NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2022

The Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron tallies his 1,000th career point, the Devils tie a franchise wins record, the Avalanches’ Cale Makar reaches a milestone for defensemen, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron collected an assist for his 1,000th career NHL point in a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci each had two-point performances for the Bruins (17-2-0), who picked up their seventh straight win and sit atop the overall standings with 34 points. Nick Paul scored twice for the Lightning, whose record drops to 11-7-1.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergeron joins Raymond Bourque, John Bucyk and Phil Esposito as the only Bruins to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The 37-year-old Bruins captain is off to a good start to this season with 18 points in 19 games.

The New Jersey Devils tied a franchise record 13-game winning streak as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Nico Hischier collected three assists while Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each collected two points for the 16-3-0 Devils, who sit two points behind the first-place Bruins in the overall standings. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins replied for the Oilers as they slide to 10-9-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The red-hot Devils are drawing considerable praise for their strong start to this season. However, not everyone thinks they’re going to make the playoffs. Sportsnet’s Keith Yandle is a doubter, citing their goaltending while suggesting they’ll start cooling off following the upcoming US Thanksgiving weekend. It’ll be interesting to see if the Devils can prove him wrong.

Oilers goalie Jack Campbell left the game in the second period after being clipped by the puck near his eye while sitting on the bench as a backup for Stuart Skinner. He left the bench and didn’t return. Head coach Jay Woodcroft had no update on Campbell’s condition following the game but Skinner told reporters Campbell had a bloody nose but was joking around and was otherwise okay.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar became the fastest blueliner in NHL history to reach the 200-point plateau in a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Makar opened the scoring to achieve the milestone in 195 career games. Meanwhile, Miko Rantanen scored the only goal in the shootout as the Avalanche improved to 11-5-1. Jason Robertson scored both goals for the 11-5-3 Stars.

Three unanswered goals by William Carrier, Reilly Smith and Alex Pietrangelo lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Pietrangelo finished the night with three points while Carrier tallied two goals as the Golden Knights remain atop the Western Conference with a record of 15-4-1. Quinn Hughes and Andrei Kuzmenko each had two points for the struggling Canucks as they drop to 6-10-3.

The St. Louis Blues picked up their seventh straight win by downing the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Noel Acciari scored twice while Justin Faulk netted the winning goal in the third period. The surging Blues are now at 10-8-0 on the season while the Ducks are at 5-13-1. Colton Parayko returned to the Blues lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

An overtime goal by Anthony Beauvillier lifted the New York Islanders over the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 3-2. Josh Bailey scored the only goal in the third period, setting the stage for Beauvillier’s game-winner for the Islanders (12-8-0). John Tavares and Auston Matthews replied for the 10-5-5 Leafs, who also lost defenseman Morgan Rielly to an apparent knee injury in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs went into this game with defensemen Jake Muzzin and T.J. Brodie sidelined by injuries. No word yet on how long Rielly could be out. He will undergo imaging on the knee today.

The Nashville Predators nipped the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on a shootout goal by Cody Glass. Roman Josi and Mikael Granlund each had a goal and an assist for the Predators (9-8-2)while Nick Bjugstad scored twice for the Coyotes as they fall to 6-9-3. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced winger Zack Kassian was moved to injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 30.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun made his much-anticipated season debut after being sidelined for weeks by offseason wrist surgery. The subject of considerable trade speculation stretching back to last season, Chychrun was held scoreless and took a minor penalty, finishing with a plus-minus of minus-1. He was credited with four hits, two shots on goal and two blocked shots while logging 23:04 of ice time.

Calgary Flames winger Blake Coleman commemorated his 400th career NHL game with a goal and two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves for the Flames as they improved their record to 9-7-2 while the slumping Flyers drop to 7-8-4.

The Winnipeg Jets blew a 3-0 lead over the Carolina Hurricanes late in the third period before going on to a 4-3 win as Josh Morrissey scored in overtime. Morrissey finished the night with two goals while Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and two assists as the Jets rise to 11-5-1. Jaccob Slavin, Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas scored in the final minutes of the third as the 10-5-4 Hurricanes pulled goalie Pyotr Kochetkov to go with six attackers.

San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 saves and Luke Kunin collected three assists in a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Timo Meier tallied what proved to be the game-winner for the Sharks (7-11-3). Tim Stutzle replied for the 6-11-1 Senators.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich and Seattle Kraken goaltender Martin Jones are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 20, 2022.

ESPN.COM: Rookie center Matty Beniers is having a positive effect on the Kraken’s performance in their second NHL season. The 20-year-old’s 11 points have him tied with the Coyotes’ Matias Maccelli for the lead among this season’s rookie scorers. He’s also drawn praise from his teammates for his maturity and sociable personality.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens players are pushing back against some criticisms leveled at the club by former equipment manager Pierre Gervais in his recently-released biography. Gervais claimed former head coach Dominique Ducharme lost the room due to questionable decision-making while former general manager Marc Bergevin’s maturity issues lost him some respect among the players.

Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki and alternate captain Brendan Gallagher expressed their admiration for Gervais but disputed his criticisms of Ducharme and Bergevin.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2022

Jack Eichel tallies a hat trick in his second return to Buffalo, Charlie McAvoy rejoins the Bruins, the Blues and Blue Jackets end their losing skids, P.K. Subban steps behind the microphone, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jack Eichel tallied a hat trick in his second return to Buffalo as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Sabres 7-4. Eichel and teammate Chandler Stephenson finished with four points each as the Golden Knights (13-2-0) extended their winning streak to nine games. Tage Thompson scored twice for the Sabres, who dropped to 7-7-0.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fully healthy and settled in with the Golden Knights, Eichel is tearing it up offensively this season with 19 points in 15 games. He’s only been scoreless in three games thus far and is playing a big role in the Golden Knights’ red-hot start to this season.

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy tallied what proved to be the game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames (5-6-0). McAvoy was making his season debut after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist while Linus Ullmark made 31 saves as the Bruins improved their record to 12-2-0.

The St. Louis Blues snapped their eight-game losing skid by dropping the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on third-period goals by Calle Rosen and Noel Acciari. Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich each collected two assists for the Blues (4-8-0). Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture scored for the 3-9-3 Sharks.

Speaking of ending losing streaks, the Columbus Blue Jackets ended a five-game winless skid with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Johnny Gaudreau led the way with a goal and two assists and Boone Jenner scored twice for the 4-9-0 Blue Jackets. The Flyers (7-4-2) got goals from defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Ivan Provorov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. No word yet as to how long he’ll be out of the lineup.

An overtime goal by Nico Hischier lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Ottawa Senators 4-3. The red-hot Devils (11-3-0) have won eight straight while the slumping Senators (4-8-1) have dropped seven straight. Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils already have two goalies sidelined in Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier. Losing Vanecek could threaten to derail what’s been an impressive start for this club. Meanwhile, the Senators lost goalie Magnus Hellberg yesterday as he was reclaimed off waivers by the Seattle Kraken, who had signed him this summer.

The Carolina Hurricanes got a hat trick from Andrei Svechnikov to thump the Edmonton Oilers 7-2 and boost their record to 9-4-1. Jack Campbell gave up all seven goals as the Oilers fell to 8-7-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers invested $25 million over five years last summer in Campbell in the hope he would bolster their goaltending. He’s won six of 10 stars but has been wildly inconsistent. That’s leading to calls for the Oilers to give more starts to backup Stuart Skinner, who has better stats in his five outings this season.

A six-goal third period powered the New York Rangers to an 8-2 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Rangers defenseman Adam Fox finished the night with a goal and three assists as his club improved its record to 7-5-3. Ville Husso gave up all eight goals for the 7-4-3 Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This wasn’t all on Husso. The Wings flat-out collapsed in that period, with four of the Rangers’ goals coming in a 2:57 span.

The Colorado Avalanche tallied four second-period goals as they defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3. Mikko Rantanen and Logan O’Connor led the way with two goals apiece while Alexandar Georgiev made 32 saves for the 7-4-1 Avalanche. The Predators, meanwhile, fell to 5-8-1.

An overtime goal by Kevin Fiala gave the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks (5-5-3). Jonathan Quick kicked out 31 shots for the Kings (9-6-3) while Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots in his first game since being sidelined on Oct. 21.

The Arizona Coyotes got a 24-save shutout from Karel Vejmelka to blank the New York Islanders 2-0. Travis Boyd and Jack McBain were the goal scorers in the third period as the Coyotes improve to 6-6-1 while the Islanders are 9-6-0. Cal Clutterbuck returned to the Isles lineup after missing a game with an injury but Casey Cizikas left this contest with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

ESPN.COM: Former NHL defenseman P.K. Subban is joining the network as an in-studio analyst on a three-year contract. Subban contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. He recently retired after 13 NHL seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised to see Subban move on to television work. He’s a natural in front of the camera and could bring some personality to ESPN’s hockey coverage.

The New Jersey Devils named Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur as their new executive vice president of hockey operations. His duties will include personnel decisions, player recruitment, scouting and overseeing the club’s goalie development department. He’s worked in their front office in business development since 2018. Brodeur spent all but one of his 22 NHL seasons with the Devils, backstopping them to three Stanley Cups.

DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks winger Tanner Pearson will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks following successful hand surgery.

CBS SPORTS: The Seattle Kraken placed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (lower body) on injured reserve.

TSN: Veteran forward Alex Galchenyuk has signed a one-year AHL contract with the Colorado Eagles. They are the minor-league affiliate of the Avalanche.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Tempe City Council yesterday voted unanimously to schedule and prepare a public vote on May 16, 2023, regarding a proposed arena and entertainment complex.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2022

Jack Campbell is looking forward to his role as the Oilers’ starting goalie, Jonathan Drouin hopes to change his luck this season, the Kings re-sign Mikey Anderson, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Jack Campbell is excited about the opportunity to help the Edmonton Oilers become a Stanley Cup champion. The 30-year-old goaltender signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the club in July following 2 1/2 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

I just can’t wait to do my part to try to help out and to get to the next step of being a champion,” said Campbell. He acknowledged the Oilers have a lot of work ahead of them but he’s ready to help them out as best he can as their starting netminder.

For Edmonton to believe in me and allow me to be here for five years and get to work with this group every single day and try to accomplish some amazing things, I’m just so excited.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Campbell is getting the opportunity in Edmonton that he thought he’d earned with the Maple Leafs over the past two seasons. This will provide him the chance to silence the critics who point to his inconsistent play over the second half of last season as justification for questioning his abilities as a starting goalie.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin is seeking a fresh start in the coming season by changing his sweater number from 92 to 27. He wore the latter number during his junior years with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads and his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Drouin, 27, has been sidelined by injuries and a mental health break over the past several seasons. He’s in his contract year and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hockey players are a superstitious bunch. Most will look for anything to change their puck luck, including a number change.

Drouin needs something to help him have a healthy and productive season. It will determine if he has a future with the Canadiens and if not, will bolster his stock in the free-agent market.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Mikey Anderson to a one-year, $1 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson, 23, is coming off his entry-level contract and has become a key part of their blueline corps over the past two seasons. His lack of arbitration rights gave Kings general manager Rob Blake the hammer in contract talks but that will change next season when the young blueliner becomes arbitration-eligible.

The Kings have one restricted free agent left in defenseman Sean Durzi, who is also coming off an ELC. With less than $1.4 million remaining in cap space, he’ll probably get a deal similar to Anderson’s.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dominik Simon has rejected an offer from the Penguins to attend training camp to sign with Czech Elite League club Sparta Praha. The 28-year-old forward spent most of his seven NHL seasons with the Penguins along with stops with the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks, amassing 77 points in 256 career games.

NJ.COM: Jonathan Bernier won’t be ready to start the upcoming season with the Devils. The 34-year-old goaltender underwent hip surgery in January and it isn’t clear when he’ll return to the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bernier’s in the final season of his two-year contract with the Devils. They’re pressed against the $82.5 million salary cap but could place him on long-term injury reserve if necessary to garner some cap relief.

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH’s Jim Thomas recently reported via Twitter that all 32 NHL teams were informed they will be returning to normal, pre-pandemic media access regulations.










Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

The following is a list of notable NHL free-agent signings and trades during the opening day of free agency. This list will be updated throughout the day as details become available. I’ll also be doing live grades of today’s biggest signings on Bleacher Report.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year, $66.5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year, $6 million contract.

Vegas Golden Knights trade winger Max Pacioretty and defenseman Dylan Coghlan to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for future considerations.

Ottawa Senators trade winger Connor Brown to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in 2024.

San Jose Sharks sign center Nico Sturm to a three-year, $6 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign David Perron to a two-year, $9.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Dominik Kubalik to a two-year, $5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign Andre Burakovsky to a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Ben Chiarot to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Pittsburgh Penguins sign Jan Rutta to a three-year, $8.25 million contract.

Florida Panthers sign Eric and Marc Staal to identical one-year, $750K contracts.

Colorado Avalanche sign winger Artturi Lehkonen to a five-year, $22.5 million contract.

Dallas Stars sign winger Mason Marchment to a four-year, $18 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Ian Cole to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Washington Capitals sign Charlie Lindgren to a three-year, $3.3 million contract.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Erik Gudbranson to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Mikhail Sergachev to an eight-year, $68 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed center Anthony Cirelli to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed defenseman Erik Cernak to an eight-year, $41.6 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

Washington Capitals sign goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a five-year, $26.26 million contract.

San Jose Sharks trade defenseman Brent Burns and center Lane Pederson to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for winger Steven Lorentz, goaltender Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 2023 third-round pick. The Sharks also retain 33 percent of Burns’ $8 million annual average value through 2024-25.

New York Rangers sign center Vincent Trocheck to a seven-year, $39.38 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign forward Andrew Copp to a five-year, $28.13 million contract.

Vancouver Canucks sign winger Ilya Mikheyev to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Chicago Blackhawks sign forwards Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou to one-year contracts worth $3 million apiece.

St. Louis Blues re-sign defenseman Nick Leddy to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Ottawa Senators sign forward Claude Giroux to a three-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Jack Campbell to a five-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $5 million (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger).

Buffalo Sabres re-sign restricted free agent winger Victor Olofsson to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $4.75 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $1.8 million deal (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).

New Jersey Devils trade winger Pavel Zacha to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Erik Haula (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger and Daily Faceoff).

Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Josh Manson to a four-year contract with an annual average value of $4.5 million (as per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun).

St. Louis Blues sign forward Robert Thomas to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).










NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 13, 2022

The annual free-agent market opens at noon ET today. Check out the latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Nazem Kadri, Claude Giroux, Brent Burns, Darcy Kuemper, Jack Campbell and many more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Philadelphia Flyers must clear cap space if they’re to pursue a top free agent such as Johnny Gaudreau. They could attempt to move winger James van Riemsdyk in a cost-cutting trade. He’s been linked to the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk has a year left on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million, though in actual base salary he’ll earn $4 million. He also lacks no-trade protection.

NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears believes the New York Islanders need a winger like Johnny Gaudreau to maximize center Mathew Barzal’s talent. Limited salary-cap space, however, could hamper their efforts to sign the 28-year-old left winger.

TSN: Chris Johnston reports Claude Giroux appears to be in the crosshairs of the Ottawa Senators. Pierre LeBrun reports this morning the Senators appear to be the front-runners for the versatile 34-year-old forward.

Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Senators could also target Giroux’s Florida Panthers teammate (and Ottawa native) MacKenzie Weegar. The Panthers are looking to shed some salary. They’d like to re-sign Giroux, who could also draw interest from the Carolina Hurricanes.

LeBrun believes the Edmonton Oilers are the front-runners for goaltender Jack Campbell while netminder Darcy Kuemper appears headed to the Washington Capitals

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns could be traded by the end of this week. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes are believed to be on his three-team trade list. He also claimed the Hurricanes have “kicked tires” on the 37-year-old blueliner as well as Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks will likely have to retain part of Burns’ $8 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 as the Stars and Hurricanes can’t afford to take on his full contract. Otherwise, they will have to take back a contract of equal value or perhaps attempt a three-team trade to spread Burns’ cap hit around.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites a rumor from Radio-Canada columnist Martin Leclerc claiming the Montreal Canadiens almost acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Winnipeg Jets at last week’s NHL draft in Montreal. Leclerc claims those trade discussions between the two clubs about the 25-year-old restricted free agent are ongoing.

Murphy also cited RDS’s Renaud Lavoie claiming the Canadiens were very active in trade talks and a deal could come before free agency begins today.

Pierre LeBrun reports the Canadiens are interested in bringing back pending UFA Brett Kulak. They traded the 28-year-old defenseman to the Edmonton Oilers before the March trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has quickly established a reputation as a wheeler-dealer. Dubois is rumored to be interested in joining the Canadiens when he becomes eligible for UFA status in 2024.

The Canadiens, however, have limited cap space for 2022-23 so they’ll have to ship out some salary to take on Dubois, Kulak or whoever else Hughes might have his eye on. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun claimed the Carolina Hurricanes have been linked to Habs defenseman Jeff Petry, who’s earning $6.25 million per season through 2024-25.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers remain linked to Nazem Kadri but it could prove difficult to sign him. The 31-year-old center could command $7 million per season on a six-year contract on the open market. Brooks suggests the Rangers attempt a sign-and-trade scenario involving a third club like the Arizona Coyotes or Chicago Blackhawks to spread the cost of Kadri’s new contract around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Creative, but unlikely to happen, though it would be quite the accomplishment by Rangers GM Chris Drury if he could pull that off.

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck reports the Jets are still trying to move team captain Blake Wheeler. He anticipates they’ll have to retain a portion of the 35-year-old winger’s $8.25 million cap hit through 2023-24. It seems doubtful they’ll move Nate Schmidt given the defenseman’s contract.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has limited free-agent options to add a backup goaltender with just $6.3 million in cap space and RFAs Rasmus Sandin and Pierre Engvall to re-sign. “Perhaps Ilya Samsonov or Eric Comrie will be a fit.” Koshan believes Dubas’ options could improve if he shed a contract such as Justin Woll ($2 million) or Alex Kerfoot ($3.5 million).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weakening depth at one position to improve depth at another isn’t going to improve the Leafs’ chance of winning a playoff round next season or bring their 55-year Stanley Cup drought to an end.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2022

Suggested destinations for Evgeni Malkin plus the latest on Patrick Kane, Johnny Gaudreau, Brent Burns, Jack Campbell and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

POSSIBLE FREE-AGENT DESTINATIONS FOR MALKIN

SPORTSNET: Josh Beneteau lists the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks among six potential destinations for Evgeni Malkin when he goes to market on July 13 as a free agent. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals could be other options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Malkin wants to accept less than what the Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly offering (three years, $6 million annually), I don’t see most of those clubs as realistic options. As per Cap Friendly, the Lightning and Flyers are maxed out, the Canucks have around $2 million in cap room and the Kings $4 million. They’re not a fit unless they shed salary to accommodate him.

The Capitals have $8.9 million available but they must also acquire two new goaltenders after trading away Vitek Vanecek and not qualifying Ilya Samsonov’s rights. They could get some wiggle room if Nicklas Backstrom ($9.2 million) go on LTIR to start the season as he recovers from hip surgery but they must be cap compliant if he returns to action.

With over $10 million in cap space, the Rangers could afford Malkin as a second-line center. As I said earlier, however, unless Malkin agrees to less than what the Penguins were offering, he may not be a fit on Broadway.

A club with plentiful cap space, such as the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings, can afford to pitch a deal that might be enticing to Malkin. I also wouldn’t rule out the Carolina Hurricanes if they part ways with Vincent Trocheck.

COULD THE AVALANCHE COME CALLING FOR PATRICK KANE?

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman speculated the Colorado Avalanche could become a suitor for Patrick Kane if the Chicago Blackhawks winger were to request a trade this summer. Friedman said the Avs were among the teams that inquired into the availability of the 33-year-old Kane prior to the March trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Scott Powers doesn’t think Kane or teammate Jonathan Toews have spoken to Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson about their futures yet. If either one requests a trade, Powers believes they’ve got about a week to let Davidson know if they want to be moved before the start of the season.

If Kane wants out he’d probably prefer getting dealt to a contender as a rental player rather than go to a rebuilding team. However, his $10.5 million cap hit for 2022-23 and full no-movement clause are serious impediments. Powers believes the Blackhawks could prefer to wait until the trade deadline to retain half of his cap hit before moving him. That’s likely when it would be more comfortable to contenders as well.

WHERE WILL GAUDREAU GO?

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the Flames could be trying to figure out how to reshape their roster if superstar left winger Johnny Gaudreau departs via free agency. If he leaves, it could also affect the club’s efforts to sign restricted free agent winger Matthew Tkachuk to a long-term contract. Gilbertson wonders if the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils or Seattle Kraken could come calling if Gaudreau hits the market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Philly Hockey Now’s Sam Carchidi cites a source close to the Gaudreau camp raising doubt over whether the Flyers can afford him. They could gain some cap relief if Ryan Ellis goes on LTIR but that could get tricky if Ellis returns at some point. The Flyers were also rumored looking into trading winger James van Riemsdyk ($7 million) but there doesn’t seem to be much interest.

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz wondered if Gaudreau could be a fit with the New York Islanders. With over $11 million in cap space, they could free up more by trying to trade Anthony Beauvillier and/or goaltender Semyon Varlamov. However, they also must re-sign defenseman Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov, and I doubt they can clear sufficient room to pay Gaudreau over $10 million annually on a seven-year deal.

Meanwhile, the Kraken are flush with cap space and could make a big splash in the UFA market. Whether Gaudreau wants to play for a club that is probably another two or three years away from becoming playoff contenders is another matter.

LATEST ON BURNS AND CAMPBELL

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng reports new Sharks GM Mike Grier didn’t shut down speculation his club could look into trading Brent Burns. Peng cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying several clubs have called Grier to inquire about the status of the 37-year-old defenseman. The Sharks GM indicated he would understand if Burns wanted to join a Stanley Cup contender.

Friedman speculated the Dallas Stars could be a destination as they’re about to lose blueliner John Klingberg to free agency. Peng suggested the Carolina Hurricanes as an option after they traded away Tony DeAngelo. He believes the Sharks would have to retain part of Burns’ $8 million cap hit to make a deal work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burns is signed through 2024-25 so Grier could be reluctant to retain part of his cap hit over that period. Still, he might not have much choice if the hirsute blueliner wants out. It could also be worthwhile if the Sharks can get a solid return. Burns also has a three-team trade list but might expand it to join a contender.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples wonders if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ inability to sign Jack Campbell could lead to the pending UFA goaltender signing with the Oilers. He cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Oilers as the front-runners for Campbell’s services.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I would’ve considered Darcy Kuemper as a better option for the Oilers but he would prove more expensive to sign than Campbell due to his Stanley Cup win this season. If the Oilers aren’t interested in Campbell the Washington Capitals certainly will be. So could the New Jersey Devils.

UPDATES ON THE STARS AND RANGERS

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks recently examined what’s on the offseason “to-do list” for Stars GM Jim Mill. Find a top-four defenseman to replace the departing John Klingberg and adding a scoring forward are among his priorities, along with fending off possible offer sheets for goalie Jake Oettinger and re-signing scoring star Jason Robertson.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker reports the Rangers could be in the market for a backup goaltender for Igor Shesterkin. They’re also trying to find a trade partner for defenseman Patrik Nemeth ahead of a possible buyout.