NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2023

The Predators trade Ryan Johansen to the Avalanche, the Kings ship Sean Durzi to the Coyotes, the Hurricanes re-sign Jordan Staal, a major trade between the Flyers and Blues is in limbo and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: The Nashville Predators yesterday traded center Ryan Johansen to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the rights to forward Alex Galchenyuk.

The Predators retained 50 percent of Johansen’s $8 million average annual value (AAV) through 2024-25. That leaves them with just one retained salary slot remaining on their salary-cap payroll as they’re also retaining $250K annually on Mattias Ekholm’s contract.

Nashville Predators trade Ryan Johansen to the Colorado Avalanche (NHL Images).

​SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a bold move by both clubs. The Avalanche envision Johansen as their second-line center for the next two seasons, which could mean the departure of J.T. Compher via the unrestricted free-agent market on July 1. The Predators free up $4 million in cap space for the next two years to put toward other moves.

Colorado Hockey Now’s Evan Rawal believes there is some risk here for the Avalanche. Johansen isn’t renowned for his speed which raises concern over how well he’ll fit within their up-tempo system, especially after coming off a season-ending cut to his ankle.

It’s unclear where the well-traveled Galchenyuk fits into the Predators’ plans. If they sign the 29-year-old forward he’ll likely end up in the minors. They could also use him as a trade chip or simply let him depart as a UFA on Saturday.

The Predators’ goal was to free up cap space and get younger and faster. Galcheyuk won’t help them with the latter but they can find a player who can with their new-found cap space.

LA HOCKEY NOW: The Los Angeles Kings traded defenseman Sean Durzi to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick that originally belonged to the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports indicate Durzi was traded in part to free up salary-cap space (in this case, $1.7 million) and to make room for budding young blueliner Brandt Clarke. This move is also sparking speculation that the Kings are clearing cap room for another move, perhaps the addition of a certain Winnipeg Jets center. I’ll have more in the Rumor Mill.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, bolster their depth on the right side of the blueline. Durzi, 24, is a skilled defenseman who can skate on the right or left side of the blueline. A gritty puck-moving rearguard, he had 38 points in 72 games last season with the Kings. His youth and skills should fit in well with the rebuilding Coyotes.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes have signed captain Jordan Staal to a four-year contract extension with an AAV of $2.9 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal, 34, indicated at the end of this season that he wanted to finish his career with the Hurricanes. Acquired from Pittsburgh in 2012, he’s their longest-serving active player.

The cap hit is a considerable drop from the $6 million annually of his previous contract though at this stage of his career isn’t a surprise. The length of the deal, however, raises some eyebrows when one remembers that Staal turns 35 in September and his performance will inevitably decline. However, it’s not a plus-35 contract so the Hurricanes won’t be penalized if he retires before it expires.

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor and Jeremy Rutherford report the Philadelphia Flyers were close on Saturday to trading Kevin Hayes to the St. Louis Blues in a multiplayer deal but it’s now in limbo after one of the players in the deal refused to waive their no-trade clause.

The trade would’ve sent Hayes and defenseman Travis Sanheim to the Blues with the Flyers retaining “a significant amount” of Haye’s $7.14 million AAV over the next three years, perhaps up to half of it. In return, the Blues would send a defenseman plus one of their three 2023 first-round picks to the Flyers.

Sanheim is about to start an eight-year, $50 million contract with a full no-trade clause. However, that deal doesn’t go into effect until July 1. The Flyers are rebuilding and the 27-year-old’s age and looming new contract would no longer make him an ideal fit.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Lou Korac reports Torey Krug is believed to be the player tying up this deal. The 32-year-old blueliner has three years remaining on his contract with an AAV of $6.5 million and a full no-trade clause (NTC).

Korac indicates multiple sources say Justin Faulk, Colton Parayko and Nick Leddy were not approached by the Blues to waive their NTCs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if this trade can be salvaged. There’s talk it could end up being just Hayes heading to St. Louis with 50 percent salary retained.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Flyers, they’re reportedly closing in on a trade to send Tony DeAngelo back to the Carolina Hurricanes. The deal could be completed on Sunday.

The Flyers previous management acquired DeAngelo from the Hurricanes last summer for three draft picks and signed him to a two-year contract with an AAV of $5 million. Reports indicate they will ship him to the Hurricanes with 50 percent of salary retained in return for a late-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo turned out to be a poor fit within head coach John Tortorella’s system. With the Flyers rebuilding under new general manager Daniel Briere, they apparently just want to wash their hands of DeAngelo and get him off their roster.

DAILY FACEOFF: The St. Louis Blues did make one notable move on Saturday by re-signing defenseman Scott Perunovich to a one-year, $775K contract.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are close to re-signing goaltender Connor Ingram to a three-year contract with an AAV believed to be $1.95 million.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2023

Connor McDavid and the Oilers humiliate the Penguins, the Bruins acquire Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Capitals, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored two goals and collected two assists in a 7-2 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Leon Draisaitl scored to extend his goal streak to six games as the Oilers (32-19-9) vaulted into second place in the Pacific Division with 72 points. Kris Letang tallied both Penguins goals as his club dropped its fourth straight game as they fell to 27-21-9 (63 points) to sit one point out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid now has a career-high 46 goals to lead the goal-scoring race. Teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist to reach 600 career points. As for the Penguins, this high-profile match-up was a disaster, prompting their hometown crowd to vent their unhappiness with general manager Ron Hextall with chants of “Fire Hextall!”

The Penguins’ loss was good news for the Detroit Red Wings as they leaped into the final Eastern wild-card berth by downing the New York Rangers 4-1. Andrew Copp led the way with a goal and two assists against his former team while Ville Husso made 30 saves for the 28-21-8 Red Wings (64 points). Vincent Trocheck replied for the Rangers (33-16-9) as they remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers sat out Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn from this game, prompting speculation they could be close to acquiring Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. I’ll have more about that later today in the Rumors section.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk scored the game-winner with 1:38 remaining in the third period for a 6-5 victory over the Seattle Kraken. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had a goal and an assist for the league-leading Bruins (44-8-5), who’ve won five straight and hold a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings with 93 points. Matty Beniers, Vince Dunn and Jamie Oleksiak each had a goal and an assist for the 32-20-6 Kraken as they dropped into the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 70 points.

The Vegas Golden Knights overcame a 3-1 deficit to burn the Calgary Flames 4-3 on an overtime goal by Alex Pietrangelo. Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights improved to 35-18-5 to hold a three-point lead over the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division with 75 points. Mikael Backlund and Jakob Pelletier each had a goal and an assist for the Flames (27-20-12) as they sit one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 66 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights center Nicolas Roy missed this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Dawson Mercer lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-3. Mercer finished the night with two goals and an assist while Nico Hischier sent the game to overtime with 39 seconds remaining in the third period. The Devils improved to 38-15-5 and sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 81 points, three back of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes. Anze Kopitar, Kevin Fiala and Sean Durzi each had two points for the Kings (32-19-8) as they sit in third place with 72 points in the Pacific Division.

The Buffalo Sabres upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 on an overtime goal by Ilya Lyubushkin. Tage Thompson had his fourth hat trick of the season for the Sabres as they improved to 29-23-4 (62 points) to sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth. Brayden Point had a goal and three assists for the Lightning (36-17-4) as they sit two points behind the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with 76 points.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves to shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0. Brandon Duhaime and Kirill Kaprizov scored for the Wild (32-21-5) as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 69 points, two back of the second-place Winnipeg Jets. The Blues Jackets sank to 18-35-5 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Wild placed defenseman Jonas Brodin (lower-body) on injured reserve.

The Nashville Predators got two-goal performances from Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter in a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Matt Duchene collected three assists as the Predators improved to 28-22-6 (62 points) to sit five points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. The Sharks dropped to 18-30-11.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators got some bad news before the game as they announced that center Ryan Johansen underwent emergency surgery on his right leg on Wednesday after being cut by a skate blade during Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. He’ll be sidelined for 12 weeks.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson kicked out 41 shots in a 4-2 upset of the Washington Capitals. Troy Terry scored as he came off injured reserved after being sidelined since Feb. 6 as the Ducks (18-34-7) ended a six-game losing skid. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless as his club dropped its sixth straight game and sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with a record of 28-26-6 (62 points).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks placed center Adam Henrique on injured reserve before this game.

The Vancouver Canucks downed the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on an overtime goal by Elias Pettersson, who finished the game with three points. J.T. Miller scored his 20th goal of the season for the 23-30-5 Canucks. Jordan Binnington made 38 saves for the Blues as they fell to 26-28-4. Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad were activated off injured reserve for this game

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are 0-3-1 in the four games since trading Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Blues head coach Craig Berube criticized his top players following this game, accusing them of not caring about the team.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals in a three-team trade involving the Minnesota Wild.

The Capitals receive forward Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. The Capitals also retain 25 percent ($2.5 million) of Orlov’s $5.1 million annual cap hit. The Wild retained 25 percent ($1.2 million) of the remainder of Orlov’s cap hit after the Bruins sent them a 2023 fifth-rounder and prospect Andrei Svetlakov. The Bruins pick up the remaining $1.2 million of Orlov’s cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney continues his impressive streak of making significant moves before the trade deadline to bolster his roster for the playoffs. Orlov will provide an experienced physical shutdown presence to the left side of the Bruins’ defense corps while Hathaway will bring additional grit and depth to their checking lines.

This move might not seem as significant as Sweeney’s previous acquisitions of Taylor Hall and Hampus Lindholm. Nevertheless, the additions of Orlov and Hathaway make the Bruins a tougher team. That’s crucial for the postseason when the games get more physical. It’s also bad news for whoever faces them in the 2023 playoffs.

Orlov and Hathaway are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan explained he made this move to “acquire draft capital, infuse youth and restock the system”. It’s also a clear sign that MacLellan doesn’t believe his club can win if they reach the playoffs. This may not be the start of a rebuild for the Capitals but it’s at least the start of a roster retool that could continue during the offseason.

This is the second time in as many weeks that Wild GM Bill Guerin has used his cap space to be a third-party trade broker, having done the same in last week’s Ryan O’Reilly deal. He can only make this type of move once more as teams are only allowed to have three retained salaries on their books.

Cap Friendly indicates the Wild have $11.5 million in projected trade deadline cap space so Guerin might not be done as a third-party broker. He could also make a move that directly benefits his roster for the remainder of this season.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens claimed forward Chris Tierney off waivers yesterday from the Florida Panthers. They also announced that center Kirby Dach’s non-COVID-related illness symptoms were in fact related to a lower-body injury.

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson indicated he’d like to meet with whoever becomes the club’s new owner to discuss a potential front-office job.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau is in discussions with the club about rejoining the organization in a front-office role.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2023

The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane enjoys another multi-goal game, the Senators trade Nikita Zaitsev to the Blackhawks and the Vegas Golden Knights ship Shea Weber’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes. Get the details on these and other stories in the NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a 3-0 deficit to upset the Dallas Stars 4-3, leaving the latter winless (0-3-2) in their last five games. Patrick Kane and Max Domi each had two goals and an assist as the Blackhawks improved to 20-32-5 on the season. Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist for the Stars (30-16-12) as they remain second overall in the Western Conference with 72 points, one back of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was Kane’s third multi-goal game in his last four contests. That could alleviate concerns about his nagging hip injury among clubs that might be interested in acquiring him before the March 3 trade deadline.

A third-period goal by Simon Holmstrom lifted the New York Islanders to a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets, leaving the latter with three losses on their four-game road trip. Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves to pick up his second-straight 20-win season as the 30-24-7 Isles (67 points) opened a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the Jets (35-22-1) as they remain one point behind the Stars in second place in the Central Division with 71 points.

The Calgary Flames scored five unanswered goals to rally back from a 3-1 deficit and defeat the Arizona Coyotes 6-3. Elias Lindholm had a goal and an assist to reach 500 career points as the Flames (27-20-11) moved to within two points of the Minnesota Wild for the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 65 points. Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes as they dropped to 20-29-9.

HEADLINES

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/OTTAWA SUN: The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, a second-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-rounder in 2026 from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for future considerations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a straightforward salary dump by the Senators, shedding Zaitsev’s $4.5 million annual salary cap hit through 2023-24. They could use that freed-up cap space to upgrade their defense either at the trade deadline or in the offseason.

The Sun’s Bruce Garrioch noted the Senators have been linked to St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko but it doesn’t sound like they’re anywhere close to a deal. They’ve shown some interest in the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba but Garrioch believes they’d likely want to sign the pending UFA to a short-term contract extension. He also noted the Los Angeles Kings could move a defenseman such as Matt Roy or Sean Walker.

As for the rebuilding Blackhawks, they can afford to take on Zaitsev’s cap hit through next season as this move enables them to add to their growing stock of draft picks. They now have seven picks in the first three rounds of the 2023 draft, including three second-rounders.

ARIZONA SPORTS/VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Vegas Golden Knights acquired defenseman Dysin Mayo in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick and the contract of Shea Weber.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is seen as a precursor for a bigger acquisition by the Golden Knights before the trade deadline, lightening their long-term injury reserve which already contains Mark Stone, Robin Lehner and Nolan Patrick. Shedding the all-but-retired Weber’s contract means they have more flexibility to acquire players signed beyond this season.

For a budget team like the Coyotes, acquiring Weber’s contract enables them to reach next season’s salary-cap floor especially if they trade a player such as Jakob Chychrun who is signed beyond 2023-24. On paper, Weber’s AAV is $7.857 million but in actual salary, Cap Friendly indicates he’s being paid $3 million for this season, after which the actual salary drops to $1 million over the next three seasons.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin is officially sidelined for the remainder of the regular season and the 2023 playoffs due to a cervical spine injury. He played just four games before suffering the injury in October.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a career-ending injury for Muzzin, who was already on long-term injury reserve before this announcement. The Leafs have used the salary-cap flexibility to add Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators forward Ryan Johansen underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday after being cut on his lower right leg by a skate blade during Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet as to how long Johansen will be sidelined but there’s speculation it could be a season-ending injury.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Alex Ovechkin has returned to the Capitals after taking time away dealing with the recent death of his father.

NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was fined $5,000.00 for cross-checking Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie during Tuesday’s game between the two clubs. Larkin had been assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for his actions.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane is expected to miss two more games with an upper-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2023

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl reach point milestones while Ryan O’Reilly and Mitch Marner play big roles in Leafs win over the Sabres. Get the details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reached his 800th career point while teammate Leon Draisaitl netted his 700th in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid and Draisaitl each collected three points as the Oilers (31-19-8) snapped a four-game winless skid and hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 70 points. The Flyers slipped to 23-26-10 (56 points) and remain eight points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. They played without Travis Konecny as he missed this game with an upper-body injury.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is the league leader in goals with 44 and points with 105. He’s also the fifth-fastest player in NHL history to reach 800 career points, doing so in 545 games.

The Toronto Maple Leafs got a hat trick from Ryan O’Reilly and a five-assist performance by Mitch Marner to beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. O’Reilly finished with four points while John Tavares had a goal and three assists as the Leafs improved to 35-15-8 to maintain their three-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division with 78 points. Alex Tuch had two points as the Sabres fall to 28-23-4 (60 points) to remain four points behind the Florida Panthers for the final Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The line of O’Reilly, Marner and Tavares is showing impressive chemistry thus far for the Leafs.

Speaking of the Lightning, they thumped the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 6-1 to remain unbeaten in regular (14-0-1) over their last 15 games. Brayden Point tallied his 200th career goal while Nick Perbix recorded three assists. The Lightning (36-17-3) have 76 points and sit third in the Atlantic Division. The Ducks sank to 17-34-7 on the season and played without John Klingberg as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1 thanks to three-point performances by Andrei Svechnikov and Seth Jarvis. Frederik Andersen stopped 35 shots as the Hurricanes (38-10-8) have won 13 of their last 15 games and sit in second place in the overall standings with 84 points. Justin Faulk scored for the Blues as they dropped to 26-28-3. They also lost defenseman Torey Krug as he left this game with an undisclosed injury.

Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman scored twice in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings to snap the latter’s four-game win streak. Filip Gustavsson made 33 saves as the Wild improved to 31-21-5 (67 points), opening a four-point lead over the Calgary Flames for the final Western wild-card berth. Anze Kopitar replied for the Kings (32-19-7) as they remain one point up on the Seattle Kraken for second place in the Pacific Division with 71 points.

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Washington Capitals 3-1 to extend the latter’s losing skid to five games. Pius Suter tallied two goals and Ville Husso kicked out 26 shots for the 27-21-8 Red Wings (62 points). They moved to within two points of the final Eastern wild-card spot and sit ahead of the Capitals (28-25-6) with three games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was ejected from this game in the second period for cross-checking Washington forward T.J. Oshie in the face. Capitals forward Anthony Mantha left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury following a hit by Wings defenseman Moritz Seider.

A shootout goal by Tyler Johnson lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, ending the latter’s five-game win streak. Johnson also scored the tying goal in the third period and finished with two points as the Blackhawks improved to 19-32-5. The Golden Knights (34-18-5) opened a two-point lead over the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with 73 points.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault made 38 saves in a 5-2 upset of the New Jersey Devils to end the latter’s six-game home win streak. Nick Suzuki and Mike Matheson each had a goal and an assist as the Canadiens improved to 24-29-4. Jesper Bratt and Dawson Mercer replied for the 37-15-5 Devils as they sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Canadiens forward Joel Armia left this game following the first period with a non-COVID-related illness.

The Nashville Predators defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on a shootout goal by Matt Duchene. The win kept the Predators’ fading playoff hopes alive as they rose to 27-22-6 and sit seven points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 60 points. Andrei Kuzmenko tallied twice for the 22-30-5 Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators forward Ryan Johansen left this game in the second period after suffering a cut. Following the game, head coach John Hynes said he was uncertain about Johansen’s condition but felt it was possible it might be serious. Meanwhile, the Canucks are sitting defenseman Luke Schenn for trade-related reasons with the March 3 trade deadline on the horizon.

IN OTHER NEWS…

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is in concussion protocol and will miss at least two games. He had missed four games earlier this month with a head injury and reinjured himself on Saturday after initiating contact with Alexei Toropchenko of the St. Louis Blues.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Winnipeg Jets placed forward Cole Perfetti (upper body) on injured reserve. He last played on Feb. 19.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Plans for the Bruins to play a two-game set against the Los Angeles Kings next September in Melbourne, Australia have been put on hold due to travel concerns.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2023

Could the Blues trade a defenseman? Are the Predators about to become sellers? What’s the latest on the Canadiens and Senators? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE BLUES COULD SHOP A DEFENSEMAN

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the St. Louis Blues could give some consideration to moving a defenseman. Their top four of Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, Torey Krug and Nick Leddy all have no-trade clauses which could complicate things. Nevertheless, Parayko has been drawing the most interest among this group.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE Parayko, Krug and Faulk are each earning an average annual value of $6.5 million. Krug and Faulk are signed through 2026-27 and Parayko to 2029-30. Leddy’s AAV is $4 million through 2025-26.

I don’t doubt that Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is willing to entertain offers for those four. As Dreger pointed out, however, they all have full no-trade clauses. It’s possible they could be moved but the potential destinations will be limited. Their cap hits could also prove difficult for most clubs to absorb unless Armstrong retains a portion, which I don’t see him doing for contracts with that much term remaining on them.

WILL THE PREDATORS BECOME TRADE DEADLINE SELLERS?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Nashville Predators could become sellers by the March 3 trade deadline if they don’t soon get on a winning streak to salvage their playoff hopes. He believes GM David Poile could be willing to listen to offers on a lot of his players, including Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, Mattias Ekholm or Mikael Granlund.

NHL WATCHER: cited Elliotte Friedman’s recent appearance on The Jeff Marek Show where he said he doesn’t think the Predators will move Ekholm or Alexandre Carrier. Instead, he speculated it could be Dante Fabbro “or something else”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news is those players all lack no-trade protection. The bad news is that all but Fabbro and Carrier have two years or more remaining on their respective contracts with annual salary-cap hits between $5 million and $8 million per season. Good luck peddling them before the March 3 trade deadline with so many teams carrying limited cap space. I doubt Poile is willing to retain salary on any of them.

Fabbro and Carrier would draw more interest given their more affordable cap hits. They’re both due to become restricted free agents with arbitration rights this summer which could also make them enticing for clubs seeking more than a rental defenseman.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens could have difficulty drumming up interest in their trade candidates. Sean Monahan and Joel Edmundson are considered to have the most value but their respective injury histories have teams wary about acquiring them. There’s very little interest in Jonathan Drouin while winger Evgeni Dadonov’s improved play of late might draw attention as a secondary trade target.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens got a first-round pick from the Flames last summer for taking Monahan off their hands so he’s already provided them with draft capital going forward. They also got value for Dadonov by acquiring him from the Vegas Golden Knights last summer as it enabled them to shed the entirety of the remainder of Shea Weber’s contract.

Edmundson is under contract through 2023-24 so the Canadiens can try again in the offseason or next season. There was talk of re-signing Sean Monahan before he was sidelined in December. If they can’t move him now, they could sign him to an affordable one-year deal and try again to peddle him if there’s real interest.

As for Drouin, his plethora of injuries and inconsistency torpedoed his trade value. Nevertheless, the Toronto Star’s Nick Kypreos wondered if the Colorado Avalanche might look into reuniting Drouin with his old Halifax Mooseheads teammate Nathan MacKinnon. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

UPDATE ON THE SENATORS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion dismissed speculation suggesting he might trade winger Alex DeBrincat. He said the 26-year-old winger won’t be traded. “No chance,” said Dorion, adding the club still hopes to re-sign the pending restricted free agent before the end of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators gave up a lot to acquire DeBrincat last summer. Yes, it will be expensive to re-sign him but they’ll get it done, especially with new ownership soon to take over.

The Senators have received lots of calls regarding rugged forward Auston Watson. Dorion is willing to listen to offers for goaltender Cam Talbot, winger Tyler Motte and defenseman Nick Holden. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings have been linked to Talbot but his recent injury hasn’t helped drum up interest.

Dorion indicated he’s 99.9 percent certain that he’s not trading veteran center Derick Brassard. The club has been pleased with defenseman Travis Hamonic and likely won’t move him.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 30, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 30, 2022

How would a new contract for Filip Forsberg affect the Predators’ salary-cap payroll next season? Can the Oilers afford to sign Evander Kane? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked what it would mean for the Nashville Predators’ salary cap if they signed Filip Forsberg to a new contract in the range of $9 million per season. The increase of next season’s salary cap to $82.5 million would leave the Predators with $26.2 million in cap space.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Setting aside $9 million for Forsberg, Vingan believes they have enough to re-sign such players as Luke Kunin and Yakov Trenin to modest raises. It would also mean trimming payroll around the edges such as replacing backup goaltender David Rittich with Connor Ingram. He advised the Predators to spend wisely as Alexander Carrier, Dante Fabbro and Tanner Jeannot will need new contracts following 2022-23.

Asked if Ryan Johansen’s resurgence this season could make it possible for the Predators to trade him, Vingan pointed out he’ll soon turn 30 and has three more seasons left on his deal with an annual cap hit of $8 million. He doubted there will be many takers unless the Predators retain some salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg is 27 and likely seeking an eight-year deal worth between $8 million and $9 million per season. Predators general manager David Poile will obviously attempt to sign him at the low end of that asking price and perhaps seek a shorter-term close to five years.

I concur with Vingan regarding Johansen. Poile would have to retain some salary in a trade, something he’s never done.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins recently pondered how the Oilers can hang onto Evander Kane. He’s had a positive effect on the lineup since joining them two months ago as an unrestricted free agent after the San Jose Sharks bought out his contract.

Making that happen could require some hard decisions about younger players such as Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi, who will become restricted free agents this summer. Both have endured highs and lows this season, leaving Leavins to wonder whether they’ve shown enough to invest in for the long term or perhaps one or both receive short-term bridge deals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s future with the Oilers could also depend upon the outcome of the grievance he filed against the Sharks for terminating his contract. If an arbiter determines Kane should receive most or all of the remainder of his contract with the Sharks ($7 million AAV through 2024-25) while allowing him to remain a free agent, it shouldn’t cost much for the Oilers to retain him if he wants to stay.