NHL Rumor Mill – February 1, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – February 1, 2024

With Elias Lindholm off the trade market, check out the latest on Jake Guentzel and Sean Monahan plus updates on the Bruins and Sabres in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe believes Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas would like to re-sign Jake Guentzel. The 29-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. It could depend on Guentzel’s willingness to sign what Yohe called a “somewhat team-friendly deal.”

Yohe believes Dubas isn’t afraid to trade Guentzel if a new deal isn’t possible. He won’t let the winger walk away for nothing this summer. Nevertheless, the Penguins GM would love to sign him for the right price.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel’s cap hit on his current contract is $6 million. With the salary cap projected to jump by $4.2 million for 2024-25, he could get between $9 million and $10 million annually on the open market.

My guess is Dubas’ number is between $7.5 million and $8 million per season. It would then come down to how much Guentzel wants to stay and remain Sidney Crosby’s wingman.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski noted the Penguins have a couple of holes to fix among their middle-six forwards. He wondered if Dubas would attempt to move struggling winger Reilly Smith and his $5.5 million annual cap hit through next season to make room for another solution in a similar role.

Kingerski’s suggested trade targets include Ottawa Senators right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, and former Penguins winger Jason Zucker of the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 32-year-old Smith’s production is well down this season with just eight goals and 20 points in 40 games. He has a 10-team no-trade list for this season which becomes an eight-team list next season.

Smith might not be willing to move to a rebuilding team, though the Coyotes are showing signs of a potential breakthrough as a playoff contender this season. Whether the Coyotes would want him, however, is another matter.


SPORTSNET: In his Jan. 30 mailbag, Eric Engels was asked if the Montreal Canadiens will trade Sean Monahan and if so what type of return he might fetch.

Engels believes it would take a first-round pick for Canadiens GM Kent Hughes to part with Monahan. As for when Hughes can expect to receive serious offers for the 29-year-old center. Engels expects talks in the trade market will pick up following the All-Star break.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those discussions could start now after the Lindholm trade yesterday. That was the first domino to drop. Trade activity won’t take place during the All-Star break because the league doesn’t want anything to overshadow that.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the next big move takes place soon after the end of the All-Star weekend. Teams that were interested in Lindholm could shift their focus toward Monahan and that could drive up his trade value.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Michael Augello noted that the Buffalo Sabres have six pending unrestricted free agents (Victor Olofsson, Kyle Okposo, Zemgus Girgensons, Eric Robinson, Eric Comrie and Erik Johnson) who could become trade bait leading up to the March 8 deadline. However, he doesn’t expect they’ll fetch big rewards for the Sabres.

Augello also noted some recent speculation suggesting the Sabres could trade forward Casey Mittelstadt. He carries an affordable $2.5 million cap hit and is eligible for restricted free-agent status this summer. However, that might be a move that Sabres management can hold off on until this summer.

BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: Jason Moser recently noted the speculation about David Jiricek’s future with the Columbus Blue Jackets after the rookie defenseman expressed frustration over being demoted to their AHL affiliate.

Moser thinks it could be worthwhile for the Sabres to look into acquiring Jiricek if he’s available. He thinks offering up a top prospect forward such as Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund, Jiri Kulich or Isak Rosen would make sense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres playoff hopes appear dashed for another season. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Sabres peddled some of those pending UFAs for middle or low-range draft picks and prospects that could be used as trade bait in the offseason.

They could move Mittelstadt but that could depend on how his contract talks go. If it appears he could be headed to arbitration they might shop him during the draft in June for a skilled defenseman or an established starting goalie.

As for Jiricek, he hasn’t asked to be traded and I doubt that the Blue Jackets want to move him given his potential as a top-pairing blueliner. If he did become available, however, the Sabres possess the depth in promising young assets to make a competitive offer.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss ranked the Bruins biggest needs to address as the trade deadline approaches.

Acquiring a physical veteran defenseman who can clear the front of the net, kill penalties and play tough minutes against quality opponents. is the top priority. Adding a middle-six forward with a decent scoring touch could also help.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2024

The Oilers and Kraken maintain their win streaks while the Jets’ and Panthers’ streaks come to an end and the final 12 players are announced for the All-Star Game. Details and more from a busy Saturday in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers set a franchise record with their 10th consecutive win by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on an overtime power-play goal by Evan Bouchard. Leon Draisaitl tied the game in the third period for the Oilers (23-15-1) as they hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 47 points. Sam Montembeault stopped 39 shots and Cole Caufield scored for the 17-18-7 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens called up Joshua Roy from their AHL affiliate in Laval to replace sidelined winger Josh Anderson.

Seattle Kraken winger Jared McCann scored twice and added an assist as his club won their franchise-record ninth straight contest by downing the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-4, extending their points streak to 13 games. Joey Daccord made 30 saves for his eighth straight win while Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and two assists for the 19-14-9 Kraken, who sit just behind the Oilers with 47 points. Ivan Provorov tallied twice for the 13-21-9 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets made rookie defenseman David Jiricek a healthy scratch from this contest.

The Winnipeg Jets’ eight-game win streak came to an end as they fell 2-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers. Samuel Ersson made 35 saves for the shutout while Cam Atkinson scored twice to snap his goalless streak that stretched back to Nov. 11. With a record of 23-14-6, the Flyers sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 52 points. Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 34 shots for the 28-10-4 Jets, as they slipped into second place in the overall standings with 60 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers played without Jamie Drysdale (illness) and Sean Couturier (“minor injury”) while Jets center Mark Scheifele sat out with a lower-body injury.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko made 26 saves to blank the Buffalo Sabres 1-0. Sam Lafferty netted the only goal for the 29-11-3 Canucks for their fifth straight win as they vaulted over the Jets into first overall with 61 points. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 22 shots for the 18-21-4 Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson left the game in the second period after taking an elbow in the face from Canucks blueliner Filip Hronek.

A 36-save performance by Nico Daws carried the New Jersey Devils over the Florida Panthers 4-1, snapping the latter’s nine-game win streak. Jesper Bratt scored what proved to be the game-winner for the 22-15-3 Devils (47 points) as they sit one point out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Sam Reinhart extended his goal streak to six games for the Panthers (27-13-2) as they sit second in the Eastern Conference with 56 points.

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Charlie McAvoy gave the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. McAvoy and Brad Marchand each had two goals for the 25-8-9 Bruins, who sit first overall in the Eastern Conference with 59 points. Jordan Binnington stopped 31 shots for the 21-18-2 Blues, who are three points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 44 points.

Third-period goals by Nic Dowd and T.J. Oshie lifted the Washington Capitals over the New York Rangers 3-2, leaving the latter winless in their last four games (0-3-1). Charlie Lindgren made 25 saves for the 20-14-6 Capitals (46 points) as they sit two points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Adam Fox tallied both goals for the Rangers (26-13-2) as they hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed this game with a lower-body injury.

The Carolina Hurricanes extended their points streak to eight games by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on an overtime tally by Brett Pesce, who finished the game with two goals. Antti Raanta made 38 saves for the 24-13-5 Hurricanes (53) as they sit one point back of the Rangers in the Metro Division. Bryan Rust had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (20-15-6) as they sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 46 points.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin scored two goals to lead his club to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, extending the latter’s winless skid to eight games (0-4-4). Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist while Alex Lyon stopped 33 shots for the 21-16-5 Red Wings (47 points), who are one point out of the final Eastern wild-card berth. Quinton Byfield scored two goals for the 20-11-8 Kings, who remain third in the Pacific Division with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings head coach Todd McLellan is facing the heat from the club’s fans as they chanted for him to be fired. They could get their wish if the Kings don’t soon reverse their current slide.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallied twice to beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Nikita Kucherov collected three assists to remain the league’s scoring leader with 72 points as his club improved to 22-17-5 and sit in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 49 points. Lukas Dostol turned aside 36 shots for the 14-27-1 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak missed this game with an upper-body injury.

Five unanswered goals rallied the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Jonathan Drouin and Ross Colton each had a goal and an assist for the 28-12-3 Avalanche (59 points) as they sit one point behind the first-place Jets in the Central Division. Martin Jones stopped 28 shots for the 21-11-8 Leafs as they sit third in the Atlantic Division with 50 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson returned to action after missing the last two games with an undisclosed injury.

The Dallas Stars netted three unanswered third-period goals in a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Goalie Jake Oettinger picked up the win for Dallas after Scott Wedgewood left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. With a record of 25-12-2, the Stars are third in the Central Division with 55 points. Petr Mrazek stopped 27 shots for the 12-29-2 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with a shoulder injury.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram made 38 saves for his fifth shutout of the season in a 6-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. Nick Bjugstad had a hat trick as the Coyotes (21-18-2) moved to within three points of a Western wild-card spot with 44 points. Goaltender Filip Gustavsson and winger Kirill Kaprizov returned to action for the 17-20-5 Wild after missing several games with injuries.

The Nashville Predators defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 on late goals by Alexandre Carrier and Juuso Parssinen. Juuse Saros stopped 24 shots for the 24-18-1 Predators as they hold the first Western wild-card berth with 49 points. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Islanders (19-13-10) as they cling to the final Eastern wild-card spot with 48 points.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 31 saves while Blake Coleman had a goal and an assist to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1. Chandler Stephenson had the only goal for the Golden Knights (24-14-5) as they sit second in the Pacific Division with 53 points. The Flames improved to 20-18-5 (45 points) to move within two points of the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights center Jack Eichel missed this contest with an undisclosed injury.

The Ottawa Senators ended a five-game losing skid with a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Vladimir Tarasenko tallied the game-winner with five seconds remaining in the third period while Artem Zub picked up three assists for the 15-23-0 Senators. MacKenzie Blackwood kicked out 36 shots while Mario Ferraro had three assists for the 10-30-3 Sharks, who’ve lost 13 of their last 14 games.

DAILY FACEOFF: Toronto Maple Leafs William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly and Vancouver Canucks Elias Pettersson, JT Miller, Brock Boeser and Thatcher Demko have been named to the 2024 NHL All-Star Game as voted by the fans. The others included Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman, Florida Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, Colorado Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev, Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar and Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2022

The Rangers and Hurricanes extend their streaks with victories, the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson and the Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov reach points milestones, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NOTE: The NHL’s annual holiday roster freeze goes into effect at 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 19 and runs through 12:01 AM ET on Dec. 28.


NHL.COM: The New York Rangers extended their win streak to seven games by thumping the Chicago Blackhawks 7-1. Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists, Adam Fox collected three assists and Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 shots for the Rangers (18-10-5), who moved past the Pittsburgh Penguins (40 points) into third place in the Metropolitan Division with 41 points. The Blackhawks (7-19-4) remain in last place in the overall standings with 18 points.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a bittersweet game for long-time Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as this was their 1,000th game as teammates. Meanwhile, Rangers forward Filip Chytil left the game with an upper-body injury in the second period following a late, high hit by Blackhawks forward Sam Lafferty. He’s listed as day-to-day.

A third-period goal by Jordan Staal snapped a 2-2 tie as the Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 to extend their points streak to 11 games. Staal and Derek Stepan each had two points while Pyotr Kochetkov made 23 saves as the Hurricanes (19-6-6) moved past the Toronto Maple Leafs into third overall in the Eastern Conference with 44 points. Rickard Rakell and Brock McGinn replied for the Penguins (18-9-4) as they suffer their first loss in eight games.

Two third-period goals by Elias Lindholm 19 seconds apart powered the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks to snap a five-game losing skid. Milan Lucic scored his first of the season for the Flames (14-12-6) while Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson collected an assist for his 700th career point as his club fell to 10-17-6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks activated Matt Nieto off injured reserve for this game and placed forward Luke Kunin(lower body) on IR.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov reached his 200th career point with a goal and two assists to double up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Mats Zuccarello had two points to extend his points streak to 10 games as the Wild (18-11-2) picked up their fifth straight win to move into fifth place in the Western Conference with 38 points. Claude Giroux and Mark Kastelic replied for the 14-15-2 Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the NHL department of player safety fined Senators forward Auston Watson was fined $4,054.05 for interference against Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin on Saturday.

The Seattle Kraken scored two unanswered third-period goals in a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Jordan Eberle, Ryan Donato and Jared McCann scored for the Kraken (17-10-3), who had lost five of their last six contests and sit sixth overall in the Western Conference with 37 points. Mark Scheifele and Pierre-Luc Dubois replied for the Jets (20-10-1), who remain third overall in the conference with 41 points.


NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered during Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed winger Craig Smith on waivers. If he’s claimed by noon ET on Monday, it would clear his $3.1 million cap hit from the Bruins’ books.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken center Shane Wright has been named captain of Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship. The Kraken loaned the 18-year-old Wright as part of their plan to get him more meaningful playing time before deciding on whether they’ll keep him on their roster or return him to his junior team for the remainder of the season.

CBS SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets loaned defenseman David Jiricek to Czechia’s World Junior team.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers signed free-agent defenseman Jason Demers to a one-year, two-way contract. They have placed him on waivers for the purpose of loaning him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.