NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2021

The Panthers re-sign Sam Bennett and trade Anton Stralman to the Coyotes, the Jets re-sign Paul Stastny and acquire Brenden Dillion from the Capitals, the Golden Knights close to re-signing Alec Martinez and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Florida Panthers were busy on Monday. They signed forward Sam Bennett to a four-year deal worth an annual average value of $4.4 million. The club also traded defensemen Anton Stralman and Vladislav Kolyachonok plus a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2023.

The Florida Panthers re-sign forward Sam Bennett to a four-year deal (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not surprising the Panthers re-signed Bennett. Slated to become a restricted free agent on July 28, the 25-year-old netted 15 points in his first 10 regular-season games after being acquired at the trade deadline from Calgary. He also had five points in as many playoff games. Bennett should be a key part of their top-two forward lines.

The Stralman trade was a straightforward salary dump by the Panthers. He had a year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $5.5 million. The 35-year-old blueliner reportedly had to be convinced to waive his modified no-trade to go to Arizona. He’ll likely become a bargaining chip at next season’s trade deadline if the rebuilding Coyotes are out of playoff contention by then.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets also had a busy day, re-signing center Paul Stastny to a one-year, $3.75 million contract and acquiring defenseman Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022 and a second-rounder in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny isn’t the offensive talent he once was. Nevertheless, the 35-year-old should be an affordable short-term answer to their need for a second-line center while management seeks a long-term solution. Dillon will help address a glaring need for reliable stay-at-home depth on their blueline, though the cost of two second-rounders seems a little high.

The Capitals, meanwhile, freed up $3.9 million in annual cap space for the next three seasons. They now have over $12 million in cap room if they call up Martin Fehervary as expected for next season. That gives them some additional wiggle room to re-sign Alex Ovechkin and goaltender Ilya Samsonov.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights are reportedly close to signing Alec Martinez to a three-year contract extension. The 35-year-old defenseman would receive an annual cap hit close to $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez proved his worth to the Golden Knights this season, especially in the playoffs where he was their best all-around blueliner. The contract is a bit long for a shot-blocking rearguard of his age but that seems the price the Golden Knights are willing to pay to remain in Stanley Cup contention.

That signing could push them over the $81.5 million salary cap. They could make a cost-cutting trade before the start of next season involving Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes expected to sign forward Dmitrij Jaskin to a one-year, $3.2 million contract. The 29-year-old spent seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals before spending the past two seasons playing for the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have been everyone’s favorite dumping ground for unwanted contracts this summer. General manager Bill Armstrong has been clearing up long-term cap space while restocking with draft picks and prospects.

Most of the contracts he’s taken on have only a year or two remaining, with most belonging to still-serviceable players who could become trade bait to playoff contenders later next season. He also did a great job shedding Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s hefty contract by shipping that off to Vancouver during the recent NHL draft.

THE SCORE: Several notable restricted free agents didn’t receive qualifying offers at yesterday’s deadline. Among them were Boston’s Nick Ritchie, Chicago’s Pius Suter, Edmonton’s Dominik Kahun and Anaheim’s Danton Heinen. They are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because they didn’t get qualifying offers doesn’t mean they can’t re-sign with their now-former teams. Sometimes teams don’t offer a QO because they want to sign those players to a more affordable contract. That’s what the Blackhawks did with Adam Gaudette, inking him to a one-year deal worth just over $997K.

TORONTO STAR: Defenseman Zach Bogosian won’t be back with the Maple Leafs. He’s likely headed to an American market via free agency on July 28.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are expected to sign Patrik Nemeth when free agency opens tomorrow. The Colorado Avalanche allowed the pending UFA defenseman to speak with other teams.

TSN: The New Jersey Devils traded forward Nick Merkley to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Christian Jaros. The Devils signed Jaros to a one-year, two-way contract.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers re-signed defenseman Sam Morin to a one-year, $750K contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is expected to be named head coach of the United States’ Men’s hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2021

A look at some of the latest additions to TSN’s trade-bait list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Frank Seravalli added Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell and Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk to his updated trade-bait list. Also included were Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller, Dallas Stars blueline Jamie Oleksiak and San Jose Sharks winger Marcus Sorensen

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell (NHL Images).

Seravalli reports Ducks general manager Bob Murray is listening to calls about Rakell, who has 12 points in his last six games. Two sources claim Murray’s set a high asking price but didn’t elaborate. The 27-year-old winger has a year left on his contract with an affordable $3.79 million salary-cap hit.

Rakell could provide the best return for a club looking to jumpstart the rebuild process. Moving him would also provide more ice time for younger players and he’ll soon be due for a new contract with a pay raise.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently reported changes could be in store for the Ducks’ lineup leading up to the April 12 trade deadline. Murray said he’s been “openly talking and listening about lots of things.”

Stephen noted Murray had inquired or attempted to acquire forwards such as Pittsburgh’s Kasperi Kapanen, Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois and Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen. He’s also reportedly shopped Adam Henrique and Danton Heinen.

Murray isn’t interested in trading captain Ryan Getzlaf unless he asks to be moved to a contender before the deadline. Getzlaf is in the final season of his contract and has a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray could be seeking a first-round pick and either a top prospect or promising young NHL player as part of the return for Rakell. The winger’s streaky scoring could be a stumbling block but he should continue drawing interest from playoff contenders looking beyond this season.

Murray will find moving Henrique a tough sell because of his $5.825 million annual average value through 2023-24. Heinen ($2.8 million), a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights, would be more affordable but not as enticing as Rakell. His stock has tumbled since his career-best 47-point rookie campaign in 2017-18.

Seravalli reports teams are calling the Bruins about DeBrusk. He believes the return would also be high because he’s a proven playoff performer. DeBrusk was a healthy scratch earlier this week against the New York Islanders. The Bruins are hoping for a big response from him.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney acknowledged he may have to shake things up to bolster his club’s flagging secondary scoring. Bolstering the scoring has taken priority over the Bruins’ need for blueline reinforcements.

Shinzawa points out they have the cap space to make an addition but have a shortage of tradeable assets. He’d have to sell low on the struggling DeBrusk, he’s already traded away two of his last three first-round picks and there’s a shortage of prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The concern for Sweeney is selling low on DeBrusk only to see him turn into a reliable scorer with another club. How he performs when he returns to the lineup will determine if the Bruins GM has to go shopping for help before the trade deadline.

Sweeney could be among those general managers interested in Rakell. He has a recent trade history with the Ducks but his current lack of trade assets means he’ll likely be outbid by rival clubs. He might also have some interest in more affordable options on Seravalli’s list such as Detroit’s Bobby Ryan, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund or Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson.










NHL Trade Speculation Swirling About Struggling Predators

NHL Trade Speculation Swirling About Struggling Predators

 










NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2021

Could the Bruins acquire Jack Eichel? Is there interest in Canadiens goalie Carey Price? Could the Kings pursue Ryan Graves? What’s the latest on the Ducks? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST BRUINS SPECULATION

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa suggests the Boston Bruins should look into acquiring Jack Eichel should the Buffalo Sabres center become available in the trade market. They can only count on aging centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci for only so long.

Could the Boston Bruins pursue Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel if he becomes available in the trade market? (NHL Images).

Eichel’s no-trade protection doesn’t kick in until 2022-23, giving the Sabres a wide selection of possible trade partners before then. The Bruins could fit his $10 million annual average value within their salary cap payroll if they don’t re-sign Krejci and fellow UFA Tuukka Rask this summer.

The Sabres’ asking price, however, will be expensive, with a source suggesting it could cost the Bruins at least Charlie McAvoy and Trent Frederic. Multiple bidders with a deeper pool of promising players and prospects could drive that price even higher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel would be a great fit between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. I don’t doubt the Bruins would inquire if the Sabres put him on the trade block but they lack sufficient available young players to outbid other clubs. They certainly won’t part with McAvoy. They’ll also re-sign Rask because they lack a viable replacement. They’d still have sufficient cap space to acquire Eichel after signing Rask but it would leave very little room to flesh out the rest of the roster for next season.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW (via FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW): Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source telling him Bruins general manager Don Sweeney would still like to add a top-four left side defenseman. The source suggests Sweeney will keep tabs on blueliners like St. Louis’ Vince Dunn or Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm but wonders if ownership might limit how much money he can add to the payroll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dunn would be more affordable than Ekholm if Sweeney is interested in either guy. The Blues defenseman is on a one-year, $1.85 million contract while the Predator rearguard is signed through 2021-22 with an annual average value of $3.75 million.

TEAMS INTERESTED IN PRICE?

Murphy cited numerous NHL sources claiming several teams contacted the Montreal Canadiens last October about Carey Price’s availability. The Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche were believed among the interested clubs.

The Canadiens are standing by Price, who played well in last year’s postseason but is struggling this season. Murphy wondered if there would still be a market for the veteran netminder if the Habs decided a change of scenery might be best for all concerned.

One source told Murphy he feels Price still has value and could turn things around but his contract would be a sticking point. The best-case scenario would be trading Price in the offseason if he regains his form and plays well the rest of the season and into the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price has five years remaining on his contract. He also has a full no-movement clause so he controls his situation. If (and that’s a big IF) he agreed to be traded the Canadiens will have to pick up at least 20 percent (probably more) of his $10.5 million annual average value or take back a toxic contract in return to make the deal palatable to the acquiring club.

KINGS EYEING GRAVES?

Murphy noted TSN’s Darren Dreger last week reporting the Los Angeles Kings sought a young, dynamic left-shot defenseman. A source confirmed they looked into Vince Dunn and suggested Ryan Graves of the Colorado Avalanche could be a viable trade target. There’s a good chance the Avs could lose Graves to the Seattle Kraken in this summer’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Graves could be a good fit with the Kings but I don’t think the Avs are in any hurry to move him this season. As Murphy’s source suggested, that could be a deal that takes place in the offseason before the expansion draft.

UPDATE ON THE DUCKS

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens cites a high-ranking NHL executive saying there would be interest in Anaheim Ducks veterans such as Adam Henrique, Jakob Silfverberg, Cam Fowler and even Ryan Getzlaf. However, the Ducks would have to retain some of their salaries if they hoped to move them.

Stephens believes that would mean the Ducks absorb 50 percent of Henrique’s $5.8 million AAV over the remaining three years of his contract. Getzlaf is a UFA this summer but carries a full no-movement clause and few teams can afford his $8.25 million cap hit.

Players that would be easier to move based on age, contract lengths and past performance include Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell. Josh Manson’s been mentioned in trade rumors but he’s been hurt this season and struggled during the last two years.

Stephens said Ducks GM Bob Murray is open to making a deal, pointing to recent reports suggesting shipping forward Danton Heinen to the Vancouver Canucks for Jake Virtanen. The sticking point is Virtanen will make $3.4 million in actual salary next season. As of Saturday night, that deal appeared dead or dormant.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks simply have too many expensive veterans on contracts far too long for teams to absorb under a flattened salary cap. If they don’t pick up part of those salary-cap hits they won’t be able to move them unless they take back toxic contracts as part of the return.

Rakell’s AAV is $3.789 million through 2021-22 while Lindholm’s is $5.205 million over the same period. If Getzlaf is willing to move the Ducks will have to pick up part of his cap hit but could be willing to do so since it’s just for the remainder of this season.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 28, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 28, 2021

Are the Ducks and Canucks closing in on a deal? What’s the latest on Bobby Ryan? Will the struggling Stars seek help in the trade market? Read on to find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

VIRTANEN FOR HEINEN?

SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman weighed in on recent speculation linking the Anaheim Ducks to Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen. The two clubs have been trying to see if they can work something out.

Friedman noted there was talk on “Vancouver Twitter” suggesting a one-for-one swap of Virtanen for winger Danton Heinen. He believes it’s unlikely to happen because of salary concerns.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Vancouver Twitter” being Rick Dhaliwal and Thomas Drance, who cover the Canucks for The Athletic. Dhaliwal mentioned Heinen’s name had popped up while Drance indicated nothing was imminent and momentum in those trade discussions had slowed.

Both indicated the Canucks want to shed Virtanen’s salary. The 24-year-old winger carries a $2.55 million salary-cap hit for this season and next but earns $3.4 million next season in actual salary. Heinen’s cap hit is $2.8 million ($2.775 million in actual salary) for this season after which he’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

The Ducks, however, are understandably reluctant to take on Virtanen’s full $3.4 million for next season. It’ll be interesting to see if the two sides can find an agreeable solution.

Detroit Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan (NHL Images).

UPDATE ON RYAN

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reported Bobby Ryan expects to have a conversation soon with Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman. The 33-year-old winger admitted he knew he could be moved before the Apr. 12 trade deadline if he was playing well.

Ryan, however, also said he enjoys playing for the Wings and his family has grown fond of their new home. He didn’t rule out the possibility of returning to Detroit as a free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ryan is the Wings’ leading scorer with six goals and 12 points in 22 games. Those are respectable numbers for an aging forward on a rebuilding club. He’s bound to draw interest from playoff contenders as the trade deadline approaches. Yzerman would welcome Ryan back with open arms if he wants to return this summer via free agency.

LATEST ON THE STARS

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reported the possibility of Roope Hintz not being at full strength for the rest of the season could be a big blow for the Dallas Stars. They’re already missing Tyler Seguin while Hintz is their other offensive center. Seguin isn’t expected back until April. Joe Pavelski can play center but no one else can fill the offensive gaps down the middle.

Stars GM Jim Nill dismissed the notion of acquiring a scoring center, pointing out the difficulty of finding a player comparable to Hintz or Seguin through the trade market. The salary cap is also a limiting factor, especially with Seguin and goaltender Ben Bishop eventually coming off long-term injury reserve. Another factor is the possibility of injuries in a compressed schedule.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t expect a big move by the Stars leading up to the trade deadline. Other clubs will also have similar issues in terms of limited salary-cap space and concern over injuries over the remainder of this shortened season.










NHL Trade Deadline: Lesser Deals That Could Exceed Expectations

NHL Trade Deadline: Lesser Deals That Could Exceed Expectations