NHL Rumor Mill – March 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 18, 2022

Check out the latest on Claude Giroux, Mark Giordano, Hampus Lindholm and Jordan Binnington plus updates on the Bruins, Coyotes and Red Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON GIROUX, GIORDANO, LINDHOLM & BINNINGTON

TSN: Pierre LeBrun expects trade talks to escalate today for Claude Giroux after he played his 1,000th career game with the Philadelphia Flyers last night. The Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers continue to show interest. LeBrun doesn’t see any sign that a third team is getting into the bidding though that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater reports it’s his understanding the Avalanche have made an offer for Giroux and haven’t been told they’re out of the running. He also indicated Avs management isn’t sweating whether they’ll get the Flyers forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs and Panthers are among the handful of this season’s Stanley Cup contenders. Both already made significant moves to bolster their respective defense corps and are now looking at boosting their forward lines. Whoever loses out in this bidding could set their sights on more affordable rental options before Monday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano (NHL Images).

TSN: Chris Johnston reports Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano is among the Toronto Maple Leafs’ trade targets. The Kraken seek a first-round pick, something Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said he wouldn’t part with for a rental player. San Jose Sharks blueliner Jacob Middleton is also on the Leafs’ list but they don’t like the Sharks’ asking price.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the Leafs are Giordano’s preference. He wondered if the Kraken might accept a second-round pick from the Leafs. Giordano has a 12-team no-trade list so he has some control over this situation.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues could be options for Giordano. Like the Leafs, however, Blues GM Doug Armstrong doesn’t want to part with his first-rounder for a rental. For Giordano to land with the Leafs, LeBrun believes it’ll have to be a second-rounder and a prospect. He also said Giordano wouldn’t stand in the way of a deal to a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t blame the Kraken for seeking a first-round pick for Giordano. They could get it but might have to accept a second-rounder and a prospect or young NHL-ready player if they can’t find a bidder willing to part with a first-rounder for the 38-year-old defenseman.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports of little progress in contract extension talks between the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Hampus Lindholm. Ducks GM Pat Verbeek isn’t willing to offer up a seven- or eight-year contract, something Lindholm’s camp believes they can get elsewhere. Verbeek is gauging the trade market but Seravalli doesn’t rule out the Ducks GM circling back to Lindholm before deadline day. The asking price is said to be a first-rounder, a top prospect plus another asset.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun suggests Lindholm could be a fit with the Bruins or St. Louis Blues but it’ll take a high price to pry him away from the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm also lacks no-trade protection so Verbeek could have a wide range of potential suitors. Those could include non-playoff clubs willing to acquire the 28-year-old defenseman if he’ll agree to a contract extension. Something to keep in mind if the Ducks don’t get any suitable offers from postseason clubs.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong has contacted clubs in the market for goaltending help and pitched Jordan Binnington as a solution to their woes. However, there’s not much interest in the 29-year-old netminder due to his declining performance and his contract, which includes a $6 million annual cap hit through 2026-27 and a full no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t blame Armstrong for trying but Binnington’s contract alone makes him almost impossible to move at the trade deadline.

BRUINS PURSUING CHYCRUN BUT WILL THEY GET HIM?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Boston Bruins showed interest in Josh Manson before he was traded to the Avalanche and in Ben Chiarot before he was shipped to the Panthers. They’ve shown interest in Jakob Chychrun but it’s not clear if the Arizona Coyotes will move him based on the current offers. LeBrun also reported acquiring Chychrun in a “hockey trade” remains the Bruins’ priority.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss reports the Coyotes’ asking price for Chychrun could include a first-round pick and a top prospect among other assets. The Bruins, however, don’t have a lot of premium trade assets.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports whatever the Bruins are offering is unlikely to outdo other clubs interested in the 23-year-old Chychrun. He believes the Bruins would have to part with a top prospect such as Mason Lohrei or Fabian Lysell as part of a package to entice the Coyotes. The Los Angeles Kings are also making a pitch for Chychrun and their prospect pool is much deeper than the Bruins.

Shinzawa also reports Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk’s trade request still stands. His agent hopes a deal can be found by the trade deadline. Shinzawa also dismissed the possibility of a Bruins reunion with Zdeno Chara at the trade deadline, suggesting Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Calvin de Haan would be a more suitable rental option.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli included the Bruins among the clubs with interest in de Haan and the Kraken’s Mark Giordano.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland doesn’t rule out the Coyotes’ moving Chychrun by the trade deadline. However, he said it’s looking increasingly likely that it won’t happen. If it does, I don’t see the Bruins winning a bidding war with the Kings. The latter has far too many assets to draw upon as trade bait compared to the Bruins.

COYOTES COULD BE AMONG CLUBS WILLING TO ACQUIRE SALARY

TSN: Chris Johnston reports the Arizona Coyotes have informed other clubs they’re willing to act as a third-party broker in deals involving high-salaried players and are receiving plenty of interest from other clubs. The Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Seattle Kraken could do the same.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Coyotes have an interest in acquiring the remainder of Shea Weber’s contract. The Montreal Canadiens defenseman is on long-term injury reserve amid speculation injuries have ended his career. They could use Weber’s $7.57 million cap hit to reach the cap floor next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes could ask for a second-round draft pick or a prospect to be included as part of the price as a third-party broker or to acquire a permanent LTIR contract.

LATEST RED WINGS SPECULATION

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff weighs in on recent speculation suggesting the Red Wings could peddle winger Tyler Bertuzzi. He believes the 26-year-old winger’s anti-vaccination stance didn’t sit well with GM Steve Yzerman, who could be willing to entertain offers for Bertuzzi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi is in the first year of a two-year contract. If Yzerman intends to trade the winger, he can wait until the offseason if he doesn’t receive any suitable offers before the trade deadline.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Red Wings held defenseman Nick Leddy out of the lineup for Thursday’s 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. That appears a clear indication Leddy could be moved before Monday’s trade deadline.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2022

Updates on the Filip Forsberg trade speculation plus the latest on the Canadiens, Kraken, Devils, Leafs and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON FORSBERG

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the position of the Nashville Predators is to sign leading goal scorer Filip Forsberg to a long-term contract extension. The 27-year-old left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Talks between the Predators and the Forsberg camp remain in the preliminary stage, sparking speculation with the March 21 trade deadline less than a month away. Considering teammates Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene are each earning $8 million annually, Dreger believes Forsberg’s cap hit on a new deal would be north of $8 million.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes if Forsberg wants to stay in Nashville he’ll have to accept an annual average value below captain Roman Josi’s $9.059 million. He feels there’s enough time and will on both sides to get a deal done but doesn’t discount general manager David Poile trade Forsberg if a deal isn’t reached by March 21.

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Rexrode reports Poile told him he’s not looking to trade Forsberg and doesn’t personally know Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland, who tweeted out that the Predators were “actively shopping” the winger. Poile said the goal is to re-sign Forsberg and negotiations will continue.

Strickland said he stands by his sources but admits the wording of his text might not have been the best choice, suggesting “due diligence” would be a better phrase.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Rexrode pointed out, Strickland has a good record of credible reporting. I don’t doubt Poile is keeping his options open by gauging the market for Forsberg if a deal cannot be reached on a contract extension by March 21. I also believe both sides sincerely want to get this sorted out in the coming weeks.

We must remember that Poile reportedly tested last season’s trade market on defenseman Mattias Ekholm, prompting considerable speculation the long-time Predators blueliner would be moved by the trade deadline. Instead, Ekholm was retained and eventually signed to a new deal.

The difference between Ekholm and Forsberg is the former still had a year remaining on his contract. There’s more urgency to sort out the latter’s contract situation given his UFA status this summer.

I don’t expect Forsberg to be traded today, this weekend or within the next couple of weeks. However, we can’t dismiss the possibility of a trade in the days leading up to March 21.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS, KRAKEN AND DEVILS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman can see the Philadelphia Flyers getting in on Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry. “It makes a lot of sense for them.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I disagree. While Petry would provide experienced right-side depth, he’s 34 and carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25. They’re already paying sidelined right-side blueliner Ryan Ellis, 31, the same amount through 2026-27.

The Flyers also have over $67 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23. Unless they’re clearing an equivalent salary, Petry is a luxury they cannot afford.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens’ new management intends to be “pretty aggressive” in this summer’s free-agent market, which opens on July 13. They still intend to get younger in some parts of their roster but hope to lure a star or two to Montreal as part of their roster transformation. The Canadiens have had difficulty signing UFA stars, but LeBrun suggests that could change if Martin St. Louis stays on as head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Salary-cap space will be an issue for the Canadiens. Cap Friendly shows them with over $79 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23.

They’ll be able to exceed the cap by the equivalent of all-but-retired Shea Weber’s $7.857 million by placing him on long-term injury reserve again next season. Nevertheless, they’ll have to shed a lot more to free up room to add a free agent star or two this summer. Forgive my skepticism, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

LeBrun also reports Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano looks like he’ll definitely be changing addresses by the trade deadline. The 38-year-old defenseman has already spoken with Kraken GM Ron Francis and both agreed the club should test the trade market for their captain.

Elliotte Friedman, meanwhile, wonders what the future holds for forward Jared McCann. The Kraken forward is the club’s leading scorer and a year away from UFA eligibility. He also suggested the Kraken’s versatile forward Calle Jarnkrok could be a good fit with the Washington Capitals

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis’ priority will be on finding a suitable destination and return for Giordano. Still, I can see him keeping his ears open for any decent offers on McCann and Jarnkrok.

LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils are aggressively shopping for a goaltender for the remainder of the season. It’s uncertain when Devils starter Mackenzie Blackwood will return from a heel injury that’s sidelined him since late January. LeBrun suggests that might interest the Edmonton Oilers, who are exploring goalie options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason why the Oilers would be interested is they could try to peddle Mikko Koskinen or Mike Smith to the Devils to free up room to pursue a more reliable goalie in the trade market. The best options could be Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury or the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, but both carried limited no-trade clauses that could include the Oilers on their no-go lists.

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have talked to the Vancouver Canucks about J.T. Miller. However, he thinks they’re not done tinkering with their blueline and could be considering goalie options. They had conversations with the Dallas Stars about defenseman John Klingberg and could revisit those talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs can exceed the salary cap by the equivalent of sidelined blueliner Jake Muzzin’s $5.625 million cap hit after placing him on long-term injury reserve. However, they must become cap compliant if he returns to action before the end of the regular season. Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has a history of salary-cap acrobatics to bolster his roster so it’ll be interesting to see what he does here.

Friedman doesn’t get the sense that anything’s imminent regarding a trade of Flyers captain Claude Giroux. He does expect Giroux’s teammate, Rasmus Ristolainen, could be moved.

The Los Angeles Kings contacted the Canucks in search of scoring. GM Rob Blake would prefer paying less than the second and third-rounder he parted with for Viktor Arvidsson.

Friedman believes the New York Rangers looked at Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson. However, he’s a restricted free agent and Friedman doubts they can afford to re-sign him.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 23, 2022

Will the loss of Jake Muzzin send the Leafs into the trade market? Could Zdeno Chara be shipped to a playoff contender? What is the latest on the Canadiens? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE LEAFS

TSN: Darren Dreger points out the Toronto Maple Leafs could free up over $5.6 million in salary-cap space if sidelined defenseman Jake Muzzin (concussion) ends up on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). Dreger suggested options such as the Anaheim Ducks’ Hampus Lindholm, the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg, the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot or the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano, though he called them “pie in the sky options” right now. He also said the Leafs would like to add a top-six forward to compliment the second line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know yet how long Muzzin could be sidelined. If he goes on LTIR, there’s no certainty he’d be out for the remainder of the regular season. He’d have to be for the Leafs to take on one of those blueliners without it causing a salary-cap headache if he returns before the postseason.

Dreger’s colleague Pierre LeBrun indicated the Ducks have reached out to Lindholm’s agent regarding a contract extension so he might not be available by the March 21 trade deadline. Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman (stick tap to The Hockey Writers’ Kevin Armstrong) recently said the Leafs had considered Klingberg but they don’t want to part with a first-round pick or one of their top prospects for a rental.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

Speaking of Friedman, he thinks things could get interesting for Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas if he’s willing to use that LTIR space. “I’m on the J.T. Miller train,” said Friedman, referring to the Vancouver Canucks center. Miller wouldn’t be a playoff rental as he has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.25 million. However, I don’t think they could win a bidding war with teams like the New York Rangers that have lots of cap space and promising young players to draw upon for trade bait.

CHARA ON THE TRADE BLOCK?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are calling the New York Islanders expressing interest in Zdeno Chara. The 44-year-old New York Islanders defenseman lacks a no-trade clause but it’s though GM Lou Lamoriello could approach him to see if he wants to move.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner cites a league source claiming the Islanders will explore the trade market for Chara once he breaks the league record for most games played by a defenseman later this week. Rosner wonders if Chara could return to the Boston Bruins or if the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs might take a flier on him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara has slowed considerably but there appear to be clubs interested in him for his leadership in a third-pairing role. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s keen for one more crack at the Cup.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently musing over whether the Montreal Canadiens would consider trading Josh Anderson. Friedman said he’s getting mixed reactions over whether the Canadiens will keep the 27-year-old winger. Murphy feels they should retain Anderson, suggesting he has the look of a future Habs captain.

Marco D’Amico, meanwhile, took note of recent speculation by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun linking the Canadiens to the New York Rangers, citing the ties Canadiens hockey ops executive VP Jeff Gorton has with his former team. LeBrun felt the Habs would prefer prospects over draft picks and pointed out the Rangers’ depth in that department.

D’Amico suggested Vitali Kravtsov could be on their radar, pointing to the Habs’ recent hiring of former Rangers director of European Scouting Nick Bobrov as their new co-director of Amateur Scouting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Judging from social media, trading Anderson wouldn’t go down well with Canadiens fans. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Habs are listening to offers on most of their players but Anderson could be someone they prefer retaining going forward. Then again, I said the same thing about Tyler Toffoli. Anderson, however, is younger and bigger than Toffoli and those factors could keep him in Montreal.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Canadiens acquired Kravtsov, who’s been playing in the KHL this season awaiting a trade. The 22-year-old was unhappy with his playing time with the Rangers and would get plenty of opportunities to prove himself with the rebuilding Habs.










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 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 12, 2022

What’s the latest on Jakob Chychrun, Claude Giroux, Marc-Andre Fleury and other top NHL trade candidates? Check out my analysis of TSN’s latest trade bait list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, Montreal Canadiens blueliner Ben Chiarot and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury fill the top-three positions in TSN’s Feb. 11 trade bait list. Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux and Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg round out the top five.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve written at length regarding Chychrun, Fleury and Giroux for The Hockey News over the past week. I don’t dismiss the possibility of Chychrun moving by the March 21 trade deadline but the Coyotes’ high asking price suggests this could be an offseason move.

The Colorado Avalanche reportedly has interest in Fleury and Giroux but their limited cap space means they can’t afford both. In either case, they’ll have to get the losing club to retain salary and could still need a third team to get involved in order to broker the deal by spreading out the remaining cap hit. The Avs could also be forced to part with some promising prospects.

Chiarot’s been at or near the top of most trade bait lists since December. It’s assumed the Canadiens could get a first-round pick for him. There were reports last month indicating the Stars were trying to move Klingberg but there’s been nothing of note since then. Much could depend on where the Stars are in the standings in a month’s time.

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl, Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi, Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller and the Coyotes salary cap space fill spots six through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No certainty Hertl will be traded following a report this week indicating the Sharks are talking contract extension with his agent. It could depend on how much cap space they’ll have following the outcome of Evander Kane’s grievance over his contract termination.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Kraken GM Ron Francis is expected to sit down with Giordano soon to discuss the possibility of a trade. He mentioned the Florida Panthers as a possible destination. The well-traveled Domi recently surfaced in trade rumors but there’s no indication which teams might be interested in him.

Miller’s been a hot topic for trade chatter since November. However, recent trade rumors regarding teammate Conor Garland have led some observers to suggest the Canucks prefer not only retaining Miller but perhaps signing him to a contract extension this summer if they can find sufficient salary-cap flexibility.

The Coyotes carry plenty of cap space to help other clubs looking to offload salary or perhaps broker a three-team deal by the deadline. They’re already retaining salary on two contracts (Darcy Kuemper and Oliver Ekman-Larsson) and can only take on one more as the CBA allows just three retained salaries per season.

Coyotes winger Phil Kessel, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk, Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Leddy and Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp sit at positions 11 through 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel isn’t the scorer of his youth but could still be a worthwhile addition to a team seeking a winger with playoff experience. With 28 points in 44 games, the versatile Copp will draw interest if the Jets got into sell mode in March. Pysyk, de Haan and Leddy could be affordable options for contenders seeking blueline depth.

Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk, Sabres defenseman Colin Miller, Stars goalie Anton Khudobin and Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen are at 16 through 20.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s garnered lots of recent trade rumor buzz but his contract ($6.25 million cap hit through 2024-25, 15 team no-trade clause) and declining production this season makes the 34-year-old difficult to move at a time when a large number of teams have little salary-cap wiggle room.

DeBrusk made a trade request in late November but there’s no indication the Bruins are close to moving him or receiving much interest from other clubs. Miller is midway through an expected six-week absence due to surgery for an undisclosed ailment. The Stars placed Khudobin on waivers in December but couldn’t find any takers. Ristolainen might garner some interest but he’s dogged by a reputation for sloppy defensive play.

New York Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov, Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney, Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal, Kraken forward Calle Jarnkrok and Coyotes center Johan Larsson round out the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kravtsov is playing in the KHL and cannot return to the NHL until their season is over. Tierney and Jarnkrok could be affordable depth forward additions. There’s talk the Wings could bring back Staal on another one-year deal as they value his leadership and experience. Larsson underwent sports hernia surgery and isn’t expected to return to action until early April.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2022

Check out the latest on the Bruins, Golden Knights and Ducks in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

ADDRESSING THE BRUINS’ ROSTER NEEDS

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Boston Bruins’ most pressing need is for a second-line center for this season and perhaps beyond. He suggested the Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux could address the former while the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller would be a good candidate for the latter.

Shinzawa felt center Jack Studnicka could become a trade piece if he can rebuild his game and help the Bruins. Other teams have shown an interest in Studnick and defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, though there are questions about the latter’s ceiling and if he’s playoff ready. If the Bruins believe Vaakanainen is ready, Mike Reilly could be on the move, though Vaakanainen could fetch a better return.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes a lack of defensive depth could be a fatal flaw for the Bruins as it was in recent postseason runs. He suggested targeting the Chicago Blackhawks’ Calvin de Haan, the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano, the Detroit Red Wings’ Nick Leddy or the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux, Miller and Chychrun could prove to be out of the Bruins’ price range unless they’re willing to part with top prospect Fabian Lysell and that’s something they shouldn’t do. Leddy or de Haan could be more affordable options.

Giordano is somewhere in the middle. He probably won’t be as expensive as Giroux, Miller and Chychrun but will cost more than Leddy or de Haan. The Kraken could seek a first-round pick and a prospect.

LATEST ON THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS

NHL.COM: Dan Rosen was recently asked how the Vegas Golden Knights will clear salary-cap space for Jack Eichel’s contract when he’s finally healthy and ready to join their lineup. They currently have Eichel, defenseman Alec Martinez and forward Adam Brooks on injured reserve.

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez (NHL Images)

If all three are activated they’ll have to start trading or waiving some depth players. If they’re still over the $81.5 million cap, they’ll have to move a more impactful player like Evgenii Dadonov or Reilly Smith, who each carry cap hits of $5 million.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: With the Golden Knights’ recent signing of Brayden McNabb to a three-year deal worth $2.85 million per season, Owen Krepps speculates they could look at shedding a defenseman to trim some payroll. He suggested Martinez could be the odd man out. While they re-signed the 34-year-old blueliner last summer, he’s been sidelined for all but 11 games this season. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights have managed well in his absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez carries a $5.25 million annual average value. Moving him would spare them from shipping out Dadonov or Smith. However, his 16-team no-trade list for this season could complicate efforts to move him.

DUCKS POTENTIAL TRADE CANDIDATES

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman looked at the “to-do list” of new Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek. He believes winger Rickard Rakell is the most likely of the Anaheim Ducks’ three notable pending UFAs to get traded. The top question is whether Verbeek can allow Hampus Lindholm to walk if he doesn’t think he can re-sign him.

Josh Manson would also draw interest if they shop him. He’s been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs but Friedman reports the Leafs are one of the teams on his no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Verbeek does as the trade deadline approaches. I think much will depend on where the Ducks in the standings by then. They last reached the playoffs in 2018. Like every club, their revenue has taken a hit by COVID-19 and a chance to get some postseason cash could be tempting. Those three could be retained as own rentals if they’re still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase.