NHL Rumor Mill – January 15, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 15, 2022

Check out the latest on the Rangers and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently examined some potential external options for the New York Rangers to bolster their top six and their third defense pairing.

Possible top-six trade targets could include San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl, Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel, Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski, Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux, Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The availability of Hertl, Pavelski and Rakell could depend upon where their respective clubs are in the NHL standings approaching the March 21 trade deadline. Giroux has a full no-movement clause and it’s uncertain what he intends to do as the Flyers continue to struggle.

DeBrusk requested a trade in late November but there haven’t been any takers yet. Smith could be shopped by the Golden Knights as a cost-cutting measure to make room for Jack Eichel’s debut next month.

To boost the third line, Staple suggested Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen, though he noted the latter has had preliminary contract talks with the Habs. Other options included Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney, Arizona Coyotes forward Travis Boyd, and Seattle Kraken forward Calle Jarnkrok or former Ranger Colin Blackwell.

Turning to defensemen, Staple believes the asking price for Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun and Montreal’s Ben Chiarot could be too expensive. Seattle’s Mark Giordano won’t be as expensive but still won’t be a cheap rental. Nevertheless, he could fill a need for the Rangers. Other options include Seattle’s Carson Soucy, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Calvin de Haan, Philadelphia’s Justin Braun, the Buffalo Sabres’ Colin Miller or Detroit Red Wings’ (and former Rangers) Marc Staal or Nick Holden.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Staple isn’t saying the Rangers are pursuing the aforementioned players or have them on any potential wish list. Nevertheless, they have the cap space and depth in prospects and promising young players to make competitive bids for one or two of them.

Smith is most often mentioned as a possible rental target given he previously played for Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant when the latter was the Golden Knights’ bench boss. It wouldn’t be surprising if he joins the Blueshirts sometime next month.

SPORTSNET/TSN: Eric Engels reports the Montreal Canadiens search for a new general manager could be resolved in the coming days. He’s heard Daniel Briere and Mathieu Darche are among the three finalists for the job.

Meanwhile, Pierre LeBrun reports the Canadiens are believed to have circled back to player agent Kent Hughes this week after he wasn’t part of their initial interviews. He includes Hughes among the top 3-4 candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lovers of chaos will be disappointed Patrick Roy doesn’t appear to be among the final candidates, though he was among those initially interviewed for the position. The bottom line is the best candidate will be the one who can work best with hockey ops executive VP Jeff Gorton. I’m leaning toward Darche given his experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning but Hughes could also be a good fit given his experience as an agent.

TVA SPORTS: Yvon Pedneault took note of John Klingberg no longer being in the good graces of Dallas Stars management in his contract year. He suggested the Canadiens offer up Jeff Petry for Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg is four years younger than the 34-year-old Petry, who has three more years left on his contract worth an annual cap hit of $6.25 million. Solely on that basis, Stars GM Jim Nill will never make that trade.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 12, 2022

Check out the latest on Evander Kane, John Klingberg, Jakob Chychrun, Tomas Hertl, Max Domi and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

OILERS AMONG THREE TEAMS INTERESTED IN EVANDER KANE

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning are believed to be the top-three clubs interested in signing Evander Kane. Oilers captain Connor McDavid is said to be on board with adding the former San Jose Sharks winger.

Kane and his agent continue to conduct due diligence here holding Zoom calls with general managers and coaches. Meanwhile, Chris Johnston said it could take several weeks for Kane’s grievance hearing with the Sharks to take place. The league and the NHLPA are comfortable with the winger signing with another club and resuming his NHL career while this process is ongoing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also wondered if the Carolina Hurricanes could also get into the bidding. Meanwhile, there are reports suggesting Kane could sign with the Oilers before the end of this week.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

Earlier this week, there was speculation suggesting the Oilers had an interest in Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher. We can put that to rest if the Oilers sign Kane.

KLINGBERG, GIORDANO AMONG NOTABLE DEFENSEMEN IN TRADE MARKET

TSN: Darren Dreger reports several pending unrestricted free agent defensemen could draw interest in the trade market. Right-side blueliners include the Dallas Stars John Klingberg, Buffalo Sabres’ Colin Miller and (potentially) the Anaheim Ducks’ Josh Manson, while the Montreal Canadiens Ben Chiarot and (potentially) the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller and Chiarot are the most likely to be shopped given their clubs’ low position in the standings. I initially had doubts about the Kraken shopping Giordano but recent reports suggest it could happen before the March 21 trade deadline. I don’t see Klingberg or Manson getting moved as long as their clubs remain in playoff contention by deadline day.

RUMORS TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported there was some speculation that the Sharks could use the money freed up from terminating Kane’s contract to re-sign pending UFA center Tomas Hertl. However, that currently seems to be a premature assumption.

Friedman believes the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche are going to appear in almost every trade rumor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because both clubs are considered Stanley Cup contenders in “go-for-it” mode. I would also include the Florida Panthers, who are linked to Evander Kane and are said to be shopping around for blue-line depth.

Friedman includes the Hurricanes with the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues with interest in Jakob Chychrun. He believes the contract of the 23-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman ($4.6 million through 2024-25) is right in the Hurricanes’ wheelhouse.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Ducks and Kings in better shape cap-wise to take on Chychrun’s contract at the trade deadline than the Hurricanes and Blues. They also have more tradeable assets in terms of promising prospects.

Friedman said some teams believe the Coyotes could prefer shipping the blueliner to an Eastern club. However, I don’t think that’s set in stone, especially if a Western club is willing to meet their asking price.

Speaking of Chychrun, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators may have kicked tires but he doubts they’ll acquire him. Garrioch believes he “likely doesn’t fit the bill for what the Senators are trying to accomplish here.”

With the Bruins finally signing Tuukka Rask, Friedman wondered if Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi would be a good fit in Boston.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They could prefer finding a new home for Jake DeBrusk first. Hey, maybe a DeBrusk-for-Domi swap? If not, maybe DeBrusk for Lawson Crouse? Friedman’s colleague Jeff Marek recently noted the Bruins had been linked to the Arizona Coyotes forward.

Oilers GM Ken Holland all but confirmed he’s not interested in trading his 2022 first-round pick. He’d floated that notion earlier this season if this club was in a strong contender position but that’s not the case now.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 10, 2022

Should the Flames or Islanders consider signing Evander Kane? Should the Oilers try to acquire Canadiens winger Josh Anderson? Which defensemen could the Panthers target? Will the Penguins go shopping at the trade deadline? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SHOULD THE FLAMES OR ISLANDERS SIGN EVANDER KANE?

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane wonders whether the Calgary Flames should consider signing San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane after he cleared unconditional waivers yesterday. He acknowledged the 30-year-old winger’s well-documented personal baggage and reputation as a bothersome teammate but observed he’s a proven point producer who could be an affordable free-agent signing.

Will there be teams interested in signing Evander Kane as a free agent? (NHL Images)

Macfarlane suggested the Flames should at least consider that option given their need to add another scoring forward. He felt general manager Brad Treliving should poll his players to determine if they’d be open to adding Kane to their roster. He also felt head coach Darryl Sutter might be able to handle the talented-but-troublesome winger.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner also examined whether the New York Islanders should bring in Kane to provide a boost to their sagging offense. He believes they should avoid him at all cost given Kane has proven to be untrustworthy and disdainful of rules, something that wouldn’t be tolerated under general manager Lou Lamoriello.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks can terminate Kane’s contract without penalty for breach of contract owing to the winger allegedly violating AHL COVID protocols and failing to report back to their AHL affiliate on time. However, the NHLPA is expected to file a grievance perhaps as early as today. It could take several weeks for an arbiter to determine the outcome.

Despite Kane’s reputation as a bad teammate and his off-ice issues, there are reportedly teams that could be willing to sign him to an affordable short-term contract if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. However, I doubt you’ll see his agent receive any formal offers until his grievance has been settled.

SHOULD THE OILERS TARGET JOSH ANDERSON?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wondered if the Oilers should attempt to pry away Josh Anderson from the floundering Montreal Canadiens. He pointed out they lack a “power forward, mean-streak type in their top six.”

Anderson is currently sidelined with an upper-body injury but the 27-year-old winger is expected back early next month. He’s in the second year of a seven-year deal with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million and carries an eight-team no-trade list. Matheson wondered if the Habs would be interested in an offer of a 2022 first-round pick, prospect Xavier Bourgault and “something else.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know what plans Canadiens hockey ops VP Jeff Gorton and whoever he hires as a general manager has in store for their club before the trade deadline. They are expected to shop pending unrestricted free agents like Ben Chiarot but they could entertain offers for players under contract beyond this season such as Anderson.

It probably wouldn’t hurt for the Oilers to contact the Canadiens about Anderson. However, he can’t address their pressing need to reduce their goals-against. Right now, the Oilers need a reliable starting goaltender. They shouldn’t be wasting their tradeable assets on a power forward. 

LATEST ON THE PANTHERS AND PENGUINS

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards reports the Panthers are in “go-for-it” mode this season and will be buyers at the March 21 NHL trade deadline. The main focus will be on bolstering the blueline.

Richards lists Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun, Dallas’ John Klingberg, Montreal’s Ben Chiarot, Seattle’s Mark Giordano and Detroit’s Nick Leddy as potential trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Richards isn’t confident that the Panthers have sufficient trade capital to win a bidding war for Chyrchrun. He also suggested their limited salary-cap space could make it difficult to acquire Giordano or Leddy.

Klingberg could be affordable in cap hit and return but there’s no certainty the Stars will move him if they’re in playoff contention by the trade deadline. That leaves Chiarot, who has been linked to the Panthers by other NHL insiders.

The Canadiens’ asking price for Chiarot could be a first-round pick, but Panthers GM Bill Zito could be willing to pay that much for a rental shutdown defenseman with playoff experience. His $3.5 million cap hit could also be squeezed into their cap space if they move out another player or convince the Canadiens to absorb half of his cap hit.

NHL.COM: Dave McCarthy reports Pittsburgh Penguins team president Brian Burke is impressed by his club’s recent success this season. He also admitted that it will be difficult for his club to make any significant additions before the trade deadline.

Burke said his club will still be looking in the trade market but their limited salary-cap space will make it tough to swing a major deal. He’s also reluctant to continue borrowing against the team’s future to address present needs. He felt they must stop the trend where they give up a lot for a 20 percent chance of winning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins really don’t have much choice. They’re playing well now but they have an aging core of talent such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang who will soon have to be replaced. Gutting their future for a quick fix will only make the inevitable rebuild much longer and more painful.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 9, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 9, 2022

John Klingberg addresses his contract standoff with the Stars plus the latest on Evander Kane and Jakob Chychrun in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

KLINGBERG UNHAPPY OVER CONTRACT TALKS WITH STARS

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports John Klingberg admitted he doesn’t feel like he’s been appreciated in his stalled contract negotiations with the Dallas Stars. The 29-year-old defenseman made the comments while speaking with the media yesterday following the Stars 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

Addressing a rumor that he requested a trade, he said, “I don’t think that’s entirely true,” explaining that general manager Jim Nill agreed that he and his agent could speak with other GMs and see where they were at. “It’s not like I’ve been going out there and asking, ‘I want to get traded now’, or something like that. It’s something that’s been going on with the negotiations and stuff like that.”

Klingberg said he wants to stay in Dallas and indicated to management after last season that he wanted to negotiate right away. He pointed out other players had signed right before the season began and he wanted to do the same. However, he’s grown frustrated in recent years feeling that he’s had to prove himself. He also indicated things have gone quiet on the Stars side “negotiationwise.”

THE ATHLETIC: Saad Yousef reports Klingberg said he got one offer from the Stars “way back” but they haven’t really moved at all. He said he and his agent have been trying to come up with different numbers and years to meet them. The blueliner added he didn’t know if the club intends to sign him.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports he spoke with Klingberg’s agent, who said in late November or early December that he asked if a trade could be accommodated for his client if an agreement on a contract extension couldn’t be reached. Marek also said Klingberg seeks an eight-year, $63 million deal.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes we can add Klingberg to the “endless list of potential marquee rental properties” who will be linked to the Rangers leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. He pointed out GM Chris Drury has the cap space and prized prospects “to get anyone (any two?) he would want.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg acknowledged the business side of this situation and understands the Stars already have a lot of money invested in their blueline corps. Nevertheless, he also has to look out for his best interests.

Yousef pointed out the Stars have sufficient cap space for next season to re-sign Klingberg but they also have to account for future signings of players such as Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson and Denis Gurianov. Ponying up $8.5 million annually for Klingberg would take a big bite out of their cap space next season.

As I noted yesterday, I don’t see the Stars shopping Klingberg unless they fall out of playoff contention before the trade deadline or if he forces the issue. However, I don’t think he’s a fit with the Rangers as they already have Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba as their top-two right-side defensemen.

UPDATES ON JAKOB CHYCHRUN AND EVANDER KANE.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek said he can confirm at least 10 teams have contacted the Arizona Coyotes to inquire about Jakob Chychrun. “A couple of offers have given the Coyotes cause for pause,” he said.

Marek said the Coyotes seek a young player, a high-end prospect and a first-round pick. Teams with the assets to do that who could be interested include the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks, who might lose Hampus Lindholm this summer to free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That return sounds more reasonable than the recent reports claiming the Coyotes want something comparable to what the Vegas Golden Knights gave up to the Buffalo Sabres last fall for Jack Eichel.

It’s still a significant haul for the 23-year-old defenseman who led all blueliners last season with 18 goals. His production has suffered this season as a result of the depleted depth around him on the Coyotes.

Bear in mind the Coyotes aren’t under any pressure to move Chychrun. With the blueliner under contract for three more years at an affordable cap hit of $4.6 million, they can take their time and wait for the right offer. We’ll find out soon enough if there’s a rival club willing to make that move before the trade deadline.

Elliotte Friedman believes there are teams who will want to sign Evander Kane if the San Jose Sharks successfully terminate his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been speculation since late November suggesting there were teams interested in acquiring Kane if the Sharks would either absorb half his $7 million annual cap hit or find another team to become a third-party broker to further spread that cap hit around.

Kane has considerable personal baggage and a growing reputation as a dressing room cancer. Nevertheless, there could be some playoff contenders willing to take a chance on him because of his power-forward skills, especially if they can get him on an affordable one- or two-year contract.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 8, 2022

Could the Canadiens move Carey Price by the trade deadline? What’s the latest on John Klingberg and Jakob Chychrun? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

IS A PRICE DEADLINE DAY DEAL POSSIBLE?

SPORTSNET: In a mailbag segment earlier this week, Eric Engels was asked about the possibility of the Montreal Canadiens moving Carey Price by the March 21 trade deadline. He doesn’t see that happening unless the 34-year-old goaltender returns to action and plays well before deadline day.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

Even under that scenario, Price isn’t going anywhere unless he agrees to waive his no-movement clause. Engels believes that conversation could take place at some point between the netminder and hockey ops VP Jeff Gorton if it hasn’t happened already. He doesn’t see Price sitting through what could be a five-year rebuild with the Canadiens for another shot at the Stanley Cup.

CALGARY HERALD: Michael Traikos doesn’t expect Price to be moved before the trade deadline. His contract ($10.5 million annually) is too hefty to move in-season plus he hasn’t played since Game 5 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.

Nevertheless, Traikos mused over what it might take for the Edmonton Oilers to acquire Price to address their porous goaltending. He suggested a package of Mikko Koskinen, Jesse Puljujarvi, prospect Dylan Holloway and/or the Oilers 2022 first-round pick with the Canadiens picking up half of Price’s cap hit.

Traikos also suggested more sensible options such as Canadiens backup Jake Allen, Seattle’s Chris Driedger or Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo. However, none of those goalies have the potential to backstop the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible the Canadiens find a taker for Price before the trade deadline but that’s probably a slim hope at best. Even if he returns before March and regains his form, that contract is just too hefty to move during a season where just 10 teams currently have over $5 million in projected salary-cap space.

LATEST ON KLINGBERG AND CHYCHRUN

YAHOO! SPORTS: Thomas Williams cites The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta indicating sources claim John Klingberg requested a trade from the Dallas Stars. The 29-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Pagnotta said contract talks between the two sides “hit a wall” with Klingberg seeking a long-term deal. Williams sees the Stars attempting to cash in on the offensive blueliner at the trade deadline. However, they’re also still in the thick of the playoff chase and that could complicate things.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word in the Dallas media or from other NHL insiders about Klingberg’s trade request. It appears the request may have come earlier in the season. If so, the Stars don’t seem to be in any hurry to move him.

If they remain in the playoff race by the deadline they could simply retain Klingberg as an “own-rental” for the postseason. That could change, however, if they fall out of contention by March 21. Given Klingberg’s value as a puck-moving defenseman, he could fetch a solid return if he hits the trade block.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan noted the recent rumors swirling around Jakob Chychrun. He agrees Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong will set a high asking price for the 23-year-old defenseman. However, he also points out the Coyotes aren’t in any rush to trade Chychrun and there’s no guarantee they’ll move him.

Morgan observed the March 21 trade deadline will create pressure for some teams to get something done but so does the need to win. He wonders if the Edmonton Oilers might get back into the mix despite Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s recent report calling the Oilers an unlikely destination.

TORONTO STAR: In his latest mailbag segment, Kevin McGran was asked if Chychrun would be worth the Maple Leafs giving up top prospects, a first-round pick and a solid roster player. McGran isn’t sure they would be in the market for a player like him during the season because of their limited cap space. He thinks they’ll look at low-cost rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun is an attractive trade target and I don’t doubt there’s considerable interest in him. However, I agree with Morgan that the Coyotes aren’t in any rush here with the blueliner under contract for three more years. If they don’t find a return to their liking before the trade deadline, they’ll revisit trade options during the offseason, likely around the July draft weekend.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 5, 2022

Growing speculation over the Oilers’ goaltending situation, an update on Jakob Chychrun and the latest on Tuukka Rask, Claude Giroux, Mark Giordano and Ben Chiarot in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT WILL THE OILERS DO ABOUT THEIR GOALTENDING?

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland is looking at his goaltending as the club has stumbled through a 2-8-2 record in their last dozen games. Available trade options are being considered plus the club is also still searching for a third-line center. Dreger also cited a source claiming head coach Dave Tippett isn’t in immediate danger of losing his job.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Holland has already dismissed rumors linking the Oilers to former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock. He wondered if Holland might pursue a rental player like Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury or Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Dallas Stars are getting some calls about Anton Khudobin, who cleared waivers last month and was sent to their AHL affiliate. The Stars would have to retain part of his $3.33 million cap hit or take back a contract in return. LeBrun wondered if the Oilers might take a chance on Khudobin even though he has another year remaining on his contract and they have zero salary-cap space.

Could the Edmonton Oilers target Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury? (NHL Images)

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Terry Jones believes goaltending is the Oilers’ Achilles heel right now and feels they have to be finished with struggling Mikko Koskinen while starter Mike Smith remains sidelined. He thinks Holland’s first move of the New Year is to find a new starting netminder.

Robert Tychkowski doesn’t put all the blame for the Oilers’ slump on Koskinen’s shoulders but acknowledges they need help between the pipes. He also cites a lack of goal production beyond superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things are getting really ugly in Edmonton right now. Koskinen’s difficulties over the past month have proven costly, to the point where Tippett blamed the goaltender for their recent loss to the New York Rangers.

Firing Tippett might provide a spark that improves the Oilers’ goal production but it won’t turn Koskinen into a better netminder or magically make Mike Smith a healthy starter. Holland has no choice but to find a suitable solution between the pipes.

The most immediate should be giving Stuart Skinner more opportunities. While he only won four of nine starts this season he put up better stats (2.70 GAA, .916 SP) than Koskinen.

As for those trade options, Fleury is being mentioned because he’s a pending unrestricted free agent playing for a bad team in Chicago. However, there is no indication Blackhawks management is in any hurry to ship out the 37-year-old goaltender, let alone if the Oilers are among his preferred trade destinations.

Khudobin could be an easier option but the Oilers’ limited cap space means Holland will have to get creative to find a way to make the dollars fit. The 35-year-old Stars netminder could be motivated for redemption after his struggles earlier this season sent him tumbling down the pecking order behind Braden Holtby and Jake Oettinger.

Maybe Holland puts in a call to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Joonas Korpisalo. Like Fleury, he’s due to become a UFA this summer. He isn’t expected to be back with the Jackets after they signed Elvis Merzlikins to a long-term extension. Korpisalo carries a more affordable $2.8 million cap hit and lacks no-trade protection.

I’ve also read and heard some suggestions about Holland acquiring Carey Price from the Montreal Canadiens but that’s just nonsense at this point. Price hasn’t played a single game this season as he’s still recovering from offseason knee surgery. Even if he agreed to waive his no-movement clause, the Oilers can’t afford his $10.5 million annual average value. I doubt there’s any team willing to be a third-party broker right now to take on part of his hefty cap hit for the next four years.

UPDATE ON CHYCHRUN

TSN: Darren Dreger reports teams are calling Arizona Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong and making offers for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. However, Armstrong isn’t in a rush to move the 23-year-old blueliner. The asking price is said to be a “Jack Eichel type of return”.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun doesn’t believe a Chychrun deal is imminent but the fact they’re fielding calls suggests the possibility of a deal before the March 21 trade deadline. However, he points out they’re under no obligation to move Chychrun by then. The blueliner carries an affordable $4.6 million annual cap hit through 2024-25.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes Chychrun could potentially be the first big trade of 2022. He also noted Coyotes winger Phil Kessel and pending UFA forward Lawson Crouse could be available.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan dismissed a rumor claiming Chychrun and his agent requested a trade. He also believes Armstrong could be doing Chychrun a favor by moving him to a team where he’d have a better chance at success than having him burn through several years of his playing prime with a rebuilding club.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cited Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claiming the Bruins were among several teams in the mix for Chychrun. Others include the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong can afford to wait for the right offer for Chychrun. Maybe that comes before the March trade deadline but I think it’s more likely to take place in the offseason when some clubs will have more salary-cap space and a willingness to make big trades to address roster weaknesses.

LATEST ON RASK, GIROUX, GIORDANO AND CHIAROT

NHL.COM: Amelie Benjamin reports Tuukka Rask is making progress in his recovery from offseason hip surgery and could make his debut with the Boston Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence this weekend should he receive medical clearance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa wondered what Rask’s contract could be once he signs with the Bruins. He thinks it will most likely be an affordable one-year deal. How much they pay him could depend on whether they can free up some cap space by honoring winger Jake DeBrusk’s trade request.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman doesn’t get any sense of urgency from the Philadelphia Flyers to ship out pending UFA center Claude Giroux as they’re still battling for a playoff spot. He considers it unlikely Mark Giordano will stay with the Seattle Kraken as he’ll have considerable value at the trade deadline. He also wondered if the St. Louis Blues might attempt to acquire Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot.