NHL Rumor Mill – July 27, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 27, 2022

Could the Canucks trade J.T. Miller to the Islanders for a top-four, right-side defenseman? Could Matthew Tkachuk’s new deal affect the Sharks’ contract talks with Timo Meier? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma mused over whether the New York Islanders might offer up defenseman Noah Dobson to the Vancouver Canucks as part of a package for J.T. Miller. He pointed out the Canucks’ former management had an interest in the 22-year-old Dobson stretching back to his junior days.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

The Islanders have $11 million in cap space. Dobson is a restricted free agent whose 51-point performance last season could put him in line for a raise comparable to that of Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin’s two-year contract.

Dahlin will earn $5.8 million in actual salary this coming season and $7.2 million in 2023-24. That could prove too expensive for the Isles if Dobson seeks a similar deal, especially with Mathew Barzal due for a new contract next summer.

Miller, 29, is in the final season of his contract with an affordable $5.25 million cap hit. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and could cost $8 million annually on his next contract.

There were reports during the draft that the Islanders had an interest in Miller. However, Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford denied having any trade discussions about him with the Isles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks seem reluctant to part with Miller. His agent recently said there’s a pathway toward his client signing a long-term extension but I daresay it’s a very expensive one.

Dobson, 22, would have to be part of the Canucks’ asking price if the Islanders were interested in Miller. The Summerside, PEI native would bring some much-needed skilled depth to the right side of their blueline.

Whether Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is willing to part with Dobson, however, is another matter. Recent reports suggest he could be kicking tires on UFA center Nazem Kadri.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited The Mercury News’ Curtis Pashelka musing over what effect Matthew Tkachuk’s new deal with the Florida Panthers will have on the Sharks’ contract talks with Timo Meier.

Tkachuk, 24, signed an eight-year, $76 million contract with the Panthers on Friday. Pashelka observed the former Flames winger has 285 points since 2018-19 while the 25-year-old Meier had 222. He wondered if Tkachuk’s new deal would serve as a blueprint for the Sharks winger if he has a “monster year” in the coming NHL season, perhaps earning $1 million less per season than Tkachuk’s $9.5 million average annual value.

Meier is entering the final season of a four-year deal with an AAV of $6 million but an actual salary of $10 million, which is what it’ll cost the Sharks to qualify his rights. If the two sides fail to work out a suitable contract extension, Peng wondered if Meier might fetch a return comparable to what the Flames got from the Panthers for Tkachuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier’s future in San Jose will depend upon whether he buys into the club’s direction under new general manager Mike Grier. If the club is engaging in a long rebuild, he could be reluctant to ink a long-term deal, forcing Grier to peddle him in the trade market.

Meier is a skilled offensive winger but doesn’t play the same physical style as Tkachuk. He could bolster his stock with a career-best performance in this coming season, raising the cost of signing him but also boosting his value in the trade market. Still, I doubt he’d land two players comparable to Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2021

The Panthers tied a winning-streak record, McDavid and Draisaitl reach scoring milestones, Alex Ovechkin tallies his most assists through 20 games, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers picked up their 11th straight home win to start the season as they downed the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. Aaron Ekblad tallied in overtime as the Panthers tied the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks for the longest season-opening home win streak at 11-0-0. The victory also propelled them into first overall with 31 points.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each scored two goals and collected two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Zack Kassian also chipped in a goal and two assists while the Coyotes Clayton Keller had a three-point performance. Draisaitl has a league-leading 20 goals and 40 points, joining Wayne Gretzky as the only Oiler to score 20 goals in less than 20 games. McDavid, meanwhile, netted his 400th career assist. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes placed goaltender Carter Hutton in COVID protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl maintains a four-point lead over McDavid in the NHL scoring race.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected three assists in a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Ovechkin (33 points) has 18 assists in 20 games, exceeding his previous best (17) in 2008-09. He joins Mario Lemieux, Johnny Bucyk, Gordie Howe and Martin St. Louis as the only players’ age 36 or older to reach at least 18 assists in their first 20 games of the season. Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz left the game with an upper-body injury. Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield potted his first goal of the season.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri had two points to extend his points streak to 10 games to help his club beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Kadri has netted 21 points during that streak. Sonny Milano scored both goals for the Ducks. Earlier in the day, the Ducks listed Adam Henrique as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Toronto Maple Leafs netted four goals in the second period on route to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Auston Matthews and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist while Rasmus Sandin chipped in three helpers. The Leafs have won seven of their last eight. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed forward Andreas Athanasiou in COVID protocol.

A four-goal first period powered the Boston Bruins over the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. David Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno each collected two points for the Bruins, handing the Sabres their fourth straight loss. Bruins netminder (and former Sabre) Linus Ullmark didn’t start as he’s nursing a minor undisclosed injury but served as a backup in this contest.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala scored in the shootout as his club nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Wild goalie Cam Talbot made 40 saves in regulation and overtime and was perfect in the shootout. The Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit on goals by Pavel Zacha and Yegor Sherangovich with Nico Hischier assisting on both.

A 36-save performance by Tristan Jarry carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Penguins have won four straight while the Canucks have dropped seven of their last eight contests.

Elvis Merzlikins kicked out 36 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Winnipeg Jets 3-0, spoiling Pierre-Luc Dubois’ return to Columbus for the first time since getting traded to Winnipeg in January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ usually reliable offense has dried up of late, managing just four goals in their last four games. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets continue to exceed expectations, winning seven of their last 10 contests.

The Detroit Red Wings got 35 saves from Alex Nedeljkovic to snap a four-game losing streak by doubling up the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Adam Erne broke a 2-2 tie while Robby Fabbri had a goal and an assist. Blues center Brayden Schenn returned to action after missing nine games with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Wings placed defenseman Danny DeKeyser in COVID protocol.

Chris Kreider and Kevin Rooney each scored twice to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders, who had seven players in COVID protocol. The Isles have lost seven straight games. Adding to their misery, defenseman Noah Dobson is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Arthur Staple shot down a rumor claiming Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello asked the league for a postponement. NHL sources said they didn’t believe any such request came from Lamoriello. The league continues to monitor the Isles’ situation closely. Yesterday was the first time in a week the club had no new COVID cases.

Max Pacioretty collected an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2. Pacioretty missed 17 games with a fractured foot. Filip Forsberg scored both Predators’ goals as he returned from a nine-game absence with an upper-body injury.

The Seattle Kraken got 35 saves from Philipp Grubauer and a late goal in the third period by Marcus Johansson to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Jared McCann tallied the tying goal on a power play in the second period for the Kraken (6-12-1), giving them their second straight win. The Hurricanes (14-3-1) sit two points behind the first-overall Panthers.

A three-point effort by Timo Meier (one goal, two assists) gave the San Jose Sharks a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Sharks forward Nick Bonino also scored in what was his 700th career game. Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for the Senators.