NHL Rumor Mill – August 26, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 26, 2023

Check out the latest on the Hurricanes and Oilers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Cory Lavalette was asked about Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce. The question was whether they could be moved for assets while clearing salary-cap space or as part of a move or multiple moves to bolster the Hurricane’s scoring.

Lavalette suggests both scenarios are possibilities. He believes the Hurricanes don’t need to panic about this as they’re under the salary cap and can afford to wait for the right offer. They can afford to move Skjei and/or Pesce given their solid blueline depth for the coming season.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce (NHL Images).

If Pesce is the most likely trade candidate as rumored, Lavalette believes Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell would expect at least a first-round pick in return. They could use that pick as bait leading up to the trade deadline to fill any holes in the roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lavalette doesn’t think that the Hurricanes need to add a scorer. He believes Jesperi Kotkaniemi will eclipse 20 goals and 55 points this season based on his production following his slow start to last season. He also noted that the Hurricanes offense was nearly identical to that of the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights last season.

Nevertheless, Lavalette conceded that they have the ability to add to their offense if the need arises once they declutter their defense. In other words, Pesce and/or Skjei could be used as trade bait to land a scorer.

I believe they could use more scoring punch. With all due respect to Lavalette, it was painfully apparent in the Eastern Conference Final that a lack of offense was a key reason why they were swept by the underdog Florida Panthers.

The Hurricanes dominated the play throughout that series. Yes, the Panthers got strong goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky and timely scoring led by Matthew Tkachuk. However, I think the Canes could’ve prevailed had they had a healthy Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty in the lineup. Svechnikov will be back but they could look at landing a scorer by the trade deadline.

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: Bryant Baucom believes Teuvo Teravainen, Jack Drury and Andrei Svechnikov are the three players on the Hurricanes with the most to prove this season.

Teravainen’s production suffered last season in part due to injuries and the loss of a family member. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and surfaced in trade rumors earlier this offseason.

Drury, 23, finds himself in a logjam of centers that are much more valuable to the Hurricanes’ success. A restricted free agent next summer coming off his entry-level contract, he could become a possible rental player leading up to this season’s trade deadline.

Svechnikov is coming off a season-ending knee injury. If he takes longer to regain his form, the Hurricanes could be forced into the trade market to find a scorer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE Svechnikov obviously isn’t going anywhere given his value to the Hurricanes. It could take him some time to get back into the scoring groove again but he faces no danger of getting traded. Nevertheless, Baucom is correct in his assessment that how quickly Svechnikov’s returns to form could create an urgency to bolster their offensive attack.

Teravainen could have a bounce-back performance. If he does, I expect the Hurricanes will hang onto him for the playoffs and worry about his contract after this season. Drury, on the other hand, could become expendable if he fails to improve this season.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell wondered if the Edmonton Oilers might consider trading Philip Broberg this season. He is listed as the Oilers’ top prospect by colleague Corey Pronman.

Mitchell observed that the Oilers are in “win-now” mode. While Broberg has tremendous potential, they need their entire roster to play at a championship level. His size and speed could make him an enticing trade target for clubs more focused on the future.

If the Oilers did move Broberg, Mitchell speculated that they could seek a right-handed, big-minute defenseman to skate on the top pairing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pressure will be on the Oilers this season to finally get over the championship hump. They could move Broberg before the trade deadline for a rental asset if they feel the player they’re receiving can help them win that elusive Stanley Cup.

Of course, that could change if Broberg makes significant strides in his performance this season. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he gets traded at some point this season for the type of defenseman envisioned by Mitchell.

NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2023

What are the Hurricanes’ plans going forward this season? What’s the latest on the Bruins’ goaltending? Are any more big moves coming for the Penguins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: Bryant Baucom believes the Hurricanes front office still has some questions to address regarding their roster.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce (NHL Images).

Baucom thinks their biggest need remains a scoring forward but those are virtually non-existent in the free-agent market. They also have limited cap room to make a significant UFA addition.

General manager Don Waddell must decide if he’s shopping Brett Pesce and/or Brady Skjei. Both defensemen are slated to become UFAs next July. Young forward Jack Drury requested a trade prior to last season and put in a lackluster performance with the Hurricanes and their AHL affiliate in Chicago.

Baucom also wondered how big the list of Hurricanes untouchables is and how much urgency management has to add another scorer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend on the Hurricanes’ performance over the course of the upcoming season. They could become more active in the trade market if their scoring fails to improve.

After adding Dmitry Orlov this summer as well as affordable depth defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Caleb Jones, the Hurricanes could peddle Pesce or Skjei before the start of the season. They could also retain them until the trade deadline nears in order to land a scoring forward. Perhaps they’ll hang onto both as “own rentals” for the season.

Drury would be a tempting trade chip for clubs that become sellers this season. On his own, he probably won’t fetch the scoring forward the Hurricanes seek. Bundled with Pesce or Skjei or with a first-round pick, however, it could be a different story.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss recently explained why the Bruins are keeping their goalie tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman intact. He pointed out that they’ll need strong goaltending this season to reach the playoffs after losing several key players elsewhere from the lineup to free agency and retirement.

Beyond this season is another story. The combined cap hits of Ullmark and Swayman for 2023-24 is $8.475 million. However, a strong performance by Swayman could vault him into the $5 million average annual value range. That could mean trading Ullmark to free up his $5 million cap hit next summer when he has only a year left on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winner of the 2023 Vezina Trophy, Ullmark will also have a 15-team no-trade list for 2024-25. It could hamper efforts to move him but wouldn’t make it impossible. Whether he or Swayman get moved next summer will depend on their respective performances this season.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Following the Pittsburgh Penguins’ acquisition of Erik Karlsson, Nick Horwat cited general manager Kyle Dubas telling reporters that he’s likely done making big moves this summer. Dubas mentioned he could bring in some players on professional tryout offers.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated the Penguins GM might look into signing free-agent winger Tomas Tatar but Horwat considers that to be unlikely. While Tatar could be seen as an obvious replacement for sidelined winger Jake Guentzel, he’s only expected to miss the first five games of the regular season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I guess that also spikes that silly rumor flying around on social media claiming Dubas was going to sign 51-year-old Jaromir Jagr to a one-year, $1 million contract to return to the Penguins.

Jagr will be playing hockey this season but not in the NHL. He’s reportedly committed to spending another season in Czechia with the Kladno Knights, the club that he also owns.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 28, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 28, 2023

The latest on the Hurricanes, the Flyers are willing to entertain offers for Carter Hart, and the possibility of the Blackhawks and Canucks swapping first-round picks in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock believes the Carolina Hurricanes are running out of chances with their current group to win the Stanley Cup. After another disappointing postseason, they could have one final shot at it before difficult roster decisions must be made.

Core players such as Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas, Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei and Teuvo Teravainen will need new contracts next summer, and Brent Burns and Jaccob Slavin the year after that. Meanwhile, some changes could come this summer with Jesper Fast, Jordan Staal and goalies Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas (NHL Images)

DeCock speculated Hurricanes management could decide to peddle Teravainen this summer if they’re unlikely to re-sign him. They could also perhaps sell high on Necas or Jack Drury, who both struggled in the postseason. There are also lingering questions regarding their overall roster toughness.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes have plenty of salary-cap space ($24.1 million) to retain players like Staal and Andersen on affordable short-term contracts. Meanwhile, they could go shopping for a scoring forward with size and grit via the trade or free-agent markets.

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe wonders if the Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets would become trade partners if the latter attempts to shake up their “core four” of goalie Connor Hellebuyck and forwards Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler.

Pyotr Kochetckov is the only Hurricanes goalie under contract for next season. Hellebuyck has one season left on his contract with a manageable $6.167 million cap hit. He’d unlikely be a long-term fit but that might not be a deterrent for a team in “win-now” mode.

Scheifele, meanwhile, doesn’t necessarily fit into the Hurricanes’ defensive-zone commitment. Nevertheless, perhaps Rod Brind’Amour could be the type of coach that inspires Scheifele to play a 200-foot game. The 29-year-old center will also be motivated as he’s also a year away from UFA status and will want to ensure his value remains high.

Wiebe listed Necas, Teravainen and Pesce as possible Hurricanes trade chips as well as top prospect Scott Morrow and their 2023 or 2024 first-rounder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weibe isn’t saying that the Hurricanes and Jets are talking trade. He’s merely looking at which members of the Jets core might be available and of potential interest to the Canes. We’ll learn in the coming weeks whether these two clubs intend to have trade discussions.

We can’t rule out the possibility of the Hurricanes rolling the dice on stars with a year left on their contracts in their quest to win the Stanley Cup next season. Whether Carolina GM Don Waddell is prepared to go that route remains to be seen.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Chuck Bausman cited Flyers general manager Daniel Briere telling Philadelphia sports radio 94.1 WIP that he’s open to trading goaltender Carter Hart.

Most likely, Carter will be our goalie for the future, but I’m not in a position to turn down anything,” said Briere. “I have to listen.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hart was considered among the rebuilding Flyers’ few untouchables so that’s a significant statement by Briere. However, he didn’t say that he is trading Hart but only indicated that he’s willing to entertain offers.

Those offers, however, will have to meet what will likely be Briere’s high asking price. He’s not going to just give him away. I daresay he’ll want at least a first-round pick and a top prospect in the deal.

Someone could step up and overpay to get Hart. However, I think he’ll be returning to the Flyers crease this fall.


THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston recently took note of The Athletic’s Scott Powers indicating the Chicago Blackhawks would love to move up into the top-15 in this year’s draft order. In addition to the first-overall pick, they also hold the 19th overall pick.

Powers indicated the Blackhawks are willing to package second-round picks with the 19th overall pick. He suggested the Canucks as a trade partner as they hold the 11th overall selection.

Johnston cited one source suggesting the Blackhawks could land the Canucks pick based on the scenario laid out by Powers. Another source told Johnston that they might be willing to entertain that scenario if they can move a contract in the deal.

The Canucks would like to move Tyler Myers, who has a year left with a $6 million cap hit on his contract. Johnston, however, suggested winger Conor Garland ($4.95 million cap hit through 2025-26) might be more enticing to the Blackhawks because he’s six years younger than Myers and still in his prime.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To summarize: the Hawks move up to 11th overall plus they add a good roster player in Garland who has several years remaining on his contract. The Canucks drop down to 19th overall but add one or two second-rounders and clear nearly $5 million in cap space from their books.

That’s a very interesting trade scenario for those two clubs. It’ll be interesting to see if it comes to pass during the first round on June 28.