Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Updates on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Bo Horvat, Vladislav Gavrikov, Timo Meier and Jake McCabe in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” RUMORS.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports that it sounds like long-time Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aren’t prepared to make a decision on their respective futures until sometime in mid-February.

Marek also believes Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty’s season-ending injury could make things interesting for Kane and Toews and maybe other players who could move by the trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a second-line center and could use a winger to replace the sidelined Pacioretty’s offense. Toews or Kane could fit into one of those roles in Carolina.

Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala included the Hurricanes among their four suggested trade destinations for Toews along with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.

Marek reports the Vancouver Canucks’ asking price for Bo Horvat is three players, including a top prospect. Friedman believes the Canucks are narrowing down the possible suitors to those willing to meet that price or at least willing to continue discussions about it. He doesn’t think that they’re close to a trade at this time.

Friedman didn’t name any clubs that could be among the interest parties for Horvat. However, he mentioned the Seattle Kraken and Minnesota Wild during his “32 Thoughts” podcast on Friday. He doesn’t believe the Canucks are allowing teams to speak with the pending unrestricted free-agent center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could still surprise us as they did with J.T. Miller and re-sign Horvat but I think he’s a goner now. Based on recent comments by Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford, they aren’t comfortable paying Horvat for what they consider an outlier performance this season. It remains to be seen which team will meet their asking price before March 3 and whether the Canucks will allow them an opportunity to speak with Horvat about a contract extension.

Friedman also believes the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams to have inquired about Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. It’s believed the Jackets are allowing interested clubs to speak with him.

Marek thinks the Blue Jackets’ preference may have been to re-sign Gavrikov but he doesn’t believe that’s going to happen. He thinks they’ll seek a first and a third-round pick or a first-rounder plus other assets in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov isn’t the only defenseman the Leafs and Oilers are looking at in the trade market. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports they’re interested in Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, who carries a seven-team no-trade list. The Los Angeles Kings are also thought to be among the suitors.

Seravalli believes McCabe’s no-trade list includes every Canadian team except for the Leafs. He’s carrying a $4 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 but Seravalli wondered if the Leafs could sway the Blackhawks into retaining half of it.

Speaking of teams being allowed to speak to players, Friedman thinks the San Jose Sharks will allow that to happen for restricted free-agent winger Timo Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Winnipeg Jets could be among those teams talking to Meier. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck believes the 26-year-old left winger could be a dream catch for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Billeck believes Meier would be a perfect replacement for Blake Wheeler, who has one season remaining on his contract. The Sharks asking price and Meier’s $10 million qualifying price, however, are two significant hurdles.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 16, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 16, 2023

Some suggested trade targets for the Avalanche plus the latest on the Coyotes in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE DENVER POST: The Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat, St. Louis Blues’ Ryan O’Reilly and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews are Bennett Durando’s top-three choices for the Colorado Avalanche to address their need to address their second-line center need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’re the three best options in this season’s trade market for any contender seeking an upgrade at center. Horvat carries an affordable contract and lacks no-trade protection but I think the Avs could be outbid by other clubs if (when?) the Canucks start shopping him in earnest.

Could St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly become a Colorado Avalanche trade target? (NHL Images).

Durando observed that O’Reilly is sidelined until mid-February with a broken foot. He also lacks no-trade protection but the remainder of his $7.5 million cap hit could be an issue. Toews, meanwhile, has a full no-movement clause. Even if he agrees to be traded, Durando suggests the Avs might have to get a third team involved to spread his prorated $10.5 million cap hit around.

The Blackhawks’ Max Domi and the Montreal Canadiens’ Sean Monahan round out Durando’s list of centers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domi is the most affordable in terms of cap hit ($3 million) and potential asking price. He brings a measure of versatility in his ability to play center or wing. The Avs could face competition from other clubs for his services.

Monahan was enjoying a fine bounce-back performance until he suffered a lower-body injury a month ago. He could still be an intriguing option if he regains his form when he returns to action later this month. The Canadiens could retain half of the remainder of his $6.3 million cap hit but they’ll likely want a first-round pick in return.

Durando also listed the Canucks’ Andrei Kuzmenko along with the Florida Panthers’ Anthony Duclair and the Philadelphia Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk as options if the Avs decide to stick with Evan Rodrigues and J.T. Compher as their middle-six centers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Canucks will re-sign Kuzmenko once they sort out the Horvat situation. The Panthers reportedly want to hang onto Duclair. The Flyers are said to have told teams they’re willing to listen to offers for van Riemsdyk. They could retain part of the remainder of his $7 million cap hit for the right return.

LATEST ON THE COYOTES

GOPHNX.COM: In his midseason report on the Arizona Coyotes, Craig Morgan writes that he doesn’t think that management or Jakob Chychrun are in any hurry to force a trade right now. General manager Bill Armstrong and head coach Andre Tourigny praise the defenseman’s professionalism and performance this season. Meanwhile, Chychrun seems to be enjoying playing hockey again after a disappointing 2021-22 campaign.

Chychrun and defense partner Shayne Gostisbehere are the leading candidates to be traded for high-level assets. Players on expiring contracts who could be moved include Nick Bjugstad, Nick Ritchie and Christian Fischer.

Morgan suggested that goaltender Karel Vejmelka could become a dark-horse trade candidate. He also thinks defenseman Josh Brown could draw some interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think there are teams willing to meet Armstrong’s asking price for Chychrun but they’re having to wait until the trade deadline when they will have accrued enough cap space to acquire him.

Vejmelka’s name keeps coming up in the rumor mill as some pundits believe the Coyotes will move him for the right price. I don’t rule it out but I think it will have to be one hell of an offer to do so. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an affordable annual cap hit of $2.725 million. While Vejmelka’s contract is often touted as one reason why teams could be interested in him, it’s also a good reason for the Coyotes to hang onto him.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 8, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 8, 2023

Could the Kraken and Avalanche have an interest in Bo Horvat? What’s the latest on Jakob Chychrun, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman listed Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as possible trade targets over the next few weeks.

Friedman believes the Canucks will go back to Horvat and see if they can make a deal on a contract extension. However, he thinks it’s “extremely unlikely” to happen because they aren’t willing to spend more on Horvat than they did on J.T. Miller (seven years, $56 million).

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

Friedman wonders if the Seattle Kraken would be interested. Marek said a lot of people have mentioned the Colorado Avalanche as a destination for Horvat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting suggestion linking Horvat to the Kraken. Friedman mentioned they’re an improved club but I wonder if he also thinks that the Canucks captain might not want to stray too far from Vancouver?

The Kraken can afford to take on Horvat’s prorated $5.5 million cap hit for this season. They have depth in draft picks and prospects to offer up as trade bait plus they have sufficient cap space for next season (over $20 million) to re-sign him.

However, I’m not sold on Kraken general manager Ron Francis deviating from his current roster-building plans. This is a competitive club in just its second season with an emerging franchise player in Matty Beniers, a promising youngster in their system in Shane Wright and a solid core of experienced veterans.

Let’s not also forget reports claiming the Canucks seek young NHL talent that can provide them with immediate, long-term help rather than a return of futures. If that’s the case, the Kraken lack sufficient depth with those types of players unless they’re willing to part with Beniers and I don’t see them doing that.

As for the Avalanche, The Athletic’s Peter Baugh and The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando pointed out their lack of trade chips necessary to make a competitive bid for Horvat or other big-ticket stars such as St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews. Even if they were to acquire one of them, they lack sufficient cap space next season to re-sign any of them.

Marek reports the Arizona Coyotes are in no hurry to move Chychrun. They’re looking for “three big pieces” for the 24-year-old blueliner: a young prospect, a first-round pick plus another first-rounder or an equivalent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That equivalent would be a former first-round pick, either a high-end prospect or a young NHL player.

Friedman reports Kane and Toews have not yet met with Blackhawks management to determine what they’re doing. Kane was injured last week and missed a game but it’s hoped he’ll play against the Calgary Flames. There are “rumblings” that it may be a nagging injury that needs to be “cleaned up” at some point but the hope is that he’ll be able to play through it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Kane, The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa was asked what it would cost the Boston Bruins to acquire the long-time Chicago winger.

Shinzawa believes the Bruins would have to part with their first-round pick, a high-level prospect and at least one more young player. The Blackhawks would also have to retain half of Kane’s remaining cap hit plus take some salary back in the deal.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bruins make a move at the trade deadline to bolster their roster for the playoffs. However, they’re not under any pressure to do so at the moment given their lofty position atop the overall standings.

If the Bruins maintain that perch by the March 3 trade deadline, any moves they make by then will be to tweak their lineup with affordable depth instead of taking on someone like Kane.

Friedman talked about the Edmonton Oilers’ need for a left-side defenseman. The club is looking around the league to see who could be available. They want to give young blueliner Philip Broberg a chance to play for a while before making any permanent decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Mark Spector and Adam Vingan recently examined whether Jakob Chychrun would be the right fit for the Oilers. They believe their biggest need is a left-shot shut-down defenseman and don’t consider Chychrun as someone who will address that need. They also reminded us that they recently reported the Oilers will not pursue Chychrun and are standing by their story.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 4, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 4, 2023

The potential effect of top prospect Connor Bedard upon this season’s trade market, the latest on the Blackhawks and Blues, updates on Alexis Lafreniere and Jakob Chychrun, the Predators could consider shopping Mattias Ekholm, and much more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BEDARD’S POTENTIAL EFFECT ON THE TRADE MARKET

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports top prospect Connor Bedard’s unbelievable performance at this year’s World Junior Championship could spur clubs considered sellers in this season’s trade market to start shopping players sooner rather than closer to the March 3 trade deadline.

WHL forward Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats (NHL.com).

Doing so could help those bottom-feeding clubs improve their chances of winning this year’s draft lottery. Potential buyers, however, could prefer waiting until March given the limited salary-cap space around the league.

Chris Johnston believes the asking price for this year’s best assets at this year’s deadline will be at least a first-round pick in return. That goes for the high-profile forwards as well as defensemen like Montreal’s Joel Edmundson and Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every club with a shot at winning the 2023 draft lottery will be trying to dump pending free agents that they can’t or won’t re-sign as quickly as possible. However, Cap Friendly indicates there are only seven teams with more than $3 million in salary-cap payrolls right now. Several of those clubs will be sellers.

Most playoff contenders will be trying to accrue as much cap space as they can leading up to March 3. That means most of the buyers will likely want to wait until within a week or two of the deadline to start making moves when they’ve got the cap flexibility to do so.

MORE RUMORS FROM TSN’S LATEST “INSIDER TRADING”

Darren Dreger believes St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has a decision to make regarding Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko when the two return from injury next month. Armstrong will have to consider the trade value of O’Reilly, who would be a hot asset in the trade market. There will have to be a conversation with O’Reilly, and maybe with Tarasenko, regarding contract extensions, and then make the call nearer the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everything I’ve read or heard about Tarasenko’s future is that the Blues won’t be part of it. They reportedly could re-sign O’Reilly if he’s willing to accept a pay cut on a short-term deal.

Dreger also reports the Chicago Blackhawks still have to determine if pending UFAs Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews want to be traded. If they do, the pair will have to determine who the contenders will be. He also believes they would have to decide whether to accept a trade and then test their luck in this summer’s free-agent market or consider a trade-and-sign scenario.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pat Brisson, who represents Kane and Toews, is expected to meet with Blackhawks management later this month to discuss their futures.

Speaking of Gavrikov, Johnston said a lot of teams like him but so do the Blue Jackets. He doesn’t believe they’ve decided yet if they want to move the blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision will depend on how much Gavrikov wants to stay in Columbus. He could seek to double his salary from its current average annual value of $2.8 million.

Pierre LeBrun reports there were teams that looked into the availability of Alexis Lafreniere after the 2020 first-overall pick was a healthy scratch last week. However, the New York Rangers still believe in him and have also told that to the young winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should quiet the media trade chatter about Lafreniere for the time being. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it surfaces again before the March 3 trade deadline, especially if the Rangers decide to pursue a big-name player (hello there, Patrick Kane).

UPDATES ON CHYCHRUN, KLINGBERG, EKHOLM, MCDONAGH AND MERKLEY

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports Arizona Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong is sticking to his asking price of two first-round picks plus another asset as part of the return for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. He indicated Chychrun still wants to be dealt to a Stanley Cup contender. If the assets are there, said Armstrong, he will certainly make that trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how well Chychrun’s played since returning in November from offseason wrist surgery, I daresay Armstrong feels confident that someone will meet his price by March 3.

Russo also noted that Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg’s full no-trade clause changed to a modified one on Jan. 1 that’s limited to 10 teams. He pointed out that Ducks GM Pat Verbeek scouted the Edmonton Oilers during two games last month. There’s been chatter they could have an interest in Klingberg, though they seem to have more of a need for a left-side defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ preference would be for Chychrun but they could lack the assets to make that deal happen. The Oilers have also been linked to Gavrikov.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli added Nashville Predators blueliner Mattias Ekholm to his list of trade candidates at No. 7. He’s been told that Predators GM David Poile has some uncomfortable decisions to make as his club has regressed this season to a likely non-playoff team loaded with expensive contracts. Seravalli also wondered if defenseman Ryan McDonagh might be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekholm lacks no-trade protection and is in the first season of a four-year contract. However, he’s also turning 33 in May and carries an annual salary-cap hit of $6.25 million. Good luck moving that contract during a season under a flattened salary cap.

As for McDonagh, Seravalli pointed out he waived his no-trade clause last summer to go from Tampa Bay to Nashville. He believes that requesting the 33-year-old rearguard to waive it again could be a tall ask. Even if McDonagh agreed to be traded again, his age and $6.75 million cap hit through 2025-26 make him very difficult to move in-season.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller cited Seravalli reporting yesterday that Sharks defenseman Ryan Merkley requested a trade. A first-round pick (21st overall) in 2018, he’s spent much of his tenure with the Sharks organization playing for their AHL affiliate.

Merkley spent 39 games with the Sharks last season and was expected to skate with them again this season. Sharks GM Mike Grier declined to comment.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 3, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 3, 2023

A look at what the Blackhawks could get for their notable trade candidates plus the latest on the Blue Jackets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus recently examined the potential value of the Chicago Blackhawks’ potential trade candidates.

The Blackhawks are preparing as if Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews won’t ask to be traded. Both are eligible to become unrestricted free agents in July and each carries a salary-cap hit of $10.5 million and full no-movement clauses.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

If Kane decides to ask for a trade, the Blackhawks will probably seek a first-round pick and a decent prospect. Given his no-movement clause, the limited number of teams he’d agree to be dealt to will have some leverage. The Blackhawks will also have to retain part of Kane’s cap hit.

The asking price for Toews could be a first-round pick given his bounce-back performance this season. It’s less likely that a team will want half of his cap hit. That could mean getting a third team involved to spread the dollars around or the Blackhawks will have to take back a player in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Powers and Lazerus believe Kane is more likely to be moved by the trade deadline than Toews. It’s expected we’ll learn more about their fates this season once their agent Pat Brisson has met with Blackhawks management later this month.

Max Domi could also draw interest given his solid performance this season. The Blackhawks could seek a first-round pick but Domi might instead fetch a second-rounder. They could seek a second-round pick for Andreas Athanasiou but there might not be much interest in him at the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domi was assumed to be a goner at the trade deadline but Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported on Saturday that it might not be a done deal. He seems to have found a home in Chicago and there’s apparently been some discussion between his agent and management about the possibility of a contract extension.

Athanasiou could still be moved cheaply at the deadline. However, he’ll have to pick up his production over the next two months to draw more interest in the trade market.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson looked at the value of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov in the trade market and if he’d be a fit with the Oilers.

Gavrikov, 27, is putting up solid numbers as a stay-at-home defenseman with the struggling Blue Jackets. Eligible for UFA status in July, his current cap hit is $2.8 million and his next contract will likely be in the $5 million range. The Jackets want to re-sign him but he holds leverage given their limited depth on the left side of their blueline.

Matheson expects it would cost the Oilers a first-round pick and perhaps a third-rounder to acquire Gavrikov. They’d also have to shed salary to take him on. Matheson suggests Jesse Puljujarvi to Columbus but believes the Blue Jackets would want an asset in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson suggested it’s more worthwhile for the Oilers to acquire a defenseman with term remaining on their contract if they’re going to give up assets like a first-round pick and prospects. Possible options in that category this season include Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun, Montreal’s Joel Edmundson or Chicago’s Connor Murphy or Jake McCabe. However, Matheson suggested that could come at the cost of stifling the development of young Oilers blueliners like Markus Niemelainen and Philip Broberg.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger reports Gustav Nyquist might not finish the season with the Blue Jackets. A pending UFA, he could draw interest from rival clubs seeking an experienced forward at the trade deadline.

The versatile 33-year-old Nyquist has provided leadership and consistency for the struggling, injury-ravaged Blue Jackets. Hedger speculates he could fetch multiple picks in the lower rounds or perhaps a late first-round pick from a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist lacks no-trade protection but his $5.5 million cap hit could be difficult to move under this season’s flat cap unless the Jackets retain part of his salary. The two-way forward can play center or wing and has a respectable 18 points in 35 games this season.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 31, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 31, 2022

Are the Bruins interested in Sean Monahan? What’s the latest on Bo Horvat, Jonathan Toews, and Alexis Lafreniere? Could the Red Wings face a decision regarding their goaltending? Find out in our year-ending NHL Rumor Mill.

TVA SPORTS: Yvon Pedneault reports several teams have an interest in Sean Monahan as a playoff rental player. He’s been told the Boston Bruins are among those looking at the Montreal Canadiens center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan, 28, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He carries a $6.375 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade clause. Monahan was enjoying a solid performance with 17 points in 25 games until sidelined on Dec. 6 by a foot injury. He’s expected to return soon to the Canadiens’ lineup.

If Monahan picks up where he left off he’ll draw plenty of interest in the trade market. The rebuilding Canadiens will likely have to pick up a portion of his remaining cap hit but could willingly do so if it’ll improve the chances of acquiring a high-quality draft pick or a good young player.

The Bruins are pressed for cap space and will have to part with a salaried player to acquire Monahan even if the Canadiens retain salary on the deal. I’m also not seeing a heck of a lot on their active roster that would fit into the Habs rebuilding program. If the Bruins make a cost-cutting deal with another team, perhaps they could use the return as part of a package for Monahan.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Canadiens, Pedneault wondered if management felt certain about Kirby Dach as a center. If not, he suggested they inquire about Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have the depth in promising young players to perhaps put together a tempting offer for Horvat. The 27-year-old center is on pace to reach 50 goals for the first time in his career and will be in line for a big pay raise as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

However, I don’t see the Canadiens pursuing Horvat. They would need assurances that he will sign with them. Otherwise, they’ll be giving up valuable young assets for a veteran who could walk as a free agent in July.

Pedneault believes Colorado Avalanche president Joe Sakic’s target in the trade market could be Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pedneault’s not the only observer who believes Toews would be a good fit as a second or third-line center with the Avalanche. Making the dollars fit for the Avs could be tricky. They’ll have over $5 million in projected cap space by the trade deadline but could request the Blackhawks retain half of the remainder of Toews’ $10.5 million cap hit.

Even then, the Avs could be forced to shed a salary unless they make this a three-team trade to spread the cap hit around. That’s assuming, of course, that Toews waives his no-movement clause.

The New York Rangers scratching Alexis Lafreniere from the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning raises questions about his future. Pedneault believes Lafreniere isn’t a power forward as the Rangers envisioned but a playmaker. He wondered if the 2020 first-overall pick could become trade bait to acquire Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks also weighed in on Lafreniere’s situation. He can’t imagine what type of return the 21-year-old left winger could fetch that would be considered equal value. Brooks also pointed out the risk of trading Lafreniere and watching him thrive with another team.

For now, the Rangers don’t have to rush into moving Lafreniere. He’s a restricted free agent in July coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. They could sign him to a low-cost bridge deal and try to help him improve his game. Nevertheless, the young winger could become a valuable trade chip if the Blueshirts make a major move by the March 3 trade deadline or during the offseason.

THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman recently speculated the Detroit Red Wings could face a decision regarding their goaltending. They’ve been carrying three goaltenders since November when they claimed Magnus Hellberg off waivers.

The Wings have leaned heavily on starter Ville Husso while Hellberg has appeared in three games. Alex Nedeljkovic, meanwhile, hasn’t played since Dec. 8. He could be loaned to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint but still remains on their roster.

That could become a problem as sidelined players such as Jakub Vrana, Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina return to the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings could put Hellberg or Nedeljkovic on waivers to send them down to the AHL but there’s a risk they’ll get plucked away by another club. Perhaps a trade could be in order in the near future.