NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2023

The Leafs, Hurricanes and Blues Jackets each collect 3-2 overtime wins, the surging Kraken take over first place in the Pacific Division, the Avalanche and Sharks make a four-player trade, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored 19 seconds into overtime in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers after teammate Timothy Liljegren tied it late in the third period. The Leafs improved their record to 30-11-8 and are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes with 68 points. Filip Chytil tallied twice for the 26-14-8 Rangers as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 60 points.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got an overtime goal from Martin Necas to beat the Dallas Stars by a score of 3-2. Sebastian Aho scored his 200th career NHL goal as they extended their points streak to six games. The Hurricanes (30-9-8) sit second overall in the overall standings with two games in hand over the Maple Leafs. Jason Robertson scored his 33rd goal of the season for the 28-13-9 Stars as they hold a two-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Western Conference with 65 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen left this game following the first period with an upper-body injury. There was no post-game update as to the severity of his injury. He was activated off long-term injury reserve on Jan. 11 after missing over two months with a lower-body injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets also picked up 3-2 overtime victory by downing the Edmonton Oilers thanks to Kent Johnson’s winning goal. Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves as the Blue Jackets improved to 15-30-3 on the season. Zach Hyman tallied his 25th goal of the season for the 27-18-4 Oilers, who hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.

Seattle Kraken winger Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice and Jared McCann collected three points to crush the Vancouver Canucks 6-1 and move into first place in the Pacific Division with 61 points. It was the first loss for Rick Tocchet since taking over as Vancouver’s head coach on Sunday. The Canucks slipped to 19-26-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken rookie Matty Beniers left the game with an upper-body injury. No update was provided as to his condition.

The Ottawa Senators got goals by Shane Pinto and Claude Giroux to hold off the New York Islanders 2-1, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. Brock Nelson replied for the Islanders (23-22-5) as they sit five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 51 points. The Senators improved to 21-23-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello shouldered the blame for his club’s struggles this season. He also expressed confidence in his coaching staff. Meanwhile, Senators goaltender Cam Talbot left the game midway through the second period with a leg injury. The club is expected to have an update on his condition on Thursday.

HEADLINES

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Colorado Avalanche acquired defenseman Ryan Merkley and forward Matt Nieto from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Jacob MacDonald and forward Martin Kaut.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nieto previously played for Colorado from 2016-17 to 2019-20 and is being brought in to improve the Avalanche’s penalty kill. Merkley and Kaut are two young players in need of a fresh start after struggling to stick with their former clubs. Evan Rawal of Colorado Hockey Now believes MacDonald’s inclusion in this swap suggests sidelined defensemen Bowen Byram and Josh Manson could be returning to the Avs’ lineup soon.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry will be sidelined with an undisclosed injury until after the upcoming All-Star break. The club recalled goalie Dustin Tokarski.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (upper-body injury) is also sidelined until the All-Star break.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes signed defenseman Juuso Valimaki to a one-year contract extension worth $1 million. He was also fined $4,189.19 by the NHL department of player safety for slashing Anaheim Ducks forward Max Jones.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2023

Check out the latest on Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly, Timo Meier and Max Domi plus updates on the Hurricanes, Lightning and Senators in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

UPDATE ON HORVAT, O’REILLY, MEIER AND DOMI

SPORTSNET: During the Jan. 25 episode of “32 Thoughts”, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed potential trade destinations for Bo Horvat. The 27-year-old Vancouver Canucks center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Friedman thinks everyone is wondering if the Boston Bruins could make a pitch for Horvat. He believes the New Jersey Devils would be more interested in San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier because they’ve got Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes at center. The Detroit Red Wings could be an option depending on the state of contract talks with center Dylan Larkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa believes the Bruins acquiring Horvat is complex but doable. Getting the Canucks to retain part of his $5.5 million cap hit, finding the right player to offer up as part of the return, sending a contract back to Vancouver and parting with a prospect such as Fabian Lysell are among the multiple factors in play.

I don’t rule out the possibility of the Bruins landing Horvat. However, there are other clubs that could have fewer hoops to jump through with better assets to offer up for the Canucks captain.

Friedman also reported that the Canucks haven’t allowed potential suitors to talk to Horvat’s agent about a contract extension. He believes they’re trying to determine which clubs have serious interest and are willing to meet their asking price.

TSN: Darren Dreger said Ryan O’Reilly is “officially in play” in the trade market. This comes while the St. Louis Blues captain is currently sidelined until mid-February but the Blues are willing to gauge his value. Dreger speculates the asking price could involve “draft picks, you’re talking about a prospect, the draft pick could be determined by the quality of the prospect.”

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly’s solid reputation as a two-way center and leader will make him a player of interest in the trade market despite his injury and offensive struggles in the first half of this season. Nevertheless, clubs will want to see how well he performs once he returns to action before they start making offers before the March 3 trade deadline.

Pierre LeBrun reports the San Jose Sharks have not yet granted permission to Timo Meier’s agent to speak directly to teams interested in a trade where a contract extension could be part of the deal. It’s not out of the question that the Sharks could try to sign the restricted free-agent winger but they haven’t yet put an offer on the table.

LeBrun suggests contenders like the Toronto Maple Leafs would make sense. The Carolina Hurricanes have some interest while the Buffalo Sabres have also reached out to the Sharks about Meier.

SPORTSNET: During his Jan. 23 “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman told Jeff Marek that he believes the New Jersey Devils are among the teams interested in Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are in a better position cap-wise and prospect-wise than the Leafs for Meier. The Sabres, however, could outbid both clubs. They are loaded with cap space and promising young players to tempt the Sharks.

Given the salary-cap congestion around the league, Chris Johnston believes teams will be looking at a value player such as the Chicago Blackhawks’ Max Domi. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent carrying an affordable $3 million contract who is putting up good numbers this season.

LATEST ON THE LIGHTNING, HURRICANES AND SENATORS

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBrois lacks a first-round pick in 2023 and 2024 or a second-round pick in order to make a big splash at the trade deadline. If he makes a move it’ll likely be a dollar-in, dollar-out swap like his acquisition of Nick Paul at last year’s deadline. BriseBrois said he’s unconcerned over whether rivals like the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs make a big splash.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBrois has proven a very savvy dealer at the trade deadline over the past three years. Despite his lack of draft capital to use as trade bait, he could find a creative way to add a good depth player or two by the deadline.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun also reported the Carolina Hurricanes could have $10 million to work with at the trade deadline if they placed sidelined winger Max Pacioretty on long-term injured reserve. GM Don Waddell said his team will explore the trade market but they’re not in a rush to get a deal done.

LeBrun doesn’t believe we should rule out the Hurricanes on pending UFAs like Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly or Vladimir Tarasenko. However, he believes they would want a shot at re-signing that player to get involved. That’s why he thinks they might look at the Sharks’ Timo Meier given his RFA status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun recently said the Hurricanes had spoken with the Canucks about Bo Horvat but the asking price was too high. He also pointed out that Waddell usually doesn’t pursue big-ticket pending UFAs at the deadline, preferring instead players with term remaining on their contracts. Any moves that he makes will depend on the depth of talent available in the trade market and the asking prices for them.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is still looking for a defenseman. While he’d ideally like a blueliner with term remaining on his contract he’s also interested in unrestricted free agents. He could have an opportunity to re-sign that UFA or perhaps flip him at the March 3 trade deadline. Dreger also said Dorion is also exploring all of his own UFAs including goaltender Cam Talbot.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 24, 2023

More speculation linking the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens, the Canucks haven’t given up on re-signing Bo Horvat, plus the latest on Vladimir Tarasenko and David Pastrnak in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

MORE “DUBOIS TO MONTREAL” SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: During a Jan. 17 appearance on “Tim and Friends”, NHL insider Nick Kypreos expressed his belief that Pierre-Luc Dubois doesn’t have a long-term future with the Winnipeg Jets.

The 24-year-old center is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1 with arbitration rights and will also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. He was repeatedly linked last summer to the Montreal Canadiens before signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Jets.

Kypreos didn’t rule out the possibility of Dubois joining the Canadiens this summer. “He is not staying in Winnipeg long term,” said Kypreos. “There is nothing that can change his mind from what I’m hearing”.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

According to Kypreos, the Jets’ surprisingly strong performance this season is the only reason Dubois isn’t on insiders lists of candidates to be moved at the trade deadline. He doesn’t believe there’s anything that could change Dubois’ mind even if the Jets were to win the Stanley Cup this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ agent raised eyebrows last summer saying his client wouldn’t mind playing for the Canadiens one day. The center downplayed the rumors tying him to the Canadiens last summer and did so again last week when the Jets played the Habs in Montreal.

Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness recently sang Dubois’ praises, adding he’d do everything he could to convince him to sign a long-term contract. There’s no indication thus far that Jets management has engaged in contract extension talks with the Dubois camp.

The Canadiens, of course, haven’t mentioned any interest in Dubois because they’d run afoul of the league’s anti-tampering rules. His addition would accelerate the Habs’ rebuild but they could be leery of investing in a big-ticket player at this early stage of the process. If there were interested, they could balk at the cost of trading for him and then inking him to an expensive new contract.

It’s clear the “Dubois to the Canadiens” speculation isn’t going away as long as uncertainty remains about his future in Winnipeg.

AN UPDATE ON BO HORVAT

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal of the “Donnie and Dhali” show reports it is believed the Vancouver Canucks are still looking at ways to keep Bo Horvat “as tough as that may be”.

Horvat is eligible for unrestricted free-agent status on July 1. The 27-year-old center has become a fixture in the rumor mill since rejecting a contract offer from the Canucks weeks ago.

Dhaliwal said they want to see how things work between Horvat and new head coach Rick Tocchet. They can only sign Horvat or Andrei Kuzmenko but not both and so far no offer has been made to Kuzmenko.

Can they send one final offer Horvat’s way?” asked Dhaliwal, who nodded and said the two sides did talk over the weekend. He firmly believes the Canucks won’t give the Horvat camp permission to talk with other teams as they don’t want to lose leverage in negotiations.

Dhaliwal suggested keeping an eye on Brandon Carlo if the Boston Bruins came calling about Horvat. “Right-shot D, 25 years old, that’s who I would ask for. Brandon Carlo,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dhaliwal stressed there is no confirmation the Bruins have an interest in Horvat. The Canucks need blueline depth but Carlo’s injury history should be a concern.

Media consensus believes Horvat’s a goner. As always, however, it’s worth remembering that this season was supposed to be J.T. Miller’s last with the Canucks before he was signed to a long-term contract extension.

LATEST ON TARASENKO AND PASTRNAK

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford believes trade-deadline talk involving the St. Louis Blues should pick up once Vladimir Tarasenko returns from a hand injury later this month. The 31-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

Rutherford believes Tarasenko’s return will become a showcase of whether he can prove he’s healthy and can help playoff contenders. He has a full no-trade clause so it remains to be seen if he’ll waive it to go to a contender or ride out the season in St. Louis and hit the open market in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford wondered if the Carolina Hurricanes would be interested in Tarasenko after losing Max Pacioretty to injury for the rest of the season. They have nearly identical average annual values with Pacioretty earning $7 million and Tarasenko $7.5 million.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming the Boston Bruins and winger David Pastrnak are getting closer to a contract extension. He believes the two sides are meeting almost every day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins aren’t going to let Pastrnak hit the open market in July. He’s going to stay in Boston on an eight-year contract. It’s just a question of how much the average annual value breaks down.

Pastrnak is a former Richard Trophy winner who is jockeying with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the goal-scoring crown this season. He sits fifth in total goals (251) since 2016-17. I expect he’ll get around $12 million annually. That’s the going rate for goal scorers of his caliber.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Updates on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Bo Horvat, Vladislav Gavrikov, Timo Meier and Jake McCabe in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” RUMORS.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports that it sounds like long-time Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aren’t prepared to make a decision on their respective futures until sometime in mid-February.

Marek also believes Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty’s season-ending injury could make things interesting for Kane and Toews and maybe other players who could move by the trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a second-line center and could use a winger to replace the sidelined Pacioretty’s offense. Toews or Kane could fit into one of those roles in Carolina.

Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala included the Hurricanes among their four suggested trade destinations for Toews along with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.

Marek reports the Vancouver Canucks’ asking price for Bo Horvat is three players, including a top prospect. Friedman believes the Canucks are narrowing down the possible suitors to those willing to meet that price or at least willing to continue discussions about it. He doesn’t think that they’re close to a trade at this time.

Friedman didn’t name any clubs that could be among the interest parties for Horvat. However, he mentioned the Seattle Kraken and Minnesota Wild during his “32 Thoughts” podcast on Friday. He doesn’t believe the Canucks are allowing teams to speak with the pending unrestricted free-agent center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could still surprise us as they did with J.T. Miller and re-sign Horvat but I think he’s a goner now. Based on recent comments by Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford, they aren’t comfortable paying Horvat for what they consider an outlier performance this season. It remains to be seen which team will meet their asking price before March 3 and whether the Canucks will allow them an opportunity to speak with Horvat about a contract extension.

Friedman also believes the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams to have inquired about Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. It’s believed the Jackets are allowing interested clubs to speak with him.

Marek thinks the Blue Jackets’ preference may have been to re-sign Gavrikov but he doesn’t believe that’s going to happen. He thinks they’ll seek a first and a third-round pick or a first-rounder plus other assets in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov isn’t the only defenseman the Leafs and Oilers are looking at in the trade market. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports they’re interested in Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, who carries a seven-team no-trade list. The Los Angeles Kings are also thought to be among the suitors.

Seravalli believes McCabe’s no-trade list includes every Canadian team except for the Leafs. He’s carrying a $4 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 but Seravalli wondered if the Leafs could sway the Blackhawks into retaining half of it.

Speaking of teams being allowed to speak to players, Friedman thinks the San Jose Sharks will allow that to happen for restricted free-agent winger Timo Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Winnipeg Jets could be among those teams talking to Meier. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck believes the 26-year-old left winger could be a dream catch for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Billeck believes Meier would be a perfect replacement for Blake Wheeler, who has one season remaining on his contract. The Sharks asking price and Meier’s $10 million qualifying price, however, are two significant hurdles.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2023

The Oilers’ Connor McDavid reaches 40 goals on the season while Canucks fans bid farewell to Bruce Boudreau during Hockey Day in Canada, Canadiens winger Cole Caufield to undergo season-ending surgery, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid tallied his league-leading 40th goal of the season to double up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and three assists while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected three points for the Oilers (27-18-3), as they vaulted over the Los Angeles Kings into third place in the Pacific Division with 57 points.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid becomes the fastest player to reach 40 goals in a season (48 games) since Jaromir Jagr did it in 46 games in 1995-96.

The Canucks (18-25-3) have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Before the game, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported they’re expected to announce the hiring of Rick Tocchet as their new head coach on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That news prompted an outpouring of support for embattled head coach Bruce Boudreau on social media and from Canucks fans during this game. Boudreau was touched by the cheers from the fans, bidding them a tearful farewell at the end of the game.

As I said before, the Canucks’ front office handled this situation very badly. They could’ve just fired Boudreau and named one of their assistant coaches to replace him on an interim basis until a full-time bench boss was found. Instead, they left him to twist in the wind as rumors ramped up over his future, forcing him to answer questions from the media day after day over his impending fate. It reflects poorly on the Canucks as a franchise, raising concerns over the direction of the club.

An overtime goal by Rem Pitlick lifted the injury-depleted Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pitlick finished the night with two points while Sam Montembeault stopped 36 shots as the Canadiens (20-24-3) overcame a 2-0 deficit to win three of their last four games. The 28-11-8 Leafs sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 64 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens announced that Cole Caufield will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his injured right shoulder. Caufield’s agent revealed his client had played with the injury over the past two-three months and was willing to continue but team doctors decided he would risk worsening the damage. The 22-year-old winger is the 11th Hab currently sidelined, joining such notables as Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, Sean Monahan, Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Kaiden Guhle, Jake Allen and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho tallied a hat trick to lead his club over the New York Islanders by a score of 5-2, handing the latter their eighth loss in their last nine games. The Hurricanes (29-9-8) hold a four-point lead over the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points. With 51 points, the Islanders (23-20-5) remain two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Islanders recalled forward Aatu Raty to replace Cal Clutterbuck, who is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin missed this game with a lower-body injury.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to blank the Arizona Coyotes 4-0. Radek Faksa tallied twice for the Stars (28-13-7) as they hold a two-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Western Conference with 63 points. The Coyotes dropped to 14-27-5.

Speaking of the Jets (61 points), they improved to 30-16-1 with a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Captain Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists to reach his 900th career point while Mark Scheifele scored twice and collected an assist. Josh Norris replied for the Senators as they slipped to 20-23-3.

The Vegas Golden Knights remain one point behind the Jets for third overall in the Western Conference by downing the Washington Capitals 6-2. Paul Cotter tallied twice while Nicolas Roy had a goal and two assists for the 29-16-2 Golden Knights while T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson replied for the 25-18-6 Capitals, who remain three points ahead of the Penguins in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 56 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

A shootout goal by Nathan MacKinnon lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Seattle Kraken. Alex Newhook scored in regulation for the Avalanche (25-17-3) as they’ve won five straight and vaulted over the Calgary Flames into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points. Ryan Donato replied for the Kraken, who’ve dropped three of their last four contests. At 27-14-5 (59 points), they sit one point behind the first-place Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.

The Flames, meanwhile, defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 as Rasmus Andersson had a goal and two assists while Tyler Toffoli and Dillon Dube each had a goal and an assist. Steven Stamkos, Anthony Cirelli and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Lightning (29-15-1) as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames (22-16-9) have the same number of points as the Avalanche (53), but the latter has three more wins and holds two games in hand.

Third-period goals by Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene and Cole Smith powered the Nashville Predators to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Duchene scored twice while teammate Roman Josi collected three assists for the 22-18-6 Predators, who move within three points of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Kings (25-17-6) have lost three straight games and slipped into the first Western wild-card berth with 56 points.

Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon kicked out 29 shots to win his first start of the season by beating the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers improved to 23-20-5. With 51 points, they’re two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth. Kirill Kaprizov had three assists for the Wild (25-16-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild played without winger Marcus Foligno as he is sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.

The Chicago Blackhawks got a 29-save performance from Jaxson Stauber in his NHL debut to upset the St. Louis Blues 5-3. Jason Dickinson had a goal and two assists for the 14-26-4 Blackhawks, who’ve won six of their last seven games. Jordan Kyrou and Ivan Barbashev each had a goal and an assist for the Blues (23-21-3), who sit four points out of a wild-card spot in the West.

Buffalo Sabres forwards Victor Olofsson and Peyton Krebs each tallied two goals in a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Ilya Lyubushkin collected three assists for the 23-19-3 Sabres as they moved to within four points of an Eastern wild-card spot with 49 points. Trevor Zegras scored twice and collected an assist for the 13-29-5 Ducks.

The Philadelphia Flyers got goals from Scott Laughton and Noah Cates to hold off the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Carter Hart turned aside 30 shots for the Flyers (20-20-7) as they’ve won five of their last seven games. Lucas Raymond replied for the Red Wings as they slipped to 19-18-8 on the season.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Patrik Laine, Gustav Nyquist and Sean Kuraly lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Jackets improved to 14-30-2 while the Sharks fell to 14-24-9.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023

Check out the latest on Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Bo Horvat, and Matt Dumba plus updates on the Red Wings and Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TRADE SPECULATION CONTINUES TO DOG KARLSSON AND MEIER

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting Erik Karlsson might not be a member of the Sharks by next season. Appearing on the Got Yer Back podcast, LeBrun felt if the 32-year-old defenseman gets traded it’ll be in June when teams have more salary cap flexibility.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Miller also noted LeBrun recently interviewed Karlsson, who carries an $11.5 million salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a full no-movement clause. The blueliner said he and his family are happy in San Jose but he still wants to play for a winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s not the only pundit who thinks a Karlsson trade won’t happen until the offseason. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen said the same thing during a recent mailbag segment. I’ve also said that a summer deal seems more likely than an in-season one because of his hefty cap hit and his no-movement clause.

Meanwhile, Sheng Peng cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying the Sharks could let teams talk to Timo Meier’s agent about a contract extension if they get a trade proposal they like. Friedman believes the 26-year-old winger could be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, citing the aggressiveness of Sharks management and their willingness to do business.

Meier is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. He’ll be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility and will cost the Sharks $10 million to qualify his rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A trade proposal they like is something that will help them immediately as well as in the long term. A good young NHL player and a high-end prospect likely have to be part of the offer for Meier.

The Sharks could move Meier by the trade deadline but they aren’t under pressure to do so. They can afford to wait until the summer if they don’t get any offers they like by March 3.

POTENTIAL SUITORS FOR HORVAT

SPORTSNET: During Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he believed interest in Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat intensified this week. He also indicated that the Canucks haven’t given interested clubs permission to speak with Horvat’s agent about a new contract. The 27-year-old center is eligible for UFA status on July 1.

Friedman also rattled off a list of several potential suitors for Horvat. He believes the Seattle Kraken, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils could have varying degrees of interest.

He’s not sure about the Carolina Hurricanes as they don’t do rental players but he’s not ruling them out. He also considers the Tampa Bay Lightning as a wild card.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat carries a reasonable $5.5 million cap hit. Nevertheless, clubs like the Bruins, Devils and Lightning could find it difficult to acquire him because of their limited cap space. The Hurricanes could be interested now that Max Pacioretty is done for the season, giving them $7 million of LTIR cap space if needed to make an addition or two at the trade deadline.

UPDATE ON DUMBA

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s decision to scratch Matt Dumba for the second straight game is sparking speculation that a trade could be in the works, among other theories. However, the club insists they’re not working on moving the 28-year-old defenseman.

Smith writes the decision to scratch Dumba remains performance-based. He also indicates that there’s no guarantee the blueliner will be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, claiming there hasn’t been a lot of interest. Most teams are capped out, Dumba has struggled at times this season and there are other notable blueliners in this season’s trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Senators reportedly scouted Dumba earlier this month. However, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes the blueliner’s recent scratch from the lineup isn’t a good sign. He also noted that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion took in the recent game between the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, pointing out the Kings could be willing to move one of their right-shot defensemen.

LATEST ON THE RED WINGS AND PANTHERS

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen looked at which Red Wings could be on the move if GM Steve Yzerman becomes a seller at the trade deadline. Tyler Bertuzzi seems the most likely trade candidate if the pending UFA isn’t signed by March 3. However, Allen doesn’t expect center Dylan Larkin to be moved even if he remains unsigned by the deadline.

Other trade candidates could include forward Adam Erne, defenseman Olli Maatta, goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Pius Suter and blueliner Jake Walman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Larkin’s contract talks break down completely I’ll be surprised if the Wings trade their captain. I believe there remains a genuine desire on both sides to hammer out an agreement before July 1.

As for the rest, they won’t all be traded. Nevertheless, I can see Bertuzzi and Nedeljkovic getting shopped.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito still believes his struggling club has a shot at reaching the playoffs. At the moment, the Panthers are in no man’s land as they’re neither buyers nor sellers at this point. The next six weeks will determine which direction they go.