NHL Rumor Mill – April 28, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – April 28, 2020

Check out recent speculation on the Canadiens, Rangers, and Sharks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CANADIENS

SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked about backup goaltender options for the Montreal Canadiens. The Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin a prime target but would the Canadiens pay more than the $2.5 million AAV he currently earns when they’re paying Carey Price $10.5 million annually? Engels thinks they have the cap flexibility to do it.

Engels felt the Canadiens should consider trading Brett Kulak because they’ve got Alexander Romanov coming next season. Kulak’s affordable contract ($1.85 million AAV through 2021-22) could net the Habs some help elsewhere on the roster. He also feels it’s all but assured winger Ilya Kovalchuk rejoins the Canadiens in the off-season as an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also believe the Canadiens should make a serious effort to sign Khudobin. They need a skilled, experienced backup to spell off Price over the next couple of seasons under promising Cayden Primeau is fully ready for prime time.

Kulak might not fetch much, but with some teams potentially looking to shed salary under a possible flat cap next season, maybe he could fetch a decent depth player. Kovalchuk should be an affordable, short-term signing on a one-year, bonus-laded deal.

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie still believes the Canadiens should bring back former Hab Mikhail Sergachev by signing the young Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman to an offer sheet.

Should the Rangers buy out Henrik Lundqvist if the NHL allows for amnesty buyouts in the off-season? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning has over $76 million invested in 16 players for next season, which explains why Sergachev could be a tempting offer-sheet target. However, that’s assuming he’s willing to listen to offers from rival clubs. If he’s not, it’ll be a waste of time. Besides, it’s assumed the Lightning could move a veteran like Alex Killorn in the off-season to make room to re-sign Sergachev.

RANGERS

NEW YORK POST: In a recent mailbag segment, Larry Brooks was asked If Henrik Lundqvist or Marc Staal would be the target of an amnesty buyout if the league allows such buyouts before next season. Buying out Lundqvist would free up $8.5 million for next season, compared to $5.7 million for Staal. “Sentiment aside, I do not think this would be a difficult choice,” replied Brooks.

Brooks admitted the possibility Lias Andersson could be in the Rangers’ 2020 training camp, but it would require a lot of work to breach the differences between the unhappy young winger and the organization, particularly with head coach David Quinn. He felt Andersson could be traded in the off-season as part of a bigger deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If amnesty buyouts are permitted this off-season, shedding Lundqvist’s cap hit makes the most sense. It would be a sad way for his career with the Blueshirts to end, but this is a business decision that would allow them salary-cap flexibility for 2020-21. As for Andersson, I’ll be surprised if he’s still with the Rangers’ organization next season.

SHARKS

THE MERCURY NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Curtis Pashelka was asked if Martin Jones would keep his job as the San Jose Sharks’ starting goalie next season. His guess is Jones will be back, but he also felt the Sharks must seek a goalie with NHL experience who can play 35-40 games. Braden Holtby could be out of their price range, but perhaps Robin Lehner or Cam Talbot fits the bill. Pashelka also doesn’t rule out Aaron Dell returning if Lehner or Talbot proves too expensive.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holtby will be in the market for a lucrative long-term deal. Lehner could be more affordable, but he’ll also want some long-term security. Talbot might be the best option, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he remains with the Flames.










What Are Doug Wilson’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The San Jose Sharks?

What Are Doug Wilson’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The San Jose Sharks?

 










Surveying the NHL Sellers – San Jose Sharks

Surveying the NHL Sellers – San Jose Sharks










The San Jose Sharks Are Winning, But How Long Will It Last?

The San Jose Sharks Are Winning, But How Long Will It Last?

 










NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2019

Updates on Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Despite the Colorado Avalanche’s salary-cap space, Elliotte Friedman doesn’t see them as a destination for unrestricted free agent winger Artemi Panarin. He believes they’re also concerned about signing UFAs to long-term deals. That could affect efforts to re-sign key players like Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog down the road. He said they were looking at winger Mats Zuccarello but contract term could be an issue. Friedman thinks Joe Pavelski “makes a lot of sense here”, but the contract term makes it unlikely. 

Friedman also said the Avs unwillingness to part with their first-round pick (16th overall) in this year’s draft scuttled a proposed deal for Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers. He doubts they’ll revisit their interest in Kreider. He also shot down rumors linking the Avs to Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has lots of salary-cap space ($38.9 million, according to Cap Friendly) and is looking for more scoring punch. Shipping out Carl Soderberg earlier this week to Arizona stokes speculation he’s got bigger moves in store.

Like Friedman, I don’t see Panarin heading to Colorado but it didn’t hurt to inquire. Pavelski hasn’t met with the Avalanche but visited the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

If Sakic’s unwilling to invest too much for too long in older UFAs, he could return to the trade market. Some believe he’s preparing to sign Toronto’s Mitch Marner to an offer sheet. However, I’ve read he’s not a fan of offer sheets. I don’t think Sakic’s done making moves. 

Speaking of Panarin, Friedman said it looks like the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers are the front-runners for his services. The Panthers are also linked to UFA goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Friedman speculates Bobrovsky’s new contract could affect Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning netminder is a restricted free agent next summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks acknowledged the Rangers are on Panarin’s radar but the Panthers are considered the favorites to sign him. He feels the potential cost of signing Panarin ($11-$12 million per season for seven years) would be too high for the Blueshirts. 

Pending UFA center Matt Duchene met with the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (Photo via NHL Images).

Having shipped P.K. Subban and his $9-million annual average value to New Jersey, Friedman wonders if the Nashville Predators will pursue Matt Duchene. The Columbus Blue Jackets center is slated to become a UFA on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Duchene is slated to meet with the Predators today. Darren Dreger reported the 28-year-old center met with the Montreal Canadiens yesterday. While Habs fans are excited over the notion of Duchene signing with the Habs, I think the Preds are going to get him. They’re still a Stanley Cup contender, Duchene loves Nashville, and Tennessee doesn’t have a state tax.

After trading Subban, the Predators might not be done dealing. The Tennessean’s Paul Skrbina wonders if Kyle Turris, Ryan Ellis, or Nick Bonino might become trade candidates. 

The Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins are on Corey Perry’s radar. Friedman also wonders if the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators will pursue him. Friedman also wonders if the Canadiens might take a run at New York Islanders winger Anders Lee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: But is Perry on the Habs and Penguins radar? His declining speed and production are significant concerns. If the Canadiens are looking at Lee they’re going to have competition. Recent speculation suggests the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks could also pursue him. 

Friedman thinks forward Gustav Nyquist could be a fit with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He also reports the Calgary Flames could try to move winger Michael Frolik before July 1, with the New Jersey Devils a possibility. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports the San Jose Sharks haven’t ruled out bringing back Nyquist. He also cites sources saying the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings (Nyquist’s former team) could also have interest in him. 

Speaking of the Devils, Friedman said they’re not moving blueliner Damon Severson. The Minnesota Wild could make a pitch for winger Wayne Simmonds. 

The San Jose Sharks would like to move backup goalie Aaron Dell. Mike Smith’s been tied to Calgary, as is former Flyers goalie Cam Talbot. Edmonton and Carolina are also possible destinations for Smith. The Oilers are linked to Petr Mrazek and Semyon Varlamov. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have reportedly connected with Smith. If he heads up the road to Edmonton, the Flames could go after Talbot as an affordable short-term replacement. 

Despite not qualifying Ben Hutton, the Vancouver Canucks will try to sign him to a more palatable contract. They could still be the favorite to sign Tyler Myers. In need of another left-hand defenseman, perhaps they’ll consider Jordie Benn. The salary-cap recapture penalty ($3.03 million) for Roberto Luongo’s contract will dent their salary-cap space. Friedman also said the rumored “Tyson Barrie-to-Vancouver” deal was never as close as it seemed. 

OTHER FREE-AGENT NEWS

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports teams have contacted representatives of Carolina’s Sebastian Aho and Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor. The two are restricted free agents and eligible to receive offer sheets from rival clubs. 

The Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, and Buffalo Sabres are among the clubs interested in San Jose Sharks UFA winger Joonas Donskoi.

The Florida Panthers are among six clubs who’ve reached out to UFA defenseman Anton Stralman. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 1, 2018

Game recaps, latest contract signings plus updates on Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Nick Foligno and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders suffered their fourth straight loss, falling 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens. Jonathan Drouin scored and set up another while Antti Niemi made 27 saves. The Isles (65 points) are four points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Jason Pominville’s overtime goal gave the Buffalo Sabres a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo via NHL Images).

Jason Pominville’s overtime goal lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 upset over the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts collected a point to become the first team this season to reach 90 points. 

The St. Louis Blues snapped a seven-game losing skid by edging the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Blues goalie Carter Hutton kicked out 35 shots. For the first time in three years, Blues forward Patrik Berglund was a healthy scratch

A four-goal second period carried the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie each had a goal and an assist for the Avs, who moved into a tie (73 points) with the Flames and sit one point out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

John Gilmour scored in overtime to give the New York Rangers a 6-5 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Vladislav Namestnikov had a goal and an assist in his debut with the Rangers. Brock Boeser scored twice for the Canucks. Earlier in the day, the Canucks re-signed defenseman Alex Biega to a two-year contract worth $825K per season. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal credits playing for a veteran-laden playoff contender for the increase in his scoring this season. His production has risen since joining the Wild as a free agent in 2016. Staal’s 33 goals this season are the fourth-highest among NHL scorers and the most he’s scored in a season since reaching 33 in 2010-11. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal is the Wild’s leading scorer and most valuable player this season. The 33-year-old center is on pace to tally over 40 goals and 80 points this season. He previously reached 40 goals in 2008-09 and the last time he hit 80 points was 2007-08. The Wild are using him as a first-line center, resulting in an increase in his shooting percentage. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal issued a statement yesterday thanking fans, friends and the hockey community for their support following the recent death of his infant daughter to a terminal birth defect. 

CBS SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated forward Nick Foligno off injured reserve.

NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed goaltender Aaron Dell to a two-year, $3.8-million contract extension.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins rookie Zach Aston-Reese is sidelined “longer term” with an upper-body injury.

TSN: Should the city of Seattle make a successful bid for an NHL franchise, league commissioner Gary Bettman said the expansion draft process is expected to be similar to that used by the Vegas Golden Knights.