NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2022

Which clubs are in or out on Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on Claude Giroux and Marc-Andre Fleury? How’s the Oilers goalie hunt going? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST CHYCHRUN SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports several teams are “going hard” at attempting to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. He believes the Florida Panthers are among them but doubts they’ll part with Anton Lundell. Other suitors could include the Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche, while the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings are out for now.

TSN: Darren Dreger believes the Toronto Maple Leafs are among the clubs who’ve “kicked tires” on Chychrun but it could take creativity on general manager Kyle Dubas’ part to fit him within their tight payroll. He also cites sources saying the Kings, Panthers, Bruins, Ducks, and St. Louis Blues are among the clubs with a strong interest in the Coyotes blueliner.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Friedman’s colleague Jeff Marek, only one team has pitched an offer that would meet the Coyotes’ rumored asking price of a good young NHL player, a top prospect and a first-round pick. If it was sufficient the Coyotes would’ve moved Chychrun by now. I suspect GM Bill Armstrong will use that offer as leverage to land a better return from another team. With Chychrun carrying three more years on his contract, Armstrong has the luxury of time here.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger is skeptical of rumors linking the Blue Jackets to Chychrun. He believes trading either of the first-round picks they’ll have in this year’s draft would take away a valuable asset that could be used to address their more pressing need for impact centers. Hedger also noted there’s no certainty Chychrun would stay with the Jackets once his current contract expires and raised concern about the rearguard’s history of knee injuries.

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman expects Claude Giroux to meet with his agent Pat Brisson to discuss his future during the All-Star weekend. Friedman believes there are Colorado Avalanche players who’d love to have him as a teammate but it could take getting a third team involved to make it work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux carries a full no-movement but could waive it to join a Stanley Cup contender like the Avalanche. However, he also carries an $8.275 million cap hit for this season with over $3.8 million remaining to be paid out. The Avs, meanwhile, are pressed for cap space which will make landing him a complicated endeavor.

The Washington Capitals are believed to be looking into acquiring Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have just over $2 million in projected trade deadline cap space. Fleury’s cap hit for this season is $7 million with $3.255 million currently remaining to be paid out. They’ll have to free up some room to make this work, assuming they’re not on Fleury’s 10-team no-trade list.

The Edmonton Oilers were willing to part with a late-round draft pick for Martin Jones but the Philadelphia Flyers wanted more for the 32-year-old goaltender. They’ve also looked at the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev, the Dallas Stars’ Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin, St. Louis Blues’ Ville Husso, Columbus Blue Jackets Joonas Korpisalo, Washington Capitals Vitek Vanecek and New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Rangers moving Georgiev after he did a fine job filling in for the sidelined Igor Shesterkin earlier this season. Ditto the Blues with Husso after he spelled off Jordan Binnington when he missed seven games to COVID-19 earlier this month

The Stars prefer moving Khudobin while the Oilers could be on Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade list. Vanecek won’t be available unless the Capitals acquire an upgrade while Jones and Korpisalo probably aren’t much of an upgrade over the Oilers’ tandem of Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner.

In short, the Oilers appear screwed in their efforts to land a goaltending upgrade.

Friedman wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs might attempt to acquire Ben Chiarot based on their previous interest in the defenseman before he signed with the Montreal Canadiens. The Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues are among the clubs looking at him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Chris Johnston reported the Leafs would prefer landing players with a little more term on their contracts. That shouldn’t rule them out of pursuing a UFA like Chiarot but it sounds like Dubas could be reluctant this season to part with assets for rentals after getting burned in last year’s Nick Foligno deal.

The Coyotes intend to retain Lawson Crouse…Friedman wonders if Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina could use a change of scenery.

UPDATE ON THE SENATORS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion scouted the Minnesota Wild during their recent game against the Canadiens and spoke briefly with Wild GM Bill Guerin. LeBrun doubts there’s anything imminent but pointed out the Wild were among the teams discussed during the Senators’ pro scouting meetings as one of the NHL clubs pressed for salary-cap space.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2022

The latest Blackhawks speculation includes the Capitals having an interest in Marc-Andre Fleury plus the latest Claude Giroux, Ben Chiarot, Jakub Chychrun and J.T. Miller in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports a league source told him anyone on the Chicago Blackhawks could be had in the trade market. That doesn’t mean they’re shopping players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane or Alex DeBrincat. However, they would do so if Toews or Kane asked to be moved and would at least listen if someone came calling about DeBrincat.

Powers considers Toews, Kane and Seth Jones to be pretty much untouchable. It would take significant offers to pry players such as DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, Lukas Reichel and Brandon Hagel away from the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks could end up giving a first-round pick in 2022 or 2023 to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the conditions for acquiring Jones. However, Powers doesn’t see them giving away a player they covet simply to fill a draft spot.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Powers believes Marc-Andre Fleury will have the best trade value for the Blackhawks, followed by winger Dominik Kubalik and defenseman Calvin de Haan. Fleury and de Haan are unrestricted free agents. Kubalik is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but the $4 million it’ll take to qualify his rights could dampen his value in the trade market.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell told Frank Seravalli and Ryan S. Clark that she believes there’s a greater than 50 percent chance the Capitals could have a new goaltender by the trade deadline. She thinks they’re among the teams interested in Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Any trade involving Toews, Kane or DeBrincat takes place in the offseason. Swinging the kind of deal it would take to move any of those players takes time and assets that interested clubs probably don’t have right now. That’s assuming Toews or Kane are willing to be traded or that a rival club can make an offer substantial enough to convince the Hawks to part with DeBrincat.

Fleury’s been linked to the Capitals several times in recent weeks as concern mounts over the status of their goaltending. They have just over $2 million in projected deadline cap space but that still won’t be enough to take on Fleury without the Blackhawks retaining some of the remainder of his $7 million cap hit or the Capitals freeing up some cap room. That’s assuming they’re not on his 10-team no-trade list.

SUGGESTED TRADE DESTINATIONS FOR GIROUX AND CHIAROT

SPORTSNET: During their recent “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed possible trade destinations for Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot.

Friedman considers the Colorado Avalanche a good fit for Giroux if he wants to chase a Stanley Cup provided they can make the cap dollars fit. Marek also suggested the Dallas Stars’ Joe Pavelski as another fit for the Avs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche seems to be linked to everybody, don’t they? I don’t rule out the possibility of general manager Joe Sakic making a move by the March 21 trade deadline. However, the Avalanche are pressed for cap space, requiring some creativity on Sakic’s part to take on the remainder of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit for this season if he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause to join the Avs.

As for Pavelski, he’s expressed his desire to stay with Dallas. While the Stars could shop unhappy defenseman John Klingberg before the deadline, I wouldn’t be surprised if they retain Pavelski if the two sides feel they can get a deal done before he becomes a UFA in July.

Regarding Chiarot, Friedman believes the St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames have an interest in the Canadiens blueliner. He also wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs might pursue him, pointing out they were interested in Chiarot before he signed with Montreal but couldn’t make it work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Avalanche, the Leafs also carry limited cap space, though absorbing the remainder of Chiarot’s $3.5 million cap hit wouldn’t be as challenging as it would for the Avs to take on the more expensive Giroux. GM Kyle Dubas has shown the ability to swing deals with a tight payroll in the past so we shouldn’t reject that possibility out of hand.

The Canadiens’ rumored ask for Chiarot is a first-round pick. Don’t forget that Dubas parted with his 2021 first-rounder last year for Nick Foligno. Will he part with another first-rounder for another rental player this year? Stay tuned…

LATEST ON JAKOB CHYCHRUN AND J.T. MILLER

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple weighed in on a recent report by Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman reporting the New York Rangers made a trade offer to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Jakob Chychrun centered around Vitali Kravtsov. The 23-year-old winger is playing in Russia this season awaiting a trade by the Rangers.

Unless there are more pieces to a deal for Chychrun, it won’t address the Rangers’ need for more scoring punch on the wings. Adding Chychrun, who has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.6 million, could complicate things when left-side defenseman K’Andre Miller becomes a restricted free agent in 2023.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan believes we should be careful about the rumors regarding what’s being offered to the Coyotes for Chychrun, especially when it gets too specific about the Coyotes’ asking price. He doubts GM Bill Armstrong will get into specifics about what he’s seeking for Chychrun. He’s not going to limit his asking price as that would close off alternatives.

Morgan also dismisses reports that those trade talks are heating up when the trade deadline is two months away, calling it a “media-driven narrative”. He reminds us that agents and league executives love to stir the pot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A sensible take by Morgan. One need only look at the trade market where we’ve seen just one trade so far this month compared to four in December and three in November to see just how quiet things are right now. General managers and agents are probably talking, and some could be dropping tidbits to their media pals to drive to generate some activity, but moves involving notable players appear weeks away.

Business should start to pick up as we go through February and intensify once the calendar flips to March. Whether Chychrun gets moved over the next two months remains to be seen. Armstrong doesn’t have to move him by the trade deadline. He can afford to wait until the offseason to get the deal he likes.

SPORTSNET 650: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli believes the Vancouver Canucks could get more than a first-round pick and a highly-touted prospect if they were to trade J.T. Miller. He felt the New York Rangers has expressed some interest in Miller, as well as the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Canucks making any significant roster moves until they’ve hired a new general manager, which should take place within the next couple of weeks. I also doubt they’ll move a core player like Miller if they’re still in the playoff hunt by the March 21 trade deadline. They’re also unlikely to be in a big hurry to move him since he’s still got a year left on his contract.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2022

Could the Oilers target a Stars goalie? Will the Blackhawks shop Marc-Andre Fleury? How many teams could have an interest in Jakob Chychrun and John Klingberg? Could the Canucks shop J.T. Miller soon? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WILL THE OILERS GO SHOPPING FOR A GOALTENDER?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Edmonton Oilers are looking at all options around the NHL to address their goaltending issues. They’ve kicked tires on Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Oilers also internally discussed the Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin but the extra year on this contract at $3.33 million makes him less appealing. Stars goalie Braden Holtby could be more interesting as he’s a UFA at the season’s end. However, the real question is whether any of these options are better than Mikko Koskinen for the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No. No, they’re not. That doesn’t mean the Oilers might not acquire one of them in the hope they’ll provide some sort of upgrade. Khudobin did carry the Stars to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final but really struggled this season and wound up demoted to the minors. Holtby’s play has improved this season but his best days remain well behind him. Korpisalo failed to seize the starter’s job after Sergei Bobrovsky left town which is why the Jackets signed Elvis Merzlikins to a five-year extension.

Darren Dreger noted Chicago Blackhawks netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has also come up in the rumor mill but he’s not a fit in Edmonton for salary-cap reasons. When asked about trade possibilities, Fleury said he’s not thinking about that now as he’s trying to help the Blackhawks reach the playoffs.

Dreger expects there will be contract extension talks between the two sides. He also points out there’s an agreement with the Hawks that Fleury isn’t going anywhere unless he asks for a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury might consider a trade if the Blackhawks fail to gain ground in the standings over the next six weeks. His $7 million cap hit and 10-team no-trade clause probably keep him away from Edmonton. Some have linked him to the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals. There’s even talk of a reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins despite Tristan Jarry’s solid play this season. Whether he ends up with one of those clubs or heads elsewhere remains to be determined.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

THE LATEST ON CHYCHRUN AND KLINGBERG

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed potential landing spots for Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. They suggested the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues as possibilities.

Both of them felt the Florida Panthers could be in on Chychrun, citing management’s ongoing efforts to build up their blueline. They felt the Panthers need one more big piece on their defense corps. Marek believes the Coyotes would want Spencer Knight, Anton Lundell and a first-round pick in return but Friedman felt that’s the price to be paid if they’re going all-in this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers GM Bill Zito has to consider if it’s worthwhile giving up that much of his club’s future to pursue the Stanley Cup this season. Granted, this move wouldn’t be for a rental player. The 23-year-old Chychrun is under contract for three more seasons who led all defensemen in goals last season.

The first-round pick is easy to part with given the Panthers’ depth and position in the standings. Giving up Knight would be tough but perhaps necessary with Sergei Bobrovsky carrying an almost untradable contract for four more seasons. Moving Lundell, who’s enjoying a solid rookie campaign, could be a bridge too far for Zito.

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman and Saad Yousef recently examined potential trade destinations for Dallas Stars pending UFA defenseman John Klingberg. Their three contenders are the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes, with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs as dark horses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks, Kings and Predators have the cap space and depth in promising young players to dangle for Klingberg if they wish to go that route. The Hurricanes showed a willingness to make big deadline deals, acquiring Vincent Trocheck and Brady Skjei two years ago. Their lack of cap space, however, would require some creativity to make the dollars fit.

The Penguins and Leafs are pressed for cap space. Both could stand pat or opt for more cost-effective options by the deadline. I’m not ruling out the possibility one of them swings a three-team deal to land someone like Klingberg. However, there’s no certainty they or the Hurricanes can find a third club to broker the deal given how many clubs have limited cap space this season.

WILL THE CANUCKS TRADE J.T. MILLER?

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli saying he could see a scenario where the Vancouver Canucks trade J.T. Miller soon, perhaps before they officially hire a new general manager.

Drance, however, is skeptical of that scenario becoming reality. While sources told him there are teams interested in Miller, the Canucks can afford to wait because he’s under contract through next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drance also acknowledged the Canucks will have to make a decision about Miller’s future in Vancouver. Unless a rival club is willing to make an offer too good to refuse by the trade deadline, Canucks management could wait until the offseason to move Miller when teams have more cap room and willingness to pursue players of his caliber.

That should also be a decision that should involve the new general manager. Otherwise, team president Jim Rutherford shouldn’t waste everyone’s time hiring a GM if he’s going to make all the decisions himself.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2022

Will the Blackhawks shop Marc-Andre Fleury? Are the Panthers interested in Jakob Chychrun? Will the Golden Knights trade Reilly Smith? Could the Bruins entertain offers for Urho Vaakanainen? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON FLEURY AND CHYCHRUN

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Power reports there’s an assumption around the league that Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will be finishing the season elsewhere. Two league sources suggest Fleury’s play of late could fetch the Blackhawks a first-round pick, something they could be without in this year’s draft because of last summer’s Seth Jones trade.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Powers also cited a Blackhawks source claiming the club hasn’t discussed a contract extension with Fleury. The 37-year-old netminder becomes an unrestricted free agent in July. He carries a $7 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade no-trade clause. The defending Vezina Trophy winner also has three Stanley Cup rings on his resume.

Teams that fancy themselves contenders but have middling-to-poor goaltending (Edmonton, Washington) could come calling. Powers wondered if a reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins might be possible regardless of how well Tristan Jarry plays this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals, Oilers and Penguins also have little projected salary-cap space. Any deal involving Fleury and those clubs would have to be dollar-in, dollar-out or involve some salary retention in the Blackhawks part. The Hawks might be willing to do that for a 2022 first-round pick.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland recently said he didn’t want to part with his first-rounder for a short-term fix. Unless he changes his mind, we can probably rule out the Oilers as a destination if Fleury is willing to go to Edmonton.

The Penguins are playing very well right now. If that continues over the next couple of months they could stick with Jarry and hope his playoff meltdown last year was a one-off. The Capitals could kick tires but that’ll depend on the play of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek in the coming weeks.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Colby Guy cites Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman confirming the Panthers are interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. George Richards last week reported the Panthers would take a look at the Boca Rotan native, who has three seasons remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.6 million.

Guy said the Panthers seek a left-handed defenseman who can bring some consistency to the blue line. Marek speculated the asking price for Chychrun could be goaltender Spencer Knight, rookie center Anton Lundell, and a first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun would be a terrific fit on the Panthers blueline. His contract would give them an asset that helps them now and over the next three years. However, I doubt GM Bill Zito will give up that much to get him. He could part with his first-rounder but Knight and Lundell are also going to be vital components in the Panthers’ long-term future. I’ll be shocked if he parts with them.

LATEST ON REILLY SMITH AND URHO VAAKANAINEN

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps recently examined the pros and cons of the Golden Knights potentially shopping Reilly Smith at the trade deadline. The 30-year-old winger is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Shipping out Smith and his $5 million cap hit for this season would help the Golden Knights free up sufficient cap space when Jack Eichel is ready to make his debut in the coming weeks. He could also fetch them a solid return. However, doing so would hurt the club’s identity and take away a skilled player who could help them win the Stanley Cup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krepps argues there are other options the Golden Knights could take to free up that cap space for Eichel. GM Kelly McCrimmon could very well prefer those options (trading Evgenii Dadonov?) over moving Smith. However, shopping the veteran winger remains the easiest option given his value in the trade market and his lack of no-trade protection.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa suggests a trade might be the best bet for Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen to become a full-time NHLer. He believes clubs like Arizona or Seattle could have their eye on a 23-year-old former first-rounder who isn’t playing a major role, suggesting such players could improve skating with rebuilding teams.

Shinzawa said the Bruins aren’t in a rush to trade Vaakanainen. However, he speculates they could listen to any offer that could improve their odds of winning this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vaakanainen on his own probably won’t draw that type of offer. Packaged with Jake DeBrusk? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold my breath given the apparent lack of interest DeBrusk is drawing thus far in the trade market.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 16, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 16, 2022

The latest on John Klingberg and Evander Kane plus some suggested goalie options for the Capitals in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

LATEST ON JOHN KLINGBERG AND EVANDER KANE

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports the Dallas Stars are stepping up efforts to move John Klingberg before the March 21 trade deadline. This comes a week after the 29-year-old defenseman expressed his frustration over his stalled contract extension talks with Stars management. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

Marek believes Klingberg is going to get traded. “Hard to exactly when, but Dallas does seem aggressive in wanting to get something done soonish,” he said. Klingberg’s ice time has been declining over the past five games. He carries a $4.25 million cap hit for this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believed the Stars would be reluctant to part with Klingberg as long as they remained in the playoff chase. That no longer seems to be the case.

With 38 points, the Stars are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. They possess one of the worst road records (4-12-1) in the league this season, including losing their last seven away from home.

A shakeup could be coming to the Stars if their fortunes don’t change soon. Klingberg lacks no-trade protection and his affordable cap hit would make him an enticing rental player for postseason contenders like the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings or Nashville Predators.

Elliotte Friedman reports there are a couple of teams hoping for “clarity” on whether Evander Kane will face any further penalty for allegedly crossing the border from the United States into Canada on Dec. 29.

The 30-year-old winger was with the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate at the time. He tested positive for COVID-19 and then flew to Vancouver on Dec. 29, when he would’ve still been in the AHL’s 10-day COVID protocol. The NHL and the Canadian Border Services are investigating but there’s no timetable when the investigation will conclude.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland acknowledged speaking to Kane’s agent last week. One report suggested the Oilers could already have him signed to a one-year, prorated deal but there’s been no confirmation of this. The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers are also said to be interested in the former Sharks forward.

PROPOSED GOALTENDING OPTIONS FOR THE CAPITALS

THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir recently observed the inconsistency of goaltenders Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov could be a concern for the Washington Capitals. He speculated GM Brian MacLellan could trade for an upgrade if they don’t improve in the coming weeks.

Three options who’ve won Stanley Cups are the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury, the Dallas Stars Braden Holtby (who won with the Capitals in 2018) and the Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick.

Fleury would make the most sense given his solid play behind a lousy Blackhawks club. However, he has a 10-team no-trade clause. The Blackhawks could be in the market for futures in return.

Holtby would be a sentimental favorite whose performance has improved this season with the Stars. However, there’s no certainty they’ll part with him. Meanwhile, Quick is enjoying a resurgence in his play while the Kings are in the midst of the Western Conference playoff chase.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If any of those goalies were available the struggling Edmonton Oilers would be all over them given their weakness between the pipes. Perhaps one of them hits the trade block before the March 21 trade deadline but the Capitals could be stuck with their current tandem for the remainder of this season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2022

The Panthers remain atop the overall standings, Alex Ovechkin and Marc-Andre Fleury reach more milestones, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers (57 points) maintained their place atop the overall standings by crushing the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-2. MacKenzie Weegar collected four points, Aaron Ekblad had three assists while Carter Verhaeghe and Anton Lundell each scored two goals. Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins was pulled after giving up four goals on 15 shots in the first period.

Third-period goals by Ross Colton and Alex Killorn lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Dallas Stars 3-1, handing the latter their seventh straight road loss. Nikita Kucherov chipped in two assists for the Lightning (57 points), who sit second overall due to the Panthers holding two games in hand.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Washington Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves to shut out the New York Islanders 2-0. Alex Ovechkin scored into an empty net to reach the 25-goal plateau for the 16th time in his career. Only seven other players (Gordie Howe, Jaromir Jagr, Mike Gartner, Teemu Selanne, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull and Marcel Dionne) have as many 25-goal seasons. It was a costly win for the Capitals as T.J. Oshie left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. They hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 51 points.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves for the Chicago Blackhawks to pick up his 70th career shutout in a 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks, becoming the 14th netminder to reach that milestone. Brandon Hagel, Patrick Kane and Dominik Kubalik were the goal scorers as the Ducks drop three straight games to fall into third place in the Pacific Division with 45 points.

The Los Angeles Kings moved into second place in the Pacific by beating the Seattle Kraken 3-1. Phillip Danault scored twice and Adrian Kempe tallied his career-high 17th goal. The Kings have 45 points but hold three games in hand over the Ducks.

Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves to pick up his first shutout with the Colorado Avalanche with a 5-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had two goals and an assist as the Avalanche (51 points) move into first place in the Western Conference with four games in hand over the Nashville Predators.

Speaking of the Predators, they fell 4-3 to the Boston Bruins on an overtime goal by Taylor Hall. He and Brad Marchand each finished the game with a goal and an assist, with Marchand reaching the 20-goal plateau for the 11th time in his career. Juuse Saros made 40 saves for the Predators. The Bruins have won five straight games and hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 46 points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins remain three points up on the Bruins for the first Eastern wild-card spot by nipping the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on an overtime goal by Jake Guentzel as he and Kris Letang each had a goal and an assist. Louis Domingue turned aside 40 shots for the victory. With 42 points, the Sharks hold the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Chris Kreider snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their seventh straight defeat. Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for the Rangers while teammate Artemi Panarin collected two assists. The Rangers sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 54 points.

The Carolina Hurricanes remain two points back of the Rangers by dropping the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas each had a goal and an assist while Frederik Andersen stopped 30 shots. The Canucks have lost four of their last five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After rattling off seven straight wins after hiring Bruce Boudreau as head coach it appears the Canucks are returning to earth. Trade rumors about J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat could resume if the losing skid continues.

Third-period goals by Auston Matthews and Ilya Mikheyev rallied the Toronto Maple Leafs over the St. Louis Blues 6-5. Matthews and Mitch Marner each had a goal and an assist while Ryan O’Reilly scored twice for the Blues. The Leafs (51 points) remain in third place in the Atlantic Division while the Blues (49 points) are third in the Western Conference.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-4 to hand the latter their sixth straight loss. Josh Norris tallied twice for the Senators while Oilers superstar Connor McDavid was held scoreless. With 38 points, the Oilers are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shaky goaltending and porous defense continue to dog the Oilers and threaten to derail their season.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 22 saves for his first shutout with the Detroit Red Wings to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists while rookie winger Lucas Raymond scored and chipped in an assist.

SPORTSNET: Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak and Washington Capitals winger Conor Sheary were among the players placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol on Saturday.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL player Reid Boucher had pled guilty to a third-degree count of criminal sexual assault against a minor stemming from two incidents in 2011. 

Then 17 and a member of the United States National Team Development Program, Boucher forced his then-12-year-old billet sister to perform oral sex on him twice, doing so by threatening to blackmail her with a video in the first incident and then threatening to tell people about their first non-consensual encounter.

After spending parts of six NHL seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks, Boucher has been playing in the KHL since last season. He was allowed by the judge overseeing his case to enter a plea that will result in no up-front jail time. If he successfully completes his sentence, the charge won’t appear on his criminal record. Meanwhile, his victim has dealt with the trauma of those incidents, struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders and self-harm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boucher pleads guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl twice 11 years ago, leaving her traumatized for over a decade, and gets a slap on the wrist and continues his playing career. So much for justice.