NHL Rumor Mill – August 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 12, 2022

How will the Golden Knights replace sidelined goalie Robin Lehner? What’s the latest on Coyotes’ defenseman Jakob Chychrun? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

EXAMINING THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS’ OPTIONS TO REPLACE LEHNER

THE ATHLETIC: With Robin Lehner sidelined for the upcoming season by hip surgery, Jesse Granger examined the Vegas Golden Knights’ options to replace the 31-year-old goaltender. If Lehner goes on long-term injury reserve, they’ll have roughly $7 million in usable cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights are already above the $82.5 million salary cap for 2022-23 by over $5.7 million with Shea Weber on long-term injury reserve. Most of Lehner’s $5 million cap hit is expected to be used to sign their remaining restricted free agents.

The Golden Knights could promote promising Logan Thompson as their starter backed up by Laurent Brossoit or Michael Hutchinson. That would provide them with the cap space to add a free agent such as Paul Stastny, Sonny Milano or Phil Kessel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They would have to be careful in how much of that cap wiggle room they invest in other players. Spend too much and they won’t have enough room to address their goaltending if Thompson, Brossoit and Hutchinson can’t get the job done.

If they decide to seek a replacement for Lehner outside the organization the pickings are slim. Braden Holtby remains unsigned but his career may be over due to injuries. Granger noted Cory Schneider is still available. He spent the past two years in the AHL.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about free agency. Holtby’s done and Schneider’s last decent NHL season was 2017-18.

Granger suggested New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov as a trade option.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps included Varlamov among his list of suggested trade options. He also mentioned the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo, the San Jose Sharks James Reimer, and the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello reportedly prefers to keep his goalie tandem intact for the coming season. As Krepps pointed out, however, there are rumors that he’s looking to clear cap space to sign free agent center Nazem Kadri officially. Lamoriello could change his mind provided the Golden Knights aren’t on Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade list.

The Blue Jackets signed Korpisalo to a one-year deal where he’ll be serving as Elvis Merzlikins’ backup so he’s probably unavailable. There is talk the Sharks could trade Reimer for the “right price”. Earlier this summer, Gibson denied rumors claiming he’d welcome a trade out of Anaheim. He carries a 10-team no-trade list.

What hurts the Golden Knights is their lack of trade capital. Since 2018, they’ve mortgaged their future by acquiring stars such as Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Jack Eichel. Investing big money in those players (plus free agent signings like Alex Pietrangelo) also forced them to make cost-cutting deals such as practically giving away Pacioretty last month to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Perhaps they could get Varlamov if the Isles are only looking to shed salary but I don’t think Lamoriello wants to move him. The Sharks will want something decent for Reimer while the Ducks’ asking price for Gibson could start with a first-round pick. Given he’s carrying a $6.4 million annual cap hit through 2026-27, they probably can’t afford him over the long term.

Granger also mentioned the possibility of signing Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger to an offer sheet. He points out that the Golden Knights lack their own second-round pick in 2023. That means an offer sheet would have to be between $4.2 million and $6.3 million to meet the compensation requirement of a first and third-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget it. The Stars have $10.3 million in cap space. I estimate it’ll take between $6.5 million and $8 million to sign Oettinger to an unmatchable offer sheet. The compensation there is a first, a second and a third-round pick. As Granger observed, they lack their own second-rounder next year.

Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recommends the Golden Knights avoid over-reacting, especially when the trade and free-agent markets won’t be kind. He suggests seeing how things play out with Thompson as their starter before exploring other options. I daresay that’s how management will handle this for now.

COULD THE COYOTES MOVE CHYCHRUN BEFORE TRAINING CAMP?

TSN’s Shawn Simpson recently took to Twitter reporting the feeling around the league is the Arizona Coyotes could trade Jakob Chychrun before training camp opens next month. He said the Ottawa Senators were among the teams in the mix but the Coyotes’ asking price for the 24-year-old defenseman is “ridiculously high”. He credits Senators GM Pierre Dorion for being patient.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes beat writer Craig Morgan of GOPHNX.com expects Chychrun will be in Arizona’s lineup when the season begins in October. He’s acknowledged that could change but feels the next best opportunity to trade the blueliner could be the 2023 trade deadline.

Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong tried moving Chychrun last season and during last month’s NHL draft. There’s plenty of interest in the blueliner but little in meeting Armstrong’s price, which is believed to be heavy on futures, including a first-round pick, a top prospect and a promising NHL-ready player.

It’s possible Chychrun gets moved before training camp or before the regular season begins. Unless Armstrong lowers his price, however, I wouldn’t hold my breath, especially with the rearguard under contract through 2024-25.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2022

John Gibson isn’t interested in a trade to Toronto, the Avalanche re-sign Alexandar Georgiev, the Blackhawks won’t qualify Dylan Strome’s rights, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

DAILY FACEOFF: cites Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reporting agent Kurt Overhardt claims client John Gibson has no interest in playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. His comments come amid speculation the 28-year-old goaltender could be a Leafs trade target. “He’s absolutely committed to the Anaheim Ducks,” said Overhardt.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last month, Gibson denied speculation he wanted out of Anaheim as Ducks management focuses on rebuilding the roster. Some will take Overhardt’s comments as meaning his client isn’t interested in playing for Toronto but could accept a trade to an American-based team. Nevertheless, it’s apparent the Leafs will have to look elsewhere for a goaltender. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE DENVER POST: Less than a week after acquiring Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers, the Colorado Avalanche signed the 26-year-old goaltender to a three-year, $10.2 million contract. He was slated to become a restricted free agent on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value is an affordable $3.4 million. Georgiev now has an opportunity to finally establish himself as a starting goaltender and to do so with a Stanley Cup champion.

THE ATHLETIC: The Chicago Blackhawks won’t be qualifying the rights of RFA Dylan Strome before today’s 5 pm ET deadline. The 25-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not sitting well with Blackhawks fans who felt Strome earned at least a qualifying offer. Some wonder why they’re just letting him go rather than trying to shop him for some sort of return. He’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for the past two seasons. Strome has had his ups-and-downs with the Blackhawks but he could be an affordable second-line center option on a more stable roster.

YARDBARKER: Strome isn’t the only Blackhawk not getting a qualifying offer. Winger Dominik Kubalik will also be heading to market on Wednesday. The 26-year-old led all rookies in 2019-20 with 30 goals in 68 games but his production dropped to 17 goals in 56 games in 2020-21 and 15 goals in 78 games this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kubalik will likely get less on the open market than the $4 million it would’ve cost the Blackhawks to qualify his rights. Still, he could be an affordable option for teams on a budget that are seeking scoring depth.

THE SCORE: Seattle Kraken center Shane Wright denies he glared from the draft stage at the Montreal Canadiens table for not selecting him with the first overall pick. “I was just looking at the cameras in front of me,” said Wright. “To be honest, I don’t really remember too much of going up on stage. It was just kind of a whirlwind for me.”

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin strongly denied there were any trade talks regarding a possible trade of J.T. Miller to the New York Islanders leading up to the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. When asked, Isles GM Lou Lamoriello simply shrugged and said, “Talk to Vancouver”.

Nevertheless, Stefen Rosner reports a league source claims Allvin asked for an additional piece in the Islanders’ rumored package offer for Miller. Lamoriello was said to be unwilling to do that and nixed the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation suggests the Isles were in the market for a scorer at the draft. Whether Lamoriello continues his rumored attempt to land Miller or looks elsewhere via trade or free agency remains to be seen.

Speaking of the Islanders, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz tweeted it’s his understanding winger Josh Bailey isn’t being shopped, nor is he believed to be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bailey was rumored to be a cost-cutting trade candidate in Lamoriello’s search for a scorer. Cap Friendly shows the 32-year-old winger is signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $5 million and lacking no-trade protection.

DAILY FACEOFF: Qualifying offers for restricted free agents are due at 5 pm ET Monday (July 11). RFAs are eligible to begin receiving offer sheets on July 12. By midnight on Tuesday, pending UFAs won’t be eligible to receive eight-year contract offers from their current clubs. The free-agent market opens Wednesday at noon ET.

BROAD STREET HOCKEY: Philadelphia Flyers winger Bobby Brink is dealing with a hip injury suffered during offseason training and will miss the club’s ongoing development camp.

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman Jacob Bryson to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.85 million.

Former NHL center Rod Zaine passed away from undisclosed causes on July 7. He was 76. Zaine made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1970-71 and played for the Buffalo Sabres in 1971-72. He spent the final three seasons of his professional career in the World Hockey Association.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: My condolences to Zaine’s family, friends and former teammates.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 10, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 10, 2022

How will the Leafs, Devils, Oilers and Capitals resolve their goaltending issues? What’s the latest speculation on Patrick Kane, Vincent Trocheck and Samuel Girard. Find out in this edition of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

SEVERAL TEAMS STILL FACE GOALIE ISSUES AS FREE AGENCY APPROACHES

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports landing a goaltender is the priority for Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. He must either re-sign Jack Campbell before the free-agent market opens on July 13, find a suitable replacement such as Darcy Kuemper via free agency, or pursue a trade for someone such as the Anaheim Ducks John Gibson.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

Hornby suggests the next several days could determine if Dubas is bold enough to move William Nylander and his palatable $6.96 million annual average value for cap space, defense or prospects. Forward Alex Kerfoot could be another trade candidate.

TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk also weighed in on the Leafs’ pressing need for a starting goaltender. Possible trade targets could include the Ottawa Senators’ oft-injured Matt Murray, the Minnesota Wild’s Cam Talbot or Gibson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would indeed be a bold move to shop Nylander to free up cap room for a goaltender. However, that could turn disastrous if the goalie acquired becomes a bust while Nylander thrives with his new team.

Some will suggest Nylander for Gibson straight up. The dollars pretty much fit (Gibson’s AAV is $6.4 million) and the Leafs winger would provide the rebuilding Ducks with an established scoring forward to skate alongside rising young star Trevor Zegras.

However, the Leafs could be among the teams on Gibson’s 10-team no-trade list. We also don’t know if Ducks GM Pat Verbeek wants to take on a high-salaried player right now. Nylander is also just two years from UFA eligibility, which would make Verbeek uneasy over his future.

It’s rumored that the Talbot camp was unhappy about the Wild bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury on a two-year deal. GM Bill Guerin downplayed the issue and appears intent on icing a Fleury-Talbot goalie tandem for 2022-23. Maybe he changes his mind if he gets a suitable offer but I don’t think he’s keen to do so given his own salary-cap limitations.

As for Murray, his long history of injuries screams, “buyer beware”. Unless the Senators are picking up half of his $6.25 million cap hit through 2023-24, he’s not a worthwhile option for the Leafs. According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the Senators aren’t interested in retaining any portion of his salary.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports it wouldn’t be surprising if the New Jersey Devils were still in the market for Jack Campbell if they can find a taker for Mackenzie Blackwood. He also believes the Edmonton Oilers will be interested in Campbell or Darcy Kuemper, who’s been linked to the Washington Capitals. Brooks also thinks Talbot could be an option if he’s indeed unhappy with Fleury’s return.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes the Oilers’ biggest puzzle this offseason is resolving their goalie issue. He also mentioned Campbell, Kuemper and Talbot, and included the San Jose Sharks’ James Reimer as an option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Round and round the goalie carousel goes and where it stops nobody knows. When it does, at least one of those clubs – Toronto, Edmonton, New Jersey or Washington – is going to be left empty-handed.

LATEST ON PATRICK KANE, VINCENT TROCHECK, SAMUEL GIRARD & MORE

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests the Rangers should take a run at acquiring Patrick Kane as a one-year rental player instead of the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller. The 34-year-old Chicago Blackhawks winger has a year remaining on his contract with a $10.5 million cap hit and a full no-movement clause. Brooks suggests he’d be a better fit for the Rangers if he wants out of Chicago and the Blackhawks absorb half of his cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp heading to market, the Rangers’ biggest need is a second-line center, not a right winger. Miller lacks no-trade protection and carries an affordable $5.25 million cap so there’s no need to get into haggling over cap retention and risk scuttling a potential trade.

Brooks also speculates the Rangers could be in on Carolina Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck if they wish to address their second-line center needs through free agency. However, he thinks Trocheck could prove too expensive for the Blueshirts.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater reports Samuel Girard could be a “moving piece” if the Avalanche should decide to shed salary in order to sign pending UFA defenseman Josh Manson. Dater said he hasn’t heard any trade scenarios involving Girard but can’t see how the Avs can retain Manson without clearing the 24-year-old blueliner’s $5 million cap hit from their books.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Girard surfaced earlier this season as a possible trade chip but those rumors were quickly dismissed. The point can be made that he’s expendable because the Avs went on to win the Stanley Cup with him sidelined for most of the postseason. However, they could be unwilling to move him and his affordable contract through 2026-27.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators would like to upgrade their blueline with a right-shot defenseman. Options could include the Florida Panthers’ MacKenzie Weegar, the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ John Marino.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap-strapped Panthers could consider moving Weegar if they hope to free up cap space to perhaps re-sign Claude Giroux. The Coyotes set a very high asking price for Chychrun that no one seems willing to pay right now. Marino could be available if the Penguins hope to free up salary to re-sign Evgeni Malkin, though it’s thought Marcus Pettersson is the more likely trade candidate.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2022

The latest on the Avalanche and Lightning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Golden Knights hire former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss, Ducks goalie John Gibson denies trade rumors, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar hadn’t named his starting goalie for tonight’s Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Darcy Kuemper has fully recovered from the upper-body injury that sidelined him for most of the Western Conference Finals. Backup Pavel Francouz picked up the wins in all four games in that series as the Avs swept the Edmonton Oilers.

THE DENVER POST: Avalanche center Nazem Kadri’s status for Game 1 remains uncertain. He underwent surgery on his right thumb last week and wasn’t seen skating with his teammates in practice. Kadri wasn’t available to the media because of his injury status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested Kadri could return at some point in the Stanley Cup Final. Given the severity of his injury, I’ll believe it when I see it.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning coach Jon Cooper said all signs indicated Brayden Point (lower-body injury) could return to the lineup for the first time in 31 days in Game 1. However, the final decision will be made on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Point will definitely be in the line for Game 2 if he doesn’t play in Game 1 tonight.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights confirmed they’ve hired former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fired by the Bruins on June 6, Cassidy wasn’t unemployed for long. That’s because of his solid resume during his six seasons in Boston, guiding the Bruins to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final and winning the Presidents’ Trophy the following season, earning himself the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year for 2019-20.

The Golden Knights will be counting on Cassidy to get them back on the winning track after missing the playoffs this season for the first time in franchise history.

THE ATHLETIC: John Gibson denied a recent rumor claiming he would welcome a trade from the Anaheim Ducks. The 28-year-old goaltender said he first learned of the speculation in a call with his agent, Kurt Overhardt.

All of the rumors that I got in a call from Kurt yesterday are false because I haven’t had a conversation with anybody there, “ said Gibson. “None of that is true.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Eric Stephens suggested Gibson, who has a 10-team no-trade clause, could be traded if Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek gets a “blow-me-away” offer. That appears unlikely if the goalie wants to stay put.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks intend to qualify Brock Boeser’s rights, according to president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford. “No, we’re not going to let him walk,” said Rutherford. “We recognize he’s a good player. We can figure out a way to fit him in next season with him taking his qualifying offer. Everything gets tricky and difficult, but we can figure it out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will cost the Canucks $7.5 million to qualify Boeser’s rights. With limited cap space, they’ll like have to make a cost-cutting trade or two to work it out.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: cited ESPN’s Kevin Weeks reporting the Flyers are in “late-stage negotiations” with John Tortorella regarding their head-coaching job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As of early this morning a deal has not yet been reached. There could be an announcement coming soon. Stay tuned…

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed Juho “Jussi” Olkinuora to a one-year, two-way contract. The 31-year-old goaltender helped Finland win gold at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He also backstopped them to gold at the 2022 World Championship, earning MVP honors.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins promoted Chris Pryor to assistant general manager.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed forward Fredrik Karlstrom to a one-year, two-way contract extension. He appeared in three games with the Stars this season.

NHL.COM: Al Morganti and Bill Clement will be honored this year by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Morganti will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism while Clement will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Morganti and Clement on winning these prestigious awards honoring their many years in their respective fields.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are hopeful of reaching an agreement on a new arena with the city of Tempe by the end of this year.

IDNES.CZ: Czech goaltender Patrik Bartosak is under investigation by police after his father accused him of assault. He’s a former prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to Alexander Wirdzek for the link.

TSN: Carter Hutton announced his retirement on Tuesday. The 36-year-old goaltender spent 10 seasons in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. In 235 games, he had a record of 94 wins, 90 losses and 27 overtime losses, with a career goals-against average of 2.76, a save percentage of .908 and 13 shutouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Hutton and his family in their future endeavors.

CALGARY SUN: Jim “Bearcat” Murray passed away Tuesday at age 89. He was the trainer for Flames from 1980 until 1996, transitioning into retirement in a community ambassador role. Murray became one of the most popular and colorful characters in Flames’ history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I saw Murray’s popularity in Calgary during the four years I lived there in the mid-1990s. He took part in many community and charity activities and was among the city’s most recognizable local celebrities. My condolences to his family, friends, and the Flames’ organization.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 14, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 14, 2022

Is Ducks goalie John Gibson open to a trade? Could the Canadiens trade winger Josh Anderson? What’s the latest Tyson Barrie speculation? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

DOES GIBSON WANT OUT OF ANAHEIM?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steven Ellis cited a tweet by Sportsnet’s Nick Alberga claiming John Gibson has informed the Anaheim Ducks that he’s open to being dealt. The 28-year-old goaltender has five years remaining on his contract with an annual salary cap hit of $6.4 million.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (NHL Images).

It’s unclear where Gibson would want to play. Ellis listed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers among four clubs that would be looking to address their goaltending this offseason.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber believes the Capitals should at least inquire if Gibson is open to a trade. However, the Ducks would have to retain some salary to make it worthwhile for the Capitals.

TSN: Bryan Hayes reported Gibson’s agent dismissed Alberga’s report, claiming there was nothing to it and they don’t want out of Anaheim. Nevertheless, he and panelists Jamie McLennan and Jeff O’Neill didn’t rule it out. McLennan observed Gibson’s contract provides cost certainty, suggesting his stats would improve with a better team in front of him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt there would be teams willing to gamble on Gibson if he and the Ducks agree it’s time to part ways. As the TSN panel observed, he’ll be in his early-30s and nearing the end of his contract when the rebuilding Ducks are ready to become contenders. He could be unwilling to waste what remains of his playing prime in that situation.

However, Gibson’s $6.4 million annual average value is a sticking point. Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek could be reluctant to retain any portion of that contract given how many years remain on his contract. There’s also his 10-team no-trade clause, which could feature some of the teams mentioned by Ellis and Silber.

I’m not suggesting there isn’t a market for Gibson. I just believe that moving him could prove easier said than done when the salary cap is only rising by $1 million for next season.

COULD THE CANADIENS SHOP JOSH ANDERSON?

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico recently reported Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is getting lots of calls from some rival GMs expressing interest in Josh Anderson. The 28-year-old winger has five years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million.

D’Amico believes Anderson could be an excellent trade chip for the Canadiens if Hughes decides to capitalize on the power forward’s strong reputation around the league. He also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer that Anderson is a hot commodity right now.

A high-ranking NHL executive told D’Amico the Canadiens haven’t floated Anderson in trade talks. However, they are willing to listen if case a team is willing to meet their high price.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner wondered if the New York Islanders could pry Anderson away by offering up the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft. The Canadiens are pressed for cap space and Hughes could have little choice but to unload some players.

The Islanders also have limited cap space for next season. Based on that, Rosen also proposed they offer Quebec native Anthony Beauvillier ($4.15 million annually) for Anderson.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Bob Stauffer suggesting to Elliotte Friedman it might be a good idea for the Oilers to acquire Anderson if they were to lose winger Evander Kane to free agency.

Friedman countered by suggesting the Oilers would be better off re-signing Kane as they lack the draft picks to meet the Canadiens’ high asking price. Failing that, he recommended finding Kane’s replacement via free agency rather than chasing players through trades.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Canadiens listening to offers for Anderson. The fact they’ve set an expensive price tag on him indicates how highly they think of him as a player and a person. Sure, Hughes could move him if someone’s willing to overpay but I doubt he’ll be upset if nobody does.

Would Hughes listen if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello offered up that first-rounder plus Beauvillier? Maybe, but we don’t know if Lamoriello is even looking at anyone on the Canadiens roster. His focus could be elsewhere.

LATEST ON TYSON BARRIE

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski suggested the Penguins should consider Tyson Barrie as a replacement for Kris Letang if the latter departs this summer via free agency. He believes the 31-year-old defenseman would fit the Penguins’ style well and would cost nearly $3 million less than the $7.25 million AAV of Letang’s current contract.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson suggested Barrie could be a good fit with the Canucks. He doesn’t consider him too old at 31, believing he’d bring qualities and depth that the Canucks could use on their blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie is signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $4.5 million and lacking no-trade protection. Some observers suggest he could become a cost-cutting casualty for the cap-strapped Oilers. His improved play this season could have teams like the Oilers, Canucks or perhaps the Dallas Stars looking into his availability this summer.