NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023

Check out the latest on Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Bo Horvat, and Matt Dumba plus updates on the Red Wings and Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting Erik Karlsson might not be a member of the Sharks by next season. Appearing on the Got Yer Back podcast, LeBrun felt if the 32-year-old defenseman gets traded it’ll be in June when teams have more salary cap flexibility.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Miller also noted LeBrun recently interviewed Karlsson, who carries an $11.5 million salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a full no-movement clause. The blueliner said he and his family are happy in San Jose but he still wants to play for a winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s not the only pundit who thinks a Karlsson trade won’t happen until the offseason. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen said the same thing during a recent mailbag segment. I’ve also said that a summer deal seems more likely than an in-season one because of his hefty cap hit and his no-movement clause.

Meanwhile, Sheng Peng cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying the Sharks could let teams talk to Timo Meier’s agent about a contract extension if they get a trade proposal they like. Friedman believes the 26-year-old winger could be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, citing the aggressiveness of Sharks management and their willingness to do business.

Meier is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. He’ll be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility and will cost the Sharks $10 million to qualify his rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A trade proposal they like is something that will help them immediately as well as in the long term. A good young NHL player and a high-end prospect likely have to be part of the offer for Meier.

The Sharks could move Meier by the trade deadline but they aren’t under pressure to do so. They can afford to wait until the summer if they don’t get any offers they like by March 3.


SPORTSNET: During Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he believed interest in Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat intensified this week. He also indicated that the Canucks haven’t given interested clubs permission to speak with Horvat’s agent about a new contract. The 27-year-old center is eligible for UFA status on July 1.

Friedman also rattled off a list of several potential suitors for Horvat. He believes the Seattle Kraken, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils could have varying degrees of interest.

He’s not sure about the Carolina Hurricanes as they don’t do rental players but he’s not ruling them out. He also considers the Tampa Bay Lightning as a wild card.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat carries a reasonable $5.5 million cap hit. Nevertheless, clubs like the Bruins, Devils and Lightning could find it difficult to acquire him because of their limited cap space. The Hurricanes could be interested now that Max Pacioretty is done for the season, giving them $7 million of LTIR cap space if needed to make an addition or two at the trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s decision to scratch Matt Dumba for the second straight game is sparking speculation that a trade could be in the works, among other theories. However, the club insists they’re not working on moving the 28-year-old defenseman.

Smith writes the decision to scratch Dumba remains performance-based. He also indicates that there’s no guarantee the blueliner will be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, claiming there hasn’t been a lot of interest. Most teams are capped out, Dumba has struggled at times this season and there are other notable blueliners in this season’s trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Senators reportedly scouted Dumba earlier this month. However, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes the blueliner’s recent scratch from the lineup isn’t a good sign. He also noted that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion took in the recent game between the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, pointing out the Kings could be willing to move one of their right-shot defensemen.


DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen looked at which Red Wings could be on the move if GM Steve Yzerman becomes a seller at the trade deadline. Tyler Bertuzzi seems the most likely trade candidate if the pending UFA isn’t signed by March 3. However, Allen doesn’t expect center Dylan Larkin to be moved even if he remains unsigned by the deadline.

Other trade candidates could include forward Adam Erne, defenseman Olli Maatta, goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Pius Suter and blueliner Jake Walman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Larkin’s contract talks break down completely I’ll be surprised if the Wings trade their captain. I believe there remains a genuine desire on both sides to hammer out an agreement before July 1.

As for the rest, they won’t all be traded. Nevertheless, I can see Bertuzzi and Nedeljkovic getting shopped.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito still believes his struggling club has a shot at reaching the playoffs. At the moment, the Panthers are in no man’s land as they’re neither buyers nor sellers at this point. The next six weeks will determine which direction they go.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2023

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallies his 500th goal, Erik Karlsson leads the Sharks to an upset win over the Stars, the Canadiens hope to re-sign Cole Caufield to a long-term contract, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored his 500th career goal with a hat-trick performance in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (29-13-1, 59 points), who sit two points behind the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division. J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes each had two points for the Canucks as they slipped to 18-23-3 on the season.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos also reached the 20-goal plateau for the 13th time in his 15-season NHL career. He’s the third active player to score 500 career goals, joining Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (810) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (538).

The San Jose Sharks overcame a 3-0 deficit to upset the Dallas Stars 5-3. Erik Karlsson led the way for the Sharks (14-23-9) with a goal and three assists while James Reimer made 33 saves. Jason Robertson scored his 30th goal of the season for the Stars (26-13-7) as they remain stuck in second place in the Central Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson also set a Stars record by becoming the fastest Dallas player to reach 30 goals in a season (46 games), breaking Mike Modano’s previous record of 30 in 48 games in 1993-94.

The league-leading Boston Bruins (35-5-4) picked up their third straight victory with a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist while Linus Ullmark kicked out 25 shots for the Bruins. With 74 points, they hold a 12-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings. The Islanders dropped to 23-19-4 (50 points) to sit one point back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Ottawa Senators on an overtime goal by Brady Tkachuk, who finished the night with four points. Thomas Chabot collected three assists as the Senators improved to 20-21-3. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had three-point performances for the 22-15-7 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins recently moved defenseman Kris Letang to injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 28. Meanwhile, the Senators placed blueliner Artem Zub (lower body) on IR.

Colorado Avalanche forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Mikko Rantanen each scored twice to douse the Calgary Flames 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists for the fourth straight game while Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 34 shots as the Avalanche (23-17-3, 49 points) move to within two points of the Flames (21-16-9, 51 points) for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche played this game without defenseman Cale Makar, who is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Avs blueliners Erik Johnson skated in his 900th career NHL game.


SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said his club hopes to sign Cole Caufield to a long-term contract during his midseason state-of-the-franchise press conference on Wednesday. The 22-year-old sophomore winger leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 45 games this season. He’s in the final season of his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield is going to get a significant pay raise. It’s just a question of how much his average annual value will be.

The Canadiens could prefer signing Caufield to between $7.5 million and $8 million annually to keep his salary within range of linemate Nick Suzuki’s $7.875 million AAV. Caufield’s agent, however, could seek between $9 million and $10 million annually, especially if the young winger reaches 50 goals this season.

TSN: The Canadiens also announced rookie winger Juraj Slavkovsky has been sidelined for three months with a lower-body injury that won’t require surgery. Forward Jake Evans (lower body) will miss eight to 10 weeks.

Forwards Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia are both out until the All-Star break with upper-body injuries. Meanwhile, goaltender Jake Allen (upper body) will be sidelined for at least a week.

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres placed forward Vinnie Hinostroza on waivers. The Nashville Predators also placed forward Mike McCarron on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres had been trying to trade Hinostroza. McCarron recently received clearance to return to action after completing a stint in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.

NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings acquired center Jasper Weatherby from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Kyle Criscuolo. Weatherby, 24, played 50 games with the Sharks last season.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 17, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 17, 2023

Changes are coming for the Canucks plus the latest on Erik Karlsson, John Klingberg, Jakob Chychrun and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE PROVINCE/THE ATHLETIC: Ben Kuzma and Harman Dayal. reports Jim Rutherford, the Vancouver Canucks president of hockey, indicated big changes are coming for the roster during a press conference on Monday to address the state of the franchise.

We have to do major surgery,” said Rutherford. He declined to call it a rebuild but felt it would be a retooling.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford’s toeing the company line with that comment. Team owner Francesco Aquilini is reportedly dead set against rebuilding the roster.

He indicated that the club is stuck right now with contracts that they can’t move. “Until we move those out, or until they expire, it’s going to be hard to make changes. He also warned that some of the changes won’t be popular.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzma believes that last comment refers to team captain Bo Horvat. The 27-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July and has become the subject of trade rumors after reportedly rejecting the Canucks’ contract offer earlier in the season.

Rutherford said the Canucks offer to Horvat was fair up to what he’s done in 2022-23 but it’s under market value for his performance this season. The center is on pace to score over 50 goals for the first time in his career.

It’s believed the Canucks can’t or won’t exceed J.T. Miller’s seven-year, $56 million contract in their dealings with Horvat. He could end up shopped by the March 3 trade deadline if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a new deal.

Kuzma and Dayal both believe overpaying for Horvat will make it difficult to re-sign pending UFA winger Andrei Kuzmenko. Rutherford said they’ve recently opened contract talks with the 26-year-old winger.

Canucks fans hoping for Rutherford to trade Miller and re-sign Horvat are going to be disappointed. Rutherford pointed out the value of retaining players such as Miller. He also wasn’t concerned about how his contract could affect the Canucks over the long term because of the anticipated rise in the salary cap in the near future, which he believes could reach $90 million to $95 million. In the short term, however, Dayal pointed out that Miller’s deal is already having an impact on the Canucks because it’s hampering their efforts to re-sign Horvat.

Dayal also reported that Rutherford is willing to consider buying out contracts if they can’t move them via trade. While they can provide some short-term relief, Dayal noted that they come at a future cost, pointing out that a buyout of Oliver Ekman-Larsson would leave dead cap space on the Canucks’ books until 2031. I think Rutherford could be looking at someone with a year or two left on their contract like defenseman Tyler Myers.

Kuzma also wondered what Rutherford’s plans are for Brock Boeser. The winger’s agent has permission to speak with other clubs but his lack of production and league-wide salary-cap problems make it difficult to move Boeser’s $6.65 million cap hit.

Rutherford didn’t address Boeser’s situation but made a general statement that a player’s performance dictates his trade value. Even then, Rutherford indicated that a contract could still be tough to move if an interested club lacks the cap space to acquire him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford might have an easier time moving Boeser if he agreed to retain part of his cap hit. However, that’s a scenario he reportedly doesn’t want to do. It’s my belief the earliest Boeser gets moved is in the offseason when clubs have more cap room to work with and a greater willingness to make significant trades.

Talking about his trade plans, Rutherford said that he won’t necessarily seek draft picks in return. Instead, he prefers bringing in young players from other clubs that didn’t work out with their entry-level contracts and giving them a second chance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzma speculates the Canucks could target someone like the New York Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere. Dayal, however, is skeptical whether that’s a workable strategy, suggesting recent reclamation projects like Ethan Bear, Travis Dermott, Jack Studnicka and Riley Stillman haven’t done much to improve the club.

Rutherford didn’t say much about the future of head coach Bruce Boudreau as rumors swirl that he could be replaced by Rick Tocchet. He admitted he’s spoken with some potential coaching candidates going back a couple of months. “All I can say is Bruce is our coach right now,” said Rutherford.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hardly a ringing endorsement or a vote of confidence for Boudreau by Rutherford. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman observed, it appears Boudreau will remain the Canucks coach until they’ve found a suitable replacement.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks had “legit conversations” about Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he doesn’t think it got to the point where it got to Karlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Friedman means that it didn’t reach the point where the Sharks felt talks reached the stage where Karlsson would have to be asked to waive his no-movement clause to go to Edmonton.

Friedman also said he felt last summer that there was a high probability of Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg ending up with the Oilers. The blueliner was interested in Edmonton at the time but the salary-cap pieces couldn’t fit. Friedman no longer expects Klingberg will join the Oilers but expects he’ll be moved by the March 3 trade deadline.

Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin is only interested in a trade that will improve his club or provide him assets that he can use in another deal. Friedman isn’t sure Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun would make sense for the Wild as a potential replacement for Matt Dumba given their salary-cap concerns after this season.

The Ottawa Senators are considering rental defensemen. It would give them an opportunity to evaluate someone they’d like to re-sign plus they want to finish as strong as possible for their players and their fans.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2023

Have the Sharks set an asking price for Erik Karlsson? Are teams calling about Timo Meier? Will the Wild trade Matt Dumba? What’s the latest on the Panthers and Penguins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited Edmonton Oilers color commentator Bob Stauffer saying he’s heard the Sharks seek three first-round picks for Erik Karlsson. Stauffer also said they would retain 18 percent of the 32-year-old defenseman’s $11.5 million cap hit through 2026-27.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Peng believes the Sharks asking for three first-rounder seemed wild. He checked with his sources and they’ve heard nothing about this. “That doesn’t seem like a serious request if you want to trade Karlsson,” writes Peng. “Even getting a single first-rounder seems questionable, unless the Sharks retain a lot more than 18 percent, all things considered.”

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports Sharks general manager Mike Grier declined to get into his asking price for Karlsson. He didn’t consider Stauffer’s report to be totally accurate.

Whatever his price would be, Grier said it would have to be a return that makes the Sharks stronger in the future and gives them the ability to turn things around quickly. He also said he’s not in any hurry to move a defenseman who’s currently on pace for 100 points this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To be fair to Stauffer, what he heard may have been Grier’s initial ask or perhaps it was speculation from a Sharks source. Three first-rounders for a defenseman at Karlsson’s stage of his career is pretty steep despite his performance this season. Retaining only 18 percent of his cap hit means that an interested club has to pick up around $9.5 million annually for the next four seasons.

I don’t doubt that Grier’s getting calls about Karlsson. However, I don’t think this is a trade that happens this season given the limited cap space among potential suitors that Karlsson would consider acceptable trade destinations. It seems like it would have to be a three-team deal to spread the dollars around. That might be easier to pull off during the offseason.

Grier also told Pashelka that he’s had some preliminary discussions with Timo Meier’s agent regarding a new contract, although there’s been nothing substantial yet regarding offers and counteroffers.

Meier, 26, is a restricted free agent this summer. He carries an annual cap hit of $6 million but is earning $10 million this season in actual salary. That’s what it’ll cost the Sharks to qualify his rights unless he agrees to accept a new contract with a lower average annual value.

Grier indicated Meier is another player that other GMs have inquired about this season. However, he’s indicated he’s had some good talks with the winger regarding his situation and the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier’s unique situation could also make him a rental player for playoff contenders if they’re unable or unwilling to re-sign him to an AAV of $10 million.

With Meier and Karlsson, Grier isn’t facing pressure to move one or both by the trade deadline. Given their respective contract statuses, he can wait until the offseason to see how things shake out.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports sources claimed that the Ottawa Senators have an interest in Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. The Wild aren’t sure they want to risk losing the pending unrestricted free agent for nothing this summer. Minnesota GM Bill Guerin is said to be open to a deal even though his club is in a playoff position.

Garrioch also reports the Wild are among the teams that have contacted the Arizona Coyotes about blueliner Jakob Chychrun. He speculates that might be the reason why Guerin is open to trading Dumba. If he can get a quality asset for Dumba, he could include it in an offer for Chychrun or another defenseman on the market.

SPORTSNET (Stick tap to NHL Watcher): On his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said Guerin isn’t going to move Dumba just to get something for the pending UFA defenseman.

Friedman said the Wild believe they can win the Stanley Cup this season. Guerin won’t do anything that will weaken the team. The Senators and Vancouver Canucks have called about Dumba but there’s nothing close.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t fully dismiss the notion of Guerin trading Dumba based on the scenario envisioned by Garrioch. Still, it won’t be an easy move to make, especially if he’s planning on going after Chychrun.

Dumba’s 10-team no-trade clause can also be a sticking point. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still with the Wild following the March 3 trade deadline.


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards believes the Panthers could become sellers by this season’s trade deadline if they’re not in playoff position by that point.

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Panthers GM Bill Zito has a “deal in his pocket” to trade Sam Reinhart and/or Sam Bennett. However, Richards writes that there’s nothing in the works regarding either forward. He also indicated management doesn’t have a firm plan yet regarding the trade deadline.

If the Panthers become sellers, Richards anticipates pending UFAs like Eric and Marc Staal and Patric Hornqvist could be shopped. He wondered if they would trade or attempt to re-sign pending UFA defenseman Radko Gudas.

There’s been whispers the Panthers could trade Anthony Duclair once he’s ready to return to action from an offseason Achilles injury. However, Richards said Duclair enjoys playing for the Panthers and they want to keep him. With a year remaining on his contract worth $3 million, it would be surprising if the winger got traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers will be worth monitoring over the next four-to-six weeks. They could become sellers and perhaps they would shed Reinhart or Bennett to free up some much-needed cap space and restock their prospect pipeline.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski believes the Penguins’ primary concern approaching the trade deadline is adding a third-line center.

Potential trade targets could include Anaheim’s Adam Henrique, San Jose’s Nick Bonino, Arizona’s Travis Boyd, and perhaps Florida’s Eric Staal and Chicago’s Jason Dickinson. The Penguins’ limited cap space, however, will be a factor in determining how they choose to address that issue.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2023

What’s the latest on Erik Karlsson? What’s going on with the Canucks? Are the Flyers gauging the trade market for Ivan Provorov? Could the Wild shop Matt Dumba? Are the Oilers shopping around for a defenseman? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports that teams have spoken with the San Jose Sharks about what a trade might look like for Erik Karlsson. The 32-year-old is this season’s highest-scoring blueliner with 55 points and is on pace to become the first rearguard since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 to reach 100 points in a season.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

LeBrun still thinks this would be an off-season move it if happens at all. Karlsson has a full no-movement clause and would have to agree to be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur that this is a potential move that probably doesn’t happen until the offseason when teams have more cap space and a greater willingness to make big trades.

Getting Karlsson to waive his NMC isn’t the biggest hurdle. It’s sorting out how to move a talented defenseman who is approaching his mid-30s’ carrying a contract with an average annual value of $11.5 million through 2026-27. There’s also the matter of what the Sharks would want in return.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are still poking around about Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser. He doesn’t think a trade is close to happening but interested clubs are giving consideration to how to make a deal work.

The Minnesota Wild have spoken to the Canucks about bringing Boeser back to his home state. However, LeBrun doesn’t think they can make it work cap-wise. The 25-year-old winger has two more seasons left on his contract with an AAV of $6.65 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have over $14 million in dead cap space for 2023-24 due to their buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Matt Boldy, Calen Addison and Sam Steel are restricted free agents this summer.

I can’t see Boeser landing in Minnesota unless the Canucks retain a portion of his salary (which they reportedly don’t want to do) or the Wild shed sufficient salary for Boeser and those RFAs.

LeBrun also reports teams are calling the Canucks about Andrei Kuzmenko. The 26-year-old winger is enjoying a fine NHL debut season but he’s also slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He currently carries an affordable $950K cap hit.

The Canucks haven’t started contract extension talks yet but LeBrun said they haven’t given up hope of re-signing him. He indicated the winger enjoys playing in Vancouver but it could cost $6 million on a short-term deal to keep him there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 35 points in 39 games, Kuzmenko’s been a bright spot in a turbulent season for the Canucks. Perhaps if they can move Boeser it’ll free up sufficient space to keep the Russian winger.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports multiple sources confirmed the Philadelphia Flyers are listening to offers for Ivan Provorov. The 25-year-old defenseman has two more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $6.75 million so there’s no urgency to move him before the March 3 trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also doesn’t think there’s anything imminent regarding a Provorov trade. However, he feels they could be heading in that direction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Appearing on NHL Network, Friedman said he believes the Flyers will consider just about everything over the next 12 to 18 months. He also said they’re concerned that Provorov could blossom elsewhere so they’ll want a really good return.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators have reached out to the Minnesota Wild regarding Matt Dumba. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and lacks no-trade protection.

However, the Wild are playing pretty well right now and they still need Dumba as they jockey for a playoff spot. They’re not sure yet if they can move him even though they can’t afford to re-sign him given their salary-cap constraints for next season. Dreger believes their asking price for Dumba would be high and they would have to potentially hit the trade market to find a replacement for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Dumba going anywhere before the March 3 trade deadline unless the Wild fall out of contention or they ship him to another club in exchange for a comparable defenseman. He could become their “own rental” for the 2023 playoffs.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland has been calling around the league in search of a defenseman. It’s believed he’s spoken to the Arizona Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun and the Montreal Canadiens regarding Joel Edmundson.

However, asking prices are high right now for blueliners in the trade market. LeBrun expects Holland won’t panic and will remain patient. He also believes it’ll take more than a trade to resolve the Oilers’ current struggles as the message internally is, “We need to play better”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers supporters howling at Holland to do something – ANYTHING! – to acquire a defenseman overlook that he’s handcuffed by his limited cap space. He’s also dealing from a position of weakness right now. If it was possible to unload, say, Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele for a top-four left-side blueliner, that deal would’ve gone down by now.

The Coyotes reportedly seek two first-round picks (though one of those could be a former first-rounder) along with a high-end prospect or good young NHL player for Chychrun.

It’s believed the Canadiens hope to land a first-rounder for Edmundson. Before you scoff, remember that they got a first-round pick from the Florida Panthers last March for Ben Chiarot. Edmundson also has a year remaining on his contract so there’s cost certainty there ($3.5 million) for an interested team.

Maybe those prices go down as the trade deadline nears. Then again, they could remain high if more clubs get into the bidding for Chychrun or Edmundson.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2023

The Hurricanes extended their win streak, Erik Karlsson sets a Sharks record and the Stars re-sign Joe Pavelski. Details and much more in the NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their 11th straight win by defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-4 on a shootout goal by Andrei Svechnikov. Derek Stepan tallied twice in regulation for the Hurricanes (25-6-6) as they also extended their points streak to 17 games. Jesper Bratt scored twice and collected an assist for the Devils as they dropped to 23-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 56 points, the red-hot Hurricanes sit four points behind the first-overall Boston Bruins. The Devils activated defenseman Ryan Graves off injured reserve for this contest. He’d missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson collected two assists in a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, extending his points streak to a franchise-record 13 games. Blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored in what was his 1,200th career game all spent with the Sharks. Patrick Kane and Sam Lafferty scored for the Blackhawks (8-24-4) as they’ve lost 12 of their last 13 contests. The Sharks improved to 12-20-7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson remains the leading scorer among NHL defensemen by a wide margin. With 53 points, he’s 11 ahead of the Winnipeg Jets’ Josh Morrissey and sits fifth among all NHL skaters this season.

The New York Rangers got two goals from Mika Zibanejad to defeat the Florida Panthers by a score of 5-3. Jaroslav Halak turned aside 32 shots as the Rangers improved to 20-12-6. Eric Staal had two points for the Panthers (16-18-4), who’ve lost five of their last six games.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Martin Jones made 18 saves in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Yanni Gourde and Vince Dunn each collected two points as the Kraken improved to 19-12-4. Ilya Sorokin stopped 31 shots while Mathew Barzal tallied his 100th career goal for the 21-15-2 Islanders.

The Ottawa Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Anton Forsberg picked up the win with a 33-save performance, Tim Stutzle scored twice and Jacob Lucchini’s first NHL goal turned out to be the game-winner for the Senators (17-17-3) while the Sabres dropped to 18-15-2.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars and Joe Pavelski agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract extension for 2023-24. Pavelski, 38, will earn a base salary of $3.5 million with an additional $2 million in performance bonuses. The deal also includes a no-movement clause

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski’s new contract is similar to his current deal. The only difference is how the dollars are divided up. It’s a reasonable contract for both sides given his age. Pavelski is currently second among the Stars in assists with 25 and third in points with 37 in 38 games.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson are the league’s three stars for December 2022. Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov is the rookie of the month.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang could miss Monday’s Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park. He didn’t practice yesterday and remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames in the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on Oct. 29. It will mark the 20th anniversary of the first NHL outdoor regular-season game in which the Oilers fell to the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in front of over 56,000 fans in the first Heritage Classic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the first Heritage Classic. That game laid the foundation for the annual Winter Classic and a host of outdoor regular-season games.

BOSTON HERALD’s Steve Conroy took to Twitter yesterday debunking a radio report out of Boston on New Year’s Eve claiming the Bruins had re-signed winger David Pastrnak. He cited Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry calling the report “rubbish”, adding that negotiations are ongoing but it’s difficult to say whether progress has been made or not.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report claimed the Bruins and Pastrnak were finalizing an eight-year deal worth $88 million. That’s an average annual value of $11 million, which is pretty much what the 27-year-old pending free-agent winger is expected to receive from the Bruins or on the open market by July 1. 

CBS SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights placed defenseman Alec Martinez on injured reserve. He’s been sidelined for the past two games with an undisclosed injury.

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks activated goaltender Anthony Stolarz off injured reserve.