NHL Rumor Mill – November 27, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – November 27, 2020

More speculation over which Lightning player could be moved in a cost-cutting trade plus the latest on the Ducks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen examined which players the Tampa Bay Lightning could shop in a cost-cutting move. They’re above the $81.5 million salary cap by $1.904 million after re-signing defenseman Mikhail Sergachev earlier in the week, with restricted free agents Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak in need of new contracts.

The Lightning put winger Tyler Johnson and his $5 million salary-cap hit on waivers last month but he went unclaimed. His no-trade clause gives him some say over where he could go but there might not be a market for a 30-year-old winger with declining stats and a high cap hit for the next four years.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Killorn could become a cost-cutting trade candidate (NHL Images).

Alex Killorn is another candidate because of his modified no-trade clause whereas other Bolts with annual average values exceeding $4 million have full no-trades. Ondrej Palat and captain Steven Stamkos have also come up in speculation but both have full no-trade protection.

Whoever the Lightning trade they won’t get back a favorable return. However, the point is to free up cap room to keep as much of their roster intact as possible.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Stephens was asked if Tyler Johnson was a legitimate trade target for the Anaheim Ducks. While acknowledging Johnson’s had a solid NHL career, he wonders how well the 30-year-old will perform away from a deep roster like the Lightning. Given the Ducks’ own salary-cap constraints, the Bolts would have to absorb half of Johnson’s cap hit while the Ducks made a separate cost-cutting move to balance out the $2.5 million.

Stephens also suggested moving Ryan Kesler’s contract and perhaps another cap-related asset for Johnson if the center stays on long-term injury reserve during 2020-21. However, Ducks general manager Bob Murray could prefer retaining Kesler’s contract for his own LTIR purposes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson would be a tough sell that could end up costing the Lightning more than they’d like to part with in terms of a sweetener since they can’t afford to take back salary. It’ll be a tricky bit of juggling for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois.

Perhaps BriseBois could attempt to move Johnson for a permanent LTIR contract from another club thus providing sufficient wiggle room to re-sign Cirelli and Cernak and remain cap compliant. Some readers have suggested swinging a deal with the Detroit Red Wings to acquire the contract of all-but-retired center Henrik Zetterberg and his $6.083 million cap hit.

Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is the Lightning’s former GM and BriseBois’ mentor so there could be a fit there. However, Yzerman might not be keen to take on Johnson’s contract when he’s still got Frans Nielsen on his books for two more years at $5.25 million per season.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien believes the Anaheim Ducks should embrace a rebuild rather than attempting to become a playoff contender in 2020-21. If David Backes ($4.5 million) ends up on LTIR it would provide the Ducks with more salary-cap wiggle room. That could allow them to take on another team’s problem contract along with some valuable pieces for their future.

Should they go the rebuild route, team captain Ryan Getzlaf could become a valuable trade chip if the 35-year-old center is willing to waive his no-movement clause to join a contender. Getzlaf is in the final season of his contract with an $8.25 million cap hit but earning only $3 million in actual salary.

O’Brien also suggested winger Rickard Rakell and defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson as trade options. They’re in the late-20s and their contracts will expire at the end of 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: GM Bob Murray is convinced his club can compete for a playoff berth this season. His opinion could change if the Ducks are wallowing near the basement again by the trade deadline.

Getzlaf, Rakell, Lindholm and Manson would all have considerable trade value if Murray opts to tear things down and stage a full rebuild. Backes on LTIR for the season might also be enticing to cap-strapped contenders looking to free up space for other moves.










Latest Bruins and Ducks Speculation in NHL Rumor Roundup

Latest Bruins and Ducks Speculation in NHL Rumor Roundup

 










NHL Rumor Mill – November 18, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – November 18, 2020

Could the Ducks trade Ryan Getzlaf? How will the Islanders free up cap space for Mathew Barzal? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reported Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray has been working the phones trying to get cap compliant for 2020-21 and leave some wiggle room during the season. The Ducks are above the $81.5 million salary cap by nearly $930K.

Could the Anaheim Ducks consider trading captain Ryan Getzlaf? (NHL Images)

Wingers Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg have come up in the rumor mill, but Murphy wonders if the Ducks would consider moving Ryan Getzlaf. A source told Murphy that three teams looked into the availability of the long-time Ducks captain. The 35-year-old center is entering the final season of his contract with an $8.25 million cap hit and a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible and Murray could be considering all his options. However, the Ducks GM might not have to go the trade route to become cap compliant.

Center Ryan Kesler could remain on long-term injury reserve if he’s still sidelined by a nagging hip injury. That would enable the Ducks to exceed the cap limited by the equivalent of his $6.875 million annual average value for 2020-21.

Trading a veteran like Getzlaf (if he agrees), Rakell or Silfverberg is an option. However, that could be based more on their performance in the coming season and where the Ducks are in the standings leading up to the 2021 trade deadline.

Murphy also reported the New York Islanders only have around $3 million in salary-cap space and must find more in order to sign first-line center Mathew Barzal. Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello was reportedly attempting to trade defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy but couldn’t find any takers in part because of their salaries.

Murphy wondered if Lamoriello might try moving a forward instead. A source suggested Josh Bailey as an option. He’s owed $5 million annually for the next three seasons but could be a fit on a young club with salary cap room like Detroit or Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello would probably find more takers for Bailey than for Boychuk or Leddy. The 31-year-old winger is a versatile two-way forward who can skate on either wing and netted 40-plus points in five of the last six seasons. He played a key role in their run to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final with 20 points in 22 games.

Those traits, however, also make Bailey a valuable member of the Islanders. I think the Isles GM will instead consider other trade options.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2020

A look at next year’s unrestricted free agent class in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary recently previewed the NHL’s 2021 unrestricted free agent class.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

The notable forwards include Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, St. Louis Blues winger Jaden Schwartz, Montreal Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar, Boston Bruins center David Krejci, and Avalanche winger Brandon Saad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin’s already signaled his intent to re-sign with the Capitals. Unless Getzlaf feels he’d like one more shot at a Stanley Cup run, I can see him staying with the Ducks on a short-term deal. The Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins are discussing a long-term contract extension. I doubt the Avalanche part ways with Landeskog and I don’t see the Blues letting Schwartz depart after losing Alex Pietrangelo to free agency this year.

Hall could stay with the Sabres if he develops strong chemistry with Jack Eichel and the club significantly improves. Otherwise, he’ll test the market again. Tatar’s inconsistency means the coming season is likely his last in Montreal. The Bruins could let Krejci go unless he accepts a significant pay cut. Saad could be a one-year rental unless the Avs fail to re-sign Landeskog.

Noteworthy defensemen on O’Leary’s list include the Carolina Hurricanes’ Dougie Hamilton, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ David Savard, the Oilers’ Adam Larsson, and the Vegas Golden Knights’ Alec Martinez.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All four could end up hitting the market next summer. Cap constraints could make it difficult for Hamilton, Larsson and Martinez to remain with their current clubs. Savard will turn 31 next October and the Jackets could be reluctant to invest too much in him for too long.

The Bruins’ Tuukka Rask, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Frederik Andersen, the Blues’ Jordan Binnington, and the Avalanche’s Philipp Grubauer are among next year’s best UFA goaltenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the Bruins re-signing Rask to a short-term deal provided he doesn’t opt for retirement at the end of 2020-21. Andersen is likely a goner after next season.

The Blues parted ways with Jake Allen this year by trading him to the Montreal Canadiens. Things will really have to go sideways for them to let Binnington walk next summer. Grubauer’s future in Colorado could depend upon his performance in the coming season, especially during the playoffs.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 31, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 31, 2020

Another look at this year’s non-playoff clubs in the Sunday NHL rumor mill.

THE SCORE: John Matisz recently examined the most important business facing the NHL’s seven non-playoff clubs. Here’s a look at some of his notable observations.

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (Photo via NHL Images).

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray could face some soul-searching over whether to open contract extension talks with long-time captain Ryan Getzlaf, who becomes an unrestricted free agent next July. He would attract considerable interest among playoff contenders before the 2021 NHL trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf has an annual average value of $8.25 million with a full no-movement clause for next season. If he and the Ducks fail to reach agreement on a new contract, it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll agree to waive that movement clause.

With several veterans carrying expensive contracts, Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill needs to sign RFA winger Sam Reinhart and goalie Linus Ullmark to reasonable contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be easier said than done. Both players have arbitration rights. Coming off a bridge contract, Reinhart could be seeking a lucrative long-term deal.

The rebuilding Detroit Red Wings need depth throughout their roster. Acquiring a decent goaltender should be the priority for GM Steve Yzerman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This year’s UFA goalie market includes Washington’s Braden Holtby and Vegas’ Robin Lehner. Both, however, could prefer signing with contenders. Other options could include Calgary’s Cam Talbot, Dallas’ Anton Khudobin, or the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss. The Wings, however, could be forced to overpay.

The Los Angeles Kings have 21 picks in the next two drafts, including five second-rounders. Matisz wondered if packaging one or two picks with Jeff Carter at the 2020 draft might net the Kings a young, established NHL player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could depend on how much of a market there is for Carter. He’s a proven performer but age seems to have caught up with the 35-year-old center. He’s also got two more seasons with an annual average value of $5.275 million, though in actual salary he’s earning $2 million annually. The Kings might have to absorb part of that cap hit.

The New Jersey Devils’ biggest decisions are deciding whether they’ll remove the interim labels from GM Tom Fitzgerald and head coach Alain Nasreddine or hire full-time replacements. They’ve interviewed former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis and former NHL coaches Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette, and John Stevens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once they’ve sorted their management and coaching positions, the Devils can focus on addressing their roster issues.

Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion could be busy in the off-season. Among his 13 players on expiring contracts are Craig Anderson and Anthony Duclair.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 39-year-old Anderson could be brought back cheaply on a one-year deal, but it remains to be seen if he’s keen to spend another season with the rebuilding Senators or if Dorion wants him back. Duclair is a streaky scorer with arbitration rights, but he could end up having to accept a one-year “show-me” deal.

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson will have to get creative to shore up his goaltending. Martin Jones is no longer an effective starting goalie but he’s got four more years left on his contract with an AAV of $5.275 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $66 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21, Wilson could try to move one of his high-salaried veterans for younger talent. However, they also carry various no-trade/no-movement clauses. He could look for a short-term free-agent bargain like Khudobin or former Shark Greiss.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 6, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 6, 2020

Capitals stage late rally to upset the Sharks, an update on the NHL and the Olympics, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Goals by Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie within the final minute of regulation set the stage for Lars Eller’s overtime tally as the Washington Capitals upset the San Jose Sharks 5-4. Vrana scored twice for the Capitals while Sharks winger Evander Kane netted a hat trick.

Lars Eller’s overtime goal lifted the Washington Capitals over the San Jose Sharks 5-4 (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks seemingly put this out of reach after Logan Couture made it 4-2. They collapsed defensively in that final minute, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Tampa Bay Lightning extended their win streak to eight games by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist. Bolts blueliner Ryan McDonagh missed the game with an upper-body injury. The Hurricanes have dropped five of their last seven contests.

Ryan Getzlaf’s shootout winner gave the Anaheim Ducks a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators. Getzlaf also collected three assists while teammate Adam Henrique scored two goals and chipped in an assist. Predators captain Roman Josi collected an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games, setting the team record for defensemen. Craig Smith scored twice for the Predators.

Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger made 31 saves in a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mike Hoffman and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist.

A shootout goal by Dillon Dube put the Calgary Flames over the Minnesota Wild by a score of 5-4. Flames forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund each collected two assists, while Wild winger Marcus Foligno scored twice.

The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Corey Crawford picked up the win in his first start since Dec. 23. Adam Boqvist tallied the winner in the third period.

TSN: International Ice Hockey Federation chief Rene Faisel said the NHL must decide by August if it intends to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. He wants to ensure his organization has more time to make the appropriate preparations one way or the other. “We are working on an early decision made by the NHL and NHLPA,” Fasel said. “We need to know before that.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL players remain keen to participate in the Olympics. The league, on the other hand, is still cool to the idea, largely because the International Olympic Committee declined to pick up the costs of travel, insurance, and accommodations for NHL players. I daresay they’d also like a share of the sponsorship and media revenue. If the IOC maintains its previous position, we can forget about NHL participation in any future Olympics.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights rookie Cody Glass is suffering from a bone bruise on his leg and won’t require surgery. He suffered the injury during Saturday’s win over the St. Louis Blues.