NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2022
Could the Canucks’ struggles lead to Bo Horvat getting traded at some point this season? Are the Sharks ready to become sellers in this season’s trade market? Are the Sabres shopping for blueline help? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
COULD THE CANUCKS SHOP HORVAT LATER THIS SEASON?
THE SCORE: With the Canucks stumbling from the gate and showing little sign of improvement, Josh Wegman weighed in on the factors behind their struggles. He also believes management has a major decision to make regarding captain Bo Horvat.
The 27-year-old two-way center is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Wegman believes the Canucks will have to shop Horvat by the trade deadline if they haven’t signed him to a contract extension by then, assuming they haven’t reversed their fortunes at that point.
TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos wondered why the Canucks spent the majority of the offseason attempting to move J.T. Miller only to sign him before Horvat. He claims the consistent message he heard was the Canucks captain rejected a low-ball offer that wasn’t close to what other comparable centers are making.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Almost all the talk out of Vancouver during the summer was the expectation that Horvat would be re-signed sooner or later. However, there’s since been some talk of the Canucks shopping him if an agreement isn’t reached before the March 3 trade deadline. That chatter could start to increase if the Canucks haven’t dug themselves out of the hole they find themselves in over the coming weeks.
SHARKS COULD BECOME SELLERS BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports what he’s heard from other teams around the league is the San Jose Sharks have let it be known they’re willing to listen to offers for pretty much everyone on their roster except perhaps for Tomas Hertl.
LeBrun indicated it’s going to be difficult for first-year general manager Mike Grier to make the changes he wants with the roster full of players like Erik Karlsson carrying full no-movement clauses. However, that’s the route he wants to go over the next couple of seasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks have won just three of their first 10 games. Unless they reverse that skid soon their playoff hopes will be dashed by Christmas, setting them up to be sellers in the New Year.
Karlsson, Hertl and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are the three Sharks with full no-movement clauses while Logan Couture has a three-team trade list. They also carry hefty salaries for the next several years, making them difficult to move even without no-trade protection.
Grier will have better luck shopping pending UFAs like James Reimer and Nick Bonino. They have modified no-trade clauses but also carry affordable cap hits, making them easier to peddle to playoff contenders before the trade deadline.
Winger Timo Meier will draw plenty of interest if Grier is listening to offers. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and will be a year away from UFA eligibility in July. While he’s off to a slow start to this season, the 26-year-old netted a career-best 35 goals and 76 points last season. He could become the Sharks’ best trade chip if they’re unable to agree to a long-term contract.
SABRES SHOPPING FOR BLUELINE HELP
WGR550: Paul Hamilton reports Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is looking around for some blueline depth after confirmed defenseman Mattias Samuelsson will be sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury. He also indicated Henri Jokiharju is week-to-week after fracturing a bone under his nose.
Adams said he’s looking at all options across the league. However, he doesn’t want to make a move based on reactions or emotions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps he’ll give the Carolina Hurricanes a call? They’re trying to move Ethan Bear and the Sabres have more than enough cap space to take on his $2.2 million cap hit for this season.