NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2020

Could Kyle Palmieri be a good trade option for the Bruins? Which players should the Flames target as a potential replacement for Mark Giordano? Could the Red Wings shop Andreas Athanasiou or Jonathan Bernier? Could Ducks winger Ondrej Kase become a trade target? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty suggests New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri would be a good trade option for the Bruins if they fail to land New York’s Chris Kreider, LA’s Tyler Toffoli, or Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou. It remains to be seen if the Devils will shop Palmieri, who has a year remaining on his contract ($4.65-million annual average salary).

Palmieri is their leading scorer with 37 points in 50 games, including 20 goals. He’s not a big, physical forward, but would provide the offensive production the Bruins need at right wing. Other trade options could include Miles Wood or Blake Coleman.

Would New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri be a good fit with the Boston Bruins? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palmieri might be more affordable than Kreider or Toffoli, but the Devils aren’t just going to give him away. They’ll want a return that helps them now and in the future, which means including a good, young NHL player as part of the return.


SPORTSNET: Eric Francis recently suggested several trade targets for the Calgary Flames to consider as a possible replacement sidelined defenseman Mark Giordano. The Flames captain is listed as week-to-week with a hamstring injury.

Longer-term options included Minnesota’s Matt Dumba, Montreal’s Jeff Petry, Anaheim’s Josh Manson, and Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere. Rentals include San Jose’s Brenden Dillon, Buffalo’s Zach Bogosian, New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen, Montreal’s Marco Scandella, and Ottawa’s Ron Hainsey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of those long-term options seem more like wishful thinking. The asking price for Dumba and Manson will be expensive, while the Habs reportedly aren’t shopping Petry. Gostisbehere could be available, but his stock has tumbled over the last two years. Of those rentals, Vatanen would be the best choice, but he could be more costly to acquire than the others.


MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan believes forward Andreas Athanasiou and goaltender Jonathan Bernier could be the Detroit Red Wings’ most significant trade chips. Bernier’s played well since Dec. 12, winning seven of 12 games with a 1.97 goals-against average and .940 save percentage during that stretch. Athanasiou is struggling to score this season, making him a prime trade candidate.

Trading Bernier, who has a year remaining on his contract,  would mean the Wings would have to acquire two goalies this summer via trade or free agency, as veteran Jimmy Howard is an unrestricted free agent on July 1. As for Athanasiou, the main question is whether to hang onto him in the hope his trade value increases in the summer or attempt to move him before the deadline. He’s a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep Bernier and move Athanasiou if they get a decent offer. Finding a suitable replacement for one goalie in the off-season is difficult enough.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens reports the recently improved performance of several Anaheim Ducks players could improve their trade value. Forwards Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie, and Derek Grant have stepped up of late. Stephens also thinks defenseman Michael Del Zotto might be on the move before the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kase has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill in recent weeks. TSN’s Travis Yost highlighted the 24-year-old winger as a productive, albeit injury-challenged performer. He probably won’t fetch the Ducks more than a second-round pick or a decent prospect. Besides, management could consider him worth retaining as part of their rebuild.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

The Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to the Senators for Zack Smith, plus the latest free-agent signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/OTTAWA SUN: The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday traded center Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for forward Zack Smith. 

The Chicago Blackhawks traded Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for Zack Smith (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move addresses needs for both clubs. The Senators get some offensive skill in Anisimov while Smith brings more defensive skill and toughness up front for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also free up an additional $1.3 million in cap space by swapping Anisimov’s $4.55-million annual average value (through 2020-21) for Smith’s $3.25 million. The Senators, meanwhile, will only pay $2 million of Anisimov’s actual salary for this season and $1.5 million in 2020-21. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals re-signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vrana, 23, completed his entry-level contract and lacked arbitration rights this summer. With the Capitals squeezed for cap space, he’s doing them a favor by accepting this bridge deal. Vrana’s coming off a career-best 24-goal, 47-point performance. If he continues to improve he’ll be in line for a significant raise on his next contract. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Connor Carrick to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $1.5 million. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed winger Ryan Donato to a two-year, $3.8-million contract. He netted 16 points in 22 games after being acquired from the Boston Bruins in a late-season trade. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year, one-way contract worth $750K per season. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks confirmed their signing of defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $750K contract. Blueliner Chris Wideman was inked to a one-year, two-way contract. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed defenseman Haydn Fleury to a one-year, $850K contract and defenseman Gustav Forsling to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $874,125 at the NHL level.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed UFA forward Josh Archibald to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed goaltender Cal Petersen to a three-year contract worth over $858K per season. It’s a two-way deal for 2019-20 and one-way for the next two seasons. 

SEATTLE TIMES: Hall-of-Famer Ron Francis is set to become the general manager of the NHL’s Seattle expansion franchise. Francis is also the former general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The budget-conscious Hurricanes failed to reach the playoffs during Francis’ tenure. However, he brought in young players like Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Warren Foegele to Carolina and developed young talent like Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce. All played key roles in the Hurricanes’ march to the 2019 Eastern Conference Final.

THE SCORE: U.S. Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are pushing their colleagues to honor Willie O’Ree with the Congressional Gold Medal. O’Ree was the first black player in the NHL and was inducted last year into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2019

Phil Kessel sparks a surge in Coyotes ticket sales, the latest contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Coyotes’ recent acquisition of Phil Kessel sparked a 600 percent surge in tickets sales for the week following the trade compared to the same week a year ago. That included a 550 percent spike in season-ticket sale. 

After acquiring Phil Kessel, the Arizona Coyotes saw a spike in ticket sales (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been years since the Coyotes had an established sniper like Kessel. They’re hoping he’ll provide a much-needed scoring boost that propels them into the playoffs for the first time since 2012. If he does, the Coyotes can expect a healthier surge in season-ticket sales next summer. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday avoided salary arbitration with forwards Joel Armia and Artturi Lehkonen, signing each to two-year contracts. Armia’s deal is worth $5.2 million ($2.6-million annual average value) while Lehkonen’s is worth $4.8 million ($2.4 million AAV). The Habs now have over $4.84 million in cap space. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs still have plenty of wiggle room if they want to bolster their left-side defense or bring in another scoring forward via trade. They could also make another depth signing via free agency. 

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars re-signed center Jason Dickinson to a two-year, $3-million contract. 

NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed centers Dylan Gambrell and Antti Suomela. Gambrell got a two-year deal and Suomela one year. Each have an annual average value of $700K. Gambrell’s deal is a two-way in the first year and one-way in the second. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $750K contract. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Alex Burrows will join the Canucks’ Ring of Honour on December 3. He spent 12 seasons in Vancouver. 

NBC SPORTS: Paul Holmgren is no longer the team president of the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s now a senior advisor to Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott. General manager Chuck Fletcher takes over from Holmgren as president. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers hired Tyler Wright as their new director of amateur scouting. Wright held the same position with the Detroit Red Wings. Archie Henderson was also hired to be their new director of pro scouting. 

2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Here’s the list of today’s notable deals heading toward the 3 pm ET deadline. This list will be updated frequently throughout the day.  Following the deadline, I’ll examine the day’s biggest moves in the Soapbox section. 

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Chris Wideman to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Sebastian Dea.

Winnipeg Jets trade left wing Nic Petan to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for center Par Lindholm.

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.

Buffalo Sabres trade defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick. 

Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Tanner Pearson.

Minnesota Wild trade center Matt Hendricks to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick. 

Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

New Jersey Devils trade winger Marcus Johansson to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2020. 

Philadelphia Flyers trade winger Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

Ottawa Senators trade Matt Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images)

Ottawa Senators trade right wing Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights for prospect defenseman Erik Brannstrom, center Oscar Lindberg, and a second-round pick in 2020. 

Minnesota Wild trade forward Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Kevin Fiala. 

Los Angeles Kings trade defenseman Oscar Fantenberg to the Calgary Flames for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020.

New York Rangers trade defenseman Adam McQuaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth- and a seventh-round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Florida Panthers trade center Derick Brassard and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020 to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020

Florida Panthers trade forward Tomas Jurco to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. The Hurricanes trade prospect Cliff Pu to the Panthers for future considerations.

Arizona Coyotes trade center Jordan Weal to the Montreal Canadiens for center Michael Chaput

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the New York Rangers trade center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets for Brendan Lemieux, the Jets’ 2019 first-round pick and a conditional pick. 

New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Keith Kinkaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a fifth-round pick in 2022.

Detroit Red Wings trade forward Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2020. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2019

Game recaps, Ducks made three trades, Flames to retire Iginla’s number, no World Cup of Hockey in 2020, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Former Avalanche center Matt Duchene scored twice and set up another goal against his former team. 

Sean Couturier’s natural hat trick gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images)

Sean Couturier netted a natural hat trick and teammate Claude Giroux picked up his 500th career assists as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. Bruins call-up Peter Cehlarik scored his first two NHL goals. 

The Buffalo Sabres snapped the Calgary Flames’ five-game win streak as an overtime goal by Jack Eichel gave them a 4-3 victory. Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau picked up his 28th goal of the season. 

A shootout goal by Alex Chiasson gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers are now tied with the Minnesota Wild (49 points), though the latter holds the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference as they hold a game in hand. The Canucks are right behind them with 48 points. 

The Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 to end the latter’s seven-game winning streak. Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves while Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse each had a goal and an assist. Sharks forward Kevin Labanc had a goal and two assists.

NBC SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks swung a trio of trades yesterday.  First, they shipped winger Pontus Aberg to the Minnesota Wild for center Justin Kloos. They followed that by sending defenseman Luke Schenn and a seventh-round pick in 2020 to the Vancouver Canucks for blueline Michael Del Zotto. Their final move saw them send minor-league center Joseph Blandisi to the Pittsburgh Penguins for center Derek Grant.  These moves come just two days after the Ducks traded veteran winger Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars for center Devin Shore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t call this a fire sale by Ducks general manager Bob Murray as he’s bringing in players who could contribute to his roster this season. Nevertheless, it’s not a major roster shakeup, probably because his club is still close to a wild-card spot despite their 12-game losing skid. 

Murray’s giving up some offense in Aberg, who has 11 goals in 37 games, but Kloos led the AHL’s Iowa Wild with 30 points and could get a shot with the Ducks at some point. The Wild, meanwhile, receive a speedy, affordable winger who could provide them with a bit of a scoring boost as they jockey for playoff contention.

The Canucks moved Del Zotto, a frequent healthy scratch, to make room for rookie star Elias Pettersson, who’s returning from injury. Schenn spent this season with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate and will report directly to the Canucks’ farm club in Utica. Del Zotto, an unrestricted free agent this summer, could become a rental depth addition for the Ducks.

Grant played for the Ducks in 2017-18, enjoying his best season with 12 goals and 24 points in 66 games. He signed with the Penguins as a free agent but didn’t enjoy the same measure of success. Murray could be hoping Grant rediscovers his form. The Penguins remove Grant’s $650K cap hit and could be setting the stage for a larger move. 

TSN: Speaking of the Ducks, veteran center Ryan Kesler has no plans to waive his no-movement clause. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Paul Byron received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar during Tuesday’s game. 

SPORTSNET: The NHL and NHLPA released statements yesterday ruling out the possibility of staging a World Cup of Hockey tournament in 2020. While the tournament was linked to recent talks regarding a possible extension of the CBA, the two sides intend to meet again soon to continue discussions aimed at avoiding another work stoppage. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA have the option of exercising their early-out clause in September, which would bring the current CBA to an end in September 2020. Recent reports indicate a seeming willingness on both sides to implement a new deal without going through another round of contentious collective bargaining. We’ll find out by this September if that apparent cooling in tensions between the two sides results in a new deal. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames will honor former captain Jarome Iginla by retiring his No. 12 prior to their March 2 game against the Minnesota Wild. Iginla announced his retirement last July 

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL winger Brandon Bollig announced his retirement yesterday. He spent five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames, winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. In 241 career games, Bollig had 10 goals, 23 points and 392 penalty minutes. He also had three goals, four points and 75 PIMs in 35 playoff contests. 

NHL Rumor Mill – January 10, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – January 10, 2019

Latest on Wayne Simmonds, Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on NBCSN, TSN insider Bob McKenzie reported the Philadelphia Flyers are getting calls about pending UFA winger Wayne Simmonds but they haven’t reached a decision yet if they’ll re-sign or move him before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. McKenzie considers it more likely than not that Simmonds gets traded but it’s not a certainty. He believes there will be a high demand for the power forward. 

The Philadelphia Flyers must soon decide if they’ll re-sign or trade Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline. (Photo via NHL Images)

Appearing on Ottawa’s TSN 1200, McKenzie’s colleague Pierre LeBrun also believes there will be no shortage of interest in Simmonds if the Flyers decide to trade him. LeBrun suggested adding Simmonds to a powerful club like the Tampa Bay Lightning to give them more muscle for the playoffs is a scary thought, though he adds he has no evidence to suggest the Lightning are interested in Simmonds and was merely using them as an example. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher could be listening to offers from other clubs while negotiating with Simmonds’ agent to determine if a workable new contract can be reached before the trade deadline. Perhaps he’ll try to re-sign Simmonds to a three- or four-year deal provided he’s not seeking much over $5 million annually. If the winger seeks a more lucrative long-term contract, Fletcher will shop him before the deadline for the best deal.

While there may be no indication of the Lightning having interest in Simmonds, they’ve proven their willingness in the recent past to swing significant deals near the trade deadline to bolster their lineup for the postseason. It wouldn’t be surprising if they become a serious suitor for Simmonds. 


SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman believes the Carolina Hurricanes could trade Dougie Hamilton because they’re heavy with right-shot defensemen. He also noted Hamilton has had more games playing under 16 minutes (four games) than those where he’s played over 20 minutes (three games). The Hurricanes need scoring and there are clubs in need of scoring blueliners so Hamilton has value.  

Friedman also reports the Hurricanes and pending unrestricted free agent winger Micheal Ferland remain far apart in contract negotiations. The Hurricanes are determined not to let their UFAs depart for nothing. Friedman suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins or Edmonton Oilers as possible destinations for Ferland. The Hurricanes have also told teams they prefer to wait a little longer before reaching decisions on goalies Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek. They’re also trying to re-sign winger Jordan Martinook. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes apparently aren’t actively shopping Hamilton but, as Friedman indicated last Saturday, they could be willing to listen if someone offers them a scoring forward. We know Hurricanes GM Don Waddell had interest in Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander prior to his re-signing a new contract with the Leafs and there’s been talk that he also likes Leafs winger Kaspari Kapanen. Maybe he would consider swapping Hamilton for Kapanen plus a draft pick or prospect.

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn’t shy about making significant in-season deals and perhaps Ferland could be a fit. However, the Penguins surge up the standings since early-December had Rutherford recently suggesting he might not be as busy near the deadline this time around. The Oilers need all the help they can get but their priority (as always) is their blueline and Ferland can’t improve that area of concern.

Friedman adds winger Pat Maroon to the list of available St. Louis Blues… He also reports the Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to find a new home for little-used defenseman Slater Koekkoek…There’s interest in Vancouver Canucks blueliner Michael Del Zotto but those clubs are waiting until closer to the trade deadline to save salary-cap space. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just spitballing here, but if the Lightning were to pursue Wayne Simmonds, maybe they’ll offer up Koekkoek as part of the return. 

Teams could be watching to see how the Winnipeg Jets handle backup goalie Laurent Brossoit and winger Brandon Tanev. Brossoit is a year away from UFA eligibility while Tanev is eligible this summer. The Jets have received inquiries about Jack Roslovic but have no interest in moving him.


THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle reports San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is open to the idea of pursuing rental talent at this year’s trade deadline. It’s possible he could pursuing a scoring forward such as Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds or Ottawa’s Matt Duchene or Matt Stone. Goaltending, however, is an issue this year as the Sharks’ tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell are struggling this season. Still, Wilson expressed confidence in the duo, pointing to Jones’ playoff record. Gackle noted Wilson lacks a first- and second-round pick in this year’s and lacks a first the 2020 NHL Draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Throughout his long career as a general manager, Wilson has proven capable of pulling off significant in-season trades. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him landing a substantial rental asset this year.