NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2024

Zach Parise could soon sign with the Avalanche plus the latest on the Flyers, Bruins and Kraken in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Evan Rawal cited The Athletic’s Michael Russo speculating winger Zach Parise could soon sign with the Colorado Avalanche.

Appearing on the “Talk North” podcast, Russo said that he expects the 39-year-old Parise to sign within the next couple of days and make his debut following the All-Star break.

Unrestricted free agent winger Zach Parise (NHL.com)

I think he’s going to Colorado, by the way,” said Russo, though he also mentioned the Boston Bruins as a potential landing spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rawal noted the Avalanche’s need for depth on the wing with Valeri Nichushkin last week entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. Parise would be an affordable signing for the Avs or the Bruins. Perhaps we’ll know for certain by the end of this week.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reported Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere admitted to being pleasantly surprised by his club exceeding expectations by holding a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Nevertheless, he maintains that his eye remains fixed on the club’s future.

Briere insisted that he’s not going to trade prime assets like first and second-round picks to make a run for the playoffs this season. Noting that he traded Cutter Gauthier recently to the Anaheim Ducks, Briere said that was a different situation and he got a return (Jamie Drysdale) that helps his team now as well as in the future.

The Flyers do hold some potential trade chips in pending free-agent defensemen Sean Walker and Nick Seeler. Meanwhile, blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen and forward Morgan Frost have appeared on various media trade boards. Nevertheless, Briere said he won’t be making trades just for the sake of doing so and a lot would depend on the marketplace.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Briere might consider a low-cost playoff rental or two but his focus is more on adding long-term assets. He could also be content to stand pat if the Flyers are still playing well by the trade deadline.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss noted the speculation suggesting the Bruins might focus on adding a middle-six forward with some scoring punch. However, the recent increase in their offensive production could shift their focus toward bolstering their blueline.

Goss believes the Bruins could use a shutdown blueliner who can play tough minutes in the playoffs. He noted that promising Mason Lohrei’s defensive game remains a concern, Matt Grzelcyk has trouble handling heavy forechecks in the postseason and Derek Forbort has missed plenty of games with injuries. Adding another quality defenseman would also help reduce the heavy workload on Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That type of defenseman could be more affordable for the cap-strapped Bruins than adding a middle-six forward. Of course, they might be able to address the latter more cheaply if Zach Parise opts to sign with them.


THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker noted the Kraken hold three potential No. 1 goaltenders in Philipp Grubauer, Joey Daccord and Chris Driedger.

It’s been assumed the Kraken might peddle Driedger by the trade deadline as his contract expires at the end of this season. However, Grubauer’s injury history has Baker suggesting they’d be better off retaining Driedger for the remainder of the season as they push for a playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay Kraken management shares Baker’s assessment.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 5, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 5, 2024

Check out recent speculation on the Flames, Flyers and Rangers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

CALGARY SUN: Daniel Austin wondered how busy Flames general manager Craig Conroy will be leading up to the March 8 trade deadline.

Trading pending unrestricted free agents such as Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev means Flames fans will be in for a couple of seasons of watching a young, developing team. That could also raise questions over whether veterans Nazem Kadri and Mikael Backlund will want to stick around.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

Re-sign those three and the Flames will be making a long-term commitment to a core that has underachieved over the past two seasons.

If one of those three gets traded it could create a domino effect for the other two. With players like Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau on long-term contracts, Conroy could prefer returns of young NHL-ready players rather than loading up on draft picks and prospects.

Austin also wondered if Conroy will listen to calls for backup goalie Dan Vladar. Moving him would create room for promising Dustin Wolf.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think a roster retool rather than a full-fledged rebuild is in the works for the Flames. Lindholm, Hanifin and Tanev will likely be peddled for young players who can help this club stage a turnaround within the next couple of seasons.

The Flames already have some good young talent in Wolf, Yegor Sharangovich, Connor Zary, Matt Coronato and Jakob Pelletier. Adding some more to that group could give them a crop of youth that could develop into a more reliable core of talent.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz listed defensemen Sean Walker, Nick Seeler, Rasmus Ristolainen and Marc Staal and center Morgan Frost as the players most likely to be moved by the Philadelphia Flyers if they become sellers by the March 8 trade deadline. He also thinks Carter Hart, Ryan Poehling and Scott Laughton would be moved only in the right deal.

The Flyers’ better-than-expected performance thus far this season could complicate things. Jettisoning too many players risks upsetting the team culture. Kurz believes Flyers GM Daniel Briere is keeping his eye on the future. However, it would also help the Flyers from a business standpoint if they make the playoffs this season with a young and improving crop of players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have played well thus far but are showing signs of wobbling. If they fall out of contention by February, Briere will likely start shopping some of those players mentioned by Kurz. If they’re still in the thick of things, however, he could decide to keep his roster intact to give them a shot at reaching the postseason.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker believes a scoring top-six winger could be on the Rangers’ wish list. Blake Wheeler only has four goals while Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko have been sidelined by injuries.

The Rangers’ strong performance thus far proves their depth as a team. However, Walker believes they need reinforcements and upgrades to advance in the postseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Options could include Vancouver’s Andrei Kuzmenko, San Jose’s Anthony Duclair, Washington’s Anthony Mantha and St. Louis’ Jakub Vrana. Not the deepest pool of potential scoring wingers that could be available in the trade market. Perhaps it will improve closer to the March 8 trade deadline.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2023

Four players most likely to be moved before the March trade deadline, the latest on the goalie market and some recent Flyers speculation as we catch up on the NHL Rumor Mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau recently listed Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev, Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique, San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and Chicago Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson as the four players most likely to be moved by the March 8 NHL trade deadline.

Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (NHL Images).

All four are eligible to become unrestricted free agents next July unless they agree to contract extensions with their current clubs.

Tanev has been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils. Proteau doesn’t rule out the Colorado Avalanche making a pitch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs’ current priority is a second-line center which is why they’ve been recently tied to Calgary’s Elias Lindholm. Still, we can’t dismiss the possibility of adding Tanev to shore up their defense if they have enough cap room to do so.

Proteau suggests the New York Islanders as a fit for Henrique.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lou Lamoriello, who drafted Henrique in 2008 while general manager of the New Jersey Devils, is now the GM of the Isles. Lamoriello does at times reunite with some of his former players.

With San Jose mired at the bottom of the standings, there’s no compelling reason for them to hang onto Kahkonen. He could fetch a couple of draft picks or a decent prospect for the rebuilding Sharks. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks could peddle Johnson for long-term help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Johnson, Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cited an NHL executive claiming the Blackhawks have let it be known that the 33-year-old center will be available in the trade market. Murphy suggested he could be a more affordable option to the Bruins if they’re unable to pry Elias Lindholm away from the Flames.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Toronto Maple Leafs have dipped its toes into the goaltending market as Ilya Samsonov continues to struggle while Joseph Woll remains sidelined until January. He doesn’t think anything’s imminent and the Leafs are hoping a few days away will help Samsonov as they continue to work with him.

Friedman also said that the teams with a surplus in goalies are hoping to work it to their advantage in the trade market. They’re asking for a lot especially if salary retention is involved.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks doesn’t see any worthwhile goalies on the market who can help the New Jersey Devils between the pipes. He suggested they shore up a blueline that was weakened by the offseason departures of Damon Severson and Ryan Graves and the recent sidelining of Dougie Hamilton for what could be the rest of the regular season.

Brooks thinks Calgary Flames rearguard Noah Hanifin would be a perfect target while Chris Tanev would also be on their list. He wondered if there would be any way for them to acquire Brady Skjei or Brett Pesce from the Carolina Hurricanes or if they’d have any interest in the Nashville Predators’ Tyson Barrie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of those playoff hopefuls in need of goaltending help could cave and meet the high asking price well before March 8, especially if they’re in danger of missing the postseason. Once that happens it could open the floodgates.

However, some of those clubs could share Brooks’ view about the depth in available goaltending talent and opt instead to bolster their bluelines.

Hanifin and Tanev would draw a lot of attention. So would Skjei or Pesce if the Hurricanes decide to become sellers but I don’t think they’re at that stage yet. As for Barrie, he would help teams seeking offense from the blueline but there might not be much of a market for his style of game right now.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz suggested the possibility of the Philadelphia Flyers becoming buyers as well as sellers at this season’s trade deadline because of their improved performance thus far this season.

He believes Flyers GM Daniel Briere could pull the trigger on Sean Walker and/or Nick Seeler if a team were to offer a first-round pick and/or a prospect for either defenseman. Morgan Frost and Rasmus Ristolainen are also on the trade board and it wouldn’t be surprising if they were dealt.

Meanwhile, the Flyers also carry some late-round draft picks that could be used as trade bait to fill the gaps in their roster after dealing away some of their more talented trade bait.

Kurz doesn’t see Briere trading away any of their promising young player or first-round picks for playoff rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend on how the rest of the Flyers’ season unfolds. Briere will be a seller if they stumble through the second half and fall out of playoff contention. However, as Kurz suggests, if they’re still in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race leading up to the trade deadline, Briere could see what he can do to help his club reach the postseason without giving up too much of his future to do so.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2023

The latest on the Oilers, Flames, Hurricanes, Sharks, Flyers, Devils and Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch has a collection of trade rumors this week from around the NHL. So let’s dive in…

The Edmonton Oilers continue to look for a goaltender after sending Jack Campbell to the minors. However, it’s believed the front office wants to give new head coach Kris Knoblauch an opportunity to right the ship before trading away assets.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (NHL Images).

Garrioch thinks the Oilers kicked tires on St. Louis Blues netminder Jordan Binnington. It’s believed they’re willing to move a number of assets with the exception of their 2024 first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington has a full no-trade clause so he’s probably not going anywhere. He also has a $6 million average annual value that the cap-strapped Oilers can’t afford to take on unless they can shed salary in the deal or in a separate move.

The Calgary Flames are trying to move center Elias Lindholm and defensemen Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov. They’re all slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

Zadorov recently made a very public trade request which apparently hasn’t sat well with his teammates. He’s been linked to Toronto, where former Flames general manager Brad Treliving is the Maple Leafs GM. They’re looking for a defenseman with John Klingberg on long-term injury reserve (LTIR).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cites a league source recently speculating that the Bruins could be interested in Zadorov. The source also noted that the Bruins had been listening for offers for Matt Grzelcyk and wondered if a one-for-one swap was possible.

The Flames could be keeping their options open but I don’t see them moving anyone right now. They’ve risen into wild-card contention in the Western Conference and will likely want to see how things progress before deciding if they’ll be sellers by the March 8 trade deadline.

Teams in the market for a defenseman should contact the Carolina Hurricanes. They’re willing to move pending UFA blueliners Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pesce was the subject of offseason speculation but the Hurricanes apparently intend to hang onto him and sort out his contract situation once the season is over. DeAngelo, on the other hand, could be available if clubs are seeking an experienced puck-moving rearguard.

San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier is willing to move Mackenzie Blackwood. Several teams have expressed interested in the 26-year-old goaltenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackwood is playing fairly well this season with the rebuilding Sharks. He also carries an affordable $2.35 million AAV through 2024-25 and lacks no-trade protection. However, the earliest I see him moving could be leading up to the March trade deadline. Blackwood’s future with the Sharks could also depend on whether Grier intends to sign pending UFA goalie Kaapo Kahkonen to a contract extension.

The Flyers are willing to give forward Morgan Frost a fresh start elsewhere because he’s been scratched by head coach John Tortorella. There’s talk they were interested in shipping him to Ottawa for Shane Pinto. However, that was before Pinto was suspended for breaking the league’s gambling rules. Garrioch said the Senators have shown no interest in moving Pinto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Frost could have an opportunity to draw back into the Flyers’ lineup with Noah Cates sidelined for six to eight weeks.


NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating that Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald could be looking around for help between the pipes. Friedman noted that Fitzgerald was also interested in boosting his goaltending at the start of the season but has ramped up those efforts as the tandem of Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid continues to struggle.

Nichols noted that Fitzgerald was in the mix for Connor Hellebuyck prior to his re-signing with the Winnipeg Jets. Other options could include the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson, Jake Allen or Sam Montembeault of the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers’ Carter Hart or Ville Husso, James Reimer or Alex Lyon of the Detroit Red Wings.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun noted the Devils had spoken with the Calgary Flames regarding defenseman Nikita Zadorov. However, they want to see if their club can regain its “A” game following their sluggish start before going the trade route.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries have also piled up for the Devils this season with key players such as Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Timo Meier sidelined for long periods of time. Perhaps a healthier roster might help them right the ship.

In the meantime, I expect Fitzgerald will keep an eye on the goalie market. Even if the club improves over the course of the season, he could seek an upgrade by the trade deadline if they’re in playoff contention by then.


ESPN: Kevin Weekes believes the Florida Panthers will shift their focus to re-signing pending free agents such as Sam Reinhart, Gustav Forsling and Brandon Montour now that the Patrick Kane sweepstakes has ended.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers GM Bill Zito remains hopeful of getting Reinhart under contract. The rise in the salary cap for next season could make it possible for Zito to re-sign everyone provided they take the decision to accept less money to stay. That’s what Aleksander Barkov did while Matthew Tkachuk took less than market value to join the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart will be the most expensive to re-sign. He’s earning an AAV of $6.5 million but is on pace for a career-high season as he leads the Panthers with 15 goals and 27 points in 22 games.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2023

Could the Canucks be making a trade soon? Can the Leafs make a trade to improve their performance? Could the Flyers peddle Morgan Frost? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE PROVINCE: As the Vancouver Canucks roster gets healthier, Patrick Johnston wonders if it could lead to a trade by the team.

Johnston noted that Anthony Beauvillier is skating on the fourth line. He’s earning an average annual value of $4.15 million. While the winger has been fine so far, it may not be the best use of their cap space to have him at that position.

Vancouver Canucks winger Anthony Beauvillier (NHL Images).

Beauvillier has surfaced in trade rumors as his contract expires following this season and he lacks no-trade protection. Shedding his salary would free up cap space to add a new winger, which sources tell Johnston is a big target for Canucks management at the moment. They would also like to bolster their defense via trade, though the more likely course of action could be signing free agent Ethan Bear once he’s ready in December to return from shoulder surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks were trying to move Conor Garland but he’s signed for three more years at $4.9 million annually and that’s difficult to move in a season when most teams are feeling the salary-cap pinch.

Beauvillier may be on an expiring contract lacking no-trade protection but his cap hit and limited production (five points in 13 games) could make it tough to find a trade partner at this point in the season.

The Canucks might have to retain some of his cap hit to facilitate a deal. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait until later in the season when teams have accrued more cap room.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving is looking on the trade front for blueline help. However, it’s still very early in the season and “he doesn’t have a magic wand.”

Dreger noted that “there hasn’t been a consistent commitment to checking or defending and those aren’t things that a general manager can fix at this point of the regular season.” He thinks the forwards need to buy in and the coach needs to hold accountable those who won’t.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe investing more in defense rather than adding “snot” to the forward lines (hello there, Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi and Ryan “All Talk No Action” Reaves) might’ve been the better course of action during the summer.

Treliving did add a defenseman in John Klingberg but he was never renowned for his defensive skills, something that’s become very apparent so far this season.


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli noted that Philadelphia Flyers forward Morgan Frost has been dwelling in head coach John Tortorella’s doghouse thus far this season. After netting 19 goals and 46 points in 2022-23, the 24-year-old center has been a healthy scratch in seven games already this season.

Seravalli claims several teams have contacted the Flyers to make inquiries about Frost. To make a trade take place, however, there must be a higher level of interest. He believes they must play the youngster more often to boost that interest rather than ban him to the press box.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of Philadelphia (and elsewhere) claim the Flyers aren’t shopping Frost and have no plans to move him. He’s also trying to make the best of this situation and hasn’t said anything to add fuel to the fire.

Maybe the situation changes as the season goes along if Frost fails to improve or he and Tortorella start engaging in a war of words in the media. Until then, I wouldn’t expect him to be moved anytime soon.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2023

New contracts for Senators defenseman Jake Sanderson, Flyers forward Morgan Frost and Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

OTTAWA SUN: Entering his sophomore season, Jake Sanderson signed an eight-year, $64.4-million contract extension on Wednesday with the Ottawa Senators. The 21-year-old defenseman will earn an average annual value of $8.05 million.

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jake Sanderson (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big raise for Sanderson, who is in the final season of his three-year entry-level contract with an AAV of $925K. He’ll become the Senators’ highest-paid defenseman starting in 2024-25, earning just slightly more than Thomas Chabot ($8 million AAV). Sanderson will also be the third highest-paid player on the roster, behind Tim Stutzle ($8.35 million) and Brady Tkachuk ($8.205 million).

Sanderson is coming off an impressive rookie performance last season with 32 points in 77 games. A highly skilled rearguard, the 6’3”, 195-pound blueliner has the potential to become an elite player for the Senators. This contract would become quite cost-effective should he reach his full potential.

Speaking of the Senators, incoming owner Michael Andlauer hopes to finalize his purchase of the club by early next week.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers inked Morgan Frost to a two-year, $4.2-million contract. The 24-year-old center’s AAV will be $2.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Frost completed a one-year, $800K contract. He enjoyed a breakout season in 2022-23 with 19 goals and 46 points in 81 games.

In 2025, Frost will once again become an RFA with arbitration rights. Frost will be in line for a more lucrative long-term contract if he builds on last season’s performance.

THE ATHLETIC’s Charlie O’Connor reports the Flyers have hired former NHL star Dany Heatley as a professional scout.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks forward Ilya Mikheyev could miss preseason action as he continues to rehab from knee surgery. His agent, Dan Milstein, indicated his client is still likely three to four weeks from returning to action. “He could be ready, but why risk in preseason,” said Milstein. “Maybe play the final two games.”

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed general manager Bill Armstrong to a multiyear contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

Since taking over in 2020, Armstrong has overseen a considerable roster turnover, trading such notables as Jakob Chychrun, Christian Dvorak, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Darcy Kuemper for draft capital. Promising young players such as Barrett Hayton and Matias Maccelli were contributors to last year’s roster while top prospects Logan Cooley and Dylan Guenther could join the roster this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes beat writer Craig Morgan reported Armstrong’s new contract runs through 2028-29. The Coyotes have been near the bottom of the standings over the past three seasons. However, they made noticeable improvement last season under head coach Andre Tourigny, who was hired by Armstrong in 2021 and recently received his own contract extension.

Speaking of the Coyotes, suspended club co-owner Andrew Barroway had the charges dropped Monday from his domestic violence case in Colorado.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Coyotes also signed forward Ryan Dzingel and defenseman Peter DiLiberatore to professional tryout offers (PTOs).

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed former San Jose Sharks center Noah Gregor to a professional tryout offer.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Goaltender Dylan Wells accepted a PTO from the Predators.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Former San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has been hired by the Penguins as their senior advisor of hockey operations. Wilson was the Sharks GM from 2003 until stepping down in 2022 for health reasons.

SPORTSNET: Former NHL head coach Bruce Boudreau has been hired by the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs as a senior advisor. Boudreau was the bench boss of the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks. He was fired by the Canucks in January.

NHL.COM: Michael Del Zotto has retired after 13 NHL seasons. The 33-year-old defenseman had 262 points in 736 regular-season games with the Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and New York Rangers. He also had 12 points in 32 playoff games. He last played in the NHL in 2021-22 with the Senators.

RDS.CA: Kevin Poulin also announced his retirement. The 33-year-old goaltender spent parts of five seasons with the New York Islanders from 2010-11 to 2014-15. In 50 NHL games, he had a record of 18 wins, 25 losses and three overtime losses with a career goals-against average of 3.07 and a save percentage of .899. Since 2015-16, he played in Europe, ECHL and the AHL, spending the last two seasons with the Laval Rocket.