Notable NHL Trades and Free Agent Signings – July 8, 2022

Notable NHL Trades and Free Agent Signings – July 8, 2022

Check out my take on the notable trades and free-agent signings from the second day of the 2022 NHL Draft.

The Carolina Hurricanes traded defenseman Tony DeAngelo to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for second, third and fourth-round picks (Detail to follow). The Flyers then signed the 27-year-old DeAngelo to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $5 million.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is going to go one of two ways. DeAngelo will either get along well with new Flyers head coach John Tortorella and play his system or they’ll get on like chalk and cheese and this will be a train wreck. For a fragile club on their third coach in less than a year that was walloped by injuries and also shipped out their captain at the trade deadline, drama is the last thing they need right now.

DeAngelo enjoyed a bounce-back performance last season (51 points) with the Hurricanes on a one-year, $1-million contract after being bought out by the New York Rangers. He had no issues with his teammates or head coach Rod Brind’Amour but the Canes couldn’t afford to sign him. He’s a skilled puck-mover but his defensive play doesn’t match his offensive abilities. DeAngelo will be forced to improve that aspect of his game under Tortorella or face a sharp reduction in ice time.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, appear to be clearing salary to re-sign pending UFA forwards Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck. Then again, maybe they’re planning a big addition via trade or free agency. Stay tuned…

Washington Capitals trade goaltender Vitek Vanecek and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to the New Jersey Devils for a second-round pick and a third-rounder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils were in the market for a goalie to share the duties with Mackenzie Blackwood. Vanecek, 27, is a restricted free agent coming off a three-year deal worth over $716K per season and will be seeking a raise with his new club but shouldn’t break the bank. He put up decent regular-season numbers but his playoff stats aren’t anything to write home about. He’ll be best used in a backup role.

It was rumored the Devils might get into the market for an established starter like Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. Perhaps they still will but that would mean moving out Blackwood, who’s struggled with injuries and inconsistency over the past two years. My guess is they’re going with a Blackwood-Vanecek tandem.

Detroit Red Wings acquire goaltender Ville Husso from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. The Wings then signed the 27-year-old Husso to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $4.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman opts not to bring in another aging backup but instead lands a younger netminder with starter experience. Husso will share the goalie duties with starter Alex Nedeljkovic and could perhaps push the Red Wings starter, who had some consistency issues last season.

The Blues would’ve preferred to re-sign Husso but lacked sufficient cap space to do so, especially when they’re trying to re-sign winger David Perron. They’ll be in the market for a suitable backup for Jordan Binnington via trade or free agency.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2022

Check out the latest on Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Filip Forsberg, Johnny Gaudreau, Alex DeBrincat, Jack Campbell and more, plus some contract buyout candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.

RUMORS FROM THE LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” PODCAST

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the latest trade and free-agent speculation during their latest “32 Thoughts” podcast.

Regarding Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, Friedman said teams have told him there’s a path toward a deal between the club and the pending unrestricted free agent. He also indicated the same for the Nashville Predators and pending UFA winger Filip Forsberg.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were reportedly offering Letang a three-year contract while he sought a five-year deal said to be between $8 million and $9 million annually. Perhaps that path is a three-year contract at around $8.25 million? We’ll see.

Friedman suggested an eight-year deal at $8.5 million annually for Forsberg. There’s speculation the holdup could be the winger seeking a no-trade clause, which the Predators as a rule tend to avoid.

Friedman doesn’t think the Penguins are getting close to a deal with Evgeni Malkin.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Recent reports out of Pittsburgh say the same thing, though there’s talk the Penguins will shift their focus to Malkin once they sort out how much it’ll cost to retain Letang. It will also depend on how much of a pay cut Malkin is willing to accept to stay in Pittsburgh.

Turning to Johnny Gaudreau, Friedman said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Calgary Flames offered him an eight-year contract worth around $9.5 million. He believes the Flames are willing to be flexible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported Thursday that Gaudreau hasn’t reached a decision yet. He suspects the winger will keep the Flames in the loop but wants to see what offers he’ll get on the open market.

Friedman also elaborated on a recent rumor he’d heard about an offer the Chicago Blackhawks received for Alex DeBrincat. He said it was a reasonably high first-round pick plus another first-round pick and a prospect. However, it wasn’t enough to get the deal done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes have multiple picks in the first round of this year’s draft. Maybe one of those teams made that pitch for DeBrincat. Discuss!

Regarding his report of the Tampa Bay Lightning looking into shopping Ryan McDonagh, Friedman believes the St. Louis Blues could be among the suitors. He thinks the 32-year-old defenseman would be a good addition to their blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, he would, but his $6.75 million cap hit wouldn’t be when Cap Friendly shows them with just over $9 million in cap space and 18 players under contract for 2022-23. They must re-sign or replace pending UFA goaltender Ville Husso plus they’re keen to retain UFA winger David Perron. Unless Blues GM Doug Armstrong intends on shedding salary, he’ll have to pass on an opportunity to acquire McDonagh.

Friedman mused over the possibility of the Edmonton Oilers signing Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmonton pundits believe Oilers GM Ken Holland intends to go goalie-shopping after speaking with Mike Smith in the near future. He’ll need a starter if Smith retires or spends next season on their long-term injury reserve list.

Recent speculation out of Toronto claims the Leafs and Campbell aren’t close to a deal. He could see a multi-year deal worth over $5 million per season, which the Leafs currently can’t afford unless they dump some salary. I expect the Oilers will be among those lining up to speak with Campbell’s agent if the netminder is available on July 13.

Speaking of the Leafs, Friedman doesn’t see them acquiring goalie John Gibson from the Anaheim Ducks. They had previous talks with former Ducks GM Bob Murray without success. Friedman doesn’t see that changing with Pat Verbeek now in charge in Anaheim.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson recently denied rumors claiming he would welcome a trade. He carries a $6.4 million cap hit through 2026-27 and a 10-team no-trade list. The Leafs could be on that list.

Finally, Friedman wonders if the New Jersey Devils will attempt to sign Blues goalie Ville Husso if he hits the open market on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing a reliable starting goalie is among the priorities for Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s among the general managers putting in calls to Husso’s agent on July 13.

POTENTIAL CONTRACT BUYOUT CANDIDATES

THE HOCKEY NEWS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic topped Mike Stephens’ recent list of potential contract buyout candidates. The buyout window opened on July 1 and runs until 5 pm ET on July 12.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are still without a full-time replacement for general manager Doug Wilson. Still, it didn’t stop them from axing Bob Boughner as head coach on July 1.

I doubt they’ll find any takers for Vlasic in the trade market given his hefty contract and the decline in his play. We can’t rule out a buyout before July 12.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith and winger Zack Kassian are also on Stephens’ list, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek and Ottawa Senators netminder Matt Murray.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of Edmonton suggest Kassian is a more likely buyout candidate than Keith, whose experience and leadership are still prized by Oilers management. They need to shed some salary to bolster their goaltending.

The Leafs could buy out Mrazek if they can’t find a trade partner for him before July 12. As for Murray, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported this week that the Sens aren’t likely to go that route.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen had Senators forward Colin White and Florida Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist on his list of buyout candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch indicated White could indeed be bought out by the Senators. The Panthers could do the same if they can’t find a club to take him off their hands in the trade market.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2022

Check out the latest Oilers and Leafs speculation plus an update on Ethan Bear in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE OILERS

SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Mark Spector was asked which goaltender Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland might target in this summer’s free-agent market. He believes he’ll choose a cheaper, less proven goalie than an expensive free-agent question mark.

Spector said sources tell him Marc-Andre Fleury chooses not to play in Edmonton. He anticipates the Oilers’ free-agent targets will be St. Louis’ Ville Husso and Toronto’s Jack Campbell. He envisions a tandem of Campbell and Stuart Skinner.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie (NHL Images).

Asked which players could be cost-cutting trade candidates, Skinner listed Zack Kassian ($3.2 million), Warren Foegele ($2.75 million) and Tyson Barrie ($4.5 million). He also included restricted free agent Jesse Puljujarvi depending on his pay raise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers face considerable uncertainty between the pipes for next season. Mikko Koskinen is off to Switzerland while aging Mike Smith could be considering retirement. Even if Smith returns to complete the final season of his contract, they still need a more reliable starter.

Campbell and Husso have shown promise as starters but question marks hover over both. Campbell struggled over the second half of last season with the Maple Leafs, which was his first full campaign as a starter. Husso had a solid regular season with the Blues when Jordan Binnington struggled but gave way to Binnington in the playoffs.

Of those cost-cutting trade candidates, Barrie could attract the most attention. He’s a skilled puck-moving defenseman who could draw interest in the trade market. VancouverHockeyNow’s Rob Simpson believes he’d be a good addition to the Canucks.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE LEAFS AFTER RE-SIGNING LILJEGREN?

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas still has to deal with restricted free agents Rasmus Sandin, Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase after re-signing Timothy Liljegren on Monday.

Koshan wonders how the Liljegren signing affects Justin Holl’s future with the Leafs. While he carries an affordable $2 million cap hit for next season, re-signing Sandin is a priority. He also anticipates trade-deadline pickup Ilya Lyubushkin will hit the open market on July 13.

With less than $7 million in cap space, Dubas must figure out his goaltending. He also needs to bolster his defense and forward lines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen what Dubas has in store to find the cap space to address those needs. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if Holl gets traded (despite his 10-team no-trade list) in a cost-cutting deal to free up space for Sandin’s new contract.

UPDATE ON ETHAN BEAR

CANUCKS ARMY: Lachlan Irvine cites CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reporting the Vancouver Canucks have had early discussions with Ethan Bear. The restricted free agent defenseman was given permission by the Carolina Hurricanes to speak with other clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dhaliwal said it’s too early to tell how far those talks go between the Canucks and Bear. He could fit their need for younger, affordable talent, especially on their blueline.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 20, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 20, 2022

The Panthers’ offseason cap crunch, a look at possible moves by the Sabres and the latest Ville Husso speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CAP CRUNCH LEAVES PANTHERS FACING TOUGH DECISIONS

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna recently examined the difficulties facing the Florida Panthers as they attempt to navigate their salary-cap crunch. They have just $3 million in cap space for 2022-23 and sacrificed a lot of draft capital acquiring Claude Giroux and Ben Chiarot at the trade deadline.

General manager Bill Zito has to pare down some payroll. McKenna suggested winger Patric Hornqvist and his $5.3 million cap hit for next season as a trade candidate.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

Seravalli wondered if Zito would consider trading goaltender Spencer Knight with Sergei Bobrovsky carrying a hefty long-term contract making him difficult to move. McKenna didn’t think so, pointing out no one’s won a Stanley Cup without homegrown talent. He suggested the Panthers GM might have to find a way to get creative with Bobrovsky down the road.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos recently said the Panthers are shopping Bobrovsky aggressively, so much so they’re willing to retain 50 percent of his $10 million annual cap hit. That might not be enough to ship him out if he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause. Zito could be squeezed to add a good young player or a quality prospect into the deal, further depleting his prospect pipeline.

Hornqvist has an eight-team no-trade list but his age (35) and declining performance are the biggest stumbling blocks on the path to a trade. He’s not impossible to move but Zito could be pressed to add a sweetener or take back a player with a comparable salary.

LATEST ON THE SABRES

THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn speculated on how the Buffalo Sabres will address their goaltending depth for next season. Craig Anderson was a strong presence on the club’s last season but remains undecided if he’ll return or retire. Promising Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen should be ready to step into a larger role but remains unproven at the NHL level and has been plagued by injuries.

Free-agent goalie candidates could include Marc-Andre Fleury, Darcy Kuemper, Ville Husso, Jack Campbell and Braden Holtby. Trade options could include the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson or the Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres stand a better chance of signing one of those free-agent goalies than acquiring Gibson or prying Hellebuyck out of Winnipeg. Gibson last week denied reports he’s open to being traded. The Jets still see themselves as a playoff team next season, something they definitely won’t be if they trade Hellebuyck.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski recently reported the Sabres don’t expect some of the higher-tiered UFA goalies will be available to them. Going the cheaper route might be their best option again this summer.

Lysowski also speculated that Victor Olofsson could be a trade candidate. He had 20 goals and 49 points this season but is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who needs to produce more. He completed a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $3.050 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres have $35 million in cap space and must spend to reach the $61 million cap minimum. Fleury, Kuemper and Campbell could be out of reach but Husso could be a possibility. Holtby is past his prime but could be a good mentor in a backup role to Luukkonen. Olofsson could also be a decent bargaining chip if the Sabres want to pursue a goalie through the trade market.

COULD THE OILERS PURSUE HUSSO VIA FREE AGENCY?

NHL WATCHER: tweeted on June 14 that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was wondering if the Edmonton Oilers might revisit their rumored interest in Ville Husso from earlier this season. He believes they’re planning for a future without starting goalie Mike Smith via retirement or LTIR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Oilers with $7.1 million in cap space for 2022-23 with 15 players under contract. They can get $4.16 million in cap relief if necessary by placing Oscar Klefbom on long-term injury reserve and an additional $2.2 million if Smith retires or also hits LTIR.

That could free up enough to sign Husso if they’re still interested. However, it might not leave enough to suitably fill out the remainder of the roster. They could face parting ways with an RFA like Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi or attempting to move out another salaried player like Zack Kassian.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 12, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 12, 2022

In this installment of the Sunday NHL rumor roundup, a look ahead to the Rangers offseason plus the latest Oilers speculation.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE RANGERS?

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski examines the keys to the offseason for the New York Rangers following their elimination from the Eastern Conference Finals. They have some intriguing free agents heading into this summer.

Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 13. Copp is a more versatile forward but Strome has better chemistry with winger Artemi Panarin. They’ll need to find a creative way to free up cap space to retain both on multi-year contracts.

New York Rangers forward Andrew Copp (NHL Images).

One way could be signing restricted free agent winger Kaapo Kakko to a low-cost bridge deal. Another could be bringing in a backup goalie making less than what RFA netminder Alexandar Georgiev will make this summer.

Late-season pickup Frank Vatrano played well enough to earn an affordable extension. Fellow UFAs Tyler Motte and Justin Braun could depart this summer. Wyshynski also recommends adding a veteran defensive blueliner if they have sufficient cap space.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks acknowledged there will be questions hanging over the Rangers’ roster this summer, namely that of Strome’s contract status. However, he considers the performance of their young players may have changed that puzzle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Rangers have $13.5 million in salary cap space with 14 players under contract for 2022-23. Sammy Blais is another of their noteworthy free agents. The RFA winger spent most of this season sidelined by a knee injury.

Acquiring Copp cost the Rangers their first-round pick in this year’s draft. That could be an incentive to re-sign him over Strome if they can’t free up sufficient cap room for both players. It could cost over $5 million annually to re-sign Copp while Strome will seek a significant raise over his current $4.5 million AAV.

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant raised some eyebrows by making Kakko a healthy scratch for Game 6 of the Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That could prompt some speculation over his future with the Rangers, perhaps even generate talk of him becoming a cost-cutting casualty.

However, Kakko’s coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. As Wyshynski speculates, they could simply sign him to a low-cost bridge deal to give them some wiggle room for another signing or roster addition.

LATEST OILERS SPECULATION

SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reports the Edmonton Oilers have asked Mike Smith and Duncan Keith to inform them by July 1 if they intend to return next season or retire. Smith was banged-up during the postseason while Keith didn’t say much.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes Smith and Keith can still help the Oilers next season. Based on what he’s been told, Leavins would be very surprised if Keith hangs up his skates, adding the veteran blueliner might try to extend his playing career beyond 2022-23.

However, he can see Smith retiring. While the veteran goaltender’s talent and desire remain clear, age and injuries may be wearing down the 40-year-old.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith’s $2.2 million cap hit would come off the Oilers’ books if he retires. If he can’t physically play, they can place him on LTIR for the season. Keith’s cap hit is over $5.5 million but his actual salary is $1.5 million.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson looked at possible options to upgrade the Oilers’ goaltending next season. St. Louis’ Ville Husso, Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper and Toronto’s Jack Campbell are among the netminders potentially available via this summer’s free agent market. Anaheim’s John Gibson is a possible trade option.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen included Husso among his list of six potential value goalies for the Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs to consider. He also listed Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, San Jose’s Kaapo Kahkonen, Detroit’s Alex Nedeljkovic, Winnipeg’s Eric Comrie and New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Husso, Kuemper and Campbell all have their strengths and weaknesses. I still expect the Leafs to re-sign Campbell while it’s perhaps 50-50 that Kuemper and Husso remain with their current clubs. The Oilers could face a bidding war for their services given the limited goalie options among this summer’s free-agent class.

Gibson is signed through 2026-27 with an annual cap hit of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. He could be reluctant to waive it to join a Canadian team. The Sharks recently acquired Kahkonen so he’s not going anywhere. Neither is Nedeljovic after being acquired last summer from Carolina. Blackwood has been battling injuries and inconsistency over the past two seasons. Comrie could be an affordable backup signing.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 11, 2022

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and the Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST CANADIENS SPECULATION

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports there’s still no word on Jeff Petry’s future with the Canadiens. If the club is still intent on moving him (and he’s still intent on being traded), there could be some news before next month’s NHL draft (July 7 and 8) and the start of free agency (July 13) the following week. General manager Kent Hughes has indicated he’d be in the market for an experienced defenseman if Petry is moved.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cites The Athletic’s interview with Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill in which the latter indicated he’d be in the market for a right-shot defenseman this summer. He also cited The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun speculating Hughes could call Nill to gauge the latter’s interest in Petry if the Stars lose John Klingberg to free agency.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

D’Amico noted there had been trade talks between the Canadiens and Stars before the trade deadline. He also stated some sources made the same suggestion as LeBrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two factors working against a “Petry-to-Dallas” trade are the blueliner’s age (34) and his $6.25 million annual average value through 2024-25. Still, he would be more affordable than re-signing Klingberg, who could seek over $8 million annually on an eight-year deal.

D’Amico also cited Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek recently named the Canadiens and Seattle Kraken as two possible destinations for Tyson Barrie if the Edmonton Oilers shop him in a cost-cutting deal.

Marek’s colleague Elliotte Friedman speculated Barrie’s name could be out there in the trade market because of the growth of young blueliner Evan Bouchard. The Oilers must clear some cap space to address their glaring need for a goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie to Montreal works only if they trade away Jeff Petry. The 30-year-old Oilers rearguard is younger than Petryand carries a more affordable $4.5 million annual cap hit through 2023-24. He also lacks no-trade protection, giving the Habs the option of shopping him if he doesn’t pan out or if a rival club makes a tempting offer.

D’Amico cited TVA hockey analyst Maxim Lapierre saying the Canadiens should do all they can to acquire the second-overall pick in this year’s draft from the New Jersey Devils. With the top two picks, the Canadiens could select top prospects Shane Wright and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Lapierre suggested the Canadiens offer up some of the veterans on their roster. However, D’Amico said sources claim Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald isn’t interested in the Canadiens’ more tradeable assets like Jeff Petry and Christian Dvorak. Ultimately, he doesn’t believe the Habs have what the Devils would want in return for the second-overall selection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fitzgerald has said he’d part with that pick to bring in an impact player to help his club become a contender. His most pressing needs are a scoring winger and a starting goalie.

The Canadiens aren’t parting with Cole Caufield and I don’t see Josh Anderson as the type of impact player Fitzgerald has in mind. The Habs also have goaltending issues of their own to deal with. Speaking of which…

Jimmy Murphy suggested Ville Husso as a possible option for the Canadiens if Carey Price doesn’t return from his knee injury next season. The St. Louis Blues netminder is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 and it’s uncertain if they can afford to re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nobody is in this summer’s free-agent and trade markets is comparable to Price. Nevertheless, the Canadiens will need to find a suitable short-term replacement if he can’t play next season.

The 27-year-old Husso would be considerably more affordable than Price, perhaps coming in at between $4 and $5 million annually. However, there’s no certainty he’ll want to come to Montreal and could seek more than a short-term deal. The Canadiens won’t be the only club interested in him as the Oilers and Devils are among the clubs in need of help between the pipes next season.

UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS

VANCOUVER IS AWESOME: Daniel Wagner cited insiders Nick Kypreos and John Shannon telling Bob McCown they believe Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford has some big changes in store for the Canucks.

Kypreos said Rutherford doesn’t like what he considers a “country club” atmosphere in the dressing room, expecting him to “make a splash” this summer. Shannon agreed, suggesting the only untouchables are Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Thatcher Demko and Bo Horvat, leaving out stars J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser.

Wagner pointed out it’s Patrik Allvin who is the Canucks GM, though Rutherford would hold great influence over his decisions. He also cited Rutherford having gone on record claiming the Canucks don’t need a full rebuild and has said the Canucks will try to sign Miller to a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot will depend on how much it’ll cost to sign Miller and Boeser. The former is coming off a career-best 99-point performance and is a year away from UFA eligibility while the latter is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights eligible for a $7.5 million qualifying offer. If they prove too expensive to retain, one or both could be on the move this summer.