Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 26, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 26, 2022

Does the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois hope to one day play for Montreal? What will the Canadiens do with Evgenii Dadonov? Could the Devils pursue Leafs goalie Jack Campbell if he goes to free agency? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

IS DUBOIS HOPING TO JOIN THE CANADIENS ONE DAY?

THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates believes Pierre-Luc Dubois sincerely wants to test the 2024 unrestricted free agent market as was reported last week by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. He felt the 24-year-old Winnipeg Jets center hopes to play for the Montreal Canadiens in the long run and hasn’t been shy about expressing that within team circles.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

I don’t think telling the Jets about his UFA plans is posturing in the slightest; I think it’s the truth,” wrote Ates. He doesn’t see them trading Dubois this summer unless they get a mind-blowing offer. He envisions the young center getting a one-year contract this summer, playing hard through 2022-23 as the Jets try to convince him to accept a longer-term deal, and trading him next summer if he doesn’t change his mind.

Under that scenario, the Jets allow Dubois’ agent to speak to other clubs about a contract extension prior to a trade. Ates doesn’t see the Canadiens or another club signing Dubois to an offer sheet this summer as the Jets can easily match it.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Prior to Ates’ report, Marco D’Amico weighed in on the possibility of Dubois being linked to the Canadiens. He recommends the Habs be patient in this situation, pointing out the Jets would seek an expensive asking price such as a top prospect like Kaiden Guhle, Calgary’s 2022 first-round pick, a center like Christian Dvorak and more. It would be better if they continue to replenish their already respectable prospect pool.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens could attempt to acquire Dubois this summer. However, the high asking price as envisioned by D’Amico isn’t worth it at this juncture when management is in the midst of rebuilding.

They could be among the suitors under Ates’ scenario for next summer. They could have more depth in promising assets to part with by that point if they want to make a competitive pitch. Then again, rather than give up assets in a trade, they could wait until free agency in 2024 to sign him if they have sufficient cap space to do so.

WHAT WILL THE CANADIENS DO WITH DADONOV?

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: D’Amico recently examined the Canadiens’ options to maximize the value of Evgenii Dadonov. They recently acquired the 33-year-old winger from the Vegas Golden Knights in return for sending them Shea Weber’s contract.

One option could be trading Dadonov before the free-agent market opens on July 13. That would enable them to shed his $5 million cap hit and perhaps use the savings to put toward signing a free agent or two.

Another would be laying the groundwork for a trade deadline deal. D’Amico suggested showcasing him during the season at right wing alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out Dadonov getting moved during the offseason. However, I think he’s more likely to be shopped as a playoff rental player at next season’s trade deadline.

COULD THE DEVILS PURSUE CAMPBELL?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s chatter among NHL sources suggesting the New Jersey Devils could be in on Jack Campbell if the 30-year-old goaltender doesn’t re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs before the free-agent market opens on July 13.

One source speculated the Devils could try to get a head start by trading for Campbell’s rights if the Leafs can’t or won’t sign him. The idea would be offering up Mackenzie Blackwood, who struggled over the past two seasons.

The Devils might also be interested in New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev if he becomes a UFA this summer. He’d be brought in to work as part of a tandem rather than as a starting goalie.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan recently reported on the possibility of the Maple Leafs starting next season with a new goalie tandem. Right now, the Leafs lack the $5 million per season to keep Campbell out of the UFA market. General manager Kyle Dubas must also find a way to shed Petr Mrazek’s contract.

Koshan observed Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury and St. Louis’ Ville Husso as possible free-agent options for the Leafs. Trade targets could include Anaheim’s John Gibson, the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, the Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over two weeks remain for the Leafs and Campbell to work out a new contract. However, as Koshan points out, the closer they get to July 13 without a new deal, the more likely it is that Campbell tests the market.

Cap Friendly shows the Devils with over $25 million in cap space for 2022-23 with Jesper Bratt, Pavel Zacha and Miles Wood as their notable restricted free agents. They’ll have sufficient room to sign Campbell, especially if they were to ship out Blackwood and his $2.8 million cap hit to the Leafs or another club.

The Leafs could acquire Blackwood if they can find a way to shed Mrazek’s $3.8 million annual average value through 2023-24. However, I think they would see him as a backup rather than a starter.

Of those UFA options listed by Koshan, Kuemper and Husso might be willing to join the Leafs. I don’t think Fleury is keen to come to Toronto. There’s talk the Minnesota Wild wants to bring him back for another season.

As for the trade targets, Gibson shot down recent rumors claiming he wants out of Anaheim, Varlamov has a 16-team no-trade list and all seven Canadian teams could be on it, and the Kings could retain Quick after his solid performance this season. Georgiev will be available as the Rangers are believed to be seeking another backup for Igor Shesterkin.










Canadiens Trade Shea Weber to Golden Knights

Canadiens Trade Shea Weber to Golden Knights

The Montreal Canadiens announced they have traded defenseman Shea Weber to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for winger Evgenii Dadonov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports this is a straight one-for-one trade with no salary retained by either club.

Montreal Canadiens trade Shea Weber to the Vegas Golden Knights for Evgenii Dadonov (NHL Images).

Weber, 36, has four years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7.857 million. He spent all of this season on long-term injury reserve and isn’t expected to play again. The 33-year-old Dadonov has one season left on his deal with an annual cap hit of $5 million.

This move frees up over $2.8 million of salary cap space for 2022-23 for the Canadiens while adding a roster player for next season. It also removes Weber’s cap hit from their long-term cap payroll, providing management with additional flexibility down the road.

Some might wonder why the Canadiens opted to trade Weber’s contract instead of simply placing him on LTIR again and exceeding the cap ceiling if necessary. Under that scenario, they can’t accrue cap space over the course of the season, hampering efforts to add players via call-ups, trades or free-agent signings.

The Golden Knights appear comfortable putting Weber on LTIR for the coming season. Despite his high cap hit, he’ll only be owed $3 million in actual salary for 2022-23 and $1 million per season for the remaining three years. This move could also free up cap room to re-sign pending free agent winger Reilly Smith or to invest in his replacement.

It’s not surprising the Golden Knights moved Dadonov considering they tried and failed to ship him to the Anaheim Ducks at this season’s trade deadline. He has a 10-team no-trade list plus a no-movement clause preventing him from going to the minors. It’s interesting to note that the Canadiens weren’t on his list of no-trade destinations.

Dadonov remains a reliable top-six winger, scoring 20 goals and 43 points in 78 games last season with the Golden Knights. He could still be a serviceable player for the Habs in what’s expected to be a rebuilding season. They could also attempt to shop him for futures before next season’s trade deadline if they’re not in playoff contention by that point.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2022

A look at Daily Faceoff’s top offseason trade targets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Alex DeBrincat tops Frank Seravalli’s list of this summer’s top-25 trade targets. He considers it a question of “when”, not “if” the Chicago Blackhawks trade the 24-year-old left winger. Seravalli believes he’d be their best trade chip to stockpile futures for their rebuilding process. It will also cost them $9 million to qualify his rights at the end of next season.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis believes Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson could seek a return comparable to the two first-round picks and two NHL players he got from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Brandon Hagel. A high first-round pick and/or an A-level prospect would have to be a priority. He suggested the New Jersey Devils could be worth watching as they’re willing to part with their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft.

Whoever pursues DeBrincat must be prepared to pony up big bucks to re-sign him after next season. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller and the Devils’ second-overall draft pick sit Nos. 2 through 5 on Seravalli’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fiala, Chychrun and Miller have been fixtures in this year’s rumor mill. Seravalli thinks Fiala could be a good fit with the Devils alongside Swiss countryman Nico Hischier. The Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders have also been linked to Fiala.

The Coyotes’ expensive asking price for Chychrun remains a sticking point. The Canucks are expected to try and sign Miller to a contract extension this summer but could end up shopping him if that’s not possible.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo, Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie, Devils forward Pavel Zacha and Nashville Predators defenseman Philippe Myers come in at Nos. 6 through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo enjoyed a bounce-back performance this season but the Hurricanes might end up shopping him if they can’t re-sign him. Seravalli said Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek quietly floated Gibson’s name before the trade deadline. However, his contract could be difficult to move. He carries a $6.4 million annual salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a 10-team no-trade clause.

Barrie could be shopped by the Oilers to free up cap room for other moves. Seravalli suggests Zacha, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, could be used as a trade chip by the Devils to bring in help elsewhere in their lineup. He also thinks Myers could be useful for a cap-strapped team to acquire and buy out because of the way his deal is backloaded.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner John Marino, Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Vegas Golden Knights winger Evgenii Dadonov and either Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto come in at Nos. 11 to 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap-strapped Canadiens tried to fulfill Petry’s trade request before the trade deadline and could shop him this summer to free up cap room. Seravalli suggested he could be a solid backup plan for the Penguins if Kris Letang departs via free agency. He’s also been linked to the Dallas Stars. However, the three years left on his deal at $6.25 million could be a stumbling block.

Marino, Varlamov and Dadonov would also be cost-cutting trade candidates. There’s speculation the Canucks could be interested in Marino. Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade clause could complicate attempts to move him. The Golden Knights unsuccessfully attempted to move Dadonov before the trade deadline. They will likely try again this summer.

Seravalli believes the Oilers’ limited cap space could force GM Ken Holland to choose between Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. Both are restricted free agents with arbitration rights.

Florida Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist, Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy, Canucks forwards Tanner Pearson and Jason Dickinson, Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina, and the contracts of Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom and Canadiens blueliner Shea Weber are shoehorned into Nos. 16 through 21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers need to free up cap space and Hornqvist has only a year left on his contract. Seravalli believes GM Bill Zito will be able to find a taker for the veteran forward as he did with Anton Stralman and Brett Connolly last season.

Seravalli doesn’t see any push by the Kraken to move Soucy but could listen to offers if they won’t re-sign him after next season. Pearson and Dickinson would be salary-dumping moves by the Canucks. Zadina might need a fresh start after struggling with the Red Wings.

Klefbom and Weber are on permanent long-term injury reserve. Seravalli points out that the Oilers and Canadiens would like to move those contracts as having them on LTIR prevents them from accruing cap space during the season.

There’s an assumption the Canadiens will try again to peddle Weber’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes after a rumored deal fell apart before the trade deadline. He carries a $7.857 million annual cap hit for four more seasons but will be paid just $6 million total in actual salary over that period.

Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico explains that would allow the Coyotes’ ownership to save millions in payroll, especially as they’ll be playing in a tiny university arena over the next three or four years while awaiting construction of their new arena. However, they could insist on draft picks in the 2023 and 2025 drafts be included in the deal if they’re still willing to take on Weber’s contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl, Hurricanes blueliner Ethan Bear, Canadiens winger Josh Anderson and Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele round up the remainder of the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like so many on this list, Holl would be moved in an effort to trim payroll. Bear, meanwhile, fell out of favor in Carolina and was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. I don’t see the Canadiens shopping Anderson though it wouldn’t hurt the rebuilding club to at least listen to trade offers.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff last week indicated he expected Scheifele to be back next season. Seravalli acknowledged moving him probably isn’t high on Cheveldayoff’s list and considers it difficult for the Jets to get equal value in return.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 17, 2022

Will the Wild re-sign winger Kevin Fiala and who will be their starting goalie next season? What’s next for the Golden Knights? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE LATEST ON THE WILD

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani listed Kevin Fiala’s contract situation and sorting out the starting goaltender position among the five things he believes Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin needs to address this summer. He also expects late-season acquisition Jacob Middleton will be re-signed but the restricted free agent defenseman will require a big raise.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo also considers Fiala’s contract status and choosing between goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot to be among Guerin’s offseason priorities. The 25-year-old Fiala is due for a big raise following his 85-point season but his poor performance against the St. Louis Blues in the first round could affect his negotiations with the Wild GM.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

The Wild’s limited salary-cap space also complicates Fiala’s contract negotiations. If Guerin decides to trade him, Russo noted the Ottawa Senators have long had an interest in the winger while the New Jersey Devils are seeking an impact forward.

Fleury, meanwhile, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Russo pointed out Guerin has a long history with the goaltender going back to 2009 when they were teammates on the Pittsburgh Penguins. He could bring back the Fleury-Talbot tandem for another season or trade Talbot and bring in a more affordable backup.

If promising Calen Addison is ready to play next season, Russo suggested they could shop a defenseman like Matt Dumba or Dmitry Kulikov. Forward Tyson Jost could also be a trade candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanging over the Wild’s offseason plans is the salary-cap crunch they’ll face over the next three seasons because of last summer’s buyout of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. NBC Sports’ James O’Brien has the breakdown of its effect on their cap payroll. It could also force them to part ways with Fiala, Talbot or Dumba.

Following his playoff struggles, Fiala isn’t sure what the future holds. “There’s no other answer other than, ‘We’ll see’,” he said. “I don’t know.” Guerin could reach an agreement with the winger’s camp on a new contract, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he trades him this summer.

As for the goaltenders, Russo recently suggested Guerin must repair the relationship with Talbot after he was benched for all but one playoff game or trade him this summer. Following the Wild’s elimination by the Blues, Mizutani reported Talbot isn’t holding a grudge and wants to stick with the team. He also noted Fleury’s interest in re-signing with the Wild if the price is right.

That limited cap room for next season means someone – Fiala, Fleury, Talbot or Dumba – won’t be returning with the Wild. It’s shaping up to be an interesting summer for the Wild.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS?

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Prior to the Golden Knights’ sacking head coach Pete DeBoer, Owen Krepps examined some of the important questions facing the club in the offseason.

He wondered who the starting goaltender will be after Robin Lehner’s inconsistent, injury-riddled performance this season. Late-season call-up Logan Thompson’s solid play raised eyebrows, leading Krepps to wonder if Thompson will back up Leher next season or take over as the starter with Laurent Brossoit or someone else in the backup role.

Krepps also wondered how Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon will free up much-needed salary-cap space for next season. He could attempt to trade Evgenii Dadonov again, or try to peddle Lehner, Alec Martinez or William Karlsson. They also risk losing long-time Golden Knight winger Reilly Smith to unrestricted free agency in July.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger suggested Max Pacioretty could also become a salary-cap casualty. He remains the Golden Knights’ best pure scorer and his trade value could be done following an injury-plagued season. Nevertheless, they’ve shown they’re not shy about unloading expensive contracts for little-to-no value in return, and shedding his $7 million cap hit would free up a lot of room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner, Pacioretty, Karlsson, Dadonov and Martinez each earn $5 million or more per season. Pacioretty, Karlsson and Dadonov each have 10-team no-trade lists, Martinez has a 12-team no-trade list and Lehner has an eight-team no-trade list. It’s going to take considerable skill on McCrimmon’s part to find a suitable trade partner for one of them given the flattened salary cap for next season and the high number of teams with cap issues of their own.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 6, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 6, 2022

Check out the latest on Shea Weber and Jeff Petry plus a look at which players have skated in their final games with the Golden Knights in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cited TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming the Canadiens came close to shipping the contract of sidelined defenseman Shea Weber before the March trade deadline to the Arizona Coyotes. However, Coyotes management grew impatient over the amount of time it took to sort out the insurance issues and opted instead to acquire Bryan Little’s contract from the Winnipeg Jets.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber (NHL Images).

Dreger feels it’s only a matter of time until Weber’s contract is shipped to the Coyotes or perhaps to another club interested in acquiring long-term injury reserve relief.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some readers have wondered why a team like the Coyotes would be interested in acquiring the contract of a player on permanent long-term injury reserve. In the case of a budget team like the Coyotes, they must spend to reach the salary-cap floor but want to keep their actual payroll as low as possible. Weber’s $7.857 million cap hit over the next four seasons would allow them to do so.

At the other end, there could be a handful of teams pressed against next season’s $82.5 million cap ceiling looking for an LTIR player to allow them to legally exceed the cap by up to the sidelined player’s annual cap hit. The downside to this is they cannot accrue cap space over the course of the season that can be put toward acquiring players by the trade deadline.

D’Amico also believes Jeff Petry’s improved performance after Martin St. Louis took over as coach should make it easier for the Canadiens to trade him in the off-season. RDS analyst Marc Denis thinks the Habs would still have to include a draft pick as a sweetener in the deal to make the 34-year-old defenseman more enticing in the trade market.

However, D’Amico pointed to Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes claiming he’d had conversations about Petry with several teams leading up to the trade deadline. Hughes indicated he came close to moving the veteran blueliner but the deal failed to materialize. Interest in Petry should pick up in the offseason, enabling the Canadiens to move him without bundling a draft pick or prospect in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s age and $6.25 million annual average value through 2024-25 remain sticking points. Hughes might have to work quickly to find a suitable trade partner willing to take the blueliner’s full contract off his hands without adding a sweetener before teams start spending their available cap space.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey believes Hughes won’t be able to make any significant moves until he’s got more clarity about Carey Price’s status for next season. If the 34-year-old goaltender requires more surgery on his knee and misses part or most of next season, the Canadiens GM can place Price and his $10.5 million cap hit on LTIR.

Hughes will have to use the savings to bring in a goaltender. Backup Jake Allen struggles under a heavy workload while Samuel Montembault and Cayden Primeau aren’t up to filling the starter’s job on a full-time basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We should learn more about Price’s status before the draft in July. If he’s going to miss substantial time again, Hughes will have to go shopping for a replacement.

Hickey suggested several options via the free-agent market. The St. Louis Blues’ Ville Husso, Colorado Avalanche’s Darcy Kuemper and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jack Campbell are among those who could be available this summer, but the Habs will have competition for their services.

WHO HAS PLAYED THEIR FINAL GAMES WITH THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS?

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps looked at several players who have probably skated in their final games with the Golden Knights.

Reilly Smith is among the few remaining original Golden Knights. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. A consistent performer coming off a multi-year deal worth $5 million per season, the 31-year-old winger probably won’t be back unless he agrees to a pay cut.

The Golden Knights had a deal in place at the March trade deadline to ship winger Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks. However, it was overturned by the league when it was discovered his no-trade list was still valid and the Ducks were on it. He could be shopped this summer as a cost-cutting move.

Mattias Janmark, Laurent Brossoit and Nolan Patrick could also be cut loose this summer. Like Smith, Janmark is eligible for UFA status this summer. Brossoit and Patrick each have a year remaining on their contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Golden Knights sitting at just over $83 million invested in 18 active players next season. Somebody’s gotta go if they hope to be cap compliant and ice a full 23-man roster when the season opens in October. Dadonov and his $5 million cap hit still make him their most-likely salary-dump candidate.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 29, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 29, 2022

More speculation about the Golden Knights’ offseason plans plus updates on Evander Kane and Andrew Copp in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS

DAILY FACEOFF: The job security of Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon was among Frank Seravalli’s 10 burning offseason questions facing the 16 NHL non-playoff clubs.

Seravalli acknowledged the plethora of injuries that walloped the Golden Knights roster this season. However, he cited the almost daily drama that dogged the franchise this season, from shedding Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury last summer to backing the bus over Robin Lehner and a lack of teamwork among their players as they seemingly look over their shoulders wondering who’s next.

The Golden Knights have no salary-cap space, no top draft picks and a shallow pool of prospects. Seravalli feels it’s inevitable that head coach Peter DeBoer will be cut loose but he also wondered if McCrimmon will follow him out the door.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen also wondered about the futures of McCrimmon, DeBoer and Lehner in Vegas. He felt that moving on from Lehner would create a problem between the pipes for the Golden Knights.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith (NHL Images).

McCrimmon could be on the hot seat this summer along with president of hockey operations and former GM George McPhee. Their lack of cap space will affect efforts to re-sign original Golden Knight Reilly Smith. Winger Evgenii Dadonov could be moved in a cost-cutting deal to a team on his list of preferred destinations.

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz has little sympathy for the Golden Knights as he believes they’re to blame for their plight. He believes the club’s problems run deeper than their injuries this season, pointing out their spending on big-ticket stars created havoc with their salary-cap payroll and cut deeply into their roster depth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Golden Knights with $83.8 million invested in 18 active players for 2022-23. With the cap sitting at $82.5 million, they have little choice but to shed some salary, especially if they hope to re-sign Smith.

Dadonov seems the most likely candidate given their failed attempt to move him at the trade deadline. He has a $5 million annual average value through 2022-23 with a 10-team no-trade list but finding a suitable trade partner might not be easy.

Moving Lehner would free up another $5 million but that would mean giving the inexperienced Logan Thompson as their starter. The 25-year-old did a good job filling in for the sidelined Lehner but it could be asking too much of him to take over that role on a full-time basis.

OILERS HOPE TO SIGN KANE, RANGERS HOPE TO RETAIN COPP

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Edmonton Oilers will make a concerted attempt to re-sign Evander Kane while the New York Rangers will do the same with Andrew Copp.

Both forwards are slated to become unrestricted free agents in July. Kane has meshed well alongside Oilers captain Connor McDavid while Copp has been a perfect fit on Artemi Panarin’s line. Dreger wondered if term could be an issue for Kane and the Oilers, wondering if three years would be too much.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s next contract could be determined by the outcome of his ongoing grievance hearing over the San Jose Sharks terminating his contract last January. He had three years at $7 million annually remaining on that deal.

Kane and the Sharks could agree to a settlement with the winger getting something between $4 million and $5 million annually over the next three years. The Oilers could then sign him to a three-year deal worth between $2 million and $3 million. Considering how well he’s playing alongside McDavid, Kane might accept that type of deal.

Copp is completing a one-year deal worth over $3.6 million. He’ll likely seek around $5 million annually on a long-term deal with the Rangers or another club via free agency. The Rangers have around $11 million in cap space with 16 active players under contract for next season and second-line center Ryan Strome also eligible for UFA status. Re-signing those two will eat up most, if not all of that cap space.