NHL Rumor Mill – May 30, 2023
A look ahead at the Stars’ offseason, the latest on the Flyers plus some recent Elias Lindholm speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE STARS?
The Stars have limited salary-cap space if they hope to re-sign Evgenii Dadonov and Max Domi. Both were trade-deadline acquisitions who are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Clark suggests it’s possible they could move some cap space to sign Dadonov and/or Domi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars management could focus on re-signing Domi. He’s younger than Dadonov, more versatile and doesn’t shy away from physical play. On the other hand, the 34-year-old Dadonov could be more affordable given his age.
Clark also noted the Stars have young talent including Jason Robertson, Miro Heiskanen, Jake Oettinger and the underrated Roope Hintz. They also have a farm system that continues to replenish their roster.
THE ATHLETIC: Saad Yousef also pointed out the Stars’ growing core of young talent that included a solid performance by rookie center Wyatt Johnston. Thomas Harley emerged as a key late-season development.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those talented young players could make it easier for the Stars to shed an older veteran to free up some cap room.
They can’t move the overpaid Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin given their respective $9.5 million average annual values and full no-movement clauses. They’re also likely stuck with aging defenseman Ryan Suter, who has a reasonable $3.65 million cap hit but also a full no-movement clause. They’re certainly not parting with the ageless Joe Pavelski, who carries an affordable $3.5 million cap hit for 2023-24 and – you guessed it! – a full NMC.
Radek Faksa is a more likely cap casualty. He carries an AAV of $3.25 million through 2024-25 and a five-team no-trade clause. Defenseman Colin Miller ($1.85 million for 2023-24) is another likely candidate.
LATEST ON THE FLYERS
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ryan Quigley noted Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere’s recent remarks about his willingness to entertain offers for goaltender Carter Hart. However, he also pointed out that Briere expects the 24-year-Hart to be back with the Flyers’ other young players next season.
Quigley believes defenseman Ivan Provorov is another player who could be moved, noting his productivity has declined since 2019-20. He thinks the 26-year-old blueliner could bounce back with the right supporting cast but the Flyers in their current state lack that type of support.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Chuck Bausman believes the Flyers would be making a big mistake if they trade Hart, whom he considers their most valuable asset. If they make that move, he thinks they better be getting a mind-blowing offer such as a top-line forward or a top-line defenseman plus draft picks and a prospect. Instead, he suggests the Flyers rebuild around Hart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere is wise to consider all his options. He’s willing to listen on everyone at this stage but that doesn’t mean he’s going to trade Hart. It’s unlikely the Flyers will get a suitable offer to make such a move worthwhile.
The only wild card is Hart himself. He’s a year away from becoming a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and will be eligible for UFA status in 2025 unless he and the Flyers agree next summer to a long-term extension.
Hart might be reluctant to spend his prime playing years on a rebuilding club. That could prompt Briere to trade him. However, if Hart’s willing to be part of their long-term plans, then they should invest in him.
Provorov, on the other hand, seems a more likely trade candidate. He’s frequently surfaced in the rumor mill over the course of this season. Provorov should attract interest from clubs seeking a top-four defenseman in his late twenties who’s in need of a change of scenery.
THE LATEST ON ELIAS LINDHOLM
If Lindholm isn’t interested in signing a contract extension with the Flames but was willing to do so if he were traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets to be reunited with Johnny Gaudreau, would the Blue Jackets part with the third overall pick?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an interesting scenario that would address the Jackets’ need for an established first-line center. It would provide them with a devastating first line that could lead them into postseason contention.
Of course, we don’t know what Lindholm’s intentions are right now or what Craig Conroy, the Flames’ new GM, has in store for his roster. If the Flames were to offer up Lindholm for the third-overall pick, we don’t know if the Jackets would be interested.
However, if Lindholm remains reluctant to re-sign, Conroy might have to peddle him this summer. Perhaps it could be some sort of creative deal like the one proposed by Duhatschek.