NHL Rumor Mill – March 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 23, 2022

The 2022 trade deadline may be history but the trade and free agent rumors roll on. Check out the latest on the Canucks, what the offseason could hold for the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, and what’s ahead for the Blue Jackets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE CANUCKS?

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Following the trade deadline, Rob Simpson was critical of the trade rumors surrounding Canucks scoring leader J.T. Miller for the past two months, calling them “asinine”. He also heaped scorn on the Conor Garland trade speculation, pointing out he’s 26-years-old and under contract for the next four years at an annual salary-cap hit of $4.95 million.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston also took note of Miller, Garland and winger Brock Boeser staying put despite weeks of trade conjecture. He speculates high-profile trades could still take place in the offseason, even if the leverage for those players won’t be as high as it was this past weekend. If any significant changes take place, Johnston believes it’ll be through trades.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen reminded us the Canucks weren’t facing pressure to move those three players. Miller has another year remaining on his contract, Garland has four more and Boeser is a restricted free agent in July. However, he shares Johnston’s view that any major moves to clear cap space or shake up the roster will take place this summer.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser still seems the most likely of the three to be moved. He will cost the Canucks’ $7.5 million to qualify his rights plus he’s also eligible for salary arbitration. Boeser could be on the move if the Canucks fail to shed salary elsewhere. Meanwhile, Miller’s agent is reportedly willing to meet with management this summer to discuss a contract extension.

COULD THE BRUINS STILL MOVE DEBRUSK AFTER RE-SIGNING HIM?

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes the Bruins signed Jake DeBrusk to a two-year, $8 million contract extension to make the 25-year-old winger a more tradeable commodity before Monday’s trade deadline. He indicates they were interested in winger Rickard Rakell before the Anaheim Ducks shipped him to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but doesn’t know if DeBrusk would’ve been part of the deal.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports DeBrusk’s agent was disappointed his client wasn’t moved before the deadline. While the Bruins felt they were better off retaining the winger, LeBrun speculates they could revisit attempts to trade him in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s colleague Fluto Shinzawa believes it’s up to DeBrusk to determine his fate after this season. If he doesn’t improve over the remainder of the season it will depress his trade value by the July draft, which is the next waypoint in the trade market. A better effort by DeBrusk would boost his trade value and make him easier to move this summer.

WHAT COULD THE OFFSEASON HOLD FOR THE BLUE JACKETS?

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen suggested bigger moves could be in store for his club in the offseason compared to their limited activity at the trade deadline. He indicated he’ll be in the market for a player who can have an impact right away.

Another big move will be attempting to sign winger Patrik Laine to a contract extension. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. Sources told Portzline that initials discussions have begun between the two sides.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 21, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 21, 2022

The Trade Deadline is 3 pm ET today. Check out the latest in this morning’s NHL rumor mill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With so many notable names already moved in recent days, there’s not much in terms of rumors involving noteworthy trade candidates. Here’s a quick roundup of this morning’s speculation.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Boston Bruins will look at acquiring a forward before today’s trade deadline. Targets could include the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Max Domi, the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller and the New Jersey Devils’ Pavel Zacha.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Canucks are unlikely to move Miller today. Anything can happen, of course, but the extra year on his contract means they could keep him and perhaps try to sign him this summer to a contract extension.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports the Flyers are getting lots of calls on defenseman Justin Braun. Winger James van Riemsdyk could also be available as he has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million.

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Braun seems more likely to move than van Riemsdyk considering the latter’s cap hit. Braun is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and carries an affordable $1.8 million annual average value.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers are believed to be interested in Jets forward Andrew Copp. Meanwhile, talk around Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell seems to have quieted. Rangers GM Chris Drury could also bring in a defenseman. Options could include the Chicago Blackhawks Calvin de Haan, Montreal Canadiens Brett Kulak, the Flyers’ Justin Braun and the Buffalo Sabres’ Colin Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek has made good on his vow to trade his pending UFAs rather than risk losing them for nothing this summer to free agency. He already shipped out Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson. I expect Rakell will be on the move before today’s deadline.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma ponders the trade possibilities for several Canucks. They appear willing to remain patient with pending restricted free agent Brock Boeser while Conor Garland’s speed and reasonable contract still make him a good fit in Vancouver. Pending UFAs Tyler Motte and Luke Schenn are more likely to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser could be moved today but I think that’s more likely an offseason move if they can’t reach an agreement on a contract. Garland is reportedly drawing lots of interest but I think it’ll take a significant offer (first-round pick?) to pry him away from the Canucks.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports the Los Angeles Kings have expressed interest in Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen and defensemen Jeff Petry and Brett Kulak. The Edmonton Oilers have also been linked to Kulak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 and his 15-team no-trade clause could make him difficult to move today. That could be an offseason transaction.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes the Oilers would like to add a defenseman. His suggested options include the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy, the Ottawa Senators’ Nick Holden, and the Canadiens’ Brett Kulak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leavins also included the New Jersey Devils’ Ryan Graves on his list but I don’t believe he’s available.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks goaltender James Reimer is garnering some interest.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Nick Leddy could be the next Red Wing to depart before today’s deadline. Vladislav Namestnikov and Marc Staal could also be available.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: It appears the Capitals will continue to make calls for a goaltender and a middle-six forward.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames could add an affordable defenseman. Targets could include the Flyers’ Justin Braun, the Canadiens’ Brett Kulak, the Kraken’s Carson Soucy, the Sabres’ Colin Miller, the Red Wings Marc Staal and the New York Islanders’ Zdeno Chara.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Chara going anywhere today. It seems like he’s willing to finish the season with the Isles.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 20, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 20, 2022

Check out the latest on Patrick Kane, Marc-Andre Fleury, Mark Giordano, Filip Forsberg and Max Domi plus the latest on the Flyers, Jets, Oilers, Canucks and Senators in Part One of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

THE LATEST ON KANE, FLEURY, GIORDANO, FORSBERG AND DOMI.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Patrick Kane’s agent, Pat Brisson, said the long-time Chicago Blackhawks winger will not be dealt at Monday’s trade deadline. They’re also not moving Jonathan Toews or Seth Jones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane and Toews each carry $10.5 million annual salary-cap hit through 2022-23 with full no-movement clauses. Good luck moving either guy at the trade deadline. Those sort of moves, if they happen at all, will take place in the offseason when teams have more cap space, provided either guy is willing to waive their movement clauses. Jones starts his new eight-year contract next season so he’s staying put as well.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

The Minnesota Wild are believed to have an interest in Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Wild general manager Bill Guerin was Fleury’s teammate with the 2009 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Michael Russo reports Fleury is willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to Minnesota. The Blackhawks reportedly want a first-round pick for Fleury but Guerin is adamant he’s not moving his first-rounder. Russo believes he could part with his second-round pick. Whether that’s something the Blackhawks will accept is another matter. Russo also suggests Cam Talbot’s recent improvement could convince Guerin to stick with his current tandem.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano could be a trade target of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The New York Rangers could also be in the bidding for the 38-year-old blueliner. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has let it be known he’s not trading his first-round pick or his top prospects for a rental player. Friedman also believes Leafs rearguard Travis Dermott will be moved no matter what happens. If they fail to land Giordano, Jeff Marek believes they’ll pursue the Philadelphia Flyers’ Justin Braun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken could retain half of Giordano’s $6.75 million if the Leafs want him but Seattle GM Ron Francis apparently seeks at least a first-rounder as part of the return. Unless he drops his asking price or Dubas changes his mind, the Leafs will have to look elsewhere for a defenseman.

Contract extension talks between the Nashville Predators and winger Filip Forsberg reportedly haven’t gone well. It’s believed Predators GM David Poile has tested the trade market on Forsberg but doesn’t think he’ll get traded though that could change with one phone call.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile could surprise us by shipping out Forsberg but doing so could hurt their chances of nailing down a playoff spot. Some folks will say, “So what? They’re not going deep in the playoffs anyway so move Forsberg rather than risk losing him for nothing this summer”. We’ll find out soon enough if the Predators GM feels the same way.

Jeff Marek reports Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi is someone worth watching in the trade market. He’s on an expiring contract and the Washington Capitals are said to be interested in him, perhaps the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche. His $5.2 million cap hit could be an issue requiring a third-party deal or the Jackets retaining salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets could be willing to retain some of Domi’s cap hit for the right offer. It’ll be interesting to see where the well-traveled forward ends up.

FLYERS PROVOROV, SANHEIM, KONECNY DRAWING ATTENTION

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports there has been interest in other Flyers in the trade market such as defensemen Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov and forward Travis Konecny. There’s no belief the Flyers are in a hurry to move those players though it’s always possible someone could make a big pitch for them before Monday’s trade deadline. Marek believes decisions on those players could be summer decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Based on the reaction of Flyers fans on social media following the Giroux trade and the recent re-signing of Rasmus Ristolainen, they’re not happy with general manager Chuck Fletcher. Moving Sanheim, Provorov or Konecny this summer won’t sit well with them unless they’re getting solid returns.

UPDATES ON THE JETS, OILERS, CANUCKS, SENATORS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports trade conversations are “intensifying” regarding Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp. The Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers have been linked to the 27-year-old pending free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation is growing in Winnipeg over what moves Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has in mind for his club on deadline day. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck reports Copp and Paul Stastny are the two noteworthy trade assets. The Winnipeg Free Press’ Mike McIntyre wondered if Cheveldayoff might acquire a middle-six forward such as the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, the Blackhawks’ Dominik Kubalik or the Montreal Canadiens’ Artturi Lehkonen.

Jeff Marek doesn’t expect the Edmonton Oilers to make a big splash at the trade deadline. They’ve explored the goalie market but that hasn’t borne fruit. They’re happy with their forwards but could seek a left-shot defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson shares Marek’s opinion. He mentions they’ve been linked to Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul, Flyers defenseman Justin Braun, Detroit Red Wings blueliner Marc Staal and Kraken rearguard Carson Soucy.

Marek also believes the Canucks could be sellers if they don’t gain ground in the playoff race this weekend. Forwards Brock Boeser and Conor Garland have come up in trade rumors. He doesn’t expect they’ll move center J.T. Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could peddle Boeser and/or Garland at the trade deadline but they can also wait for the offseason if there are no current offers to their liking. Boeser is a restricted free agent this summer while Garland is signed through 2025-26. The Province’s Patrick Johnston reports the Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, Maple Leafs and Bruins have been linked to Garland.

Friedman believes the Ottawa Senators and pending UFA forward Nick Paul aren’t far apart in contract talks but both sides appear dug in. Both sides want to get a deal done but don’t yet have an agreement on the money.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators held Paul out of last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the New York Rangers are pushing hard to acquire Paul, while the Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild are also believed among the suitors.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2022

Check out the latest on J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, Mark Scheifele, Jeff Petry and Michael Del Zotto in an all- Canadian team edition of the NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON MILLER, BOESER AND GARLAND

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Laurence Gilman scouted two recent Vancouver Canucks games largely to watch J.T. Miller. The Leafs are among several teams linked to the 28-year-old center but LeBrun believes they were doing due diligence. He also believes the Canucks aren’t that interested in moving Miller unless a team steps up to acquire him.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Darren Dreger said only a handful of clubs have expressed an interest in Miller, likely because of the Canucks preference to hang onto him when he has another year remaining on his contract. The New York Rangers would like to acquire him. They’re also linked to the Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell and the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller doesn’t appear too concerned about the trade rumors. Vancouver Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson reports the Canucks star isn’t paying much attention to it, saying he has no reason to believe he’ll be traded unless his agent or management approach him about it. Based on his comments, it’s apparent that the discussion hasn’t happened yet.

Chris Johnston reports the Canucks’ asking price for Brock Boeser and Conor Garland is believed to be slightly more modest. Teams have been in contact with the Canucks over that. While still on the fringe of the playoff race, they are getting closer to making some decisions. They could be more likely to move one or both, perhaps for players rather than draft picks or future assets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser is due for a significant raise this summer as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who will cost the Canucks $7.5 million just to qualify his rights. Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford indicated he’s seeking salary-cap flexibility, which could also assure a Boeser trade.

Garland, meanwhile, is in the first season of a five-year deal with an annual average value of $4.95 million. The 25-year-old carries a reasonable cap hit but could become part of Rutherford’s cost-cutting measures.

COULD THE JETS TRADE SCHEIFELE?

THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates recently addressed trade speculation from his readers regarding Mark Scheifele’s future with the Winnipeg Jets. One of them mentioned Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli speculating this season could be the 28-year-old center’s last with the Jets.

Ates doesn’t think it’s a certainty this is Scheifele’s last season in Winnipeg but doesn’t rule it out. He’s got two more seasons left on his contract, meaning a decision on his future will have to be reached by the end of next year at the latest. If they were to trade Scheifele, Ates believes they need to get the best center available in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scheifele won’t be moved before this season’s trade deadline. However, I think management needs to seriously consider making some changes to the Jets’ core. This team peaked three years ago and is only getting slowly worse, not better. They don’t need a massive rebuild but retooling by moving someone like Scheifele could be worth consideration.

PETRY IS STILL A TRADE CANDIDATE

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reporting the Canadiens still intend to trade Jeff Petry should a team step up with a suitable offer. It might be difficult to move the 34-year-old defenseman’s $6.25 million cap hit before the trade deadline but there will be no shortage of suitors with salary-cap flexibility in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors have linked Petry to the Philadelphia Flyers. They already have a 30-something mobile right-side defenseman with a $6.25 million cap hit in Ryan Ellis. I’m well aware of his injury woes this season but he’s still considered a big part of their future plans. Acquiring Petry makes no sense for the Flyers unless Ellis goes permanently on long-term injury reserve.

LATEST ON THE SENATORS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators defenseman Michael Del Zotto could be on the move before the trade deadline. Del Zotto, 31, is currently skating with the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Belleville. General manager Pierre Dorion is getting calls from some teams seeking a veteran defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are the eighth NHL club for the well-traveled Del Zotto. He could draw some interest from a contender seeking an affordable depth defenseman. He won’t fetch much of a return, perhaps a late-round draft pick.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 22, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 22, 2022

The latest on Conor Garland and Cal Clutterbuck plus my analysis of Daily Faceoff’s updated trade targets list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON GARLAND AND CLUTTERBUCK

NESN.COM: Mike Cole suggests the Boston Bruins should consider acquiring local boy Conor Garland from the Vancouver Canucks. The Bruins attempted to land the energetic 25-year-old winger from the Arizona Coyotes before they shipped him last summer to the Canucks, who inked the two-way forward to a five-year extension worth an annual average value of just under $5 million.

Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland (NHL Images).

Cole feels Garland could improve the Bruins’ five-on-five scoring (23rd overall) and points out some pundits believe the winger could garner lots of interest in the trade market. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils in a report three weeks ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As always with the Bruins, it comes down to whether they have sufficient assets to outbid other clubs for Garland if he’s available before the March 21 trade deadline. The Flames’ acquisition last week of Tyler Toffoli takes them out of the market. However, the Rangers and Devils have plenty of cap space and depth in promising young players and prospects to make competitive offers. The Bruins could offer up Jake DeBrusk but I don’t think the Canucks would be interested having shown none thus far since his trade request in late November.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner noted Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic took in Sunday’s game between the Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. A league source believes he was scouting Isles forward Cal Clutterbuck.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Clutterbuck would be a good addition to the Rangers’ bottom-six forwards. However, he doubts Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello would make a deal with his club’s long-time rival, pointing out he never made a trade with the Blueshirts during his 28 years as GM of the Devils nor has he made one with them since joining the Isles four years ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clutterbuck has value among playoff contenders seeking a gritty checking-line forward. It remains to be seen if he ends up with the Avalanche given their supposed interest in Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. I agree with Brooks that Lamoriello shipping Clutterbuck to the Rangers is probably fantasy.

ANALYSIS OF DAILY FACEOFF’S UPDATED TRADE TARGETS LIST

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli added Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, Dallas Stars goaltender Braden Holtby, Ottawa Senators goalie Anton Forsberg and Chicago Blackhawks center Ryan Carpenter to his trade targets list.

Olofsson, 26, debuts at No. 12. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer, which could prompt the Sabres to move him. Holtby (No. 15) is an unrestricted free agent this summer carrying an affordable $2 million cap hit. With Jake Oettinger getting more starts, Seravalli suggests the Stars could shop Holtby and recalled Anton Khudobin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Olofsson’s production has declined since his 20-goal, 42-point debut in 52 games in 2019-20. It wouldn’t be surprising if the rebuilding Sabres shipped him to a playoff contender willing to gamble on him regaining his form with a deeper roster.

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun believes Stars general manager Jim Nill could wait until the final couple of games leading up to the March 21 trade deadline to decide if he’s a buyer or seller. I believe he’ll be the latter if the Stars fall out of contention by then, which could see them peddle their pending UFAs like Holtby, John Klingberg and perhaps Joe Pavelski.

Seravalli speculates the Senators could shop Forsberg (No. 17 on the list) if they feel comfortable with Matt Murray as their starter going forward. The 29-year-old Forsberg is slated to become a UFA this summer. Carpenter (No. 20) is a 31-year-old hardworking defensive forward who’s also UFA-eligible this summer. Seravalli wonders if he might be a fit with the New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch speculates teams could inquire about Forsberg. He mentioned the Edmonton Oilers’ well-documented goaltending issues but suggests they might want a netminder with more of a pedigree.

As for Carpenter and the Rangers, their need seems to be for a scoring right winger. Still, they have considerable cap space if they wish to make a depth addition to their checking lines.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 3, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 3, 2022

Will the Canucks trade J.T. Miller or Conor Garland? What’s the latest Canadiens and Jets speculation? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE LATEST ON MILLER AND GARLAND

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes whether to trade or keep J.T. Miller is the biggest question facing the Vancouver Canucks’ new management. The 28-year-old forward is their leading scorer and is signed through 2022-23 with a palatable $5.25 million salary-cap hit. If he’s extended, it could be a long-term deal worth over $7 million per season.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

The versatile Miller is also drawing plenty of interest in the NHL trade market. He could be the first chip to play in a retool, rebuild or refresh of the roster. The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are believed among the clubs linked to Miller.

Canucks president Jim Rutherford wants those trade offers early because his trade leverage could diminish if his club falters over the next month. Kuzma believes Rutherford could get a first-round pick, prime prospect and a center for Miller right now.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL pro scout telling him the Canucks love the Bruins’ top prospect Fabian Lysell. He believes that’s what it could take for them to acquire Conor Garland from Vancouver. The Bruins had an interest in Garland last summer before he was shipped to the Canucks by the Arizona Coyotes.

Murphy also noted the rumors tying the Bruins to Miller. He believes Lysell would also have to be part of the return for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford and his management staff aren’t under pressure to move Miller or Garland before the trade deadline. With both players under contract for next season, they have the luxury of waiting until the offseason if they don’t receive any suitable offers by deadline day.

However, they’ll seriously listen if the Bruins pitch Lysell as part of an offer for Miller or Garland. The Bruins prospect is enjoying a solid rookie season with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, leading them with 13 goals in 26 games and is tied for their points lead with 32.

UPDATES ON THE CANADIENS

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski wonders if Jeff Petry might be a good fit with the Penguins. He notes the 34-year-old Canadiens defenseman wants out of Montreal and is in the first year of a four-year contract with an annual average value of $6.25 million.

Colleague Jimmy Murphy reports the Canadiens’ asking price is a second-round pick and a top prospect. Kingerski suggests Petry could help improve the right side of the Penguins’ blueline as well as provide insurance in case Kris Letang departs this summer as a free agent. He proposed offering up their second-rounder and young defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens might listen to that offer, especially if they don’t have to retain salary or toss in a sweetener to get it done. Joseph, 22, was a fine puck-moving defenseman during his junior days with the Charlottetown Islanders and still has the potential to become a top-four NHL blueliner.

Cap Friendly indicates the Penguins will have $4 million in deadline cap space, enough to take on Petry’s remaining cap hit for this season. That’s assuming the Penguins aren’t on his no-trade list and they can fit Petry and Letang on their roster for next season, especially as they’ve also got Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust to re-sign or replace.

Of course, this is mere spitballing by Kingerski and myself. The Penguins could be considering different options leading up to the March 21 trade deadline while the Canadiens could get better offers from another NHL club.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli speculated winger Artturi Lehkonen could fetch a first-round pick if he and the Canadiens part ways. He said there are teams that view him as this year’s version of Blake Coleman or Barclay Goodrow, who helped the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE JETS?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes changes are coming for the struggling Winnipeg Jets as they’ve failed to improve since Paul Maurice stepped down as head coach in December. Their defense has failed to make up for an offense that’s gone dry while goaltender Connor Hellebucyk isn’t his usual dominant self this season.

Proteau wonders if general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is the right person to be making the decisions that could bring about change. They’ve got over $71 million invested in 12 players for next season with Paul Stastny and Andrew Copp due to become unrestricted free agents while Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kristian Vesalainen are among their slew of restricted free agents.

The Jets have some talented players to hang onto. However, they need to determine what parts of their core they should consider shopping in the trade market.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre observed Jets center Mark Scheifele hasn’t been the same since getting suspended from last year’s playoffs for running Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans. He’s been a shell of himself this season, appearing disengaged and disinterested. Pierre-Luc Dubois has outplayed him this season and will get a significant raise this summer.

McIntyre wondered if a change of scenery might be in the best interest of Scheifele and the Jets. He’s two years away from becoming an unrestricted free agent and could still fetch a handsome return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Scheifele would certainly shake up the Jets roster and he would bring in a significant return. However, The Athletic’s Murat Ates doesn’t believe they should trade him simply because of one sub-par season.

Cheveldayoff could share Ates’ opinion about Scheifele. Nevertheless, he’ll have to do something in the offseason. He doesn’t have to blow up the roster but changes are needed for a club that’s been slowly declining since reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2018.