NHL Rumor Mill – August 26, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 26, 2022

Speculation suggests the Flames might not be done in the trade market and a couple of predictions for the Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ARE THE FLAMES NOT DONE DEALING?

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane reports a “growing feeling” that Flames general manager Brad Treliving could make another move in the trade market. He points to preseason projections that have prospect Jakob Pelletier among the Flames’ top-six forwards plus their plethora of defensemen.

Juuso Valimaki is a popular name for trade bait while Oliver Kylington would be the kind of young defenseman who might be of greater interest to rival clubs. Noah Hanifin has only two seasons left on his contract but the Flames likely aren’t concerned about that given their “win-now” attitude.

Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington (NHL Images).

Macfarlane rattled off the names of several forwards (St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko, Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi) who are among the bigger names believed on the trade block this summer. Other notables include Washington’s Lars Eller, Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk, the New York Islanders Anthony Beauvillier and Montreal’s Christian Dvorak.

Other trade options could be Philadelphia’s Cam Atkinson, Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson or Montreal’s Paul Byron.

Macfarlane also noted some free-agent options such as Evan Rodrigues and Sonny Milano. He pointed out that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently suggested the Flames had some interest in the 29-year-old Rodrigues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving’s made some bold moves this summer such as shipping Matthew Tkachuk to Florida for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar and signing Nazem Kadri. He could have another one up his sleeve, perhaps by drawing on his blueline depth.

Cap space, however, will be a factor. With $2.1 million remaining, Treliving could be forced to make another cost-cutting trade to free up cap space as he did when he traded Sean Monahan to Montreal to make room for Kadri. The other option is a dollar-for-dollar swap. Failing that, an affordable free-agent option such as Rodrigues or Milano seems the more likely route.

TRADE PREDICTIONS FOR THE OILERS

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell made some bold Edmonton Oilers predictions for the coming season.

One of them is the expectation that the Oilers will become salary-cap compliant by placing Mike Smith and Oscar Klefbom on long-term injury reserve and making a trade. Mitchell suggested shipping out Warren Foegele for a draft pick or a non-roster player.

Mitchell also expects Oilers GM Ken Holland will make a big addition at the 2023 trade deadline. He took note of the recent speculation tying Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane to the Oilers. However, he believes they would be better off waiting until the trade deadline so as to avoid any potential cap complications that could arise over the course of the season. He also doesn’t rule out pursuing Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Oilers are the only team with a genuine interest in Kane, I don’t think they can win a bidding war for his services at the trade deadline. That’s assuming the Blackhawks star will be willing to waive his no-movement clause to come to Edmonton.

Given their lack of cap space, they’ll have to pull off a three-team trade to spread Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit around. Even then, they’ll have to move a salaried player to ensure sufficient wiggle room. They’ve got some decent prospects within their system but other clubs might be able to offer better quality.

As for Chychrun, I don’t see Holland giving up two first-round picks plus a top prospect or a promising NHL player if that remains the Coyotes’ asking price on deadline day.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 22, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 22, 2022

What would it take for the Oilers to acquire Patrick Kane? Will Paul Stastny return to the Jets or sign elsewhere? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHAT WOULD IT COST THE OILERS TO LAND PATRICK KANE?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins speculates Patrick Kane could consider playing alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Drasaitl with the Oilers to be more enticing than his present situation with the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Leavins suggests it will cost “a player, a #1 pick and a good prospect, plus-plus” to acquire Kane as a rental player no matter where he goes. Sorting out the salary-cap dollars would also be an issue. The 34-year-old Blackhawks winger carries a $10.5 million cap hit for the coming season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The real question for Leavins is whether Kane (an American) would be willing to come to Edmonton for even just one season. He pointed out the Blackhawks star has the same agent as Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto and Cody Ceci.

OILERS NATION: Jason Gregor considers Kane’s contract “very easy” to trade, pointing out he’s only earning $2.9 million in actual salary for the coming season. The Blackhawks would have to retain 50 percent of his $10.5 million cap hit in a trade.

Gregor believes the Oilers can’t afford to acquire the remaining 50 percent. He believes they’d have to get a third team involved, pointing out the Arizona Coyotes are “always willing to take on money for draft picks”.

Under that scenario, the Oilers would only take on $2.65 million of his cap hit and $725K in actual salary. Gregor speculates it would cost the Oilers a late-round pick and a second-tier prospect to the Coyotes to make it work.

As for what the Blackhawks would want from the Oilers, he suggests Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele would have to head to Chicago to make the cap work for Edmonton. He wonders if a first-round pick, a second-rounder and Puljujarvi would be enough, assuming Kane would accept a trade to the Oilers.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Matt Porter wondered if a first-round pick, a prospect, winger Kailer Yamamoto and “overpaid defenseman Tyson Barrie” would get it done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane alongside McDavid or Draisaitl would give the Oilers two devastating forward lines that could power them to the Stanley Cup. Acquiring him, however, won’t be easy.

Reports out of Chicago claim Kane has not requested a trade and isn’t in any rush to leave the Blackhawks. He and Jonathan Toews could see how this season shakes out before deciding if they want to be traded to a potential Stanley Cup contender.

A Kane trade could happen before the start of this season. However, I think it’s more likely to occur closer to the trade deadline. That will ramp up the bidding and also give Kane and the Blackhawks a clearer picture of the potential markets for his services

The Oilers wouldn’t be the only team interested in Kane if he becomes available in the trade market. The New York Rangers, for example, need an experienced right wing among their top-six scorers. If Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko fail to break out this season, the Blueshirts could be in a good position to win a bidding war for Kane.

WHERE WILL STASTNY GO?

SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Ken Wiebe was asked by a reader if Paul Stastny was coming back to the Jets and if not, why?

Wiebe thinks the door is not officially closed for a return to the Jets but feels it’s increasingly likely the 36-year-old center will move on. He believes Stastny wants to get his name on the Stanley Cup, suggesting a return to the Colorado Avalanche (where his NHL career began) makes a lot of sense given Stastny’s hockey sense and versatility.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 4, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 4, 2022

A look at some cost-cutting trade candidates for the Oilers plus the latest on the Kings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

HOW WILL THE OILERS SHED SALARY FOR 2022-23?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples wonders how the Oilers will become cap compliant for the coming season after signing Kailer Yamamoto to a two-year contract with an annual cap hit of $3.1 million.

Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi (NHL Images).

Staples points out Puck Pedia indicates the Yamamoto signing puts the Oilers over the $82.5 million salary cap by $6.8 million. By putting the combined salaries ($6.38 million) of sidelined players Oscar Klefbom and Mike Smith on long-term injury reserve, they’ll still exceed the cap by over $400K with restricted free agent Ryan McLeod to re-sign.

That could involve making a cost-cutting trade before the season begins. Staples suggested forwards Jesse Puljujarvi and Warren Foegele as the top-two candidates with defenseman Tyson Barrie a distant third.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation over which player the Oilers could shop to shed salary was kicking around the rumor mill before the Yamamoto signing.

Staples colleague Kurt Leavins suggested Puljujarvi’s new one-year, $3 million contract could be advantageous if the Oilers decide to peddle him. He said there were “rumblings” that the Montreal Canadiens were interested in the 24-year-old winger during the draft last month.

However, the Canadiens are pressed against the cap with center Kirby Dach to re-sign. However, they can’t afford Puljujarvi’s contract unless Carey Price and his $10.5 million cap hit return to LTIR for the coming season or the Habs dump some salary via trade or waivers.

The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell raised the possibility of the Oilers trading Puljujarvi and then signing someone like Phil Kessel to a bargain contract. He thinks that’s risky given Puljujarvi’s youth, higher shooting percentage and two-way play.

Mitchell doesn’t see Foegele or Barrie being moved, especially the latter after Duncan Keith’s retirement. Staples shared that view, with both suggesting Puljujarvi as the more likely trade candidate.

THE KINGS COULD SHOP A DEFENSEMAN

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens reports the Los Angeles Kings have nine defensemen, not including promising Brandt Clarke and Helge Grans. Two of them (Mikey Anderson and Sean Durzi) are restricted free agents.

The Kings have just $1.5 million in cap space. Stephens suggested Durzi, Sean Walker and Tobias Bjornfot as trade candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walker seems the most likely candidate given his $2.65 million cap hit for the coming season. However, his trade value could be diminished by the knee injury that ended his 2021-22 season. Another could be Matt Roy, who carries a $3.15 million cap hit through 2023-24.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2021

Evander Kane to be investigated that he bet on games, why Jack Eichel wants a disc replacement, plus a roundup of Saturday’s notable free-agent signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The NHL intends to launch an investigation into an allegation claiming San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane gambled on NHL games. The Sharks also released a statement indicating its support for a full and transparent investigation.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

The allegation was raised on an unverified Instagram account attributed to Kane’s wife, Anna, claiming the winger abandoned her and their two children to go on a European vacation while their home was being repossessed. She then accused Kane of betting on his own games.

Kane, 29, was sued by a Las Vegas casino in 2019 over $500K in unpaid gambling debts but the suit was dropped the following year. In January, he filed for bankruptcy claiming nearly $27 million in debts, including $1.5 million in gambling losses. He’s also facing six active lawsuits from lenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s bankruptcy and previous gambling issues are well-documented but his wife’s allegations raise that issue to an entirely different level. Sharks management stood by him during his bankruptcy. He recently claimed in an interview that fatherhood had changed and matured him. His wife’s comments, however, paint a very different picture.

Kane’s personal issues didn’t affect his on-ice performance as he led the Sharks in scoring this season with 49 points in 56 games. However, reports emerged indicating significant friction between the winger and his teammates this season, with several expressing frustration to management in their season-ending exit interviews.

Kane has four years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million. The outcome of this investigation, however, could determine whether he’ll get the opportunity to complete that contract.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman interviewed Colorado neurosurgeon Dr. Chad Prusmack, who provided Jack Eichel with a recommendation to correct a herniated disc in his neck with artificial disc replacement surgery. Prusmack explained the procedure, the risk and recovery and why it would be more beneficial than neck fusion surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel and Sabres’ management are in disagreement over whether he can undergo this procedure. Under the CBA, the Sabres have the final say but that’s become an area of contention between the two sides, prompting considerable speculation over his future.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed winger Warren Foegele to a three-year contract worth $2.75 million per season. Foegele was acquired last week from the Carolina Hurricanes

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings re-signed winger Tyler Bertuzzi to a two-year contract worth $9.5 million. Bertuzzi has resumed off-ice training following back surgery in April and is expected to be ready for training camp next month.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed Nick Ritchie to a two-year contract worth $2.5 million per season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed winger Artturi Lehkonen to a one-year, $2.3 million contract.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed forward Joel Kiviranta to a two-year, $2.1 million contract.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed Derek Stepan to a one-year, $1.35 million contract.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed forward Riley Nash to a one-year deal worth $750K.










Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 28, 2021

Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 28, 2021

Be sure to check in regularly throughout the day for today’s notable free-agent signings and trades.

SIGNINGS (Updated: 6 pm ET.

New Jersey Devils sign defenseman Dougie Hamilton to a seven-year, $63 million contract ($9 million AAV).

Boston Bruins sign goaltender Linus Ullmark to a four-year, $20 million contract ($5 million AAV).

Montreal Canadiens sign winger Mike Hoffman to a three-year, $13.5 million contract ($4.5 million AAV).

Anaheim Ducks sign center Ryan Getzlaf to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign center Pius Suter to a two-year, $6.5 million contract ($3.25 million AAV).

Boston Bruins sign winger Nick Foligno to a two-year contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Ottawa Senator sign defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a two-year, $4 million deal ($2 million AAV).

SIGNINGS: (Updated: 4 pm ET)

Tampa Bay Lightning re-sign center Brayden Point to an eight-year, $76 million contract ($9.5 million AAV).

Vegas Golden Knights sign forward Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $2 million contract.

SIGNINGS (Updated: 2:45 pm ET):

Seattle Kraken sign goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a six-year, $35.4 million contract ($5.9 million AAV).

Seattle Kraken sign winger Jaden Schwartz to a five-year, $27.5 million contract ($5.5 million AAV).

Los Angeles Kings sign center Phillip Danault to a six-year, $33 million contract ($5.5 million AAV).

Los Angeles Kings sign defenseman Alex Edler to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

Boston Bruins sign forward Erik Haula to a two-year, $4.75 million contract ($2.375 million AAV).

Carolina Hurricanes sign defenseman Ian Cole to a one-year, $2.9 million contract.

San Jose Sharks sign center Nick Bonino to a two-year, $4.1 million contract ($2.05 million AAV).

SIGNINGS (UPDATED 1:30 PM ET)

Nashville Predators re-sign forward Mikael Granlund to a four-year, $20 million contract ($5 million AAV).

Minnesota Wild sign defenseman Alex Goligoski to a one-year, $5 million contract.

Calgary Flames sign forward Blake Coleman to a six-year, $29.4 million contract ($4.9 million AAV).

Carolina Hurricanes sign goalie Frederik Andersen to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million AAV.

Columbus Blue Jackets re-sign Boone Jenner to a four-year $15 million contract ($3.75 million).

New Jersey Devils sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a two-year, $8.25 million contract ($4.125 million AAV).

Montreal Canadiens sign David Savard to a four-year, $14 million contract ($3.5 million AAV).

Edmonton Oilers sign defenseman Cody Ceci to a four-year, $13 million contract ($3.25 million AAV).

Vancouver Canucks sign defenseman Travis Hamonic to a two-year, $6 million contract ($3 million AAV).

Columbus Blue Jackets sign forward Sean Kuraly to a four-year, $10 million contract ($2.5 million cap hit)

Vancouver Canucks sign defenseman Tucker Poolman to a four-year, $10 million contract ($2.5 million AAV)

Philadelphia Flyers sign goalie Martin Jones to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Dallas Stars sign Braden Holtby to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Philadelphia Flyers sign defenseman Keith Yandle to a one-year, $950K contract.

SIGNINGS AND TRADES PRIOR TO NOON ET. 

Edmonton Oilers sign Zach Hyman to a seven-year, $38.5 million contract ($5.5 million annual average value).

Edmonton Oilers re-sign defenseman Tyson Barrie to a three-year contract worth $4.5 million per season.

Vegas Golden Knights re-sign defenseman Alec Martinez to a three-year deal worth $5.25 million annually.

Seattle Kraken sign forward Alexander Wennberg to a three-yeae contract worth $4.5 million annually.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to a three-year contract worth $3.8 million.

Dallas Stars sign defenseman Ryan Suter to a four-year contract worth $3.65 million AAV.

Carolina Hurricanes sign goaltender Antti Raanta to a two-year deal worth $2 million annually.

Vancouver Canucks sign goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million in base salary.

Carolina Hurricanes sign defenseman Tony DeAngelo to a one-year, $1 million contract.

TRADES

Edmonton Oilers trade defenseman Ethan Bear to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Warren Foegele.

Ottawa Senators trade winger Evgeni Dadonov to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Nick Holden and a third-round draft pick in 2022.

Chicago Blackhawks trade defenseman Nikita Zadorov to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a third-round pick in 2022. The pick originally belonged to Toronto.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2021

Check out the latest on Seth Jones, Matthew Tkachuk, Jack Eichel, Viktor Arvidsson, Wayne Simmonds and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NOTABLE SPECULATION FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports he’s still hearing a lot about the Philadelphia Flyers having an interest in Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t elaborate but it’s not surprising the Flyers would look at Jones to fill their glaring need for a top-pairing, right-side blueliner. They have the assets to make a competitive pitch, but they’ll have to shed salary to squeeze in his $5.4 million cap hit for next season. Cap Friendly shows them with $13.08 in projected cap space. Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim are due for new contracts plus they need to find a suitable backup for Hart.

The Flames issued firm denials regarding a recent rumor claiming Matthew Tkachuk wanted out of Calgary. That’s different from when no one denied the leak that Seth Jones would test next summer’s free-agent market or the news the Arizona Coyotes will try to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson or reports the Carolina Hurricanes allowed Dougie Hamilton to speak with other teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There weren’t any earlier indications Tkachuk was unhappy in Calgary prior to last week’s rumor claiming he wanted out. Flames management could consider all options after missing the playoffs this season. Moving Tkachuk, however, doesn’t sound like one of them.

Things were quieter on the Jack Eichel rumor front last week. Friedman expects things to pick up once they hire a new coach. Interim coach Don Granato and Rick Tocchet are among the contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports several sources said the Rangers have had preliminary talks with the Sabres and would like to look into Eichel’s medical condition. He said it’s uncertain if general manager Chris Drury is performing due diligence or has a serious interest in the Sabres’ captain. The Sabres haven’t granted permission for clubs to examine Eichel’s medical records but it’s expected they would do so if trade talks intensify.

Friedman also heard Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson could be available. The hard-working winger has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthy Arvidsson would attract considerable interest. However, he’s been hampered by injuries the past three seasons, which would explain why the Predators could be willing to move him.

It sounds like Wayne Simmonds could be returning for another season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds completed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Leafs. Given their limited cap space, my guess is they’ll try to sign him to a one-year deal worth under $1 million. They’ll also probably wait until after the expansion draft to formally announce it so they don’t have to place him on their protected list.

**UPDATE: TSN reports the Leafs signed Simmonds to a two-year extension with an annual average value of $900K. 

Friedman thinks some trade discussions are stalled over worries about expansion draft protection. There’s also concern the Seattle Kraken could draft exposed players and then flip them elsewhere. For example, they could select someone like Matt Dumba or Mark Giordano and then entertain bids and potentially absorb part of their salary. Friedman feels either player would make sense for the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken GM Ron Francis will try to use the same playbook as the Vegas Golden Knights during their expansion draft. He’s going to look at side deals if it lands a return that provides long-term benefits.

Speculation suggests Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook could test the free-agent market. There are also Warren Foegele trade talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The potential departures of Martinook and Foegele could be in anticipation of re-signing pending UFA defenseman Dougie Hamilton and restricted free agents Andrei Svechnikov and Alex Nedeljkovic. The Hurricanes have over $29 million in projected cap space but new contracts for those three will eat up a big chunk.

The New Jersey Devils could consider moving their first-round pick (fourth overall) in this year’s draft for a good young defenseman.