Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 11, 2024

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 11, 2024

The Flames and Devils discussed Jacob Markstrom plus updates on the Bruins, Oilers and Sabres in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the respective general managers of the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils discussed Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom before the two clubs played each other last week. Neither team is commenting on this.

Friedman doesn’t know if this was ever taken to Markstrom, who is signed through 2025-26 with an average annual value of $6 million and a full no-movement clause. However, he believes the two sides held a serious discussion on the subject.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

Two issues were the Flames’ asking price and salary retention. Friedman heard that those were difficult to overcome and stopped the discussions, adding it seemed unlikely that those talks would resume.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols suggests plenty of time for things to change with the March 8 trade deadline over three weeks away. He indicated that Markstrom is already willing to waive his no-movement clause and it’s been reported he’d be interested in doing so for the Devils. However, it will only be talk unless the Flames and Devils can reach an agreement that both sides are comfortable with.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames aren’t going to give Markstrom away nor are they under any pressure to trade him. In an interview last week with Friedman’s colleague Eric Francis, the netminder said he hadn’t been asked to waive his clause nor is he going to request a trade. With Markstom signed for two more years, the Flames can wait until the offseason if they don’t get any suitable offers before March 8.

With Dougie Hamilton on LTIR for the rest of the regular season, the Devils have the cap room to take on Markstrom’s AAV. The problem, however, is what it’ll cost them next season.

Adding Markstrom’s full $6 million cap hit would push the Devils’ payroll to over $73 million invested in 15 players. That could make it difficult to re-sign or replace pending unrestricted free agent Tyler Toffoli, re-sign restricted free agent Dawson Mercer, fill out the remainder of the roster, and leave sufficient cap room to address any issues that arise next season.

That would explain why cap retention became one of the sticking points mentioned by Friedman. The Flames probably aren’t receptive to that unless the Devils make it worth their while with a significant return.

Speaking of the Flames, Friedman cited defensemen Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin being among four players currently holding up the trade market along with Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel and Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique.

Hanifin has had contract extension talks with the Flames. Until he signs, however, teams still consider him as being available.

Teams that could be waiting on Tanev and Hanifin include teams seeking blueline depth like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars. Friedman also said he’s heard the Edmonton Oilers are among the clubs with eyes on Guentzel. He thinks the Penguins are willing to see how the month plays out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, the teams holding those players can afford to be patient. Friedman also noted that some clubs can’t or won’t pay the asking prices for those players and could look at more affordable options.


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa looked at what the Boston Bruins might do leading up to the March 8 trade deadline.

Given the high cost of acquiring a second-line center for now and the future, they could instead consider adding an impact winger. They probably couldn’t afford someone like Jake Guentzel but could instead look at more affordable options like Ottawa’s Vladimir Tarasenko, San Jose’s Anthony Duclair and Detroit’s David Perron.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss also had Duclair on his list. He also suggested they look at adding a forward who can play center or wing such as Anaheim’s Adam Henrique, Minnesota’s Brandon Duhaime, Arizona’s Liam O’Brien, and Washington’s Nic Dowd.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goss admits acquiring Henrique could be difficult for the cap-strapped Bruins given the forward’s $5.8 million cap hit. Even if Anaheim retains half, the Bruins still might have to send some salary to the Ducks. The Bruins would likely face the same issue with Tarasenko ($5 million) and Perron ($4.75 million).

If the Bruins make an addition or two at the trade deadline it’ll likely be more affordable options than Henrique, perhaps one of those on Goss’ list.


EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson tweeted that Oilers GM Ken Holland has long liked Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron. He’s slated to become a UFA this summer but the Wings would have to retain half of his $4.75 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming Perron is available. The Red Wings are jockeying for one of the two wild-card berths in the Eastern Conference. I don’t see Detroit GM Steve Yzerman trading away Perron if his club is in the chase for its first playoff appearance in eight years unless it’s for a better player. If anything, Yzerman could become a buyer by the deadline.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Buffalo Sabres are seeking help that improve their team now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a rumor flying around that the Sabres were actively shopping center Casey Mittelstadt and wanted a goaltender in return. The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski downplayed that speculation but his tweet is no longer available. However, in a reply to one of his followers regarding the Mittelstadt rumor, Lysowski tweeted they listen when teams make calls but they’re not shopping the 25-year-old center.

NHL Rumor Mill – February 10, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – February 10, 2024

The Sabres are rumored to be shopping Casey Mittelstadt, speculation over Max Pacioretty’s future, two Canadian clubs could have an interest in Alexandre Carrier, plus the latest on the Flyers and Sharks in the NHL Rumor Mill.


AFTER THE WHISTLE: Andrew Peters said Friday that he’d heard “from a very reliable source” that Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is “shopping Casey Mittelstadt hard” because he doesn’t want to pay the 25-year-old forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mittelstadt is slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1. He’s in the final season of a three-year contract with an average annual value of $2.5 million. The versatile forward enjoyed a 59-point breakout performance last season and currently leads the Sabres in scoring with 42 points in 50 games.

Buffalo Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt (NHL Images).

Peters’ source didn’t know what Adams’ asking price would be for Mittelstadt but indicated that he’s looking for a goaltender. “They don’t trust the three that they have,” said Peters.

SPORTSNET: On Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman talked about Mittelstadt’s contract situation. He believes Mittelstadt would not be happy not to get a lucrative new contract when several other teammates did. “If you’re not going to pay him, you almost have to move him.”

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Bailey cited Peters’ claiming the Sabres are shopping Mittelstadt. He believes the Flyers should pursue him and suggested offering up right-shot defenseman Sean Walker as part of the return.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Evan Rawal also noted Peters’ report about Mittelstadt. He believes the Sabres forward would be a good candidate for the Avalanche’s second-line center position. However, a young forward under team control for a few more years would be expensive to acquire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: ESPN’s Kevin Weekes last month suggested Mittelstadt could be available if Adams didn’t want to sign him to a long-term extension. He shrugged off the speculation while Adams has not spoken about it.

Mittelstadt will draw plenty of interest in the trade market if Adams is indeed peddling him. Finding a reliable, established starting goaltender, however, won’t be easy as the pickings are slim right now.

Maybe Adams could offer up Mittelstadt to the Calgary Flames for Jacob Markstrom provided the latter would waive his no-movement clause to go to Buffalo. Perhaps a deal could be made with the Nashville Predators for Juuse Saros provided he’s willing to sign a contract extension on July 1. Anaheim Ducks starter John Gibson’s been a fixture in the rumor mill stretching back to last season but the Sabres could be on his 10-team no-trade list.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun speculated the Washington Capitals could become sellers if they don’t gain ground soon in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Their pending unrestricted free agents include Anthony Mantha, Joel Edmundson and Max Pacioretty.

Pacioretty carries a full no-movement clause giving him and his agent complete control over his situation. However, LeBrun believes he could waive it for the right fit and a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

LeBrun thinks Mantha could be difficult to move even with retaining some salary. Edmundson’s playoff pedigree, meanwhile, could make him enticing to a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty is on a one-year deal with a base salary of $2 million plus another $2 million in performance bonuses. The six-time 30-goal scorer has seven points in 14 games thus far in his comeback with the Capitals.


SPORTSNET: In Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek talked about possible trade-deadline moves for the Philadelphia Flyers.

They believe they are contemplating retaining Sean Walker and moving Rasmus Ristolainen. The latter would be easier to trade in the offseason for financial as well as hockey reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen, 29, lacks no-trade protection but carries a $5.1 million AAV through 2026-27. He would be easier to move this summer when teams have more money to absorb that type of cap hit. However, he could still be a difficult sell unless the Flyers are willing to retain some salary.

They also believe Scott Laughton’s time with the Flyers could be drawing to a close. It could happen at the trade deadline or in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laughton, 29, is a versatile two-way forward who can play center or wing. He carries an affordable $3 million AAV through 2025-26 and lacks a no-trade clause. He could attract a fair bit of interest in the trade market.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli suggesting Mikael Granlund might fetch the best return for the San Jose Sharks in the trade market.

Peng noted that the 29-year-old two-way center has bounced back this season with 29 points in 38 games. He carries a $5 million AAV through next season and lacks no-trade protection.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Julian Gaudio cited The Fourth Period recently claiming the Vegas Golden Knights are interested in Anthony Duclair.

The 28-year-old Sharks winger has just 17 points in 46 games this season with San Jose but was a productive middle-six forward for the Florida Panthers during their run to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. He’s in the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $3 million.

Gaudio’s colleague Max Miller cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting there are teams with an interest in Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen. The pending UFA has put up good underlying numbers this season but doesn’t have a resume in high-pressure games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the three, Duclair seems the more likely to move given his cap hit and his performance in last year’s playoffs.

Granlund’s cap hit remains difficult to move unless the Sharks retain part of it. Having used up two of their three salary-retention slots on Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, I doubt they’ll keep any part of Granlund’s cap hit to facilitate a trade.

Kahkonen’s inexperience in playoff action will be an issue for contenders shopping for goaltending depth.


NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Michael Gallagher recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondering if the Edmonton Oilers might be looking at Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier as a trade option. Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Thomas Drance recently mentioned Carrier as a trade target for the Vancouver Canucks.

Gallagher noted that Predators GM Barry Trotz isn’t necessarily shopping Carrier but is willing to listen to trade offers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carrier could be an attractive option for contenders with limited cap space looking for an affordable defenseman. He carries a $2.5 million cap hit, lacks a no-trade clause and is slated to become a UFA this summer.

Gallagher also noted the Predators are trying to move blueliner Tyson Barrie following his trade request back in December.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2024

The Bruins shut out the Canucks in the battle of the league’s top teams, the Hurricanes’ Martin Necas nets a quick hat trick, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Two shorthanded first-period goals by Brad Marchand and Danton Heinen powered the Boston Bruins to a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the battle of the league’s top-two teams. Linus Ullmark made 17 saves for the shutout while David Pastrnak, Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle each had two points for the 32-10-9 Bruins, who sit first in the Eastern Conference and sit second in the overall standings with 73 points. The Canucks (73 points) maintain first overall with two more victories (34-12-5) than the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet summed it up best following this game when he said the Bruins’ best players turned up to play while those on his club did not. Giving up two shorthanded goals in the first period put the Canucks on the back foot for the rest of the game.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas (NHL Images).

A natural hat trick by Martin Necas in the opening 16:51 carried the Carolina Hurricanes over the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Teuvo Teravainen collected four assists for the Hurricanes (29-16-5) as they sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 63 points. Zach Parise scored his first goal of the season for the 32-16-4 Avalanche as they remain in second place in the Central Division with 68 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta with a lower-body injury while defenseman Brett Pesce missed this game due to illness. Meanwhile, Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was held scoreless and remains in second place in the NHL scoring race with 85 points.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny had a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist and a fight) in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets, leaving the latter winless in five games (0-4-1). Samuel Ersson stopped 28 shots while Ryan Poehling had a goal and an assist for the 27-19-6 Flyers, who remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 60 points. Kyle Connor scored for the Jets (30-14-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 65 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Less than a month ago, the Jets were jockeying for first place in the overall standings. There’s plenty of time for them to pull out of this current skid but this is reminiscent of last season when the Jets stumbled down the stretch following a strong first half of the season and barely made the playoffs.

The Florida Panthers doubled up the Washington Capitals 4-2 on third-period goals by Ryan Lomberg and Eetu Luostarinen. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists for the Panthers (32-15-4), who sit in second place in the Eastern Conference with 68 points. Alex Ovechkin netted his 11th goal of the season for the 22-20-7 Capitals, who are winless in their last six games (0-5-1).

New York Islanders forwards Bo Horvat and Mathew Barzal each had a goal and an assist to thump the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2. Ilya Sorokin turned aside 18 shots for the 22-17-12 Islanders (56 points) as they sit two points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Nikita Kucherov scored for Tampa Bay (27-20-5) as he holds a two-point lead over Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in the scoring race with 87 points. The Lightning hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev could be out for the season after undergoing surgery on Thursday to repair a fractured tibia and fibula in his left leg suffered during Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers.

A three-goal first period enabled the Vegas Golden Knights to hold off the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 3-2. Jonathan Marchessault and Nicolas Hague scored 58 seconds apart for the Golden Knights (31-15-6), who sit second in the Pacific Division with 68 points. Connor Ingram got the hook after giving up three goals on six shots for the 23-23-9 Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton returned to action after missing nearly three months with an upper-body injury.

The Calgary Flames kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Jacob Markstrom kicked out 37 shots, Connor Zary and Andrew Mangiapane each had a goal and an assist and Andrei Kuzmenko tallied his second goal in as many games with the Flames (24-22-5) as they sit one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points. Ondrej Palat tallied twice and Jesper Bratt had three assists for the 25-21-3 Devils (53 points) as they sit five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot.


STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Justin Faulk and Scott Perunovich are listed as week-to-week with lower-body injuries.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Mason Marchment was fined $5,000 by the NHL department of player safety for interference against Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe on Wednesday.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Jake Sanderson is expected to miss Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs with a lower-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: San Jose Sharks winger Anthony Duclair recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new outdoor synthetic ice surface on the campus of Boyd H. Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.

USA HOCKEY: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin has been named the GM of Team USA for the NHL’s 2025 4 Nations Face-off tournament and the 2026 Winter Olympics.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL defenseman Janne Niinimaa was recently found guilty by a Helsinki court of tax fraud for failing to report over 300,000 euros in earnings from the United States in 2020. It was determined that he still owes nearly 55,000 euros in income tax in his native Finland. Niinimaa, 48, received a four-month suspended sentence and must pay those back taxes as well as cover the court costs and pay a standard crime victim fee.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 29, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 29, 2023

Check out the latest on the Bruins and Canadiens in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy acknowledged it’s no secret the Bruins could use a bonafide top-six center/rugged winger and another defenseman. However, those players could further deplete the Bruins of draft picks and prospects.

With the Bruins performing better than expected in what is considered a bridge year for the club, Murphy suggested it might be better if general manager Don Sweeney waits until the offseason to pursue players like Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin.

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney (

Lindholm and Hanifin are both eligible to become unrestricted free agents in July if they don’t sign contract extensions with the Flames before then. Sweeney would have around $28 million in cap space to pursue such players without having to part with draft picks and prospects.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Bruins need a scoring winger with Jake DeBrusk struggling this season. He agrees that pursuing someone such as Lindholm could be beyond the Bruins’ means in this season’s trade market.

The price of acquiring a winger, however, wouldn’t be so costly. Shinzawa noted that the San Jose Sharks’ Anthony Duclair, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Tyler Johnson, and the Anaheim Ducks’ Adam Henrique could become available as rental players by the March 8 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney could try to make another big splash or two near the trade deadline to go all-in for another deep playoff run. However, as Murphy and Shinzawa point out, they lack the salary-cap space as well as depth in quality draft picks and prospects to win bidding wars for guys like Lindholm and Hanifin.

That doesn’t mean Sweeney will sit on his hands by the trade deadline. I expect he’ll try to make an affordable move or two. His big moves could come in the summer when he’ll have the cap room to bring in some long-term veteran talent.

SPORTSNET: In this week’s mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked which defenseman the Montreal Canadiens could move to clear their logjam on the blueline. They have promising prospects Lane Hutson and David Reinbacher in their pipeline plus they’ll soon need to reintegrate Jordan Harris and Arber Xhekaj into the lineup.

As soon as Harris returns, Engels believes trading or waiving Gustav Lindstrom feels like the first step. After that, he thinks they’ll have to seriously consider moving David Savard. While the 33-year-old Savard remains valuable to the rebuilding Canadiens, his value in the trade market could be too high to ignore. He has a year remaining on his contract with an affordable $3.5 million cap hit.

Turning to the forwards, Engels doesn’t see the Canadiens trading winger Josh Anderson. He doesn’t rule out trading center Sean Monahan by the deadline as he could fetch a first-round pick or a quality prospect.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring injuries, Monahan and Savard are my candidates most likely to be traded this season by the Canadiens. I’m not sure if either guy can land a first-round pick but one should never underestimate the willingness of desperate general managers to overpay for help near the trade deadline.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 3, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 3, 2023

Which clubs might target the Predators’ Tyson Barrie? Could the Oilers look into signing Corey Perry? Are the Leafs trying to land a Flames defenseman? What’s the latest on the Sharks? Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported the Nashville Predators have given permission Tyson Barrie and his agent permission to speak with other clubs about a possible trade. The 32-year-old defenseman was a healthy scratch from Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers. He is 10 games away from 800 career contests and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Michael Gallagher looked at four clubs who might pursue a trade for Barrie. The blueliner’s former club, the Edmonton Oilers, topped the list as Gallagher believes reacquiring Barrie would improve the defense in front of their struggling goalies.

Nashville Predators defenseman Tyson Barrie (NHL Images)

The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders could use more offense from the blueline. Another of Barrie’s former teams is the Toronto Maple Leafs, who could use a right-hand shot on their injury-ravaged defense corps with John Klingberg on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Never say never but I doubt the Oilers or Leafs are interested in bringing back Barrie. The Oilers need a skilled shutdown defenseman while Barrie struggled to find chemistry with the Leafs during his only season in Toronto.

The Devils could be an option with Dougie Hamilton sidelined but they could continue trying out promising call-up Simon Nemec. While the Isles could use more production from their defense, they might not be enamored with his defensive game.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson assumes Oilers general manager Ken Holland is checking in on Corey Perry, whose contract was terminated last week by the Chicago Blackhawks for unacceptable workplace conduct. He also believes the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers could be doing the same as they need role-player help.

Matheson pointed out that Holland went out on a limb to sign Evander Kane despite his off-ice baggage. That deal turned into a home run for the Oilers.

The Oilers GM will have to wait until Perry’s completed his substance abuse treatment and will fully investigate why the Blackhawks terminated his contract. If it’s not a serious impediment, Matheson thinks Holland could be all-in on signing him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry doesn’t face any criminal charges nor is there any indication he broke the law in what was described as an “alcohol-fueled” situation during a gathering of Blackhawks team employees and corporate partners. He’s also under no suspension by the league and can sign with any club if he wants to return to action.

Perry has a long and productive career, garnering a well-earned reputation as a leader and shift disturber who always elevates his play in the postseason. It wouldn’t be surprising if he lands with another NHL club before the March 8 trade deadline.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs attempted to acquire Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames before Zadorov was traded last week to the Vancouver Canucks.

According to Friedman, the potential deal fell apart because the two sides couldn’t agree on what it would cost the Flames to retain up to 50 percent of the salaries of both players. “The two sides couldn’t figure out that compensation, in addition to just the compensation for the players.”

The Leafs are still searching for help on the blueline. Friedman indicated their preference is for a right-handed shot. He believes they could still be in on Tanev but he has a larger cap hit ($4.5 million) than Zadorov.

Earlier yesterday, Friedman’s colleague Luke Fox opined for the Leafs to continue their pursuit of a Toronto homecoming for Tanev, who will likely be more in demand than Zadorov. He’s a right-shot who could skate alongside Morgan Rielly or Jake McCabe and help improve the Leafs’ penalty kill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are still awaiting clarification on John Klingberg’s status regarding his hip ailment. He’s currently on long-term injury reserve but there’s no indication yet how long he’ll be sidelined. If he needs season-ending surgery, it’ll ensure they have the cap space for the remainder of this season to acquire someone like Tanev.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the San Jose Sharks have let it be known that they will consider a lot on the blueline in terms of who might be available and what they’re willing to do. He believes teams will be most interested in Mario Ferraro, who has two more seasons left on his contract with a $3.25 million annual cap hit. Friedman doesn’t think he’s off the table at this time.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Lizz Child recently noted The Athletic has Sharks winger Anthony Duclair, goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and forward Alexander Barabanov among their top-25 trade candidates. She also pointed out that Daily Faceoff has wingers Mike Hoffman and Kevin Labanc among their top 20 trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Other than Ferraro, the rest are eligible for UFA status next summer. The Sharks could retain Ferraro and perhaps even Duclair and Kahkonen if those two are willing to stay if their asking price is reasonable. On the other hand, this is a rebuilding club that’s on the lookout for offers of solid returns that will help them build up their long-term future.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2023

Possible destinations for Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov following his trade request and some recent Sharks speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s the big question following last night’s report that Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov requested a trade through his agent. So, let’s dive in and see…

TSN: Pierre LeBrun confirmed the report by ESPN’s Kevin Weekes that Zadorov requested a trade through his agent Dan Milstein yesterday. His camp is hoping for a quick resolution.

Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov (NHL Images).

Chris Johnston reports the pending unrestricted free-agent defenseman would welcome a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before Weekes’ report of Zadorov’s request broke, Sportsnet’s Luke Fox and The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel included him among three Flames defensemen they felt the Leafs should target in the trade market. The others were Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev, who are also slated to become UFAs next summer.

They agree that Hanifin would be the most expensive to acquire. He and Tanev also have modified no-trade clauses with Hanifin having an eight-team no-trade list and Tanev having 10 teams on his.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols cited a source saying Zadorov would welcome a trade to the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bidding war! Well, that’s what the Flames will hope for given Zadorov’s lack of no-trade protection and his reasonable $3.75 million cap hit for this season. They’ll ship him to the team that will give them the best return.

THE ATHLETIC: Julian McKenzie wonders what the Flames’ asking price will be for Zadorov. Given the club’s intent to get younger and their need for speed and skill, McKenzie speculates they could obtain draft picks or a young prospect for Zadorov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils’ deep prospect pool gives them an advantage over the Leafs in that regard. Cap space, however, will be a sticking point for both clubs.

The Flames might have to retain salary or take back a player with a comparable cap hit to make this work for the Leafs or Devils. It’ll be interesting to see if other clubs get into the bidding here.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently observed that the San Jose Sharks had hoped pending UFAs Mike Hoffman, Anthony Duclair and Kevin Labanc would be of interest to playoff contenders as trade-deadline rentals. However, they’re off to terrible starts and would have zero value at the moment.

If the Flames felt their season was salvageable, Duhatschek wondered if they might acquire Duclair and reunite him with Jonathan Huberdeau. The duo developed some offensive chemistry during their time with the Florida Panthers.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Max Miller reported Sharks general manager Mike Grier wasn’t worried about the trade value of those on expiring contracts. “I think all those guys have a pretty good track record of who they are and producing and things like that,” he said.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli noted that the Sharks need to figure out where high-price forwards like Tomas Hertl and captain Logan Couture fit into the club’s future.

Seravalli noted there will only be room to move one of them if they need to retain salary to facilitate a trade. They only have one salary-retention spot left after using two of them on Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. Servalli speculates that Hertl could generate more interest than Couture.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no indication Hertl and/or Couture want out of San Jose. However, Grier said back in September that he would listen if they asked to be moved and explore that option if it made sense for the team.

The most likely trade candidates remain those pending free agents. Of those three, Duclair has the most value given his 31-goal season in 2021-22 and his solid performance during the Panthers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final last spring.