Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 17, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 17, 2022

Did the Flyers attempt to move James van Riemsdyk in a cost-cutting trade? Will the Rangers have sufficient cap space to get into the playoff rental market at the 2023 trade deadline? Could Lars Eller become the odd man out in Washington? Find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

WGR 550: cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli discussing the Philadelphia Flyers’ attempt to shed salary last week by shopping James van Riemsdyk. The 33-year-old winger has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $7 million.

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images).

Seravalli believes the Flyers were attempting to make some room to take a run at signing Johnny Gaudreau, who subsequently ended up with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He felt there were five or six teams (including the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings) asking for a significant piece to be included with van Riemsdyk, such as a first-round pick. In the end, the Flyers decided against it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk leading up to the recent NHL draft that the Flyers were trying to move van Riemsdyk. With almost all the top talent now gone from the free agent market, it seems unlikely they’ll be trying to clear the veteran winger to make room for a significant addition this summer.

Keep an eye on van Riemsdyk during the upcoming season. The Flyers could attempt to move him at the trade deadline if they’re out of the playoff chase by then.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the next challenge for Rangers general manager Chris Drury is ensuring he accrues sufficient cap space over the course of 2022-23 to get into the playoff rental market at the 2023 trade deadline.

Anticipating the Rangers’ cap space at just over $2 million when the season opens, Brooks projected they would have around $9 million in accrued cap room at the trade deadline in February. If managed properly, he thinks Drury would have enough for a big-ticket rental such as Chicago Blackhawks’ winger Patrick Kane or Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s still a long way between now and the 2023 trade deadline. Something could come up to bite more deeply into the Rangers’ accrued cap space. It will be a challenge for Drury, and every general manager on a potential playoff contender in 2023, to ensure they’ve got enough room to make additions to their rosters by the deadline in the hope of staging a deep playoff run.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reported the Capitals’ addition of Dylan Strome could create a potential logjam at center, particularly if Nicklas Backstrom returns from hip surgery at some point in the coming season.

With the club also looking at giving promising Connor McMichael a larger role, Silber speculated it could make Lars Eller the odd man out. They could try to shift him to left wing but that could also cause congestion there with Alex Ovechkin, Anthony Mantha and Marcus Johansson filling three of those spots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eller, 33, is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He carries an affordable $3.5 million cap hit and lacks no-trade protection.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2022

The Devils believed they were a destination for Johnny Gaudreau, plus the latest on Ondrej Palat, Mitch Marner, Vladimir Tarasenko, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald believed Johnny Gaudreau was going to sign with his club before shocking the hockey world by joining the Columbus Blue Jackets. Gaudreau, who grew up in Carney’s Point, N.J., was reportedly looking to sign with a club closer to home.

Fitzgerald said he thought he’d really connected with Gaudreau and his wife during his conversation with them. He also cited a personal connection as his son played with Gaudreau at Boston College.

We put our best foot forward,” said Fitzgerald. “He chose to go to Columbus for the reasons he chose. He could have gone anywhere. We wish him all the best.” The Devils GM subsequently signed former Tampa Bay Lightning winger to a five-year, $30 million contract.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of Palat, he admitted to feeling sad over leaving the Lightning after 10 seasons. “I was kind of preparing myself there was a chance I was leaving Tampa,” he said. “But it’s a business and now when I signed with New Jersey, I’m not as sad.”

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat (NHL Images).

Palat admitted the past several weeks had been an emotional roller coaster, going from losing in the Stanley Cup Final to the Colorado Avalanche to free agency. However, he’s excited about bringing his experience to a promising team with younger talent.

TSN: Speaking of the Devils, they hired former Florida Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette as an associate coach for Lindy Ruff.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner admitted he endured flashbacks of being carjacked in May. He and his fiancee were unhurt in the incident but he said there were a couple of weeks where it came back to him whenever he was driving.

We were lucky enough to have people around that we can talk to and have these stories to tell and get feedback,” said Marner. “So, definitely mental health is something important to me and my family – and something that we really take serious.”

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, they signed forward Calle Jarnkrok to a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $2.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans see Jarnkrok as a replacement for Alex Kerfoot should GM Kyle Dubas trade him during this summer or in the regular season. Kerfoot has been rumored as a cost-cutting trade candidate for some time.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn’t going down the trade-rumor rabbit hole with Vladimir Tarasenko like last summer. Despite Armstrong’s recent claim that the winger’s “trade demand” was no longer an issue, a report emerged during the 2022 NHL Draft indicating that Tarasenko hadn’t rescinded the request. “He’s under contract and I expect (to have) him,” said Armstrong.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer. He carries a $7.5 million average annual value but will earn $5.5 million in actual salary. He also carries a full no-trade clause.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Mike Sielski doesn’t buy into the theory among Flyers fans that their club went downhill after team owner Ed Snider passed away and Ron Hextall became general manager followed by Chuck Fletcher. He believes the rot within the front office extends back to 2006, long before Snider’s death and before Hextall and Fletcher came along.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the Flyers are a mess. Another poor performance by this club will mean the end of Fletcher’s tenure as general manager. However, the on-ice product won’t change much unless ownership charts a new, clearer direction and hires the right people to make it happen.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: On the topic of the Flyers, they signed former first-round pick Morgan Frost to a one-year, $800K contract.

TSN: The Nashville Predators signed forward Zach Sanford to a one-year, $850K contract.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Brad Hunt to a one-year, $800K contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2022

Analysis of some of the biggest signings and trades from the opening day of free agency, a look at two of the notable free agents still available and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Johnny Gaudreau explained why he signed a seven-year, $68.25 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He said the experience of playing at Nationwide Arena and speaking with current and former Columbus Blue Jackets players were motivating factors behind his decision.

Former Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 13. (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I analyzed Gaudreau’s new contract and those of the other noteworthy signings for Bleacher Report yesterday. His decision to go to Columbus generated considerable surprise on social media. It also left Calgary fans bewildered and upset after he rejected a more lucrative offer from the Flames to join the Jackets. Whatever the reason behind his decision, he makes the Blue Jackets a better team and should accelerate their rebuilding process.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Gaudreau was reportedly interested in signing with the Flyers but their limited salary-cap space meant they weren’t able to make room for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers’ offseason moves haven’t sat well with their fans who’ve been quite critical on social media. It’ll be interesting to see what general manager Chuck Fletcher intends to do to improve his roster for next season.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA/VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights each made significant cost-cutting trades with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sharks shipped defenseman Brent Burns to the Hurricanes while the Golden Knights sent them winger Max Pacioretty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mike Grier, the Sharks’ new general manager, is wasting little time addressing his club’s need for an overhaul following several seasons of decline. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, got nothing in return for Pacioretty. They are paying the price for their pursuit of big-ticket talent over the past couple of years in pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are going for it. Burns has three years left on his contract with the Sharks retaining 33 percent of his $8 million cap hit. Pacioretty is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Both should provide a welcome boost of experience and offense to their lineup as they attempt to stage a run for the Stanley Cup in 2022-23.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche haven’t given up trying to bring back Nazem Kadri as their second-line center. The 31-year-old Kadri is the biggest name remaining among this year’s crop of unrestricted free agent talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Avs with $3.9 million in cap space. They’ll have to shed some salary if they intend to bring back Kadri.

THE ATHLETIC: The Dallas Stars attempted to re-sign John Klingberg before the defenseman became an unrestricted free agent but weren’t able to reach an agreement. The door appears closed on a return after the club signed blueliner Colin Miller and added winger Mason Marchment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg is the top defenseman still available in the UFA market. Speculation linked him to the Seattle Kraken but other clubs could get into the bidding.

OTTAWA SUN: Claude Giroux was all smiles as he met with local media after signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Senators. Giroux makes his offseason home in Ottawa and said he was excited to be joining his hometown club. “They’ve got a lot of talented guys who like to work hard and compete,” said Giroux. “I just like the character of the team, and I’ll fit right in with them.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the Senators’ most significant UFA signing in years. Giroux was linked to the Sens for months but there was speculation the 34-year-old forward would prefer signing with a Cup contender. He should bring a welcome boost of experience and leadership to their roster.

TSN: The New Jersey Devils have reportedly signed former Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat to a five-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils were in the market for a top-six winger. Palat is a solid two-way forward with considerable playoff experience. He’ll be a solid addition to the rebuilding Devils in their quest to become a playoff contender next season.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins made a noteworthy addition by acquiring Pavel Zacha from the Devils in exchange for Erik Haula. They’re also still in talks with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on one-year, bonus-laden contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A former first-round pick, Zacha struggled to play up to expectations in New Jersey. Perhaps the move to Boston will help the 25-year-old forward improve his game. As for Bergeron, there have been conflicting reports saying he’s going to return while others claim he’s still pondering his future.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Lightning wasted little time locking up three players eligible for restricted free agent status next summer. Defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak and center Anthony Cirelli were all signed to lucrative long-term contract extensions.

SPORTSNET: The Anaheim Ducks signed former New York Rangers center Ryan Strome to a five-year, $25 million contract on Wednesday evening.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 29-year-old Strome will fill the Ducks’ second-line center position. This is a good move by the rebuilding club, bringing in some experienced depth to take some of the burden from rising star Trevor Zegas.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman spent just under $20 million via free agency yesterday to make his club more competitive next season. He added forwards David Perron, Andrew Copp and Dominik Kubalik and defensemen Ben Chiarot and Olli Maatta.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings have patiently rebuilt over the past three seasons. These veteran additions should help them take the next step toward playoff contention next season. Perron, Copp and Chiarot will bring veteran skill and leadership to the Wings roster.

DAILY FACEOFF: The New York Rangers traded defenseman Patrik Nemeth and two draft picks to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defense prospect Ty Emberson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a straightforward salary dump by the Rangers, freeing up cap space to put toward re-signing RFA winger Kaapo Kakko.

SPORTSNET: The Calgary Flames brought back defenseman Nikita Zadorov on a two-year contract with an average annual value of $3.75 million.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2022

The annual free-agent market opens at noon ET today. Check out the latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Nazem Kadri, Claude Giroux, Brent Burns, Darcy Kuemper, Jack Campbell and many more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Philadelphia Flyers must clear cap space if they’re to pursue a top free agent such as Johnny Gaudreau. They could attempt to move winger James van Riemsdyk in a cost-cutting trade. He’s been linked to the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk has a year left on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million, though in actual base salary he’ll earn $4 million. He also lacks no-trade protection.

NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears believes the New York Islanders need a winger like Johnny Gaudreau to maximize center Mathew Barzal’s talent. Limited salary-cap space, however, could hamper their efforts to sign the 28-year-old left winger.

TSN: Chris Johnston reports Claude Giroux appears to be in the crosshairs of the Ottawa Senators. Pierre LeBrun reports this morning the Senators appear to be the front-runners for the versatile 34-year-old forward.

Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Senators could also target Giroux’s Florida Panthers teammate (and Ottawa native) MacKenzie Weegar. The Panthers are looking to shed some salary. They’d like to re-sign Giroux, who could also draw interest from the Carolina Hurricanes.

LeBrun believes the Edmonton Oilers are the front-runners for goaltender Jack Campbell while netminder Darcy Kuemper appears headed to the Washington Capitals

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns could be traded by the end of this week. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes are believed to be on his three-team trade list. He also claimed the Hurricanes have “kicked tires” on the 37-year-old blueliner as well as Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks will likely have to retain part of Burns’ $8 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 as the Stars and Hurricanes can’t afford to take on his full contract. Otherwise, they will have to take back a contract of equal value or perhaps attempt a three-team trade to spread Burns’ cap hit around.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites a rumor from Radio-Canada columnist Martin Leclerc claiming the Montreal Canadiens almost acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Winnipeg Jets at last week’s NHL draft in Montreal. Leclerc claims those trade discussions between the two clubs about the 25-year-old restricted free agent are ongoing.

Murphy also cited RDS’s Renaud Lavoie claiming the Canadiens were very active in trade talks and a deal could come before free agency begins today.

Pierre LeBrun reports the Canadiens are interested in bringing back pending UFA Brett Kulak. They traded the 28-year-old defenseman to the Edmonton Oilers before the March trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has quickly established a reputation as a wheeler-dealer. Dubois is rumored to be interested in joining the Canadiens when he becomes eligible for UFA status in 2024.

The Canadiens, however, have limited cap space for 2022-23 so they’ll have to ship out some salary to take on Dubois, Kulak or whoever else Hughes might have his eye on. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun claimed the Carolina Hurricanes have been linked to Habs defenseman Jeff Petry, who’s earning $6.25 million per season through 2024-25.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers remain linked to Nazem Kadri but it could prove difficult to sign him. The 31-year-old center could command $7 million per season on a six-year contract on the open market. Brooks suggests the Rangers attempt a sign-and-trade scenario involving a third club like the Arizona Coyotes or Chicago Blackhawks to spread the cost of Kadri’s new contract around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Creative, but unlikely to happen, though it would be quite the accomplishment by Rangers GM Chris Drury if he could pull that off.

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck reports the Jets are still trying to move team captain Blake Wheeler. He anticipates they’ll have to retain a portion of the 35-year-old winger’s $8.25 million cap hit through 2023-24. It seems doubtful they’ll move Nate Schmidt given the defenseman’s contract.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has limited free-agent options to add a backup goaltender with just $6.3 million in cap space and RFAs Rasmus Sandin and Pierre Engvall to re-sign. “Perhaps Ilya Samsonov or Eric Comrie will be a fit.” Koshan believes Dubas’ options could improve if he shed a contract such as Justin Woll ($2 million) or Alex Kerfoot ($3.5 million).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weakening depth at one position to improve depth at another isn’t going to improve the Leafs’ chance of winning a playoff round next season or bring their 55-year Stanley Cup drought to an end.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2022

Suggested destinations for Evgeni Malkin plus the latest on Patrick Kane, Johnny Gaudreau, Brent Burns, Jack Campbell and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

POSSIBLE FREE-AGENT DESTINATIONS FOR MALKIN

SPORTSNET: Josh Beneteau lists the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks among six potential destinations for Evgeni Malkin when he goes to market on July 13 as a free agent. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals could be other options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Malkin wants to accept less than what the Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly offering (three years, $6 million annually), I don’t see most of those clubs as realistic options. As per Cap Friendly, the Lightning and Flyers are maxed out, the Canucks have around $2 million in cap room and the Kings $4 million. They’re not a fit unless they shed salary to accommodate him.

The Capitals have $8.9 million available but they must also acquire two new goaltenders after trading away Vitek Vanecek and not qualifying Ilya Samsonov’s rights. They could get some wiggle room if Nicklas Backstrom ($9.2 million) go on LTIR to start the season as he recovers from hip surgery but they must be cap compliant if he returns to action.

With over $10 million in cap space, the Rangers could afford Malkin as a second-line center. As I said earlier, however, unless Malkin agrees to less than what the Penguins were offering, he may not be a fit on Broadway.

A club with plentiful cap space, such as the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings, can afford to pitch a deal that might be enticing to Malkin. I also wouldn’t rule out the Carolina Hurricanes if they part ways with Vincent Trocheck.

COULD THE AVALANCHE COME CALLING FOR PATRICK KANE?

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman speculated the Colorado Avalanche could become a suitor for Patrick Kane if the Chicago Blackhawks winger were to request a trade this summer. Friedman said the Avs were among the teams that inquired into the availability of the 33-year-old Kane prior to the March trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Scott Powers doesn’t think Kane or teammate Jonathan Toews have spoken to Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson about their futures yet. If either one requests a trade, Powers believes they’ve got about a week to let Davidson know if they want to be moved before the start of the season.

If Kane wants out he’d probably prefer getting dealt to a contender as a rental player rather than go to a rebuilding team. However, his $10.5 million cap hit for 2022-23 and full no-movement clause are serious impediments. Powers believes the Blackhawks could prefer to wait until the trade deadline to retain half of his cap hit before moving him. That’s likely when it would be more comfortable to contenders as well.

WHERE WILL GAUDREAU GO?

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the Flames could be trying to figure out how to reshape their roster if superstar left winger Johnny Gaudreau departs via free agency. If he leaves, it could also affect the club’s efforts to sign restricted free agent winger Matthew Tkachuk to a long-term contract. Gilbertson wonders if the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils or Seattle Kraken could come calling if Gaudreau hits the market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Philly Hockey Now’s Sam Carchidi cites a source close to the Gaudreau camp raising doubt over whether the Flyers can afford him. They could gain some cap relief if Ryan Ellis goes on LTIR but that could get tricky if Ellis returns at some point. The Flyers were also rumored looking into trading winger James van Riemsdyk ($7 million) but there doesn’t seem to be much interest.

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz wondered if Gaudreau could be a fit with the New York Islanders. With over $11 million in cap space, they could free up more by trying to trade Anthony Beauvillier and/or goaltender Semyon Varlamov. However, they also must re-sign defenseman Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov, and I doubt they can clear sufficient room to pay Gaudreau over $10 million annually on a seven-year deal.

Meanwhile, the Kraken are flush with cap space and could make a big splash in the UFA market. Whether Gaudreau wants to play for a club that is probably another two or three years away from becoming playoff contenders is another matter.

LATEST ON BURNS AND CAMPBELL

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng reports new Sharks GM Mike Grier didn’t shut down speculation his club could look into trading Brent Burns. Peng cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying several clubs have called Grier to inquire about the status of the 37-year-old defenseman. The Sharks GM indicated he would understand if Burns wanted to join a Stanley Cup contender.

Friedman speculated the Dallas Stars could be a destination as they’re about to lose blueliner John Klingberg to free agency. Peng suggested the Carolina Hurricanes as an option after they traded away Tony DeAngelo. He believes the Sharks would have to retain part of Burns’ $8 million cap hit to make a deal work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burns is signed through 2024-25 so Grier could be reluctant to retain part of his cap hit over that period. Still, he might not have much choice if the hirsute blueliner wants out. It could also be worthwhile if the Sharks can get a solid return. Burns also has a three-team trade list but might expand it to join a contender.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples wonders if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ inability to sign Jack Campbell could lead to the pending UFA goaltender signing with the Oilers. He cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Oilers as the front-runners for Campbell’s services.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I would’ve considered Darcy Kuemper as a better option for the Oilers but he would prove more expensive to sign than Campbell due to his Stanley Cup win this season. If the Oilers aren’t interested in Campbell the Washington Capitals certainly will be. So could the New Jersey Devils.

UPDATES ON THE STARS AND RANGERS

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks recently examined what’s on the offseason “to-do list” for Stars GM Jim Mill. Find a top-four defenseman to replace the departing John Klingberg and adding a scoring forward are among his priorities, along with fending off possible offer sheets for goalie Jake Oettinger and re-signing scoring star Jason Robertson.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker reports the Rangers could be in the market for a backup goaltender for Igor Shesterkin. They’re also trying to find a trade partner for defenseman Patrik Nemeth ahead of a possible buyout.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2022

John Gibson isn’t interested in a trade to Toronto, the Avalanche re-sign Alexandar Georgiev, the Blackhawks won’t qualify Dylan Strome’s rights, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

DAILY FACEOFF: cites Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reporting agent Kurt Overhardt claims client John Gibson has no interest in playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. His comments come amid speculation the 28-year-old goaltender could be a Leafs trade target. “He’s absolutely committed to the Anaheim Ducks,” said Overhardt.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last month, Gibson denied speculation he wanted out of Anaheim as Ducks management focuses on rebuilding the roster. Some will take Overhardt’s comments as meaning his client isn’t interested in playing for Toronto but could accept a trade to an American-based team. Nevertheless, it’s apparent the Leafs will have to look elsewhere for a goaltender. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE DENVER POST: Less than a week after acquiring Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers, the Colorado Avalanche signed the 26-year-old goaltender to a three-year, $10.2 million contract. He was slated to become a restricted free agent on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value is an affordable $3.4 million. Georgiev now has an opportunity to finally establish himself as a starting goaltender and to do so with a Stanley Cup champion.

THE ATHLETIC: The Chicago Blackhawks won’t be qualifying the rights of RFA Dylan Strome before today’s 5 pm ET deadline. The 25-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not sitting well with Blackhawks fans who felt Strome earned at least a qualifying offer. Some wonder why they’re just letting him go rather than trying to shop him for some sort of return. He’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for the past two seasons. Strome has had his ups-and-downs with the Blackhawks but he could be an affordable second-line center option on a more stable roster.

YARDBARKER: Strome isn’t the only Blackhawk not getting a qualifying offer. Winger Dominik Kubalik will also be heading to market on Wednesday. The 26-year-old led all rookies in 2019-20 with 30 goals in 68 games but his production dropped to 17 goals in 56 games in 2020-21 and 15 goals in 78 games this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kubalik will likely get less on the open market than the $4 million it would’ve cost the Blackhawks to qualify his rights. Still, he could be an affordable option for teams on a budget that are seeking scoring depth.

THE SCORE: Seattle Kraken center Shane Wright denies he glared from the draft stage at the Montreal Canadiens table for not selecting him with the first overall pick. “I was just looking at the cameras in front of me,” said Wright. “To be honest, I don’t really remember too much of going up on stage. It was just kind of a whirlwind for me.”

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin strongly denied there were any trade talks regarding a possible trade of J.T. Miller to the New York Islanders leading up to the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. When asked, Isles GM Lou Lamoriello simply shrugged and said, “Talk to Vancouver”.

Nevertheless, Stefen Rosner reports a league source claims Allvin asked for an additional piece in the Islanders’ rumored package offer for Miller. Lamoriello was said to be unwilling to do that and nixed the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation suggests the Isles were in the market for a scorer at the draft. Whether Lamoriello continues his rumored attempt to land Miller or looks elsewhere via trade or free agency remains to be seen.

Speaking of the Islanders, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz tweeted it’s his understanding winger Josh Bailey isn’t being shopped, nor is he believed to be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bailey was rumored to be a cost-cutting trade candidate in Lamoriello’s search for a scorer. Cap Friendly shows the 32-year-old winger is signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $5 million and lacking no-trade protection.

DAILY FACEOFF: Qualifying offers for restricted free agents are due at 5 pm ET Monday (July 11). RFAs are eligible to begin receiving offer sheets on July 12. By midnight on Tuesday, pending UFAs won’t be eligible to receive eight-year contract offers from their current clubs. The free-agent market opens Wednesday at noon ET.

BROAD STREET HOCKEY: Philadelphia Flyers winger Bobby Brink is dealing with a hip injury suffered during offseason training and will miss the club’s ongoing development camp.

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman Jacob Bryson to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.85 million.

Former NHL center Rod Zaine passed away from undisclosed causes on July 7. He was 76. Zaine made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1970-71 and played for the Buffalo Sabres in 1971-72. He spent the final three seasons of his professional career in the World Hockey Association.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: My condolences to Zaine’s family, friends and former teammates.