NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2019

Latest on the Ducks, Leafs, and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

WHAT NEXT FOR THE DUCKS? 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: In the wake of the Anaheim Ducks firing head coach Randy Carlyle, Mark Whicker suggests everyone who can be traded (other than goaltender John Gibson) shouldn’t be surprised if they’re moved by the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

The roster reconstruction cannot truly begin until the Ducks find a way to shed the contracts of aging veteran forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler. “All three have no-movement deals. Kesler is owed $6.67 for the next three seasons after this one. Getzlaf gets $8.275 million and $6 million, Perry $8 million and $7 million.” 

Murray said he had “no fear” about asking any of them to waive their clause, but Whicker feels that’s unlikely to happen in 2019. Buyouts would be a drastic option but the Ducks GM has ownership permission to do whatever it takes to get the club back on track. 

Can the Anaheim Ducks find a way to shed high-salaried veterans like Ryan Getzlaf? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the three, the 33-year-old Getzlaf would have the most trade value. While his production is down this season he’s still on pace for a 55-point performance and could be rejuvenated on a deeper roster in a second-line role. His annual cap hit, however, would be a big stumbling block unless the Ducks absorb part of it. 

Perry was in steep decline prior to suffering a knee injury that sidelined him for half of this season. Kesler hasn’t been the same since undergoing hip surgery two years ago. I don’t see much of a market for either guy unless the Ducks pick up a big chunk of their respective salary-cap hits and include a draft pick or prospect in the deal.

Buying out Getzlaf or Perry would be stretched over four seasons, with the second season as the most costly. Kesler‘s would count as over $2.4 million per season over the first three seasons and over $2.2 million annually over the final three. 

SOME COST-CUTTING OPTIONS FOR THE LEAFS

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen suggested William Nylander, Patrick Marleau, Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, Connor Brown, and Nikita Zaitsev as six possible trade candidate to ease the Toronto Maple Leafs’ upcoming salary-cap crunch. 

Boylen believes Nylander holds the longest odds of being traded, noting the winger claimed GM Kyle Dubas assured him he wouldn’t be traded. Marleau’s contract is buyout-proof and he holds a no-movement clause but perhaps there’s an outside chance he returns to San Jose to finish his career. 

The Leafs like how Kapanen and Johnsson have developed but it will prove costly to re-sign the duo. Brown has slipped down the depth chart and become more expendable. Zaitsev hasn’t played up to the six-year, $31.5-million contract handed him by former Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello. Dubas might have to pick up part of his $4.5-million annual cap hit to facilitate a trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans would love to see Nylander traded this summer. As Boylen observed, however, the long contract standoff to sign him would be pointless if Nylander was a player they didn’t want to keep. He’ll silence his critics as he regains his form.

Marleau could waive his clause to return to San Jose this summer but the Sharks have moved on without him. Should they re-sign Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi and Timo Meier, they won’t have enough cap space for Marleau even if the Leafs agreed to pick up half of his $6.25-million contract. Retirement won’t help matters. He’s on a 35-plus contract meaning that cap hit still counts against the Leafs payroll.

The Leafs don’t want to move Kapanen and Johnsson. They’d likely prefer moving Brown and Zaitsev. Of the two, Brown’s $2.1-million cap hit for 2019-20 is more palatable for rival clubs than Zaitsev’s $4.5-million through 2023-24. Even by absorbing half of Zaitsev’s cap hit, the long term remaining on his contract could be a deal breaker. 

LATEST ON THE SENATORS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports clarity is expected later this week on the status of Senators pending free-agent forwards Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel. If Duchene and Stone are to be traded, Garrioch speculates the Senators could re-sign Dzingel, though there’s a chance he could also be moved if he’s seeking a long-term deal worth between $5.5-$6 million annually. 

The price for Duchene and Stone will be high, as both can be difference-makers for Cup contenders this spring. Garrioch suggests the Senators could seek three assets for each, including a first-round pick. The asking price for Dzingel could be a first-rounder. 

Garrioch believes the “Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh Penguins” are expected to be among the teams shopping around leading up to the deadline. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2018

Game recaps, Pekka Rinne reaches a notable milestone, an update on Vincent Trocheck, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne became the winningest Finnish-born goaltender in league history in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. With his 320th win, Rinne surpassed Miikka Kiprusoff.

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is the winningest Finnish-born goalie in NHL history. (Photo via NHL Images)

Steven Stamkos scored a goal and set up three others and Louis Domingue turned aside 40 shots as the Tampa Bay Lightning downed the Florida Panthers 7-3. Earlier in the day, the Panthers revealed forward Vincent Trocheck will be sidelined indefinitely following ankle surgery.

Sidney Crosby returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup following a three-game absence to lead his club to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Crosby had a goal and two assists as the Penguins snapped a four-game losing streak.

The Carolina Hurricanes fired a franchise-record 29 shots in the first period of their 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Former Leafs goalie Curtis McElhinney kicked out 30 shots. Hurricanes forward Victor Rask made his season debut after undergoing surgery two months ago to repair deep cuts to two fingers on his right hand following a kitchen mishap.

The red-hot Buffalo Sabres picked up their seventh straight victory by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. The Sabres scored four unanswered first-period goals.

Andreas Athanasiou tallied the game-tying and game-winning goals in a 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins. The Wings have overcome one of the worst starts in franchise history by winning nine of their last 11 contests.

The Calgary Flames became just the fourth team in NHL history to score five-or-more goals in the first period in consecutive games as they downed the Winnipeg Jets 6-3. Flames goalie David Rittich made 37 saves. Patrik Laine scored twice for the Jets.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov picked up his 200th career NHL win and Alex Kerfoot collected three assists in a 7-3 romp over the Los Angeles Kings. Earlier in the day, Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen was fined $2,000.00 for diving. 

Eric Staal and Matt Dumba each scored twice as the Minnesota Wild downed the Ottawa Senators 6-4.

Max Pacioretty scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Arizona Coyotes 3-2.

The New Jersey Devils feasted on the Montreal Canadiens’ sloppy defensive play with three second-period goals on route to a 5-2 victory. Pavel Zacha scored twice for the Devils.

New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made 29 saves for his first NHL shutout in a 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders.

Braden Holtby’s 37-save performance carried the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Anaheim Ducks snapped a four-game losing skid by beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3, extending the latter’s losing streak to seven games. Ryan Getzlaf led the way for the Ducks with a goal and an assist.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 8, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 8, 2018

Game recaps, Milan Lucic fined, and some injury updates in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: T.J. Oshie’s goal late in the third period lifted the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was ejected early in the third period for an illegal hit to Oshie’s head.

Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie tallied the winner in a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford isn’t pleased with his club’s performance of late, giving rise to some trade chatter. I’ll have more about this later this morning in the Rumors section.

Colton Sissons hat trick powered the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, who saw two goals overturned on video review.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a hot start to the season the Avalanche have cooled of late, dropping four straight games. 

Ryan Getzlaf’s third-period goal snapped a 2-2 tie as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Calgary Flames 3-2, snapping the Flames’ four-game win streak.

Edmonton Oilers winger Milan Lucic was fined $10,000.00 by the NHL department of player discipline for roughing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph during Tuesday’s game. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman could be returning to action soon from an upper-body injury. Winger Ondrej Palat (lower-body) is expected to be sidelined for several weeks but no surgery is required.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta (lower body, day-to-day) was placed on injured reserve yesterday. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights forward Erik Haula (lower-body, suspected knee injury) is ruled out for the remainder of their road trip. He’ll continue to travel with the team and be re-evaluated upon their return to Las Vegas.  

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2018

Game recaps, Kings fire head coach John Stevens, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Cam Fowler tallied a hat trick, including the winner in overtime, in the Anaheim Ducks’ 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to snap a seven-game losing skid. The Ducks played without captain Ryan Getzlaf, who’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Cam Fowler’s hat trick carried the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Photo via NHL Images)

 Brayden Point’s last-minute game-tying goal set the stage for Yanni Gourde’s overtime winner to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh collected three assists. Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made 41 saves.

Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 39 shots and Jimmy Vesey scored two goals as the New York Rangers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. The Rangers played without defenseman Adam McQuaid, who’s listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings fired head coach John Stevens, naming Willie Desjardins and Marco Sturm as interim coaches.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Kings mired at the bottom of the Western Conference, management had to do something to keep the season from spiraling out of control. A coaching change, however, might not be enough. I’ll have more on this later this morning in the Rumors section. 

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott left practice on Sunday holding his head following a collision with teammate Travis Konecny. An update on his condition is expected today.

WINNIPEG SUN:  Jets forward Nic Petan made his return to the lineup on Friday after missing most of training camp and the first 13 games of the season due to the sudden death of his father. He’s appreciative of the support he received from the team and the league.

CSN WASHINGTON: The Capitals placed forward Nathan Walker on waivers.

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates, Golden Knights re-sign Alex Tuch, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: After squandering a three-goal lead, the Florida Panthers edged the Washington Capitals 6-5 on a shootout goal by Jonathan Huberdeau, who tallied a goal and two assists in regulation. Lars Eller collected three assists in a losing cause for the Capitals.

Following the game, Panthers coach Bob Boughner took exception to Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin leveling defenseman Mark Pysyk with a high hit in the second period. No penalty was called on Ovechkin as Pysyk left the game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word this morning if the league will review the incident. 

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne suffered a possible head injury during his club’s 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames. (Photo via NHL Images)

The Nashville Predators doused the Calgary Flames 5-3 but lost goaltender Pekka Rinne to an apparent upper-body injury in the third period following a collision with teammate Kevin Fiala. Predators coach Peter Laviolette provided no update on Rinne but said it wasn’t the team’s decision to take the goalie out of the game, leaving open the possibility that it was due to the league’s concussion protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An update on Rinne could be announced later today. 

Third-period goals by Matt Dumba, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise carried the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves for the win.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (groin injury) could return to action tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Speaking of the Golden Knights, they signed winger Alex Tuch to a seven-year, $33.25-million contract extension. It’s the longest deal in the club’s short history. The annual average value is $4.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tuch, 22,  is an NHL sophomore in the final season of his entry-level contract. He’s currently sidelined week-to-week with a lower-body injury but rose to prominence during the 2018 playoffs, following up a respectable 37-point rookie season with a six-goal, 10-point performance in 20 postseason games.

The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Tuch can play either wing and has considerable offensive upside. If he reaches his full potential this contract could be considered an affordable long-term investment by the Golden Knights. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider is heading to the club’s AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint. This move is another step in Schneider’s return from off-season hip surgery. 

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson may have suffered more than a concussion from the hit he received last Saturday by Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson. 

Dr. Stefan Sigalet, “a founding practitioner of the Burnaby-based Catalyst Kinetics Group and consulting chiropractor for players in the NHL”, as well as other sports, viewed a video of the incident and believes Pettersson may have also suffered whiplash and a shoulder injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, the Canucks have Pettersson listed on injured reserve with a head injury. No word thus far if he’s suffered other injuries. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec will be out at least two weeks with a back injury. For now, he’s listed as day-to-day. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak will be sidelined indefinitely following surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. 

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers placed defenseman Matt Benning on IR with an undisclosed injury.

Former NHL forward Jordin Tootoo has announced his retirement. Tootoo made history by becoming the first Inuk player to reach the NHL. He spent eight of this 13 seasons with the Nashville Predators and also skated with the Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks.

In 723 regular-season game, Tootoo tallied 65 goals and 96 assists for 161 points and accumulated 1,010 penalty minutes. He also collected 10 points in 43 playoff games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best of luck to Tootoo in his future endeavors. 

 











Latest Ducks and Rangers Speculation – April 18, 2018

Latest Ducks and Rangers Speculation – April 18, 2018

Could an early playoff exit force the Anaheim Ducks to shake up their core? Is it a certainty Ilya Kovalchuk will sign with the New York Rangers? Read on for the latest in your NHL rumor mill.

Could an early playoff exit spur the Anaheim Ducks to move a core player such as Ryan Getzlaf? (Photo via NHL Images)

CHANGES IN STORE FOR DUCKS CORE?

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and TSN’s Darren Dreger yesterday speculating over possible offseason moves by the Anaheim Ducks. Appearing Tuesday on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650, Friedman pondered if a possible early exit from the 2018 playoffs might prompt the front office to “change their philosophy”, pointing out it’s not only that they’re losing but how they’re losing in their opening-round series against the San Jose Sharks.

Friedman wondered “if they start to look and see is it time for some of the guys who have been there a long time,” such as veteran forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler, who all carry expensive long-term contracts with no-movement clauses. Getzlaf and Perry each have three seasons remaining on their contracts while Kesler has four. Friedman noted Getzlaf is still a good player but Perry’s production has declined while Kesler’s physical style is taking a toll on his body.

Appearing on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, Dreger doesn’t think the Ducks can return with the same core group next season for another kick at the can. Like Friedman, he cited their one-sided losses in their opening-round series with the Sharks. If the Ducks wanted to extricate themselves from one of those expensive contract, Dreger believes there would be teams with considerable interest in Getzlaf or Perry if either guy was placed on the trade block. He thinks clubs that lose out on the bidding for New York Islanders center John Tavares via free agency could be very interested in Getzlaf or Perry.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman and Dreger are merely speculating about the Ducks’ offseason plans. They aren’t saying Getzlaf, Perry or Kesler will definitely get traded. Indeed, if the trio is unwilling to waive their movement clauses there’s nothing the Ducks can do about it. They could attempt to buy out one of them but that would leave them with expensive salary-cap hits for the next six-to-eight years.

Of the three, Getzlaf would have the most value in the trade market. Though the 32-year-old center missed 26 games this season to injuries he still managed 61 points in 56 games. Teams that fail to land Tavares would certainly come calling on Getzlaf if he becomes available this summer in the trade market. 

Perry, 32, had a respectable 49 points in 71 games but his stats have declined over the last two years. Injuries limited the 33-year-old Kesler to just 44 games, raising questions about his durability. 

Assuming one of these three would agree to waive their no-movement clause, their respective contracts could hamper efforts to swing a deal with another club. The Ducks could be forced to pick up part of the salary-cap hit. 

LATEST ON THE “KOVALCHUK TO THE RANGERS” SPECULATION

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s appearance Monday on the NHL Network discussing the future of KHL winger Ilya Kovalchuk’s intention to return to the NHL this summer via free agency. he said the feeling around the league is Kovalchuk wants to join the New York Rangers and the club does have some interest. He noted Kovalchuk can talk to teams but he can’t officially sign a contract until July 1. 

NEW YORK POST: On Sunday, Larry Brooks said the Rangers need Kovalchuk more than he needs them. “And certainly neither side can commit to the other until the Blueshirts have a coach in place.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are rebuilding with youth but they also want to add an experienced veteran or two to help them remain competitive and take some pressure off their developing youngsters. There were recent reports out of Russia speculating Kovalchuk could get a three-year deal from the Rangers but I doubt they’ll commit to more than a two-year deal. While there’s no guarantee the Rangers will sign Kovalchuk, expect the two to be linked in free-agent speculation leading up to July 1.