NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2021

On the eve of the free-agent market, the Avalanche re-sign Gabriel Landeskog, the Lightning trade Tyler Johnson to the Blackhawks and the Canucks ship Nate Schmidt to the Jets. Get the details plus other signings and trades in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed Gabriel Landeskog to an eight-year, $56 million contract. The annual average value is $7 million.

The Colorado Avalanche re-sign captain Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big name off the market just hours before free agency begins at noon ET today. The cap hit isn’t too bad but the term is lengthy for a forward turning 29 in November. Still, it should be worthwhile during the first half of the deal if Landeskog’s performance doesn’t decline during that period. It could get costly over the latter half of the contract if his skills deteriorate.

Landeskog is the Avs’ captain and their first-line left-winger. They need his skill and leadership to remain a Stanley Cup contender over the next four years. His cap hit, however, leaves the Avs with $12.3 million in cap space for 2021-22. That could make it difficult to re-sign goaltender Philipp Grubauer and to fill out the remaining roster spots.

TAMPA BAY TIMES/NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Tampa Bay Lightning trade winger Tyler Johnson to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Brent Seabrook’s contract and a second-round pick in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning were expected to trade Johnson this summer to free up salary-cap space. By taking on the permanently sidelined Seabrook’s contract, they’ll free up around $5 million in cap space by placing him on long-term injury reserve. That contract is worth an annual average value of $6.875 million through 2023-24.

Johnson’s contract also expires in ’23-’24 and he carries a $5 million annual cap hit. The Blackhawks now have around $2.5 million in cap room, though they can get $3.9 million more if necessary by placing permanently sidelined forward Andrew Shaw on LTIR.

THE PROVINCE/WINNIPEG SUN: The Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a third-round pick in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A salary dump by the Canucks, shedding $5.95 million through 2024-25 from their books. With over $26 million in cap space, they have sufficient room to re-sign young stars Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. It should also allow them to fend off any offer sheet attempts for Pettersson.

The Jets, meanwhile, add their second defenseman in as many days after acquiring Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals. A lack of depth among their top-four blueliners was an area of concern last season. Schmidt and Dillon should help them address that issue.

THE ATHLETIC: The Seattle Kraken are expected to sign winger Jaden Schwartz when the free-agent market opens at noon ET today.

SPORTSNET: Patrik Laine is accepting the Columbus Blue Jackets’ $7.5 million qualifying offer for 2021-22.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins are reportedly closing in on a new contract for center David Krejci.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins have re-signed defenseman Mike Reilly to a three-year deal worth $3 million per season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed forward Joel Armia to a four-year, $13.6 million contract. The annual average value is $3.4 million.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are reportedly re-signing defenseman Brandon Montour to a three-year deal worth $3.5 million per season.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers are expected to sign defenseman Keith Yandle to a one-year, $900K contract. Yandle was bought out of his former contract by the Florida Panthers.

NEW YORK POST: The Carolina Hurricanes are expected to sign former Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

WGR550.COM: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed forward Drake Caggiula to a one-year, $750K contract.

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets re-signed goaltender Eric Comrie to a one-year, $750K deal.

THE PROVINCE: The Canucks bought out the final season of goaltender Braden Holtby’s contract.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks bought out the remaining three years of goaltender Martin Jones’ contract.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers bought out the remaining two years of winger James Neal’s contract. They’re also believed to be working on a four-year contract extension for defenseman Darnell Nurse.

THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche acquired defenseman Kurtis MacDermid from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2023 fourth-rounder.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2021

The remaining rounds of the 2021 draft are completed, plus the latest on Alex Ovechkin, Seth Jones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The remaining rounds (2 through 7) of the 2021 NHL Draft were completed yesterday. It was something of a family affair as the sons of several former NHL players were selected, continuing a trend that began during the first round when Tyler Boucher (son of Brian Boucher) was chosen by the Ottawa Senators (10th overall), Cole Sillinger (son of Mike Sillinger) was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets (12th overall), and Chase Stillman (Cory Stillman’s son) was taken at 29th overall.

Other sons who followed in their fathers’ footsteps this year as NHL draft picks include Josh Doan (Shane Doan) selected 37th overall by the Arizona Coyotes (his dad’s former team), Redmond “Red” Savage (Brian Savage) taken 114th overall by the Detroit Red Wings, Justin Robidas (Stephane Rodidas) selected 147th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes and Shane Lachance (Scott Lachance) chosen 186th overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

The second day saw its second brother act in this year’s draft as Colton Dach, the younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach, was chosen 62nd overall by the Blackhawks. Luke Hughes, the younger brother of New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes, was selected by the Devils with the fourth-overall pick on Friday.

With the 2021 NHL Draft completed, some are gazing ahead to next year’s draft. OHL center Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs could be the first-overall pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Saturday also saw the Philadelphia Flyers trade Jakub Voracek to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Cam Atkinson, the Buffalo Sabres ship Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers, and the Colorado Avalanche re-sign Cale Makar to a six-year contract extension. You can get my take on those moves by following this link.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan remains confident of getting team captain Alex Ovechkin under contract before the unrestricted free agent market opens on Wednesday, July 28. “I think both parties want the same goal, and I think we will get it done by then,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I anticipate Ovechkin will ink a three-year deal with the Capitals worth an annual average value of $9 million.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Seth Jones said he’s up for the challenge of meeting the high expectations he’ll face playing for the Blackhawks. The 26-year-old defenseman was traded on Friday to Chicago by the Columbus Blue Jackets and signed an eight-year, $76 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have been criticized for the trade and the contract signing because of Jones’ declining stats over the past two or three years. Hawks management is betting Jones’ stats will improve playing on a team with more scoring punch where he’ll get an opportunity to play a less restrictive style than what he faced in recent years.

SPORTSNET: The Kings re-signed forward Trevor Moore to a two-year, $3.75 million contract.

TSN: The New York Rangers officially bought out the final year of Tony DeAngelo’s contract. The 25-year-old defenseman is now an unrestricted free agent.

THE SCORE: After being chosen by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round on Friday, defenseman Logan Mailloux addressed the November incident in Sweden that led him to renounce himself from the draft before being chosen.

Mailloux read from a prepared statement acknowledging he took a photo of a young woman engaged in a consensual sex act and sharing it without her knowledge among his teammates. He was fined by Swedish authorities for defamation and invasion of privacy. He admitted what he did was a “stupid and egotistical act”, that he showed a lack of judgment and had caused harm to the woman and her family.

Though Mailloux said he didn’t want to be selected in this year’s draft, he’s accepted the possibility of joining the Montreal Canadiens because he believes the organization will help him improve as a person and a player. He also said he’s participating in professional counseling.

Taking questions from reporters, Mailloux acknowledged he had work to do to regain the public’s trust. He also indicated he’d had no contact with the Canadiens from the time he renounced himself from the draft on Tuesday to when he was selected on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mailloux broke the law but he should have an opportunity to redeem himself as a person. As The Athletic’s Arpon Basu observed, he needs the time to get his house in order by making the self-improvements he claims he’s committed to doing and make amends to his victim’s satisfaction, not just his own. She claims all she wants from him is a heartfelt apology that she said she hasn’t received from him yet. That would be the best place to start.

The Canadiens haven’t done Mailloux any favors by selecting him just three days after renouncing himself from the draft. The same would apply for any of the rumored teams that intended to choose him in the second round had the Canadiens not taken him. It also applies to the NHL and NHLPA for not having a rule in place that honors a player’s request not to be part of a given draft.

Regardless of whatever round Mailloux might’ve been chosen in this year’s draft, this only makes his situation more difficult. As Basu also pointed out, it’s hard to see how this will put him in a position to improve as a person or a player.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2021

Highlights from the recent general managers meeting, the Stanley Cup gets damaged during the Lightning’s boat parade, the latest on a possible buyout for Tony DeAngelo and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Tom Gulitti reports league commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly briefed the general managers yesterday on the guidelines for 2021-22 and other issues. Among the highlights:

The league is hoping for an 82-game regular-season schedule in 2021-22 beginning in October and ending in April with fully vaccinated players returning to pre-COVID conditions. It’s also hoped the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs will begin next April and conclude in June.

The league is working on two schedule formats, one of them including possible Olympic participation in 2022, pending the result of ongoing discussions between the NHLPA and the International Olympic Committee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports resolution on Olympic participation next season must be reached by July 23.

Teams will return to the previous divisional format with each club playing all the others at least twice.

The Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division to make room in the Pacific Division for the expansion Seattle Kraken.

The general managers focussed on the officiating standard for the cross-checking penalty. It’s expected to continue during a meeting of the league’s competition committee today. So far, no rule change is planned.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping things can return to normal for next season.

ESPN.COM: The Stanley Cup is heading to Montreal for repairs after the bowl was dented during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s boat parade yesterday celebrating their second straight championship.

New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks on social media are chastising the Lightning for damaging the Cup. However, this sort of thing isn’t new. The Cup has a long history of getting banged up during exuberant celebrations by previous winners. The damage could have been accidental.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers aren’t expected to buy out exiled defenseman Tony DeAngelo until after the July 21 expansion draft.

Speaking of the Rangers, they’ve promoted Gord Murphy as an assistant coach and added Mike Kelly as an assistant. Murphy and Gallant have worked with new Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant in the past.

SPORTSNET: The police investigation into the death of Matiss Kivlenieks death has been submitted to a county prosecutor for review. The 24-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks blast on July 4. The incident is still being treated as an accident and the police have not requested charges be laid.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: An attorney representing a former Blackhawks player who alleges he was sexually assaulted by the club’s former video coach in 2010 is open to the possibility of participating in the club’s review of the accusations. However, it would have to be under the right conditions. They want to know more about the parameters of the investigation and want the opportunity to conduct their own interview of key former and current team executives.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs hired former Carolina Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins hired four new scouts and a coach for their minor league affiliate. Brett Hextall, son of Penguins GM Ron Hextall, will work as an integrated development coach. He’ll work with prospects at the AHL level.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames hired Mitch Love as head coach of their AHL affiliate in Stockton. Love spent the past three seasons as the bench boss of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov’s KHL coaching career has been put on hold after he didn’t submit to doping tests. Markov failed to notify the Russian Anti-Doping Agency of his retirement as a player, meaning he’s still considered an active player. He’d joined HC Vityaz as an assistant coach. Because he didn’t get tested, however, he’s been suspended for a year and a half. “I didn’t know, nobody told me,” said Markov.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 7, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – July 7, 2021

A look at some of this summer’s potential buyout candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli listed 10 buyout candidates who could enter this summer’s free-agent market. The first window for contract buyouts opens 24 hours following the completion of the Stanley Cup Final and closes at 5 PM EST on July 27.

Tony DeAngelo is expected to be bought out of his contract later this month (NHL Images).

Topping his list is New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo. The Blueshirts have reportedly finalized plans to buy out the final season ($4.8 million annual average value) of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo has played his final game with the Rangers. While his defensive game needs work he’s a skillful puck-moving blueliner. Given his personal baggage, however, the question is whether another NHL club will take a chance on him. Rumors linked him to the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens before the April 12 trade deadline.

Edmonton Oilers winger James Neal, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, Florida Panthers blueliner Keith Yandle and San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones were among the top-five candidates.

Seravalli pointed out Oilers general manager Ken Holland has hinted at buying out one or two contracts this summer. The 33-year-old Neal has two years with an annual average value of $5.75 million.

Johnson missed all but four games this season to injury but Seravalli observed he wasn’t on the list of players exempted from the upcoming expansion draft due to injury. He suggested placing Johnson on long-term injury reserve might be the better way to go for the Avs. Johnson has two years left at $6 million annually.

Yandle was a healthy scratch during the Panthers’ playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 34-year-old has two years remaining on his deal with an AAV of $6.35 million.

Seravalli suggests the Sharks buy out Jones and use the cap savings to put toward his replacement. The 31-year-old netminder has three years remaining at $5.75 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland could buy out Neal but there’s also talk of shipping him to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Duncan Keith, whereby the Blackhawks would buy him out.

Putting Johnson on LTIR sounds like a better option. However, a buyout might be the only choice if it appears he’ll be healthy to return next season. The Avs need cap space to re-sign Cale Makar, Philipp Grubauer and Gabriel Landeskog.

Yandle surfaced in the rumor mill back in January when it appeared he would become a healthy scratch to start the season, putting his Ironman streak in jeopardy. That talk died down when the 34-year-old blueliner never missed a game during the regular season.

There might be a trade market for Yandle if he agrees to waive his no-movement clause. However, the Panthers would either have to absorb part of his cap hit, take back a bad contract, or try to work a three-way deal.

Jones has really struggled over the last three seasons. The Sharks need more consistency between the pipes. Buying him out, however, would result in six years of dead cap space (stick tap to Cap Friendly) totaling over $12 million.

Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise is No. 6 on Seravalli’s list. He suggests they “bite the bullet” and use the savings for next season to re-sign Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A Parise buyout seems unlikely. It’s eight years of dead cap space. They’d get a $2.3 million cap hit for next season, but it jumps to over $6.3 million in 2022-23 and over $7.3 million annually for the following two seasons. The only real cap relief would come in the final four years at over $833k per season.

Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen, Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop, Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron, and Anaheim Ducks winger Sonny Milano round out the top-10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks tried to trade Virtanen but couldn’t find any takers. A buyout seems likely given his on-ice struggles and off-ice issues.

Bishop missed all of the 2021-22 schedule recovering from knee surgery but Seravalli indicated he worked out with the club toward the end of the season. He could be bought out if healthy but they might not go that route if Anton Khudobin is selected in the expansion draft. Seravalli suggests a buyout of Bishop would enable them to protect Khudobin as Jake Oettinger is exempt but that might not be in their plans.

Seravalli pointed out the Canadiens put Byron on waivers three times during the regular season. However, his performance in this year’s playoffs probably means he’ll be back next season. The Habs could consider other options to free up some cap space.

Milano only played six games last season with the Ducks. With a year left on his contract at $1.7 million, he could become a buyout candidate, though the savings ($500K) are minimal.

Seravalli also suggested keeping an eye on Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen, Panthers defenseman Anton Stralman, Detroit Red Wings blueliner Danny DeKeyser and Los Angeles Kings rearguard Olli Maatta.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 30, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – June 30, 2021

Could the Blues shop Vladimir Tarasenko? Could Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar receive an offer sheet? Are big moves in store for the Blackhawks or the Coyotes? What’s the latest on Frederik Andersen and Tony DeAngelo? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BLUES SHOPPING TARASENKO

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the St. Louis Blues are exploring a trade for Vladimir Tarasenko. The 29-year-old winger has a full no-trade clause but has informed management of several preferred trade destinations. Tarasenko has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7.5 million. He’s been limited to 34 games over the last two seasons due to shoulder surgeries.

St. Louis Blues are reportedly shopping winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli indicates Tarasenko’s recurring shoulder injury has been corrected and he’s healthy. When he’s healthy he’s a consistent 30-goal scorer.

Still, there could be clubs on his trade list leery of acquiring him because of those three surgeries. His cap hit could also prove difficult to move with the salary cap remaining flattened for this season.

COULD MAKAR GET AN OFFER SHEET?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports there are different sources around the league who believe Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is the one player who could receive an offer sheet this summer. The Avs have several players (Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, Philipp Grubauer, Brandon Saad) due for new contracts. They must also ensure sufficient cap room to re-sign Nathan MacKinnon to a monster extension next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun indicates Makar wants to remain with the Avalanche and the club is “guarding internally” again a possible offer sheet. He said there are some who believe rival clubs could come calling if the 22-year-old blueliner isn’t signed by July 28.

Offers sheet signings are rare but do happen from time to time. Bear in mind, however, the player has to be receptive to receiving one. Just because other teams would love to sign Makar doesn’t mean he’s interested in going that route.

BIG MOVES COMING FOR THE BLACKHAWKS OR COYOTES?

TSN: Darren Dreger reports media has linked the Chicago Blackhawks to Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel. He finds it hard to imagine they can fit another $10 million player into their lineup with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane already there. He also noted winger Alex DeBrincat will soon become a big-money player.

Dreger also indicates Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is trying to add an elite-level defenseman. They’ve been linked to Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton and Columbus’ Seth Jones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowman could be performing due diligence by looking into Eichel’s availability. I don’t see them acquiring him unless the Sabres pick up half of his cap hit, or if Toews is going on permanent long-term injury reserve, or Bowman intends on shedding a significant salary.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the Boston Bruins could revisit their interest in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He also wondered if a potential trade package could involve Coyotes winger and Boston native Conor Garland.

The Bruins were on Ekman-Larsson’s list of preferred destinations last fall but discussions between the two clubs failed to produce a deal. The Coyotes were willing to shave $1.25 million off the blueliner’s $8.25 million annual average value last year. Seravalli wonders if they’ll retain more to facilitate a trade this time.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman recently expressed his belief that Ekman-Larsson and winger Phil Kessel could get traded this summer. He also recommended keeping an eye on Garland and goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

Ekman-Larsson’s trade value is unknown right while Kessel as a rental player won’t fetch a lot of young assets. Garland and Kuemper, however, could bring the picks and prospects the Coyotes need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have expressed a need for a top-four, left-side defenseman. Ekman-Larsson’s declining numbers over the last three seasons are cause for concern but perhaps he’ll bounce back playing on a deeper roster. The Coyotes will have to pick up a bigger chunk of Ekman-Larsson’s cap hit if they hope to move him.

The Bruins could have interest in Garland if unable to re-sign Taylor Hall or if they finally decide to put Jake DeBrusk on the trade block. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent completing a two-year, $1.55 million contract. He’d be more affordable than Hall, perhaps costing as much as DeBrusk’s annual cap hit ($3.675 million) to sign.

Like Kessel, Kuemper will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. With Adin Hill looking like a potential starting goalie, they could peddle Kuemper if they feel he doesn’t fit into their long-range plans.

COULD ANDERSEN REMAIN A MAPLE LEAF?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports there’s a chance Frederik Andersen could remain with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His agent, Claude Lemieux, said he was asked by the club if his client was interested in potentially signing and staying put. Lemieux said yes but LeBrun points out getting a deal done could be difficult within the Leafs’ limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Andersen will have to accept less than his $5 million annual average value of his expiring deal. LeBrun said he’s ready to share the Leafs’ goaltending duties with Jack Campbell. So what say you, Leafs fan? Should they bring back Freddy on a reduced cap hit as a backup?

RANGERS TO BUY OUT DEANGELO

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the New York Rangers have finalized plans to buy out the remaining year of defenseman Tony DeAngelo’s contract. It will become official once the first buyout window opens within 24 hours after the Stanley Cup Final concludes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone expected this after the Rangers couldn’t find any takers for DeAngelo via trade or waivers during the regular season. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. Seravalli said the annual cap hit to the Rangers is $383K for 2021-22 and $883K for 2022-23. It’ll be interesting to see if other clubs will take a chance on him when he’s no longer carrying a $4.8 million cap hit.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 12, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – June 12, 2021

What would be a fair return for Mitch Marner if the Leafs shopped him in the trade market? Should the Jets shop Kyle Connor for a defenseman? What moves should the Oilers make this summer? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST LEAFS SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: In his latest Toronto Maple Leafs mailbag, Luke Fox was asked if the club could win a Mitch Marner trade. While acknowledging the front office’s belief in the 24-year-old playmaker, Fox believes general manager Kyle Dubas would want a return that fits with his bet-on-young skill vision that helps the club now. He also doesn’t foresee Marner requesting a trade.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

He doubted Dubas would accept someone like Columbus’ Patrik Laine or Seth Jones or Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk in return. However, he could listen if the Buffalo Sabres offered up center Jack Eichel.

John Tavares’ injury highlights the Leafs lack of center depth. Fox suggests shifting Tavares to the wing as he ages and his foot speed slows.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fox also said Eichel’s neck injury would be a huge caveat, adding they shouldn’t make that move unless certain he’s fully recovered.

Eichel for Marner straight up would work in terms of player value and cap dollars. Nevertheless, I doubt it’s a move we’ll see take place between these two long-standing rivals.

Fox was also asked which players the Leafs should add to address the lack of killer instinct team president Brendan Shanahan felt his club still needs. He wondered if Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf or Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny would accept a Joe Thornton deal, or if Colorado’s Brandon Saad would come more cheaply than Zach Hyman.

His other suggested options include Minnesota’s Nick Bonino, Vegas’ Mattias Janmark and Dallas’ Jamie Oleksiak. He also proposed it would be great to see what a healthy Nick Foligno could do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas will have to engage in more salary-cap gymnastics given his club’s limited cap space to address that need. I think Getzlaf re-signs with Anaheim or retires. Stastny might be a possibility. Saad could cost more than Hyman.

The Wild could re-sign Bonino if he’s willing to accept a pay cut from his current $4.1 million cap hit. If not, he could be a good option for the Leafs. Janmark and Oleksiak could also be worthwhile cost-effective additions.

Foligno could also help if he’s fully healthy but that depends on whether he sees a future in Toronto or if they feel they should look toward younger alternatives.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma wondered if the Vancouver Canucks would be interested in Alex Kerfoot. The Leafs aren’t expected to protect the 26-year-old center in next month’s expansion draft. They need to clear cap space if they hope to re-sign Zach Hyman. The Leafs can’t afford to take back salary but perhaps they’d accept a draft pick or prospect.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzma noted the Canucks pursue Kerfoot four years ago as a college free agent before he signed with the Colorado Avalanche. He could be an affordable option to bolster the Canucks’ depth at center.

SHOULD THE JETS SHOP CONNOR FOR A DEFENSEMAN?

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre believes it’s time for the Jets to pay the price to acquire some high-end defensive talent if they wish to be more than playoff also-rans. Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot all departed since the Jets marched to the 2018 Western Conference Final.

McIntyre doubts we’ll see any significant off-season activity out of Winnipeg based on their history. However, he wonders at what point general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will be forced to consider moving a core player to balance a lineup that isn’t good enough.

Other than goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and perhaps winger Nikolaj Ehlers, McIntyre doesn’t believe there should be an untouchable on the Jets roster. He proposed shopping winger Kyle Connor, who struggled in the Montreal series after center Mark Scheifele was suspended. The Jets’ crop of promising young skaters like Mason Appleton, Jansen Harkins and Cole Perfetti could give them the freedom to use Connor as trade bait to address their blueline issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff has occasionally made a big move during his tenure as Jets GM, the latest being his swap of Patrick Laine for Pierre-Luc Dubois. For the most part, however, he tends to be patient, sometimes to a fault.

The Jets GM could surprise us with a major offseason move. Like McIntyre, however, I don’t expect him to shop a core player like Connor this summer. He could instead look for affordable options via trade or free agency while preparing to promote promising youngsters like Ville Heinola or Dylan Samberg into the lineup.

THE LATEST ON THE OILERS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited NHL insider Kevin Allen’s three main offseason proposals for the Oilers. They include pursuing a younger goalie like Columbus’ Elvis Merzlikins or Joonas Korpisalo or the New York Islanders Semyon Varlamov via trade, or Frederik Andersen or Linus Ullmark via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers intend to bring back 39-year-old Mike Smith for another season but could shop Mikko Koskinen. The Islanders aren’t in a hurry in shop Varlamov but inquiring with the Jackets about Merzlikins or Korpisalo makes sense. It wouldn’t hurt to kick tires on Andersen or Ullmark.

Allen also suggested the Oilers try to come up with enough assets to bundle with James Neal to get a rebuilding club with cap space (Detroit Red Wings) to take the winger off their hands.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Holland will consider that option. The assets in that package, however, could be more than he’s willing to part with. A contract buyout remains possible for Neal if he isn’t moved in a cost-cutting deal.

Allen also recommended re-signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Larsson and then calling the New York Rangers about Tony DeAngelo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are working on the first two. DeAngelo’s character issues are a red flag but there could be clubs interested in the puck-moving defenseman. If the Oilers were interested, they could wait until he’s bought out of his current contract and then sign him as a free agent.