Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 11, 2017

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 11, 2017

Could the Chicago Blackhawks ship out a core player such as Artem Anisimov?

Updates on the Blackhawks, Rangers and Lightning plus the latest on Dion Phaneuf, Keith Yandle, Sami Vatanen and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz reports trade rumblings about the Chicago Blackhawks are growing louder. On Friday, Jay Zawatski of Chicago’s 670 The Score reported hearing there’s a good chance the Blackhawks could move a core player other than Jonathan Toews. He believes the move won’t help the club in the short term, as it could be to cut salary or restock their prospect cupboard.

On Saturday, The Athletic’s Scott Powers said neither Artem Anisimov and Brent Seabrook were asked to waive their NMCs. Gretz doubts the Blackhawks will move Toews, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Hawks aren’t willing to part with those players listed by Gretz, the only real options are Anisimov and Seabrook. Of the two, Anisimov would be easiest to move. He carries an annual cap hit of $4.55 million through 2020-21 while Seabrook’s is $6.875 million through 2023-24. Unless the Hawks are willing to pick up, say, $2 million of Seabrook’s annual cap hit, I doubt there will be much interest in his contract around the league. 

SPORTSNET: In his latest “30 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports it appears the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vegas Golden Knights could be working on something. He said there’s a possibility the two sides are discussing David Clarkson and also noted the Blue Jackets have the 24th pick in this year’s draft “and some young forwards at the AHL level who might be part of this,” though Friedman said it’s been difficult for him to pin this down. He points out any trades Vegas makes won’t be official until June 21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clarkson is all but retired due to a back injury and is reportedly willing to waive his no-movement clause to allow the Jackets to move him. 

Friedman also reports the word is the Ottawa Senators asked defenseman Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause in order to expose him in the upcoming expansion draft.  Ditto the Florida Panthers with Keith Yandle. Both blueliners have yet to decide if they’ll do so. Friedman thinks there would be a ton of interest if the Golden Knights selected Yandle and then flipped him to another team.

Nick Kypreos claims Vegas’ pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins will be Marc-Andre Fleury. Friedman suggests he could also be a “flip candidate.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Exposing Phaneuf in the draft would allow the Sens the flexibility to protect seven forwards and three defensemen. It’s doubtful the Golden Knights select Phaneuf, but the Sens could swing a deal with Vegas to ensure they bypass him and select someone else.

Yandle’s situation is much more interesting as the Panthers paid big bucks to sign him last summer and supposedly consider him part of their core talent. This could also be another scenario in which the Panthers ask Vegas to overlook Yandle and instead select another player.  

Friedman doubts the Anaheim Ducks are interested in Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane. With considerable interest in Sami Vatanen, he doesn’t think the Ducks want to take back much salary. While he thinks shipping Vatanen to Tampa Bay for Jonathan Drouin, he doubts they can afford a new contract for the young winger.

If the Lightning can’t swing a deal for Vatanan, Friedman wonders if they’ll try to pry a blueliner (Jonas Brodin? Matt Dumba?) away from the Minnesota Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Wild acquired Drouin, they could also face salary-cap concerns. Moving Dumba or Brodin would clear some cap room and they could free up more if another salaried player departs via the expansion draft. However, in addition to re-signing Drouin, they also have to re-up RFAs Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund. That could be an expensive trio.  

Regarding recent trade speculations over Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett, a league executive said they’re reluctant to plug one hole by opening another. If they do move Bennett, the return will be expensive.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While anything’s possible, I don’t see the Flames parting with Bennett. They still have high hopes for this kid. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers have spoken with clubs with player protection problems on defense or those that might be willing to move a legitimate top-pairing blueliner with a right-handed shot. Colorado’s Tyson Barrie and Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba are players of interest but there’s nothing doing on those fronts for the time being.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is a player the Rangers and many others “would be willing to move just about anyone to acquire, but the problem is Colorado general manager Joe Sakic is asking for just about everyone.”

Contract talks continue between the Rangers and defenseman Brendan Smith. The Blueshirts also haven’t asked Dan Girardi and Marc Staal to waive their no-movement clauses for the purpose of exposure in the expansion draft. 

The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets are believed among the clubs with interest in making a pre-expansion draft trade involving Rangers backup goalie Antti Raanta. The Blueshirts aren’t yet committed to moving him nor have they received a convincing offer. 

Brooks also dismissed a report out of Russia claiming the Rangers could be out of the bidding for Ilya Kovalchuk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be shocked if the Avalanche trade away MacKinnon. Still believe Matt Duchene is their likely trade candidate. I wouldn’t rule out a Barrie trade for the right offer.

Maybe the Blueshirts intend to buy out Staal or Girardi later this week.That would explain why they haven’t yet been asked to waive their NMCs.

 The Rangers risk losing Raanta to the Golden Knights for nothing in the expansion draft.  But if they trade him, they risk losing another player they could prefer to protect in that draft. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has spoken with Vegas GM George McPhee but isn’t sure if he can work out a side deal that controls which unprotected Lightning player gets chosen in the upcoming draft. Smith speculates on the possibility of Yzerman swinging a deal with teams that have a glut on defense, such as Anaheim or Minnesota.

In his mailbag segment, he feels it would be more likely for Yzerman to trade Alex Killorn rather than lose him in the expansion draft, but given Killorn’s value to the Bolts, he thinks it’s crazy that a player the Bolts GM called part of the club’s core last summer gets moved.

He also wouldn’t be surprised if Drouin got moved but it would take an impressive return for the Lightning to part with him. He wonders if the Avs would part with Tyson Barrie. He also lists Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen or Minnesota’s Matt Dumba as trade options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a widespread belief Yzerman will make a significant move this summer to land a top-four defenseman. Drouin or Killorn could fetch that return, though Drouin would obviously attract better offers. I also believe it’s possible Yzerman could put Tyler Johnson on the block. 


NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2017

Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle could be moved in the coming weeks.

TSN’s top-30 trade-bait, including Jordan Eberle, Matt Duchene, Travis Hamonic and more in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, Minnesota Wild blueliners Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba, Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene and New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic top Frank Seravalli’s list of TSN’s top-30 trade-bait board.

Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle, Avalanche rearguard Tyson Barrie, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury round out the top ten.

New Jersey Devils wayward winger Ilya Kovalchuk, Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan, Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok, Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer, New York Rangers netminder Antti Raanta, Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp and right wing Joel Armia, Lightning d-man Andrej Sustr, Blue Jackets center William Karlsson and Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin make up spots 11-20.

Filling spots 21 to 30 are San Jose Sharks defender Brenden Dillon, Isles blueliner Ryan Pulock, Lightning center Tyler Johnson, Predators center Colton Sissons, Montreal Canadiens d-man Nathan Beaulieu, Philadelphia Flyers center Brayden Schenn, Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin, Boston Bruins right wing Jimmy Hayes, St. Louis Blues forward Jori Lehtera and Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli notes some of the names on this list, such as Vatanan, Brodin and Dumba, are there because they belong to clubs at risk of  losing those players in the expansion draft later this month to the Vegas Golden Knights. Rather than lose them for nothing, some of those clubs could trade them.

Some, such as Duchene and MacKinnon, are here because their clubs are looking to make significant changes. Some, like Eberle and Jenner, could be dealt to shed salary. I believe Drouin and Johnson are here because their teams could lack sufficient cap space to re-sign them.

We can quibble over the placement of certain names on this list or whether some (such as MacKinnon) even belong here, but I think some of them could be joining new clubs by the end of this month.  While all of them won’t be traded, the combination of the expansion draft and salary-cap constraints could result in 10 or 12 getting moved in the coming weeks.

Seravalli’s colleagues Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger discussed the Edmonton Oilers’ efforts to re-sign Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Dreger said he’s been told there are trade offers on the table for Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle, but none that general manager Peter Chiarelli is willing to accept right now. Citing the club’s need to free up sufficient salary-cap room to re-sign Draisaitl and McDavid, Dreger believes it “sounds like he’ll definitely get traded.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, Chiarelli told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun he will have to move a player to clear cap room but didn’t have to do it this year. He also sang Eberle’s praises, despite his poor offensive production in the playoffs. That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if Chiarelli tries to move him for a favorable return. While he obviously needs to clear room for the anticipated expensive new deals for Draisaitl and McDavid, it appears he’s not intent on just giving Eberle away. 

McKenzie considers Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene as the player most likely to be traded this summer. He notes the Avs tried moving Duchene at the trade deadline but didn’t receive offers to their liking. He expects they’ll find what they’re looking for this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leading up to the trade deadline, the pundit consensus was the the Avs sought a good young defenseman or goaltender, a first-round pick, a top prospect and more for Duchene. If that’s true, it’s no wonder they didn’t get what they wanted. I daresay they’ll have to lower that asking price to move him this summer. Not saying Duchene can’t be traded or doesn’t have value, because he certainly does and there will be interest in him, but the Avs probably won’t get a king’s ransom for him. 

Dreger notes the New York Islanders risk losing a defenseman in the upcoming expansion draft, which could make Travis Hamonic an attractive trade piece for a top-six forward. Avalanche blueliner Tyson Barrie could also be in play if they move Matt Duchene for a defenseman. The asking price could be a high draft pick or a combination of picks and prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles could also look at cutting a side deal with Vegas to ensure they don’t lose a decent blueliner left exposed in the expansion draft. Moving Hamonic could also leave a big hole in the Isles defense for next season. As for Barrie, it appears his future hinges on what the Avs get in return from a possible Duchene trade. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to convince the Vegas Golden Knights to take winger David Clarkson’s contract off their hands in a trade. Clarkson is all but retired due to a back injury. The Jackets can place him on long-term injured reserve next season, but having his contract on their books affects possible offseason moves. Friedman said the Jackets are trying to determine what kind of “sweetener” to add to the deal to entice Vegas. Clarkson isn’t eligible to be exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have over $70 million invested in next season’s payroll with RFAs Alexander Wennberg and Josh Anderson to re-sign. They might also want to keep UFA forward Sam Gagner. Even if they lose a salaried player via the expansion draft, it might not clear enough room to re-sign those players and to perhaps make other additions. Clarkson has reportedly agreed to waive his no-movement clause to allow the Jackets to shop his contract, but it could take a quality draft pick or prospect to entice the Golden Knights. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2017

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine scores one of his three goals against the Dallas Stars.

Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Patrik Laine’s hat trick carried the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Jets center Mark Scheifele collected three assists while Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist. 

Leon Draisaitl and Oscar Klefbom each tallied a goal and added two assists and Connor McDavid had two assists as the Edmonton Oilers downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-2, snapping the Oilers’ three-game losing streak. 

Auston Matthews scored twice and Frederik Andersen picked up his 100th career NHL victory as the Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the New York Islanders 7-1. 

Evgeni Malkin tallied a goal and an assist, Sidney Crosby picked up his 999th career NHL point and Matt Murray made 29 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Vancouver Canucks 4-0. The Canucks played without centers Bo Horvat (foot injury) and Brandon Sutter (upper body).

John Gibson turned in a 39-save shutout performance and Joseph Cramarossa scored the game’s only goal to give the Anaheim Ducks a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Ducks forward Antoine Vermette was ejected from the game for abusing an official for slapping a linesman with his stick following a faceoff. He could face a suspension for his action. 

Robin Lehner kicked out 39 shots while third-period goals from Matt Moulson and Justin Bailey carried the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. 

Corey Schneider made 28 saves while Kyle Palmieri’s second-period goal proved to be the game winner as the New Jersey Devils edged the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Sidelined since training camp with a back injury, Columbus Blue Jackets forward David Clarkson faces the possibility that his player career could be over.  He has three degenerative discs in the L5 region of his spine.

iDNES.CZ: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek and his younger brother, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Milan Michalek, could be facing the end of their NHL careers. Both are now playing for their club’s respective AHL farm teams. (Stick tap to Alexander Wirdzek for the link). 

STLTODAY.COM:  The St. Louis Blues placed center Paul Stastny (lower body) on injured reserve. He’s expected to miss at least two more games. 

THE MERCURY NEWS:  San Jose Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi (upper-body injury) will likely miss three more games. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Coyotes $395 million arena plan could have new life, as they could receive $225 million in public funding for the project. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Happy 45th birthday to Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2016

Nathan MacKinnon scores in overtime to give Team North America a 4-3 win over Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey .

Nathan MacKinnon scores in overtime to give Team North America a 4-3 win over Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey .

 World Cup of Hockey scores plus the latest on Phil Kessel, Roberto Luongo & more in your NHL morning headlines.

NHL.COM:  Nathan MacKinnon scored in overtime to give Team North America a thrilling 4-3 victory over Team Sweden in World Cup of Hockey preliminary round play. The Swedes had rallied back from a 3-1 deficit with Nicklas Backstrom’s third-period goal forcing the extra frame. Sweden has already clinched a berth in the semifinal. The North Americans can secure a berth if Team Finland defeats Team Russia today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this game was Team North America’s final one in this tournament, it was an exciting way to go out. For me, this was the best game of the tournament thus far. Lots of back-and-forth action, plenty of good scoring opportunities and two highlight-reel breakaway goals from MacKinnon and Johnny Gaudreau. 

Jonathan Toews scored twice and set up another and Logan Couture had a goal and an asset to lead Team Canada to a 4-1 win over Team Europe. The Canadians clinched top spot in Group A with a 3-0-0 record and await either Team North America or Team Russia in the semifinal. Team Europe is also in the semis, where they’ll face Team Sweden this weekend. 

ESPN.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel denied that his sarcastic tweet following Team USA’s elimination from the World Cup of Hockey on Tuesday was aimed at the players. “Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn’t put my finger on it,” tweeted Kessel at the time. Team USA players David Backes, Zach Parise and Derek Stepan said they hoped Kessel’s comments weren’t aimed at the Team USA players. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious Kessel wasn’t addressing the players, but Team USA’s management for twice snubbing him. Kessel’s offseason wrist surgery prevented him from participating anyway, but the selections were made before he suffered the injury. I thought it was a subtle, worthwhile dig. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: A source claims Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo received medical clearance to play without limitations. The 37-year-old netminder was recovering from offseason hip surgery. He’s now expected to be ready to play in the Panthers’ season-opener and could even get in a couple of preseason games. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals yesterday signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a one-year, $2.57 million contract. A disagreement over role and playing time, rather than contract terms, was reportedly behind the delay in getting Orlov re-signed. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals also have limited salary-cap space for the upcoming season, which also explains the terms of his current deal. If Orlov plays well this season in an expanded role, he’ll get a more lucrative, long-term contract from the Caps next summer. 

TSN:  Toronto Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul reportedly failed his team medical last week and could start the upcoming season on long-term injured reserve. He underwent sports-hernia surgery in February. Lupul is expected to address the media today. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger David Clarkson failed his pre-training camp medical because of chronic lower-back pain. It’s unclear when, or if, Clarkson will play again. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  He’ll also likely start the season on LTIR. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames have signed unrestricted free agent forward Lauri Korpikoski to a professional tryout offer. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former Sabres defenseman Richie Dunn died yesterday at age 59. He spent nine of his 12 NHL seasons with the Sabres (1977-78 to 1988-89). He also spent two seasons with the Hartford Whalers and one with the Calgary Flames. In 483 NHL games, he tallied 176 points, along with 18 points in 36 playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Dunn’s family and friends.