NHL Rumor Mill – February 19, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 19, 2022

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and recent rumblings about J.T. Miller and Alexandar Georgiev in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ROUNDUP OF RECENT CANADIENS SPECULATION

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Earlier this week, Pat Hickey reported the Canadiens defense corps is in line for a major overhaul. No one expects sidelined captain Shea Weber to play again, the club is getting offers for pending UFA Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry could be moved if the right deal can be found while pending UFA Brett Kulak could also be shopped at the March 21 trade deadline.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot (NHL Images).

On Wednesday, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun told TSN690 (stick tap to NHL Watcher) the Canadiens have a list of players they wish to move and a list of those they want to keep. He believes Brendan Gallagher and Josh Anderson are on the “do not move” list because a team needs competitive players even when undergoing a rebuild. Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Drouin, Christian Dvorak and Artturi Lehkonen are on the “would like to move” list but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be traded.

LeBrun also believes the Canadiens covet some of the New York Rangers prospects while the Habs have some players to fill the Rangers’ needs. With 12 picks already in this year’s draft, the Canadiens could prefer returns of prospects over draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton was the Rangers general manager until last May. Most of their current prospects were chosen by him so it’s not surprising he wouldn’t mind landing one or two of them. Whether or not he’ll be successful and which ones he might get remains to be seen.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Mike Stephens notes recent reports linking the Toronto Maple Leafs to Chiarot. However, his near-league-worst overlying numbers plus the Canadiens asking price of a first-round pick should send the Leafs looking elsewhere to bolster their blueline. Stephens suggested the New Jersey Devils’ Damon Severson, Philadelphia Flyers’ Justin Braun and Winnipeg Jets’ Dylan DeMelo could be better options.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cites a report by RDS claiming the Canadiens reached out to the Capitals regarding goaltender Ilya Samsonov. The 24-year-old Samsonov has struggled at times with consistency but has played better of late. The Capitals are believed in the market to upgrade their goaltending and their forward lines as well. They’ve been linked to the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are expected to be among the prime sellers leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. UFAs such as Chiarot and Kulak are the most likely to go as they’ll be the easiest to move. The same goes for Lehkonen, who’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and a year away from UFA eligibility. Struggling players with term on their contracts (Petry, Hoffman, Drouin, Dvorak) could be tougher to ship out during the season.

The Habs’ interest in Samsonov could be a desire to bring in a younger NHL goalie who has the potential to perhaps take over for Carey Price if he’s traded or ends up on permanent LTIR. I think the Capitals prefer hanging onto Samsonov given his youth and potential.

LATEST ON J.T. MILLER

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported Thursday the Vancouver Canucks might not be in any hurry to move J.T. Miller, who’s signed through 2022-23. Canucks management doesn’t buy into the notion that the 28-year-old center’s trade value would be higher now than in the offseason. They could also sign him to a contract extension this summer so all options are all the table. Clubs interested in Miller, such as the New York Rangers, must step up if they hope to pry him away from the Canucks.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes the return the Montreal Canadiens received for Tyler Toffoli from the Calgary Flames (2022 first-round pick, 2024 fifth-rounder, bottom-six forward Tyler Pitlick and prospect forward Emil Heineman) sets the market price for Miller. He believes it would cost the Bruins a first-rounder, an additional pick, winger Jake DeBrusk and Jack Studnicka to land the Canucks forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All due respect to Haggs but I think it’ll take more than what the Canadiens got for Toffoli to land Miller, specifically the type of NHL player and prospect. I also doubt his suggested return would bring the Canucks center to the Bruins, especially considering the Rangers have the cap space and the depth in prospects and young players to outbid them.

Yes, the Canucks could trade Miller by the March 21 trade deadline if a club makes an impressive bid. However, that might not be out there during this season. While there are exceptions, the overwhelming majority of deadline moves tend to involve pending free agents on non-playoff clubs shipped to contenders as rentals.

UPDATE ON ALEXANDAR GEORGIEV

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev’s career has stalled as Igor Shesterkin took over as their full-time starter. The 26-year-old struggled last season and got off to a poor start to this one, though he played well filling in for Shesterkin when he was sidelined by a groin injury in December.

Since then, Georgiev’s numbers have declined, prompting Brooks to suggest any of his upcoming starts could be his last with the Rangers. With Georgiev a restricted free agent this summer who could become unrestricted if the Blueshirts don’t qualify his rights, the upcoming trade deadline could be their last chance to get something in return.

Moving Georgiev would mean finding a suitable backup. Brooks suggested Detroit’s Thomas Greiss or Vancouver’s Jaroslav Halak, though the latter is on injured reserve.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting Georgiev could be an option for the Golden Knights if starter Robin Lehner remains sidelined by a suspected shoulder injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out the possibility of Georgiev getting traded provided the Rangers ensure they have a suitable replacement in hand in case Shesterkin gets injured again. Greiss could be a better option than Halak, who has a no-movement clause while Greiss lacks no-trade protection. Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo could also be an option. If Rangers GM Chris Drury doesn’t believe they’ll do a better job, he’ll hang onto Georgiev.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2022

Check out my analysis of Daily Faceoff’s Trade Targets list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot, and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl top Frank Seravalli’s top-25 NHL trade targets list.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lot of speculation over where Giroux could go with the Colorado Avalanche believed the front-runner. As Seravalli points out, the 34-year-old Flyers captain’s no-movement clause gives him full control over this situation.

Chiarot is expected to return to action next week from a minor injury, sparking conjecture the Canadiens could trade him soon. The Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues are said to be among his suitors.

Hertl and the Sharks have reportedly started contract extension talks. As Seravalli observes, there’s no certainty they’ll reach an agreement before the March 21 trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Hagel and Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun sit fourth and fifth. Seravalli reports the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames were known to have talks with the Blackhawks about Hagel, though the Flames moved on to Tyler Toffoli.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I noted yesterday the report by Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times citing a source saying Hagel was virtually off the table. The Blackhawks could be listening to offers for just about everyone but Hagel probably won’t be moved unless they get a terrific offer.

As for Chychrun, lots of teams are believed to be interested. However, the Coyotes’ hefty asking price of a high first-round pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player explains why he’s still in Arizona.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Canadiens blueliner Jeff Petry, and Seattle Kraken rearguard Mark Giordano fill spots six through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli notes the Boeser trade chatter increased soon after the Canucks new management team was in place. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll cost $7.5 million to qualify his rights.

However, the Canucks are still chasing a playoff berth in the Western Conference. Hockey ops president Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin both said there’s no urgency to make trades. They could wait until the offseason to shop Boeser if they can’t reach an agreement on a new contract or receive a suitable trade offer before the March 21 deadline.

The Stars are also in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference. They might not shop pending UFA Klingberg unless they fall out of contention over the next four weeks. Fleury’s contract and modified no-trade clause make shipping him to a Stanley Cup contender a difficult move. The same goes for Petry. Giordano, on the other hand, could end up on the move before March 21 if the Kraken can find him a suitable destination.

Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul, Canucks forward J.T. Miller, Stars winger Joe Pavelski, New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, and Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo fill spots 11 to 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paul, Pavelski and Korpisalo are UFAs this summer while Georgiev is a restricted free agent. The Senators hope to retain Paul but they could shop him if they can’t reach an agreement on an extension.

What I said about Klingberg applies to Pavelski. I continue to have my doubts the Rangers will move Georgiev as that will send them into a thin goalie market for an experienced, reliable backup.

New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha, Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp, Blue Jackets winger Max Domi, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith are in spots 16 to 20.

Zacha and DeBrusk are RFAs with arbitration rights while the others are UFAs. The Devils could entertain offers for Zacha but they can also afford to wait until the offseason. It’s been three months since DeBrusk requested a trade.

Copp will draw interest in the trade market if the Jets become sellers but that’s not yet a certainty. The well-traveled Domi could be on the move again. The Golden Knights won’t have to trade Smith to clear cap space if Mark Stone and Alec Martinez remain on LTIR for the remainder of the regular season.

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell, Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Leddy, Coyotes winger Phil Kessel and Calvin de Haan round out the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rakell could be on the move if the Ducks continue to slide out of playoff contention. Roslovic has really struggled following the Jackets coaching change last summer. Leddy and de Haan should be affordable pickups for playoff contenders seeking defensive depth. Kessel could also interest clubs looking for a winger with playoff experience.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2022

Check out the latest on the Blackhawks, Rangers and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BLACKHAWKS

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis reports it’s believed the Blackhawks won’t move Marc-Andre Fleury unless he asks to be traded. The 37-year-old goaltender has a 10-team no-trade clause and has surfaced in recent trade rumors, with the latest tying him to his former club, the Vegas Golden Knights. If he does request a trade, they won’t send him somewhere he doesn’t want to go.

Fleury acknowledged if he were to be traded he’d want to play for a Stanley Cup contender. “If…IF…I move, I would love a chance to win,” he said. “That’s what I play for and that’s what I love. It’s still a big if at this point.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason is there are not many Cup contenders seeking an upgrade between the pipes. The Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals could use Fleury but they’re not considered among this season’s Cup favorites. There’s also a report the Capitals attempted to acquire him but it’s rumored he rejected the deal. The remainder of his $7 million cap hit for this season is another sticking point. Fleury could end up finishing this season with the Blackhawks.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports sources said Blackhawks interim general manager Kyle Davidson was listening to offers for wingers Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Hagel. He claims there’s considerable interest in Hagel, who is signed through 2023-24 with a $1.5 million annual salary-cap hit. Seravalli suggests Hagel might fetch a first-round pick and a prospect.

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus reports winger Dominik Kubalik’s struggles this season have him facing an uncertain future with the Blackhawks. The 26-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but his production is down this season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope acknowledged Seravalli’s report about Hagel but said a source told him the 23-year-old winger is virtually off the table. Fleury and defenseman Calvin de Haan are the Blackhawks’ biggest trade chips. Kubalik and fellow RFA Dylan Strome have been on the market for months despite persuasive arguments for keeping both.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson might be listening but that doesn’t mean he’s moving DeBrincat or Hagel. Both are young enough to be core players on this rebuilding roster. Unless the gambit here is to piss off long-time leaders Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to the point where they demand a trade in the offseason, it makes little sense to move DeBrincat or Hagel unless the return is significant.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Kubalik and Strome are traded away, though the decline in their respective production means they won’t fetch much of a return for the Blackhawks. Given their arbitration rights, it might not be worth the hassle to keep them.

RANGERS

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers interest in Vancouver Canucks forward (and former Ranger) J.T. Miller has been “an open secret” for some time. The versatile Miller can skate at center or right wing. He could prove useful to them beyond this season if they’re unable to re-sign pending UFA center Ryan Strome this summer. However, the Blueshirts probably won’t be able to afford an extension for Miller and would have to seek another top-six center in 2023.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports the asking price for Miller could be the classic “draft pick/prospect/player”. He wondered if the Rangers could land him by pitching a first-round pick and promising defenseman Nils Lundkvist.

Staple also commented on a recent report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli saying the Vegas Golden Knights may have reached out to the Rangers about Alexandar Georgiev. However, sources say the Blueshirts haven’t received any real offers yet for the 26-year-old goaltender. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and is a year away from UFA eligibility. Parting with Georgiev would leave the Rangers seeking an experienced replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what moves Rangers GM Chris Drury makes before the March 21 trade deadline. He’s got plenty of deadline cap space and lots of promising young players/prospects to draw upon for trade bait.

Drury is well-positioned to make a solid bid for Miller but would it be with an eye on keeping him beyond next season or as a short-term measure? Will he pass on Miller and consider other options? We’ll find out soon enough.

I’ll be surprised if they move out Georgiev. He’s not a UFA so they can peddle him in the offseason if he doesn’t fit into their plans. He did a good job filling in for starter Igor Shesterkin when he was sidelined for several games earlier this season. Better to stick with the backup you know down the stretch and into the playoffs.

CANUCKS

DAILY FACEOFF/THE ATHLETIC: Scott Burnside and Thomas Drance report Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general and general manager Patrik Allvin are both preaching patience, stressing there’s no urgency for the club to make moves before the March 21 trade deadline.

Rutherford said the final decision to make trades rests with Allvin, who indicated he wants to evaluate his club’s performance as they continue to fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal cited Elliotte Friedman noted the Canucks interest in New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha. However, he also said to keep an eye on the Washington Capitals as they need some help up front.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal listed Zacha, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen, Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman Travis Dermott among several players between 20 and 25 years old that they speculate could be on the Canucks trade radar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks’ new front office still has five weeks before the trade deadline to evaluate their players and determine who to move and who to keep if they decide to become sellers by March 21. It appears they’re going to give this roster a chance to gain some ground in the standings and see if they have a shot at securing a playoff berth. If they fall out of contention, they could start shipping out some players.

The interest in bringing in younger players indicates they’re looking at a quick turnaround rather than a lengthy rebuild. Shopping Miller could help them land such a player. Whether it would be any of those listed above remains to be seen.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 7, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 7, 2022

Analysis of the Daily Faceoff’s updated 20 trade targets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot and Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun top Frank Seravalli’s updated list of 20 NHL trade targets.

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (NHL Images).

Hertl’s having a strong performance in his contract year and could fetch the Sharks a strong return. Seravalli suggests keeping an eye on the New York Rangers in the Hertl sweepstakes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks remain in the hunt for a Western Conference wild-card spot but they could move Hertl if they fail to gain ground between now and the March 21 trade deadline. He’ll draw plenty of interest but the Rangers have the cap space and the depth in tradeable assets to perhaps outbid other clubs.

Seravalli said the Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues have been linked to Chiarot. He believes the 30-year-old Canadiens defenseman could help Stanley Cup contenders like the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals or the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And if one of those clubs is willing to part with a first-round pick they might be able to land Chiarot provided they’re not on his 10-team no-trade list.

The Coyotes won’t have much to build around if they trade Chychrun. That explains why their asking price is so high.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been reported the Coyotes could seek a return comparable to what the Buffalo Sabres got from the Vegas Golden Knights for Jack Eichel. In other words, a good young NHL player, a top prospect close to being NHL-ready, a first-round pick and a second-rounder.

Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse and New York Rangers goaltender Alexander Georgiev are fourth and fifth on Seravalli’s list. He said the Philadelphia Flyers have spoken to the Coyotes about Crouse. Georgiev made what Seravalli considers a “soft trade request” last summer. While it’s important for a team to have two trustworthy goalies, Seravalli considers Georgiev an unnecessary luxury when the Rangers have one of the best goalies in the league in Igor Shesterkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 16 points in 31 games, the 24-year-old Crouse is well on his way to exceeding his career-high of 25 points on the low-scoring Coyotes. As Seravalli observes, he could become a 20-goal forward on a deeper club.

Shesterkin’s recent injury history and Georgiev’s improvement over the last month suggest the latter isn’t going anywhere this season. Georgiev is a restricted free agent this summer so the Rangers aren’t under any pressure to move him before the trade deadline.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Jackets winger Max Domi, and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith fill positions six through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli said several teams have “engaged” with the Jackets regarding Korpisalo. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, he’s more likely to move than Georgiev.

DeBrusk’s trade request has been well-documented but Bruins general manager Don Sweeney hasn’t found a suitable offer yet. Perhaps DeBrusk gets shopped soon to free up some cap space for Tuukka Rask’s imminent return.

I’m not surprised to see Domi on this list given his UFA status this summer but Roslovic was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. He’s struggled this season but the 24-year-old is an RFA this summer and really likes playing in his hometown. The Jackets don’t have to move him at the trade deadline but it wouldn’t hurt to entertain offers.

The Golden Knights must shed salary to make room for Jack Eichel’s return from neck surgery next month. Smith is considered the likely candidate because of his UFA status in July. Seravalli suggested he could fetch them a solid return, pointing to the Toronto Maple Leafs parting with a first-round pick and two-fourth-round picks at last year’s deadline for Nick Foligno.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Leddy, Florida Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist, Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell, Coyotes winger Phil Kessel and New York Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov are 11 through 15 on this list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Red Wings jockeying for a wild-card spot they could be reluctant to part with Leddy. Seravalli suggests the Panthers could move Hornqvist as a cost-cutting move but that could take place in the offseason. His gritty style could be invaluable for them in the playoffs.

I also have my doubts about Rakell being available with the Ducks flying high in the Western Conference. That could change if they should tumble down the standings. A playoff club in need of scoring depth could add Kessel as a rental player. He’s a proven postseason performer.

Kravtsov is on loan to KHL club Traktor Chelyabinsk. He cannot be recalled by his NHL team until Traktor’s season is over.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan, Seattle Kraken blueliners Mark Giordano, Blackhawks center Dylan Strome and winger Henrik Borgstrom and San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane round out the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 37-year-old Giordano’s a UFA this summer and his chances of playing for a Stanley Cup contender are dwindling. Maybe he’ll get shopped to a Cup contender by the deadline.

Strome’s been in the rumor mill all season long but there’s doesn’t appear to be much interest in him, de Haan or Borgstrom. However, that could change leading up to deadline day.

Kane’s personal baggage and hefty contract have been well-documented obstacles blocking any chance of a trade. It could take enticing another team to get involved as a third-party broker to get a deal done but even that seems like a long shot.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 22, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – November 22, 2021

What will the Sharks do with Evander Kane? What are some possible trade destinations for Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot? Should the Rangers shop Alexandar Georgiev? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz wondered what the San Jose Sharks will do with Evander Kane when the 30-year-old winger’s 21-game suspension ends in about a week. General manager Doug Wilson has kept his plans for Kane under wraps. It would take some time for the winger to return to game shape as it appears he didn’t spend much time on the ice during his suspension.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

Kane was the Sharks leading scorer last season. However, his troublesome personality upset several of his teammates. Bringing him back into the lineup could disrupt team chemistry.

It’s unknown if Kane wants to return to the Sharks. Given his off-ice issues, trying to trade him if he wants out could prove almost impossible. The Sharks could buy him out but that would leave considerable dead cap space on their books for the next six seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be interesting to see how Wilson handles this situation. He attempted to trade Kane in the offseason but couldn’t find any takers. Factor in his contract with its $7 million annual average value over the next three years and it’s doubtful Wilson will have better luck moving him during the season.

A contract buyout would have to wait until the offseason. Cap Friendly indicates that will cause some salary-cap headaches over the next six years but it would clear a big chunk of his current cap hit from their books while ridding themselves of a divisive player from their dressing room. However, that doesn’t address the immediate issue of what to do with him once his suspension is over.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Mitch Gallo listed the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche as potential trade destinations for Ben Chiarot. The 30-year-old Montreal Canadiens defenseman has become a recent subject of trade speculation by several pundits. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes Chiarot could fetch a first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a comeback for the ages, the Canadiens will be sellers leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. Pending unrestricted free agents like Chiarot could be dangled in the trade market but I don’t see that happening this early in the season despite the Habs’ current woes. They’ll likely wait until after the February Olympic break to move him in order to maximize the potential return.

The Islanders could use Chiarot right now but I’ll be surprised if general manager Lou Lamoriello parts with a first-rounder to get him. The Avalanche got off to a stumbling start but seem to have righted their ship and don’t appear in any hurry to swing a deal. The Oilers and Leafs are playing well so they’ll likely wait until the second half of the season to consider any significant moves.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers have a backup goaltending problem after watching Alexandar Georgiev give up four goals on 18 shots in yesterday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres before being relieved by starter Igor Shesterkin. The Rangers would win the game 5-4.

Brooks observed something seems wrong with Georgiev’s performance this season. He indicated the 25-year-old netminder has been unhappy as a backup and has wanted out for a while even if he hasn’t formally requested a trade. He claimed the Rangers made Georgiev available this summer but couldn’t get a nibble.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Brooks pointed out, Georgiev’s poor play this season will further diminish his trade value. The Rangers need a more reliable backup for Shesterkin to avoid overworking their starter. If Georgiev wants out he’ll have to perform better in order to entice a rival club into acquiring him.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 11, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – October 11, 2021

The fallout from the Rangers re-signing Mika Zibanejad plus the latest on the Senators and Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien considers the New York Rangers out of the Jack Eichel trade market with their signing of Mika Zibanejad yesterday to an eight-year extension worth $8.5 million per season.

New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (NHL Images).

O’Brien suggests the Rangers do have some salary-cap challenges ahead. 2021 Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox becomes a restricted free agent next summer. In addition to Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, Chris Kreider, Igor Shesterkin and Barclay Goodrow take up a considerable chunk of their salary-cap payroll for 2022-23.

Fox could be eyeing a deal comparable to the $9 million AAV Cale Makar signed this summer with the Colorado Avalanche. Promising winger Kaapo Kakko is also slated for RFA status next summer.

NEW YORK POST: Before the Zibanejad signing, Larry Brooks was skeptical of the Rangers acquiring Eichel. On Oct. 9, he suggested the only way the Blueshirts could afford Eichel and Zibanejad was if the Buffalo Sabres absorbed 40 to 50 percent of the 24-year-old center’s $10 million annual cap hit.

Brooks dismissed the likelihood of Sabres owner Terry Pegula agreeing to that. He believed Pegula would prefer shipping Eichel anywhere else but the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers aren’t acquiring Jack Eichel unless Zibanejad’s new contract is part of some elaborate “sign-and-trade” deal by general manager Chris Drury. Otherwise, they’ll have to shed $10 million in cap space to fit Eichel’s cap hit within their payroll. Doing that would weaken their depth.

Cap Friendly shows the Rangers with over $62 million invested in 16 players for 2022-23 with Fox, Kakko, Alexandar Georgiev and Ryan Strome among their notable free agents. Fox and Kakko are coming off their entry-level contracts and lack arbitration rights. Georgiev has arbitration rights while Strome is a UFA.

I don’t see the Rangers taking the hard-line with Fox. He’ll get at least $9 million, maybe more after winning the Norris Trophy last season. That will push the Rangers’ cap payroll to over $71 million with $11 million remaining for the others. They can likely afford most of them but it could be expensive to find a suitable replacement for Strome if he hits the open market.

OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren believes Senators GM Pierre Dorion will take a close look at the waiver wire to see if he can add another center with Colin White on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He could also go the trade route for help, perhaps by targeting a cap-strapped club.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks don’t have to worry about losing Alex Nylander through waivers. He’d been previously designated as waiver-eligible but Cap Friendly now indicates he’s exempt because he was sidelined throughout last season. He still needs another pro season or 53 NHL games to be waiver-eligible.