Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 24, 2024

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 24, 2024

Check out the most recent Canadiens speculation in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reported Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes hopes to accelerate his club’s rebuilding timeline during the offseason. He knows that his roster still needs work, especially their need for scoring depth.

Engels noted that Hughes has plenty of assets to draw on for trade bait this summer. He has plenty of promising young defensemen, four first-round picks and three second-rounders in the next two drafts and plenty of salary-cap space.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes (

At this stage, Engels doesn’t see them pursuing expensive aging veterans in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reported Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens executive vice-president of hockey operations, indicated that his club is always looking to add and to improve the roster. He said the Canadiens are “always looking for a trade” that would help move their rebuild along.

THE ATHLETIC: Arpon Basu also took note of the Canadiens’ depth in young defensemen. He believes this summer gives them a prime opportunity to flip some of those blueliners for help at forward.

Basu noted the Canadiens had done this before. During the first round of the 2022 draft, they shipped promising Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders for a first-round pick that they sent to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kirby Dach. They did so because Guhle was in their system and would crack the roster the following season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Basu pointed out that David Savard was not moved at this year’s trade deadline but could be traded during the offseason.

THE SCORE: Josh Wegman listed what he believes are the five priorities facing the Canadiens in the offseason.

Wegman feels they should weaponize their $19 million in cap space to continue stockpiling draft picks and prospects by targeting cap-strapped clubs looking to shed salary. Such teams are usually willing to add sweeteners to move out players. As long as it’s a short-term contract, it could help them add a prospect or draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have experience in that department, most notably their acquisition of Sean Monahan two years ago from the Calgary Flames. They could continue to go that route. However, recent remarks by Hughes and Gorton suggest they’re focusing on adding a player who can help them accelerate their rebuild.

The Canadiens should also sign Juraj Slafkovsky and Kaiden Guhle to long-term extensions this summer before it becomes more expensive to re-sign them. The duo have a year each remaining on their entry-level contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. There’s a risk that they might not play up to the expectations that come with such contracts. Usually, however, such deals turn into long-term bargains if they continue to develop as projected.

Wegman believes the Canadiens should make a modest splash in this summer’s UFA market to bolster their forward depth. Options could include Boston’s Jake DeBrusk, Edmonton’s Warren Foegele or Detroit’s Daniel Sprong.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be worthwhile provided they don’t overpay for the privilege. However, they could be more interested in finding a forward in his mid-twenties who would have a bigger impact and fit better within their long-term plans.

Wegman also thinks they should shop a veteran defenseman like Savard or Johnathan Kovacevic. Both are a year away from UFA eligibility. He also advises against buying out Brendan Gallagher or Josh Anderson as it would hurt the Canadiens’ long-term salary-cap flexibility when they project to be contenders again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher and Anderson each have three years left on their contract. It’s better to hang onto them for another couple of years and go the buyout route in the final season when the cost will only be spread out over two years.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2024

Recaps of Friday’s games plus the latest on Brendan Gallagher, Jordan Eberle, Gabriel Vilardi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Tyler Toffoli scored his first two goals with the Winnipeg Jets in a 6-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Josh Morrissey collected three assists and Laurent Brossoit turned in a 21-save shutout for the 42-19-5 Jets, who hold first place in the Central Division with 89 points. John Gibson stopped 32 shots for the 23-41-3 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Jets announced that forward Gabriel Vilardi will be sidelined indefinitely with an enlarged spleen. Meanwhile, Ducks defenseman Radko Gudas missed this game with an upper-body injury.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

The Los Angeles Kings blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. Anze Kopitar tallied twice and Cam Talbot kicked out 28 shots for the shutout. Chicago goaltender Arvid Soderblom gave up four goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Petr Mrazek. With a record of 34-21-11, the Kings hold third place in the Pacific Division with 79 points. The Blackhawks dropped to 18-44-5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, the Blackhawks recalled winger Lukas Reichel and demoted forward Zach Sanford.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher recently admitted that his mother Della is battling a stage-4 brain cancer called Glioblastoma. He admitted that it has affected him on and off the ice. His sister Bree is running in the BMO Marathon in Vancouver on May 5 and is seeking donations for her fundraising campaign for Brain Cancer Awareness Month in May.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link if you’d like to contribute to Bree Gallagher’s campaign.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Seattle Kraken commemorated Jordan Eberle’s 1,000th career game in a pregame ceremony before Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok is listed as week-to-week with an injured hand.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The New York Islanders activated defenseman Robert Bortuzzo off long-term injury reserve.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Halifax Mooseheads forward and Blue Jackets prospect Jordan Dumais received a five-game suspension from the Mooseheads related to his recent arrest for DUI in Halifax. Dumais, 19, will miss the remainder of the QMJHL regular season and the opening game of the playoffs.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2024

Penguins lose Jake Guentzel in loss to the Panthers, the Flyers name a new captain, plus the latest on Morgan Rielly, Brendan Gallagher, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers picked up their seventh win in their last eight games by downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists while Anton Lundell tallied twice for the 34-15-4 Panthers, who sit second in the Eastern Conference standings with 72 points. The Penguins (23-20-7) dropped their third straight game and also lost winger Jake Guentzel in the third period with an upper-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting seven points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, the Penguins’ playoff hopes are fading. That could push general manager Kyle Dubas to become a seller by the March 8 trade deadline. Guentzel has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill as a trade candidate but his value in the trade market could suffer if he’s sidelined long-term. There was no update following the game regarding his status.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 17 shots to shut out the San Jose Sharks 1-0. Morgan Barron scored the only goal for the Jets (32-14-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 69 points. Kaapo Kahkonen kicked out 38 shots for the 14-33-5 Sharks.

The Minnesota Wild picked up their fourth straight win with a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Matt Boldy and Joel Eriksson Ek each had a goal and an assist for the 25-23-5 Wild (55 points) as they moved to within three points of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Logan Cooley scored for the Coyotes (23-25-4), who also lost goaltender Connor Ingram for seven to 10 days after he left the game following the second period with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ promising play over the first three months of this season has disappeared in recent weeks. They’ve been in a nosedive in the standings over the past several weeks, winning just twice in their last 10 games and tumbling out of a wild-card spot in the process.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers named Sean Couturier as their new team captain with Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny as their alternate captains. Couturier is the 20th player in franchise history to become captain and the first since Claude Giroux was traded to Florida in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The timing of this announcement was puzzling as teams tend to name captains before the start of the season. One reader suggested perhaps they were waiting to see if Couturier, who missed all of 2022-23 recovering from back surgery, would be healthy enough to play out this season. Whatever the reason, Couturier was the obvious choice as he’s been their leader throughout this season.

Speaking of the Flyers, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen could be sidelined for two-to-three weeks due to a minor procedure for an upper-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly intends to appeal his five-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators center Ridly Greig last Saturday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of suspensions, Brendan Gallagher returns to the Canadiens lineup for tonight’s game against the New York Rangers. He served five games for an illegal hit to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech.

TSN: Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for high-sticking Tampa Bay Lightning forward Michael Eyssimont.

DAILY FACEOFF: Calgary Flames forward Jakob Pelletier is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

THE ATHLETIC: A league source confirmed the NHL will stage a Stadium Series game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, March 1, 2025, at Ohio Stadium. It will be the Blue Jackets’ first outdoor game in franchise history.

ESPN: A union representing junior hockey players has filed a lawsuit against the NHL as well as the Canadian Hockey League and its affiliated junior hockey leagues and clubs. The suit alleges the development system for professional prospects violates antitrust laws.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2024

Nathan MacKinnon regains the lead in the scoring race, Jonathan Marchessault sets a Golden Knights record, Zach Parise signs with the Avalanche, Brendan Gallagher receives a five-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to regain the NHL scoring lead (84 points) in a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Logan O’Connor scored two goals and Alexandar Georgiev made 26 saves for the 32-14-3 Avalanche, who hold first place in the Central Division with 67 points and sit third in the overall standings. Kevin Fiala scored for the struggling Kings (22-15-9), who’ve won just twice in their last 15 games and cling to the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon also extended his home points streak to 25 games, tying Bobby Orr for the second-longest home points streak to start a season. Wayne Gretzky holds the record with 40 games.

Speaking of the Avalanche, they signed free-agent winger Zach Parise to a one-year, prorated contract worth $825K with no performance bonuses. The 39-year-old Parise spent the last two seasons with the New York Islanders, tallying 21 goals in 2022-23. He’s considered an affordable short-term replacement for Tomas Tatar, who was traded last month to the Seattle Kraken after struggling offensively with the Avs.

Kings center Quinton Byfield missed the game due to an illness.

A hat-trick performance by Jonathan Marchessault powered the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. Marchessault set a franchise record for most hat tricks with four. Adin Hill kicked out 36 shots for the 29-14-6 Golden Knights, who sit second in the Pacific Division with 64 points. Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist for the Rangers (29-16-3) as they remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 61 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a difficult day for the Rangers. Defenseman Ryan Lindgren left this game with an upper-body injury in the first period. Center Filip Chytil suffered a setback in his recovery from a concussion when he suffered an upper-body injury in practice. Forward Nick Bonino cleared waivers and is expected to be sent to their AHL affiliate in Hartford following the All-Star break.

The Florida Panthers nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on a shootout goal by Sam Reinhart, who also scored in regulation to push his points streak to 12 games. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 35 shots while Evan Rodrigues also scored for the 30-14-4 Panthers, who sit in second place in the Atlantic Division standings. Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin replied for the Penguins (21-17-7), who’ve won just three of their last 10 contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart now has 36 goals on the season. He sits second in the league goal-scoring race, three behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.

An overtime goal by Pavel Buchnevich completed a three-goal comeback by the St. Louis Blues in a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Buchnevich finished the night with two goals and an assist while Robert Thomas and Brayden Schenn each collected two points for the 25-20-2 Blues (52 points). They’ve won four straight and sit one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist for the Kraken (28-18-10), who are three points out of that wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken forward Matty Beniers returned to action after missing five games with an upper-body injury.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher received a five-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like Gallagher’s gritty style of play but that hit on Pelech was such an egregious cheap shot that I was surprised he received a telephone hearing, which guaranteed that he’d receive no more than five games. That should’ve been at least 10 games. There’s been no update on Pelech, who was helped from the ice and didn’t return.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Corey Perry will make his debut with the Oilers tonight against the Nashville Predators. Earlier in the week, he signed a one-year, $775K prorated deal with the Oilers.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele will miss tonight’s game with the Maple Leafs as he’s not ready yet to return to action from a lower-body injury.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers signed winger Owen Tippett to an eight-year, $49.6 million contract extension. They also signed forward Ryan Poehling to a two-year, $3.8 million extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Worthwhile signings by the Flyers. Tippett’s annual average value is $6.2 million while Poehling’s is $1.9 million. Both have fit in well on this rebuilding club that has exceeded expectations this season.

After struggling to earn a roster spot with the Florida Panthers earlier in his career, Tippett is reaching his potential as a top-six forward with the Flyers. The 24-year-old winger is second among the Flyers with 18 goals and tied for third with 30 points in 46 games. He has the potential to become a consistent 30-plus goal scorer.

Poehling, 25, has found a home in Philadelphia as a checking-line forward after failing to stick with the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Carolina Hurricanes activated goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov off injured reserve. He’d been sidelined since Jan. 11 after receiving a blow to the head against the Anaheim Ducks.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Bobby McCann (undisclosed) on injured reserve and are awaiting word on the status of forward Calle Jarnkrok, who injured his hand during practice on Friday.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Arizona Coyotes defenseman Michael Kesselring $2,408.85 for cross-checking Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Maxwell Crozier.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Nashville Predator signed defenseman Kevin Gravel to a two-year, two-way contract extension worth $775K per season at the NHL level.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds hasn’t officially retired as an NHL player but is moving on with his life. “I had a great career. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life,” said the 35-year-old Simmonds. “Right now, it’s family time.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds played 15 seasons with the Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. In 1,037 games, he scored 263 goals and collected 263 assists for 526 points. He also had 22 points in 53 playoff contests.

A physical two-way winger, Simmonds’ best seasons were the eight he spent with the Flyers, scoring 20-plus goals six times (including two 30-plus goal campaigns) and exceeding 50 points four times.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2024

The Oilers win their 15th straight game, Steven Stamkos and Brad Marchand reach notable milestones, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers picked up their 15th consecutive win by blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0. Calvin Pickard turned in a 27-save shutout while Connor McDavid scored twice and collected an assist for the 28-15-1 Oilers, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 57 points. Petr Mrazek stopped 31 shots for the 14-33-2 Blackhawks as they dropped into last place in the overall standings with 30 points.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist to reach his 1,100th career NHL point in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Nikita Kucherov regained first place in the scoring race (83 points) with a goal and two assists for the Lightning (26-18-5), who sit third in the Atlantic Division with 57 points. Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist for the 23-21-3 Coyotes (49 points) as they sit four points out of the final Western Conference playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos is the 29th player in NHL history to record 1,100 points with a single team and the sixth active player to do so, joining Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane (Chicago) and Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar.

The Boston Bruins blew a 2-0 lead but defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on an overtime goal by Brad Marchand. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist while Jeremy Swayman turned aside 35 shots for the 30-9-9 Bruins, who hold first place in the Eastern Conference with 69 points. Thomas Chabot had a goal and an assist for the 18-24-2 Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are tied with the Vancouver Canucks in points but the latter holds first place in the overall standings with 32 wins.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon made 30 saves to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. Dylan Larkin scored to extend his points streak to 10 games as the Red Wings (25-18-5) hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 55 points. Samuel Ersson made 14 saves on 17 shots for the 25-18-6 Flyers as they’ve dropped four straight but remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 56 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Wings sent goalie Ville Husso to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint. This is a positive sign that he could soon return to action as he’s missed the past 16 games with a lower-body injury.

The Carolina Hurricanes held off the New Jersey Devils 3-2 for their 10th win in their last 13 games. Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and an assist for the 27-15-5 Hurricanes (59 points) as they hold a three-point lead over the Flyers in second place in the Metro Division. Jesper Bratt scored to collect his team-leading 49th point for the 24-19-3 Devils (51 points) as they sit four points behind the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils winger Ondrej Palat returned to action after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. They also placed forward Jack Hughes on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 5 and placed defenseman Dougie Hamilton (torn pectoral) on long-term injury reserve. The latter move enables the Devils to exceed the salary cap by over $6.7 million, which will allow them to add a player or two by the March 8 trade deadline. They’re believed to be in the market for a goaltender and perhaps a defenseman.

An overtime goal by Thomas Harley left the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Miro Heiskanen scored for the 29-13-6 Stars in his first game since being sidelined by an injury on Jan. 4. With 64 points, the Stars sit third in the Central Division. John Gibson made 40 saves for the 16-30-2 Ducks.

The Nashville Predators scored three third-period goals to nip the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2. Roman Josi had a goal and an assist while Ryan O’Reilly collected two assists for the 26-21-1 Predators, who hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points. Kirill Kaprizov collected two assists while Joel Eriksson Ek tallied his 21st goal of the season for the 21-22-5 Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Wild acquired defenseman Will Butcher from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Maxim Cajkovic. Butcher will report to the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan scored twice and collected an assist in a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield had a goal and an assist while Sam Montembeault kicked out 43 shots for the 20-21-7 Canadiens as they blew a 3-0 lead until Monahan’s game-winning goal. Noah Dobson collected three assists while Mathew Barzal, Bo Horvat and Kyle Palmieri had a goal and an assist for the 20-17-11 Islanders (51 points) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher is expected to face supplemental discipline after receiving a match penalty for elbowing Isles defenseman Adam Pelech in the head. Pelech, who has a history of concussions, left the game and didn’t return. After winning their first game under new head coach Patrick Roy, the Isles have dropped two straight games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Calgary Flames 5-2. Adam Fantilli, Yegor Chinakhov and Damon Severson each had a goal and an assist for the 14-23-9 Blue Jackets. Connor Zary and MacKenzie Weegar replied for the 21-22-5 Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oliver Kylington returned to action for the Flames for the first time since May 2022 as he dealt with mental health challenges…Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Blue Jackets forward Jack Roslovic…Calgary forward A.J. Greer left this game with an injured left leg…Earlier in the day, the Flames lost Adam Ruzicka and Nick DeSimone to waivers. The Arizona Coyotes claimed Ruzicka while the New Jersey Devils picked up DeSimone.

Turning to the Blue Jackets, they activated Zach Werenski off injured reserve and demoted David Jiricek to their AHL affiliate in Cleveland. Werenski collected an assist in this game.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 9, 2023

The preseason schedule is released, details of how the Erik Karlsson trade went down, plus the latest on Brendan Gallagher, Jeremy Swayman, Tim Thomas and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The 2023-24 preseason schedule was released yesterday. It will be “a 15-day, 111-game slate played across 44 NHL and neutral-site venues in North America and Australia from Sept. 23 to Oct. 7.”

The schedule kicks off with the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings playing two games in Australia in the 2023 NHL Global Series in Melbourne at the Rod Laver Arena from Sept. 23-24. It’s the first time NHL games will be played in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the Kraft Hockeyville series, the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs face off at the Joe Thornton Community Centre in St. Thomas, Ont, on Sept. 27 while the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators meet on Oct. 1 at Centre 200 in Sydney, NS.

The 2023-24 regular season begins on Oct. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Training camps are expected to begin between Sept. 21 and 25.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Details emerged about how the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks in a blockbuster three-team deal involving the Montreal Canadiens. Among the highlights:

Sharks general manager Mike Grier dismissed reports from last month claiming he and Penguins GM Kyle Dubas were close to a deal on the opening day of free agency (July 1) or during the NHL Draft on June 28-29. Dubas, meanwhile, said his side pushed hardest during the last week to make it work.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

As expected, moving Karlsson’s hefty contract proved to be challenging, especially given the Sharks’ unwillingness to retain a significant portion of his $11.5 million average annual salary. Grier also indicated that the Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes were the only clubs seriously in the hunt.

There was also a deadline for the Penguins to acquire Karlsson that was tied to the settlement last week of winger Drew O’Connor’s salary arbitration. It opened a 48-hour contract buyout window over the weekend that would’ve been Dubas’ last chance to clear some significant salary-cap space barring a trade before the beginning of the regular season. The Penguins intended to buy out Mikael Granlund but instead managed to include him in the trade package to San Jose for Karlsson.

The Sharks were on Jeff Petry’s 15-team no-trade list. He was traded to the Canadiens with the Penguins retaining 25 percent of his $6.25 million AAV. Dubas revealed there was some difficulty attempting to move the 35-year-old defenseman until Canadiens GM Kent Hughes stepped in toward the end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were a lot of pieces to this deal that needed time to be worked out. Fans and pundits are grading this trade to determine the winners and losers. Time, however, will be the ultimate judge of how this deal works out for all concerned.

What’s undeniable is this became the biggest trade in Pittsburgh Penguins’ history. It involved 12 assets, breaking the record of nine that was set in the 2015 Phil Kessel trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, Brendan Gallagher said he’s healthy after recovering from a twice-broken ankle that limited him to 37 games last season. The 31-year-old winger is looking forward to playing a leadership role with the rebuilding Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher’s physical, aggressive style of play could lead to him being sidelined at times this season. He missed considerable time over the past three years.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jeremy Swayman said he holds no ill will against the Bruins after being awarded a one-year, $3.47 million contract via arbitration. While the 24-year-old goaltender acknowledged it was business, he also said he didn’t want to repeat the process.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Going through the arbitration process often leads to a player’s departure once they become eligible for unrestricted free-agent status. However, the Bruins’ limited salary-cap space this season put the club in a difficult situation where they couldn’t afford to pay Swayman a more lucrative contract.

With the cap expected to rise by at least $4 million for 2024-25 and Swayman once again a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, perhaps the two sides will reach an agreement on a longer-term contract.

Speaking of the Bruins, former goalie Tim Thomas is looking forward to being part of the club’s centennial celebrations this season. Thomas, 49, said he’s looking forward to seeing some old teammates and expects it will be a fun season given the events planned by the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thomas has had a change of heart after saying he wouldn’t take part in the ceremonies during a 2019 interview. He’ll likely get a warm welcome from the Bruins faithful given his invaluable role in the club’s 2011 Stanley Cup championship run.

DAILY FACEOFF: cited Edmonton Oilers commentator Bob Stauffer reporting Brandon Sutter is expected to join the club’s training camp next month on a professional tryout offer. He hasn’t played since the 2020-21 season due to the effects of long-COVID but said in March that he’s been making some progress.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo has put in a letter of intent to purchase 41 acres in Mesa, AZ, for the club’s new arena. If successful, it would become the first privately funded sports and entertainment district in the state. Meruelo is also reportedly looking at other possible sites in the East Valley.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move follows a May vote by Tempe voters rejecting the Coyotes’ proposal to construct a venue in their area.

RDS.CA: Former NHL star Jaromir Jagr confirmed he’s returning for another season with Czechia’s Kladno Knights. Jagr, 51, owns the club and is in his seventh season with Kladno since leaving the NHL. He had five goals and nine assists in 26 games last season.