Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 5, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 5, 2023

Can the Devils afford to acquire Timo Meier for the long term? Are the Golden Knights buyers or sellers? Who could the Flames pursue in the trade market? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the New Jersey Devils have the assets to acquire Timo Meier if they can find a way to squeeze him within their limited cap space. However, he doubts they can afford to keep him beyond next season when they also have Jesper Bratt to re-sign this summer.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

Brooks wonders if management believes the Devils are close enough to Stanley Cup contention that they can afford a pricey rental player or two that could help them defeat Eastern rivals such as Boston, Carolina, Toronto and Tampa Bay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said he’d like to add a top-six winger for more than just this season. Like Bratt, Meier is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. As Brooks points out, however, signing both players would take a big chunk out of their projected $36.5 million in cap space for 2023-24, especially when they only have nine roster players under contract.

Brooks also suggested the Devils would be forced to choose between re-signing Bratt or Meier if they acquire the latter. Meier could be insurance if they have to part ways with Bratt should his contract negotiations become contentious.


THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger wondered if the Golden Knights might become sellers at the trade deadline for the first time in franchise history. He believes they haven’t looked like Stanley Cup contenders since mid-November and have played abysmally since Mark Stone was sidelined in mid-January.

Granger doubts that adding an aging rental player such as Chicago’s Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews or St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly would put a club that’s been playing .500 hockey since November over the top.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granger makes a sensible case for the Golden Knights to move a talented player to a contender for a promising young asset who’s close to NHL ready. Nevertheless, I anticipate they’ll be buyers once again.

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley wants a Stanley Cup. If Stone is out for the season, they can place his $9.5 million cap hit on LTIR and use that space to go shopping for a suitable replacement.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Looked at potential depth acquisition for the Golden Knights leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. The Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi, Montreal Canadiens Mike Hoffman, and Chicago Blackhawks’ Andreas Athanasiou were among their potential targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The site also previously looked at several of the more notable players potentially available if the Golden Knights want to make a bigger splash in the trade pool.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve MacFarlane reports the Flames have been in the market for a scoring winger all season. He suggested targeting the Florida Panthers’ Anthony Duclair, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Max Domi and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Konecny.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have a better shot at landing Domi than the other two. The Panthers reportedly want to hang onto Duclair and will be looking at ways to make room for the sidelined winger’s eventual return to action.

Konecny, meanwhile, is thriving under head coach John Tortorella with 49 points in 45 games. He’s got two more seasons on his contract. It’ll take a significant offer to pry him away from the Flyers.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 23, 2023

Would Anthony Duclair or Vladimir Tarasenko be worthwhile trade targets for the Flames? Could the Kraken become trade deadline buyers? What’s the latest on the Senators? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek noted the Calgary Flames still haven’t found a suitable replacement for Johnny Gaudreau after the winger signed last summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He wondered if the Florida Panthers’ Anthony Duclair or the St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko would fit for the Flames.

Duclair is expected to soon return to action from a torn Achilles tendon while the Panthers are trying to stay in the Eastern playoff race. Duhatschek believes that discussion should wait until it’s determined Duclair hasn’t suffered any lingering effect from his injury as well as where the Panthers are in the standings.

St, Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images)

Duhatschek wondered how well Tarasenko would respond to playing under Flames coach Darryl Sutter’s demanding system. He noted, however, that Marian Gaborik thrived under Sutter with the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have been rumored to be in the market for a top-six winger for some time. There was speculation linking them to Montreal’s Josh Anderson but the Canadiens appear unwilling to part with him.

Tarasenko seems a more likely option for the Flames than Duclair as the Panthers reportedly wish to keep him. Tarasenko is an unrestricted free agent this summer who reportedly never rescinded his 2021 trade request. Whether the Flames can find a way to take on the remainder of his $7.5 million cap hit and meet the Blues’ asking price remains to be seen.


THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker recently reported that Kraken general manager Ron Francis is keeping an eye on this season’s March 3 trade deadline. Carrying three second-round picks in his year’s draft, Francis could use one or two of them to add a talented player.

The Kraken’s blue-line depth remains thin and they’ve been lucky to be relatively healthy over the course of this season. He pointed out they went 3-3-1 over the seven games Jamie Oleksiak was sidelined by a November injury and a December suspension.

Baker noted that Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg has been linked to the Kraken in the trade rumor mill. He’s under a one-year, $7 million contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken jockeying with the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Francis goes shopping to shore up his blueline depth before March 3.

Klingberg might be an option for Francis. He could also make a pitch for Jakob Chychrun but I doubt he’d meet the Arizona Coyotes’ asking price of two first-rounders and a high-end prospect. Perhaps Chychrun’s teammate Shayne Gostisbehere could be a trade target.


NBC SPORTS CHICAGO’s Charlie Roumeliotis reported Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion was in attendance for yesterday’s game between the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks. Dorion also attended the Kings’ game against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are loaded with right-shot defensemen. Apart from Drew Doughty and Sean Durzi, they could be willing to part with one of them. Perhaps Sean Walker or Matt Roy might be available.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 6, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 6, 2023

Is it time for the Canucks to become sellers? What’s the latest on the Panthers? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston believes it’s time for Vancouver Canucks management to start identifying its trade chips that can be used to rebuild the slumping club. They appear headed toward missing the playoffs for the third straight year.

Johnston believes the Canucks have missed their opportunity to re-sign Bo Horvat. His stellar performance this season combined with his $5.5 million cap hit makes him the most coveted player in this season’s trade market. It’s believed the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils are interested in the Canucks captain.

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

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche definitely need a second-line center and I don’t doubt that they’d have interest in Horvat. I wonder, however, if they can afford to pay what is likely to be an expensive asking price to get him.

The Devils, meanwhile, already have two young stars at center in Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. There’s no room there for Horvat unless the Devils intend to shift Hughes to the wing.

Johnston wonders if there’s any chance of the Canucks trading J.T. Miller, whose new contract with its $8 million average annual value doesn’t begin until 2023-24. He lacks no-trade protection on his current deal.

The cost certainty of Miller’s upcoming new deal could make him enticing to clubs that were nervous about acquiring him last year before he signed that extension. However, he’s struggling to replicate last season’s 99-point performance, which could hurt his market value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those who said the Canucks should’ve signed Horvat before Miller have been vindicated this season. It’s looking more and more like management made a mistake, though it’s easy to judge in hindsight.

Miller had a career-best performance in 2021-22 while Horvat, a reliable 50-60 point two-way center, gave no indication he would be on pace for a 50-goal performance in his contract year. The stalemate in his contract talks seems to have given him additional motivation this season. He’s going to get a big payday, probably more than what Miller got, but it won’t be coming from the Canucks.

Some believe the Canucks should trade Miller and use the savings to re-sign Horvat. While I don’t rule out that possibility, that ship may have sailed.

Brock Boeser has just three points in the 11 games since the Canucks gave his agent permission to speak with other teams. It would improve his trade value if he could pick up his production. He’s carrying a $6.65 million annual cap hit on a three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s contract is why I expect he’ll be moved in the offseason instead of by the March 3 trade deadline. Unless they’re willing to retain salary or take back a significant contract in return, there aren’t a lot of teams that can afford to absorb Boeser’s cap hit.

Johnston wondered if New York Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere is on the trade block. He cited sources saying the Canucks are interested in the 2020 first-overall pick. One NHL observer suggested the Rangers would want size and “win-now assets” in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman have recently reported that the Rangers still believe in Lafreniere and don’t want to give up on the struggling 21-year-old winger. Still, that belief could be tested if a rival club made a substantial offer.


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli believes the Florida Panthers will soon have to make a cost-cutting trade. Winger Anthony Duclair is expected to return to their lineup soon and the cap-strapped club will have to shed some salary to make room for him. Patric Hornqvist is also sidelined indefinitely with a concussion so they haven’t been forced to deal with the issue of Duclair’s return just yet as both are on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli doesn’t expect Duclair to be the one who gets traded when he and Hornqvist are ready to return to action. The Panthers would find it difficult to move the aging Hornqvist, who carries a $5.3 million cap hit this season.

Some observers have suggested they could be forced to peddle Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Reinhart or Sam Bennett to free up sufficient room for Duclair. It’ll be interesting to see how they address this situation.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 16, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 16, 2022

Check out the latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Jakob Chychrun, Patrick Kane, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NOTE: The NHL’s annual holiday roster freeze begins at 11:59 pm ET on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, and expires at 12:01 am ET on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): published the first installment of their 2022-23 NHL trade board featuring 25 potential trade candidates. Among the notable tidbits:

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images)

Pierre LeBrun believes the St. Louis Blues could start listening to offers in the new year for center Ryan O’Reilly. LeBrun thinks the Toronto Maple Leafs have talked internally about the Blues pending UFA captain. He also believes the Colorado Avalanche would be a sensible destination.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues could listen to offers but I think they’d like to re-sign O’Reilly. There will be plenty of interest if he hits the trade block. Whether the Leafs can win a bidding war for his services is another matter. However, Vladimir Tarasenko seems the most likely to be dealt by the Blues, though his full no-trade clause gives him control over where he could go.

The Colorado Avalanche could be a fit for Bo Horvat if the Vancouver Canucks decide to trade their captain before the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger believes the Canucks want to free up salary cap space if they move Horvat or winger Brock Boeser. However, they’d also like to add a young NHL centerman and a young NHL defenseman.

Speaking of Boeser, LeBrun claimed the Minnesota Wild have spoken to the Canucks about the 25-year-old winger. Cap space, however, is an issue and the Canucks don’t want to retain any salary. They could take back a contract in return but clearing maximum cap space in a Boeser trade is important to them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they’ll take back a salary that is considerably less than Boeser’s $6.65 million average annual value on a contract that extends past this season. It’s also been previously reported that they might take on an expiring contract depending on what else is included in the return.

LeBrun considers the Ottawa Senators as the destination that makes the most sense to him for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. However, he’s not sure they’ll pay the Arizona Coyotes’ high asking price. He also wondered if the Los Angeles Kings might be a fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun continues playing well since his return from offseason wrist surgery with nine points in 11 games and a plus-minus of plus-five. Someone will step up before the trade deadline and meet the Coyotes’ asking price if he stays healthy and maintains that level of performance. Whether it’s the Senators or Kings remains to be seen.

The New York Rangers will have to improve if they hope to be an enticing destination for Patrick Kane, assuming the Chicago Blackhawks star agrees to be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s also assuming the Rangers can afford the Blackhawks’ asking price. They’ll likely want at least a first-round pick plus a top prospect or a good young NHL player as part of the return.

Michael Russo reported there’s chatter the Edmonton Oilers could be interested in Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Appearing on TSN’s “Insider Trading” on Thursday, Pierre LeBrun reported the Oilers have been internally discussing the merits of Klingberg and of Montreal Canadiens blueliner Joel Edmundson. He said the Canadiens aren’t looking to move Edmundson but could be willing to listen to offers.

Russo also believes the Florida Panthers don’t want to trade Anthony Duclair but might not have much choice if they can’t clear sufficient cap space for the winger’s return from a torn Achilles tendon.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2022

The latest trade speculation on the Canucks’ Brock Boeser plus some suggested trade targets for the Wild in today’s NHL Rumor mill.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports Brock Boeser’s future with the Vancouver Canucks remains murky.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

It was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Saturday that the 25-year-old winger’s agent has been given permission to speak with other clubs about a trade. Boeser’s agent, Ben Hankinson, declined to comment about the story as Jim Rutherford, the Canucks president of hockey operations.

Johnston believes a trade seems unlikely given Boeser’s $6.65 million annual salary through 2024-25 plus a tight salary-cap situation for most teams around the league. Nevertheless, the door remains open.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal report Boeser’s status on the trade block isn’t new. They indicate the winger has not asked to be moved. There’s no ill will between the player and management but rather a mutual agreement to see if there’s a fit for him elsewhere.

Drance and Dhaliwal indicate there’s an understanding among the front office that the return could be “relatively pedestrian” because of Boeser’s expensive contract, his concerning two-way play and his limited goal production this season. The move would be made to garner salary-cap flexibility. The same would apply to other expensive supporting players such as Tyler Myers, Tanner Pearson and Conor Garland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet whether Boeser’s agent is having any success drumming up potential trade partners. I daresay we’ll likely start hearing of possible suitors over the next week or two.

Boeser lacks no-trade protection, giving Canucks management plenty of options for potential destinations. However, Cap Friendly shows just three teams (Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks) have the cap space to take his cap hit. Those clubs are rebuilding and Boeser might not fit into their long-term plans.

A trade seems unlikely at this point in the season. Perhaps the market might open up as the schedule draws nearer to the March 3 trade deadline. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the type of deal that occurs in the offseason when clubs have more cap space and a willingness to spend on players like Boeser.


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Joe Smith discussed some possible trade targets for the Minnesota Wild to land another top-six forward.

Smith suggested the Chicago Blackhawks’ Max Domi or Andreas Athanasiou would be affordable rental players. The Florida Panthers could move Anthony Duclair to become cap compliant but has another year on his contract at $3 million. Russo also mentioned Duclair and wondered if they might look at Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan.

Russo and Smith also agree that this is Matt Dumba’s final season with the Wild. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. They believe general manager Bill Guerin could shop Dumba before the trade deadline even if they’re in the playoff race. However, his $6 million cap hit and modified no-trade clause could make him difficult to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin could explore Dumba’s value in the trade market before the deadline. The odds of moving him will be better if the Wild are out of postseason contention. He could dangle Dumba as trade bait for a scoring forward. However, Russo and Smith also observed the Wild could risk depleting the right side of their blueline by moving him.

Cap Friendly indicates the Wild will have over $10 million in projected trade deadline cap space with their current roster. Moving out the remainder of Dumba’s cap hit will free up additional room to perhaps add a top-six rental forward and bring in a right-side blueliner if necessary.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

A look at the early season trade targets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat top Frank Seravalli’s first list of trade targets for 2022-23. He pointed out there hasn’t been much talk about a contract extension between the pending free agent and Canucks management since prior to training camp. Seravalli suggests “Colorado, Detroit, Boston and Edmonton” among the clubs that could use a top-flight center like Horvat.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford is in no hurry to decide what to do with Horvat. That’s understandable since the trade deadline isn’t until March 3 so there’s no reason for Rutherford to rush into a decision regarding his captain at this point.

Nevertheless, the longer Horvat remains unsigned the more speculation over his future will increase as the trade deadline approaches. We’ll find out in due course if those clubs mentioned by Seravalli actually get into the bidding for the Canucks captain.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews sit second and third on Servalli’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli indicated the Blackhawks are expected to start a conversation with Kane in December to gauge his interest in a trade. He and Toews have complete control over their fates given their no-movement clauses.

Friedman wonders whether the Los Angeles Kings would make a pitch for Kane. He indicates they have the picks and prospects to make this move. Provided Kane is willing to accept a trade to Los Angeles, I question whether the Kings can comfortably afford to pick up the remainder of his $10.5 million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Anaheim Ducks blueliner John Klingberg sit fourth and fifth on this list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman reported the Coyotes are still asking for “two first-rounders (upcoming picks or recently-drafted prospects), plus something else.”

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Coyotes based their high asking price for Chychrun on what the Ducks received from the Boston Bruins last season for Hampus Lindholm. That package included a first-round pick and two second-rounders. He also cited the two first-round picks the Chicago Blackhawks received as part of the return from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Brandon Hagel deal.

As for Klingberg, Seravalli reminds us that the pending UFA’s no-trade clause is lifted on Jan. 1. We can expect to hear his name more frequently in trade rumors between New Year’s Day and March 3.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier, Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Sean Walker and Sharks rearguard Erik Karlsson fill positions six through 10.

Seravalli points out Meier’s expensive qualifying offer ($10 million) will have teams looking at him as a rental player than as a restricted free agent…Duclair is only on the list because the Panthers will have to shed salary when he’s ready to return from his offseason Achilles tear but he might not necessarily be the player who gets traded. He carries a $3 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier could be shopped unless he and the Sharks can agree to a new deal with a more affordable cap hit. Given his RFA status next summer, the Sharks can wait until the offseason to shop him if they don’t get any offers they like before the trade deadline.

As for Duclair, I think the Panthers intend to keep him after he rediscovered his game playing for them last season. They’ll have to shed around $3 million to become cap compliant.

Gavrikov is a pending UFA but I’m not convinced the Blue Jackets will move him unless contract talks go south before the trade deadline…Seravalli pointed out the Kings have a glut of defensemen. They don’t want to move Walker but he could be the odd man out given his injury history.

Karlsson would help any NHL club but, as Seravalli notes, his $11.5 million annual cap hit and full no-movement clause significantly limit the number of potential trade destinations. That could be a trade that happens in the offseason provided Karlsson is willing to waive his NMC and the Sharks retain a big chunk of his cap hit.

Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, Blackhawks winger Andreas Athanasiou, Coyotes blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere and Sharks goalie James Reimer coming in at spots 11 through 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roslovic’s inconsistency really hurts his trade value…The Capitals could peddle Jensen if they’re out of playoff contention leading up to the trade deadline. The same goes for Athanasiou and Reimer…I would place Gotisbehere higher on this list, perhaps in the bottom half of the top 10. The puck-moving defenseman had 51 points in 82 games last season on the offensively anemic Coyotes and has 10 points in 17 games this season. He should draw plenty of interest near the trade deadline from teams seeking offense from the blueline.

Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Blackhawks center Max Domi, New York Rangers winger Ryan Reaves, Canadiens center Sean Monahan and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen round out the remainder of this list.

If the Canucks continue to spiral they could start unloading expensive contracts like Boeser’s…Reaves has been a healthy scratch in recent games. The Rangers wouldn’t want much in return as they’d prefer the cap flexibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s a scoring threat when healthy but his injury history could make him difficult to move…Domi would draw interest from contenders seeking a versatile depth rental…Reaves’ toughness should make him an affordable and enticing option for contenders seeking postseason grit…Monahan’s having a solid season (11 points in 17 games) with the Canadiens and would make a good depth center on a playoff contender…Kapanen’s trade value is so low right now that the Penguins probably couldn’t give him away at this point.