wait until the offseason when they’re likely to find more suitors with available cap space willing to make deals.

The Flames, however, could be under greater pressure to move Monahan. As Seravalli observes, they can’t afford to carry Monahan’s contract if they intend to sign Johnny Gaudreau to a long-term contract extension. Maybe they can find a suitable offer before Monday.

LATEST ON CHIAROT, COPP, AND MIDDLETON

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports interest has intensified in Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot since the Avalanche acquired Josh Manson. The Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues are among the potential suitors. The Canadiens are interested in Calgary prospect Jakob Pelletier but LeBrun isn’t sure if the Flames will move him. The Hurricanes lack a first-round pick but maybe they can entice the Habs with a prospect or two while the Blues don’t want to pay the asking price of a first-round pick.

Darren Dreger said the Minnesota Wild also has an interest in Chiarot but they also don’t want to part with a first-rounder. Meanwhile, there’s discussions between the two clubs about prospect center Jack McBain, who has told the Wild he doesn’t intend to sign with them. The asking price is a second-round pick, which doesn’t worry the Canadiens provided they can get him signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are also rumored to be interested in the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov. It will take significant offers to acquire either guy, much more than what it could cost to land Chiarot. Maybe they can tempt the Canadiens with a couple of quality prospects if no other club meets the Habs’ asking price.

Dreger also believes the Winnipeg Jets will soon have to reach a decision whether they’ll retain or trade pending UFA forward Andrew Copp. He said the Avalanche, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are among those interested in the 27-year-old Jet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an interesting situation for Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. He risks losing Copp for nothing to free agent in July, but trading him now would signal to his roster that he’s giving up on reaching the playoffs. They’ve won four of their last five, by the way, and are just two points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

LeBrun also reports Jacob Middleton is garnering interest in the trade market. The 26-year-old San Jose Sharks defenseman is seeing top-four minutes alongside Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns and carries an affordable $725K cap hit. The asking price is a second-round pick plus another pick or prospect. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins have been linked to the physical left-side blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As LeBrun indicates, Middleton’s a great story this season, going from signing an AHL contract with the Sharks to seeing significant minutes on their blueline. However, what’s working for him in San Jose might not work for him with another club. Interested teams should tread carefully here.

UPDATE ON THE LEAFS

TSN: Chris Johnston reports his sources indicated the Maple Leafs are looking for help in goal, on defense and on their forward lines. They’ll have to trade someone off their roster to make the dollars fit if they intend to make multiple additions before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NYI Hockey Now’s Stefen Rosner cites a source claiming New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov is on the Leafs’ shortlist. Whether they’re on Varlamov’s list of preferred trade destinations, however, is another matter.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2022

Alex Ovechkin takes over third place on the all-time goal list, Connor McDavid, Chris Kreider, Roman Josi and Mitch Marner also reach scoring milestones, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 767th career NHL goal as his club downed the New York Islanders 4-3 on a shootout goal by Anthony Mantha. Evgeny Kuznetsov collected two assists for the Capitals while Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist for the Islanders. With 76 points, the Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin surpassed Jaromir Jagr to move into sole possession of third place on the all-time goal-scoring list, becoming the top European goal scorer in NHL history. He now sits 34 goals behind Gordie Howe for second place.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two points and Evander Kane tallied twice to give the Edmonton Oilers a 7-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Warren Foegele snapped a 5-5 tie while Leon Draisaitl, Duncan Keith and Kailer Yamamoto also collected two points for the Oilers, who sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 70 points. Marc Staal scored two goals for the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was McDavid’s 200th career multi-point game. It’s the most among all players since his debut in 2015-16.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider became the sixth active skater to score at least 20 power-play goals in a season as his club nipped the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Adam Fox had three points (including the winning goal in overtime) and Artemi Panarin collected three assists. The Rangers are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 81 points but hold second place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand. The Ducks (65 points) have dropped five straight and sit three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Nashville Predators. Roman Josi collected three assists, becoming the third place in franchise history to record 50 assists in a season. Josi also leads all defensemen in scoring this season with 69 points while his club moved into third place in the Central Division with 74 points. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games.

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie goaltender Erik Kallgren turned in a 35-save shutout in his first NHL start to blank the Dallas Stars 4-0. Mitch Marner collected two assists to surpass the 40-assist mark for the sixth straight season. With 81 points, the Leafs are one back of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The loss puts the Stars one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights (68 points) for the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first of two games the Leafs will play without Auston Matthews as he serves his suspension for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin during Sunday’s Heritage Classic.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, suffered their fifth straight defeat as they fell 7-3 to the Winnipeg Jets, who’ve won four of their last five games. Kyle Connor led the way for the Jets with a goal and two assists while Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for the win. They now sit just two points behind the Golden Knights. Jets forward Andrew Copp missed this game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Six weeks ago, the Golden Knights sat atop the Pacific Division with 57 points. The combination of injuries to team captain Mark Stone and starting goalie Robin Lehner has contributed to their decline since then. They’re in danger of dropping out of the playoff race.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice and added an assist to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 6-3, snapping a 12-game losing skid against New Jersey. Canucks center J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 13 games with three assists as his club sits one point behind the Golden Knights. Devils forward Pavel Zacha is doubtful for his club’s game tonight against the Calgary Flames after suffering an upper-body injury in this contest.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche became the first team to reach 90 points this season (91) by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for his second straight shutout while Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal and an assist. Josh Manson logged over 18 minutes in his first game with the Avs since they acquired him from the Ducks on Monday.

Florida Panthers forward Frank Vatrano scored the game-tying and overtime goals to lift his club to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. It was Panthers center Joe Thornton’s first game back in San Jose against his former club since his departure in 2020. The Panthers (88 points) move one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes into first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Boston Bruins (79 points) remain three points ahead of the Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on an overtime goal by Matt Grzelcyk. Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 46 saves in a losing cause.

A 36-save effort by Karel Vejmelka gave the Arizona Coyotes a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens for their sixth victory in their last seven contests. Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse each had a goal and an assist. Cole Caufield tallied twice in eight seconds for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens held trade candidate Ben Chiarot out of this game while Josh Anderson missed this matchup with a lower-body injury. The Habs also indicated Ryan Poehling was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE DENVER POST/TWINCITIES.COM: The Colorado Avalanche made their second trade in as many days, shipping forward Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild for forward Nico Sturm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move adds more size to the Avalanche roster while also swapping Jost’s $2 million salary-cap hit through 2022-23 for the pending free agent Sturm’s more affordable $725K. Avs general manager Joe Sakic could be setting the table for a bigger move before the March 21 trade deadline.

As for the Wild, this deal is being seen as GM Bill Guerin’s attempt to inject some life into a roster that’s struggled over the past month. He believes Jost will have a better chance to showcase his skills with the Wild.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin underwent season-ending hip surgery on Monday. He’s expected to make a full recovery but will be sidelined for six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should put an end to the Braden Holtby trade rumors. The Stars won’t shop their backup while they’re jockeying for a playoff spot. He’s currently sidelined by a lower-body injury though he skated with his teammates during practice yesterday.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL defenseman Jean Potvin passed away last night at age 72. An 11-year NHL veteran, he spent two tenures totaling seven seasons with the New York Islanders, winning two Stanley Cups with brother Denis Potvin. He also served stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars. Potvin netted 287 points in 613 total games between 1970-71 and 1980-81.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Potvin’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 12, 2022

The latest on Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell, Marc-Andre Fleury, Dominik Kubalik, Max Domi and Joel Armia plus updates on the Blues and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NO LONG-TERM CONTRACT OFFERS FOR LINDHOLM, MANSON AND RAKELL?

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford reports scuttlebutt around the league suggests defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell won’t get long-term contract extension offers from the Anaheim Ducks. Pat Verbeek, their new general manager, is said to favor three- or four-year extension offers (or possibly shorter) rather than six- to eight years deals.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (NHL Images).

Verbeek’s priority is believed to be signing Lindholm. He’s the only one of those three pending unrestricted free agents the Ducks GM mentioned by name during a recent meeting with season-ticket holders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verbeek will have to make the money worth their while if he hopes to get those three to sign deals that are at most four years in length. Otherwise, he should start peddling those three now because I doubt they’ll take less than market value cap-wise on short-term deals to stay in Anaheim.

The annual average value of Lindholm’s current contract is $5.205 million but he’s earning $6.75 million in actual salary. He could seek at least $7 million annually on his next contract.

LATEST ON FLEURY AND KUBALIK

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reports Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury hopes to avoid this summer’s free-agent market by re-signing with the Hawks or inking an extension with whichever club might acquire him at the trade deadline. Pope also reported the Ducks and Edmonton Oilers have been linked to Blackhawks winger Dominik Kubalik.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He could be amenable to a one-year contract but could seek something not too far below his current annual average value of $7 million.

Kubalik is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. He’s earning an annual average value of $3.7 million while his actual salary this season is $4 million. Maybe the Ducks are eyeing the 26-year-old winger as a possible replacement for Rakell.

TEAMS INTERESTED IN DOMI AND ARMIA

TSN: Darren Dreger reports there’s a higher level of interest in the trade market for Max Domi. The Columbus Blue Jackets winger has elevated his play in recent games. Dreger noted Domi may not be among the top tier of players in the trade market but he’s not that far below.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico also cited Dreger reporting the Canadiens have fielded some calls about forward Joel Armia based on his playoff performance over the past two seasons. D’Amico points out Armia has three more seasons left on his contract with an annual average value of $3.4 million, suggesting the Canadiens might have to retain some salary to move him or take back a contract in return.

LATEST ON THE BLUES AND SENATORS

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford weighed in on some of the recent trade speculations regarding the St. Louis Blues. One source said they’re no longer involved in talks with the Seattle Kraken regarding Mark Giordano while Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun isn’t the blueliner they’re focused on as they seek a shutdown rearguard.

The Blues remain interested in the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot and the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy. They’re also seeking a fourth-line penalty-killing forward.

Rutherford acknowledged the trade speculation linking the Blues to Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. While not ruling it out, he considers the addition of Giroux a long shot citing his contract and the Blues’ depth at forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are also bumping up against the $81.5 million salary cap. It will take some creativity to acquire Chiarot or Soucy even though they carry affordable cap hits. It could take a three-team deal to bring Giroux to St. Louis.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion is ready to deal but things are quiet right now in the trade market. He’s willing to move defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Josh Brown and forwards Chris Tierney and Zach Sanford.

Teams are expressing interest in pending UFA forward Nick Paul and goaltender Anton Forsberg. However, the Senators are focused on keeping them.