NHL Rumor Mill – October 1, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – October 1, 2020

Possible destinations for Henrik Lundqvist and Bobby Ryan plus the latest on Patrik Laine, Darcy Kuemper, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and many more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHERE COULD LUNDQVIST AND RYAN LAND AS FREE AGENTS?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks looked at potential landing spots for Henrik Lundqvist. The 38-year-old goaltender was bought out of the final year of his contract yesterday by the New York Rangers. Brooks suggests the St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights (if they trade Marc-Andre Fleury), Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks (if Jacob Markstrom departs via free agency) as options.

SPORTSNET: The Canucks make Mike Johnston’s list, which includes the Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Dallas Stars (if they fail to re-sign Anton Khudubin), and Chicago Blackhawks if they move on from Corey Crawford.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien suggests Lundqvist could provide affordable goaltending insurance to contenders like the Capitals, Stars, Blues and Golden Knights, as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Winnipeg Jets. He also suggested some playoff hopefuls that could provide him more playing time like the Oilers and Canucks, along with the Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks.

Where could former New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist land following his contract buyout? (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears there are a number of clubs that could be destinations for Lundqvist but this is all mere media speculation right now. But how many of those clubs will be serious suitors and how many of them is he willing to consider as acceptable destinations? His affordability, experience and leadership would be invaluable, but finding the right fit and the right role will be crucial factors.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Joe Fordyce reports Bobby Ryan said the Philadelphia Flyers would be high on his list of destinations if they made him a contract offer or extended an invitation to training camp. The 33-year-old winger was recently bought out by the Ottawa Senators.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Brian Witt cites The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz recently reporting the San Jose Sharks are one of “many teams” believed interested in Ryan. “They could certainly use a right wing,” said Kurz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if the Flyers are among the clubs interested in Ryan. Whoever signs him will likely do a short-term deal (one-to-two years) for probably between $2 -$3 million per season. Some clubs could try him in a second-line role while others could see him as a third liner.

Speaking of the Sharks, they also reportedly talked to the Minnesota Wild about goaltender Devan Dubnyk and winger Ryan Donato. Kurz suggests this could have some legs as a possible package deal.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST 31 THOUGHTS

SPORTSNET: In his latest 31 Thoughts column, Elliotte Friedman expects Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois to “think unconventionally” in the offseason. He believes teams will ask if defenseman Mikhail Sergachev wants a bigger role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sergachev should get an opportunity for a bigger role with the Lightning. Kevin Shattenkirk, Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn and Jan Rutta are unrestricted free agents. All of them could depart on Oct 9. Granted, they’re also right-side defensemen and Sergachev plays the left side, but I can see the Bolts trying to convert him to the right side.

Friedman expects the Dallas Stars will try to move a big salary, although trade protection is a concern. He expects Anton Khudobin has priced himself out of Dallas. Ben Bishop’s full no-trade becomes a partial, but his actual salary drops to three years at $3.5 million, which is manageable for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly lists Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Joe Pavelski as the three highest-paid players with each carrying full no-movement clauses, followed by Alexander Radulov with a 15-team no-trade list. Trying to move any one of them will be difficult.

Friedman thinks the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes had a discussion about Coyotes blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but he doesn’t see if a deal is possible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It isn’t unless the Canucks move some salary to take on Ekman-Larsson’s $8.25 million AAV and he agrees to be traded to Vancouver.

If the Jets decide to trade Laine, Friedman wonders if there’s a match with the Columbus Blue Jackets or Carolina Hurricanes. He believes the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers could do it but isn’t sure they would. He also wondered about the New York Islanders but mentioned their salary-cap issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets will set a big asking price if they put Laine on the trade block. They need a second-line center and a top-four, right-shot defenseman. There’s also the fact he’s a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights and will be in the market for a big raise over his current $6.75-million AAV.

The high volume of goalies available in the UFA market could affect the trade market, making it difficult for a club like Pittsburgh to trade a netminder. Friedman suggests that’s why the Arizona Coyotes’ preference is to retain goalie Darcy Kuemper. He believes the Calgary Flames talking with the Columbus Blue Jackets about one of their goalies but that talk has cooled.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams that fail to address their goalie needs via free agency could return to the trade market, but their numbers will be depleted after the best UFA goalies are signed. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch also cited sources claiming the Coyotes could retain Kuemper, but he thinks that could change if GM Bill Armstrong gets a first-round pick and another piece he’s seeking in the deal.

Speaking of the Flames, Friedman thinks they could revamp their blueline depending on who’s available. Noah Hanifin’s name was mentioned when the Flames were talking with the New Jersey Devils about Taylor Hall last month.

Speaking of the Coyotes, Friedman wonders if they’ll test the market on forward Clayton Keller.

The Washington Capitals are trying to shed some salary to re-sign defenseman Brenden Dillon.

The New Jersey Devils are willing to move the 18th and 20th picks in this year’s draft but Friedman doesn’t see them shopping the seventh-overall selection. The Anaheim Ducks aren’t averse to moving down a few spots from sixth overall.










At Long Last, Arizona Coyotes Are For Real – And Getting Better

At Long Last, Arizona Coyotes Are For Real – And Getting Better

 










Coyotes Re-sign Keller to Eight-Year Extension

Coyotes Re-sign Keller to Eight-Year Extension

The Arizona Coyotes re-signed forward Clayton Keller to an eight-year contract extension. Reports indicate the deal is worth $57.2 million, with an annual average value of $7.15 million.

Arizona Coyotes re-sign Clayton Keller to a long-term deal (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big pay raise for the 21-year-old Keller, who’s entering the final season of his entry-level contract worth an AAV of over $1.6 million when factoring in performance bonuses (stick tap to Cap Friendly). 

A versatile forward who can play center or wing, Keller made an impressive NHL debut in 2017-18 with 65 points to lead the Coyotes in scoring. For his effort, he was named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Keller struggled through his sophomore campaign and his production dropped to just 47 points. Nevertheless, he was the Coyotes leading scorer for the second straight season. 

The Coyotes showed a lot of faith in Keller with this hefty new deal. In a statement following the signing, general manager John Chayka called the youngster “elite in every sense of the word”, singling out his playmaking skills and character.

The pressure’s on for young Keller to deliver. A return to 60-plus points this season will go a long way toward alleviating concerns. Fortunately, his prime playing years are still ahead. He’ll be a key component in the Coyotes’ quest to end their lengthy playoff drought this season. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2018

Latest on Bobby Ryan, Erik Karlsson, Zach Parise and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators winger Bobby Ryan considers himself and his family lucky after a tornado touched down within a quarter-mile of his home. A number of nearby houses and businesses were severely damaged.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators Foundation launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds to assist those affected by the tornado. The organization will match the first $25,000.00 in donations. You can find more information at this link

CSN BAY AREA: Erik Karlsson unveiled the San Jose Sharks third jersey as he took to the ice for the first time in front of fans at SAP Center.

Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise looks forward to a healthy season. (Photo via NHL Images)

  STARTRIBUNE.COM: A year after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc, Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise is healthy and appears back up to speed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  A full campaign with a healthy Parise will provide a big boost for the Wild’s playoff hopes. He was very strong down the stretch last season before being sidelined with a fractured sternum midway through the opening round of the 2018 playoffs. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed forward Miles Wood to a four-year, $11-million contract. The annual average value is $2.75 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wood missed the first 10 days of training camp during his contract standoff with the Devils. He gets a decent raise over his entry-level salary ($925K) for twice the length of a two-year bridge deal. With 19 goals in 76 games last season, the speedy Wood has 20-goal potential. If he can reach that potential this will be a bargain for the Devils. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: If Alex Galchenyuk is forced to miss a significant amount of time with a lower-body injury to start this season, the Arizona Coyotes could be forced to employ Clayton Keller as a full-time center. While Keller’s played that position in college and amateur hockey, he’s been employed mainly as a winger with the Coyotes.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning claimed forward Danick Martel off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2018

Game recaps, another milestone for Alex Ovechkin, stars of the month and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division crown with a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Washington goalie Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves for the win. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reached another milestone, playing in his 1,000th career NHL game. He was held off the score sheet in this contest. Teammate Jay Beagle left the game with an upper-body injury and is unavailable for Monday’s match against the St. Louis Blues. 

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin played in his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images)

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 45 goals this season, Ovechkin also has three games left to reach 50 goals for the eighth time in his career. 

Third-period goals by Adam Henrique and Ryan Kesler set the stage for Ondrej Kase’s overtime winner as the Anaheim Ducks overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. Tyson Jost scored twice for Colorado. The win moved the Ducks (95 points) into third place in the Pacific Division, while the Avalanche (93 points) cling to a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Claude Giroux scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. With 94 points, the Flyers sit one point above the New Jersey Devils in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth and within two points of second place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Devils (93 points), meanwhile, got third-period goals by Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall to beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Sitting in the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot, the Devils widened their lead over the Florida Panthers by seven points, with the Panthers (77 games played) holding two games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a big win for the Devils, improving their chances of clinching their first playoff spot since 2012. The Panthers still have a chance to gain ground on New Jersey but their margin of error has narrowed. 

Filip Forsberg scored two goals to give the Nashville Predators a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bolts captain Steven Stamkos left the game with a lower-body injury. An update on his condition is expected today. The loss put the Lightning (108 points) two points behind the Bruins for second place in the Eastern Conference standings, while the Preds (113 points) widened their lead for top spot in the Western Conference over the Vegas Golden Knights by six points.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson are the NHL’s stars of the month for March 2018. Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller was named rookie of the month

TSN: The NHL department of player safety fined Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ian Cole $5,000.00 for a dangerous trip on Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter during a recent game. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin is sidelined indefinitely after suffering multiple injuries resulting from a hit from behind by Nashville Predators winger Scott Hartnell on Saturday. Antipin has a concussion, a broken nose, facial lacerations and requires dental work. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hartnell received a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct but won’t face supplemental discipline. “”It was unfortunate, and I feel really bad about it,” Hartnell said. That’s cold comfort for Antipin. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2018

Game recaps, Bruins re-sign Zdeno Chara and new NHL draft lottery odds revealed in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Auston Matthews scored his 30th goal of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Florida Panthers 4-3 (Photo via NHL Images)

 NHL.COM: A three-goal first period enabled the Toronto Maple Leafs to hold off the Florida Panthers 4-3. James van Riemsdyk tallied his 200th career NHL goal and Auston Matthews got his 30th of the season for the Leafs (99 points), who set a single-season franchise record with their 46th victory and 27th home wins, putting them on the verge of clinching a playoff berth. Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers (85 points), who remain three points out of a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. 

Evgeny Kuznetsov’s overtime goal gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers. With the win, the Capitals (99 points) hold a seven-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for top spot in the Metropolitan Division. 

The Philadelphia Flyers (92 points) moved into third place in the Metro Division by edging the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov were the Flyers’ goalscorers. The Avs (90 points) remain one point out of a Western Conference playoff berth. 

A two-goal performance by Kevin Connauton helped the Arizona Coyotes nip the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, ending the latter’s five-game points streak. The Coyotes are 9-5-1 in their last 15 games. Arizona rookie Clayton Keller collected an assist to extend his personal points streak to 10 games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ struggles during the first half of the season doomed their playoff hopes, but they’ve shown considerable improvement over the second half. That bodes well for a long-overdue breakthrough performance next season. 

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins yesterday reached an agreement on a new one-year contract with defenseman and team captain Zdeno Chara. He’ll earn a base salary of $5 million with $1.75 million in performance bonuses. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a reasonable contract for the 41-year-old Chara. In 68 games, he’s tallied seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points, with a plus-minus of plus-26 while averaging a team-leading 23 minutes of ice time per game. While no longer the dominant defenseman he once was, the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder remains a very effective two-way blueliner and leader for the Bruins. Chara also serves as a mentor for young rearguards Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. 

The 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will take place on Saturday, April 28. The odds are as follows:

Non-Playoff Team (Fewest Points to Most), 2018 Odds, 2017 Odds*, 2015 & 2016 Odds

1, 18.5%, 18.0%, 20.0%

2, 13.5%, 12.1%, 13.5%

3, 11.5%, 10.3%, 11.5%

4, 9.5%, 10.3%, 9.5%

5, 8.5%, 8.5%, 8.5%

6, 7.5%, 7.6%, 7.5%

7, 6.5%, 6.7%, 6.5%

8, 6.0%, 5.8%, 6.0%

9, 5.0%, 5.4%, 5.0%

10, 3.5%, 4.5%, 3.5%

11, 3.0%, 3.2%, 3.0%

12, 2.5%, 2.7%, 2.5%

13, 2.0%, 2.2%, 2.0%

14, 1.5%, 1.8%, 1.0%

15, 1.0%, 0.9%