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 – May 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2022

The Oilers tie their series with the Flames while the Hurricanes take a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers. Recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames 5-3 in Game 2 to tie their second-round series at a game apiece. Connor McDavid started the rally with a goal and finished the game with two points while Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists. Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists for the Flames. The series shifts to Edmonton for Game 3 on Sunday.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames’ solid defensive play of the regular season and their first-round series against the Dallas Stars has abandoned them thus far in this series, as they’ve given 11 goals in two games to the Flames. They got away with it in Game 1 with a wild 9-6 win but it cost them in this game against an Oilers club determined not to fall behind 2-0 heading back home to Edmonton.

A shorthanded goal by Brendan Smith was the game-winner as the Carolina Hurricanes blanked the New York Rangers 2-0 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round series. Antti Raanta made 21 saves for the shutout while Sebastian Aho also tallied for the Hurricanes. The series heads to New York for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are struggling against the Hurricanes’ suffocating defensive play. They’ve been held to just one goal thus far with their leading scorers (Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin) yet to make their mark in this series. If they don’t find a solution soon, they’ll be packing up their gear for the season by the middle of next week.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and New Jersey Devils blueliner P.K. Subban are this year’s finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy honoring players who show leadership on and off the ice and make a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars head coach Rick Bowness announced Friday he was stepping down from his role. The club also announced assistant coaches Derek Laxdal, John Stevens and Todd Nelson would not be returning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s talk Bowness isn’t done coaching in the NHL but could seek opportunities elsewhere. In his three seasons with the Stars, he guided them to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final and got them back into the playoffs this season after missing the cut in 2021. While the Stars were among the best defensive teams under his watch, they were also among the lowest-scoring. His replacement will likely put more emphasis on offense.

Speaking of coaches, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Jay Zawaski reports the club has reached out to former New York Islanders bench boss Barry Trotz. However, he’s likely not interested in coaching a rebuilding club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz has been interviewed by the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers thus far. The Blackhawks are among what’s believed to be six or seven clubs that have reached out to him.

TSN: Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment (lower-body injury) is unlikely to be available for Games 3 and 4 of his club’s series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He hasn’t played since Game 4 of their first-round series against the Washington Capitals on May 9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchment’s absence is among the reasons the Panthers find themselves down 2-0 in this series with the Lightning. He’s a valuable spark-plug player who netted 47 points in 54 games during the regular season.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is joining Sweden for the remainder of the 2022 IIHF World Championship in Finland.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Joonas Korpisalo won’t be testing this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. On Friday, the 28-year-old goaltender signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract extension with the Blues Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant pay cut from the $3.4 million in actual salary ($2.8 million annual average value) he earned this season. Korpisalo lost the starter’s job to Elvis Merzlikins and struggled with injuries this season. Nevertheless, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen praised his professionalism. He also has a good relationship with Merzlikins.

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, pending free agent defenseman Dean Kukan intends to spend next season playing in Switzerland. The ZSC Lions are considered the front-runners for his services.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Scott Walker won’t be returning with the club next season.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2022

In today’s NHL rumor mill: Brock Boeser’s complicated contract situation, the potential cost of J.T. Miller’s next contract, and the possibility of Joona Korpisalo staying with the Blue Jackets.

LATEST ON BROCK BOESER AND J.T. MILLER

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston recently reported on Brock Boeser’s challenging contract situation with the Vancouver Canucks. The 25-year-old winger is in the final year of a three-year contract and is due a $7.5 million qualifying offer, resulting in his name frequently surfacing in trade rumors leading up to last Monday’s trade deadline.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

The deadline may be past but Johnston believes Boeser’s contract status will remain a talking point. The Canucks can qualify his rights or file for arbitration hoping to reduce that $7.5 million by 15 percent to $6.375 million. If they don’t qualify his rights he would become an unrestricted free agent.

So far, there’s no progress in contract talks between the two sides.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s contract situation will be closely watched if he and the Canucks haven’t worked out a new deal before the offseason.

The decline in his production this season further complicates things as he hasn’t produced at a level that would warrant $7.5 million next season. Nevertheless, Boeser’s agent can point to the hefty raises Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes received from the Canucks last summer to justify the qualifying offer.

Johnston suggested the Canucks may have looked into trading Boeser leading up to the trade deadline but potential trade partners would’ve wanted to talk contract with him before agreeing to acquire him. That will likely be the same issue if they attempt to peddle him in this summer’s trade market.

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reported Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the next contract for Canucks center J.T. Miller “is going to be in the Mika Zibanejad area.” That’s an annual average value of $8.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller is signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million. He’ll be 30 years old when he becomes eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status and will turn 31 in the first season of his next contract.

$8.5 million annually is a lot of money to invest in a player who will be entering an age bracket where performance eventually declines. Perhaps the Canucks front office will agree to pay something close to that on a four-year deal but I suspect the Miller camp will want something closer to eight years.

COULD KORPISALO STAY WITH THE BLUE JACKETS?

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline speculated we shouldn’t be surprised if Joonas Korpisalo re-signs with the Columbus Blue Jackets this summer as a UFA. The 27-year-old goaltender was the subject of frequent trade rumors over the past two years. However, the goalie market became flooded with free agents while Korpisalo’s game began a slow slide.

Korpisalo recently underwent season-ending hip surgery, which may have affected his performance this season. Portzline said there’s word the Blue Jackets would offer him a one-way contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo could get a fresh start elsewhere but Portzline suggests there’s no guarantee he’ll find it after this season. If the Jackets are willing to bring him back I can see him returning on an affordable one- or two-year deal.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 25, 2022

Claude Giroux collects points in his Panthers debut, David Pastrnak tallies his 12th career hat trick, general managers to discuss closing the “LTIR playoff loophole” and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Claude Giroux had two assists in his debut with the Florida Panthers as they held off the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Former Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot picked up an assist in his first game against his former team. Canadiens blueliner Jeff Petry left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. The Panthers (92 points) move one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Dallas Stars on a shootout goal by Tyler Seguin. Scott Wedgewood picked up the win with a 44-save performance while Roope Hintz scored twice in regulation. Nino Niederreiter netted two goals for the Hurricanes. The Stars (74 points) remain one point ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied his 12th career hat trick in a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Erik Haula collected three assists and Hampus Lindholm collected an assist in his first game with Boston. The Bruins (85 points) move into third place in the Atlantic Division, knocking the Lighting into the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth. They’re also tied with the Leafs but the latter holds second place in the Division with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh left the game after blocking a shot in the third period.

The Vegas Golden Knights got a goal and two assists from Evgenii Dadonov to thump the Nashville Predators 6-1 to avoid falling further behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card spot. It was Dadonov’s first game since his trade to the Anaheim Ducks was overturned by the league. The Predators, meanwhile, are three points up on the Stars in the first wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights center Brett Howden was stretchered from the game following a hit by Predators winger Filip Forsberg. He was reportedly conscious, in stable condition with full movement of his limbs and sent to a hospital for further tests.

Earlier in the day, the Predators announced defenseman Mark Borowiecki is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Connor McDavid added two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. McDavid sits atop the scoring race with 95 points, five ahead of Draisaitl. With 77 points, the Oilers are two points behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. Sharks captain Logan Couture left the game with an upper-body injury.

The Kings, meanwhile, picked up a point in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist in regulation and potted the winning goal in the shootout while Colin Delia made 43 saves for the win. Phillip Danault scored twice for the Kings.

An overtime goal by Joel Eriksson Ek lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist and Cam Talbot kicked out 26 shots as the Wild (80 points) sit one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues in second place in the Central Division. With 71 points, the Canucks are four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Blues, while, fell 5-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers. Travis Konecny scored two goals and Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. Earlier in the day, the Blues announced Tyler Bozak (lower-body) was moved to injured reserve.

A four-goal third period by the Ottawa Senators carried them to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, leaving the latter five points out of the final Western wild-card spot. Brady Tkachuk scored twice and Tim Stutzle collected two assists for the Senators. Jets winger Kyle Connor netted his 40th goal of the season.

The New York Islanders picked up their fourth win in their last five games by downing the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Brock Nelson scored twice and Anders Lee had three assists.

HEADLINES

DAILY FACEOFF: Closing the LTIR playoff loophole in the salary cap will be among the items up for discussion in next week’s meetings of NHL general managers. Some general managers aren’t happy that some teams exceed the salary cap in the regular season with players on long-term injury reserve only to see those players return to the lineup for the playoffs when the salary cap no longer counts.

One proposed solution is to have 20 players iced by a team in a playoff game to count against the salary cap. Any attempted changes to the salary cap or to roster requirements, however, would constitute a material change of the collective bargaining agreement and would have to be negotiated with the NHL Players Association.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some would consider this the “Nikita Kucherov rule”, which arose because the Tampa Bay Lightning winger returned to action at the start of the 2021 playoffs after spending last season on LTIR recovering from offseason hip surgery. That allowed the Lightning the salary-cap flexibility to exceed the cap by the equivalent of Kucherov’s $9.5 million annual cap hit and add players before the trade deadline.

This loophole has existed since the implementation of the salary cap in 2005 and was used before, specifically by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 when Patrick Kane went on LTIR several weeks before the trade deadline with a broken collarbone. It’s taken this long, however, for some general managers to have an issue with it.

Bear in mind that medical substantiation must be provided to the league to justify placing a player on LTIR. The league looked into Kucherov’s status late last season and concluded the Lightning did nothing wrong.

Assuming the majority of general managers support this proposal, I don’t expect the PA to be onboard with it. This could be an issue that gets revisited during the next round of collective bargaining.

NBC SPORTS: The International Ice Hockey Federation has asked an independent ethics council board to investigate the Russian Hockey Federation and former IIHF president Rene Fasel regarding issues related to the war in Ukraine. Fasel was critical of the IIHF’s decisions to ban Russia and Belarus from upcoming international competitions. He’s serving as an advisor to Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo will undergo season-ending hip surgery. He’s expected to make a full recovery in six months.

TSN: New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery while defenseman Scott Mayfield is done for the season with a lower-body injury.

Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway was fined $2,000.00 for diving/embellishment by the NHL department of player safety.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2022

Corey Perry reaches a goal milestone in the Lightning’s win over the Oilers, the Avalanche extends their lead atop the overall standings, the Leafs place Jake Muzzin on LTIR, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Corey Perry tallied his 400th career goal as he helped the Tampa Bay Lightning hold off the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. The Lightning surged to a 4-1 lead and sealed the win with Nikita Kucherov’s empty-netter after the Oilers rallied to within one goal. Perry, Kucherov and Pat Maroon each finished the night with a goal and an assist. Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice and teammate Leon Draisaitl collected three assists as both are tied for the points lead with 73. With 72 points, the Lightning sits three back of the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers. The loss dropped the Oilers (59 points) into the second Western Conference wild-card berth.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Corey Perry (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss has some pundits wondering what Oilers general manager Ken Holland will do to address his club’s leaky goaltending. It’s been a problem all season, renewing speculation over whether Holland will make a move to address this issue before the March 21 trade deadline.

The Colorado Avalanche (78 points) opened a three-point lead over the Panthers for first place in the overall standings with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Pavel Francouz made 32 saves for the win while Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals and Cale Makar picked up two assists. Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin and defenseman Moritz Seider each collected two assists. Avs center Nathan MacKinnon missed this contest with a lower-body injury but is expected to play against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Los Angeles Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson tallied two goals (including the game-winner) as his club nipped the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. The win vaults the Kings (61 points) over the Oilers into third place in the Pacific Division.

An overtime goal by Tyler Seguin lifted the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Seguin finished the night with two points while teammate Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 36 shots. The Stars (58 points) are one point behind the Oilers and Anaheim Ducks while the Jets (53 points) are six points out of that final Western wild-card berth.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault kicked out 32 shots for his first NHL shutout to blank the Buffalo Sabres 4-0. Nick Suzuki scored twice and collected an assist while Cole Caufield had a goal and an assist. Canadiens forwards Josh Anderson (head injury) and Paul Byron (upper-body injury) left the game and will be re-evaluated later today. The Habs have won four straight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield remains on a torrid scoring pace under the tutelage of interim coach Martin St. Louis. The rookie winger has six goals and 10 points in his last seven games.

HEADLINES

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed defenseman Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve as he recovers from a head injury (concussion) suffered during Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Canadiens. He’ll be sidelined for at least 10 games and 24 days. The move would allow the Leafs to exceed the salary cap by roughly the equivalent of Muzzin’s $5.625 million annual cap hit if they choose to add a player or two before the March 21 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind the Leafs would have to become cap compliant if they use that LTIR space to acquire a player should Muzzin return to action before the end of the season. It’ll be interesting to see how general manager Kyle Dubas addresses this situation.

The Leafs also announced yesterday prospect forward Rodion Amirov has a brain tumor. The 20-year-old is receiving treatment and remains upbeat that he’ll overcome this condition and resume his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Amirov for a swift and complete recovery.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens will provide a medical update on Friday on the condition of Carey Price. The 34-year-old goaltender has been recovering from off-season knee surgery. He also spent the first month of this season in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for substance abuse and mental health reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price’s on-ice workouts stopped on Feb. 15 but he’s continuing off-ice workouts. It remains to be seen if he’ll return at all this season. At this stage, it might be best if he puts his focus on working toward returning next season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, they promoted John Sedgwick to assistant general manager. He’d been their vice-president of hockey operations and legal affairs since 2017.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira underwent surgery on his lower back on Tuesday. He’s expected to be sidelined 10-12 weeks, effectively ending his season.

ABC 6: Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 15 with a lower-body injury. NHL.com reports Jackets netminder Daniil Tarasov’s season is over after undergoing surgery on his right hip. His recovery period is six months.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks president Jonathan Becher declared it’s “highly unlikely” his club will undergo a “proactive rebuild” of its roster. He felt it would be difficult selling season tickets for the next three to five years if the club wasn’t going to be very good over that period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What also hurts season ticket sales is a club in need of a rebuild refusing to do so and icing a product that fails to improve. If you do a rebuild correctly you can sell your fans on hope for the future. Of course, there could be other factors at play here. The pandemic hit all teams hard, some more than others. Perhaps the Sharks could have a more pressing need for revenue compared to other clubs.

TSN: Former NHL forward Sean Avery, 41, has signed a standard player contract with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. He last played professional hockey 10 years ago.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2022

Check out my analysis of Daily Faceoff’s Trade Targets list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot, and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl top Frank Seravalli’s top-25 NHL trade targets list.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lot of speculation over where Giroux could go with the Colorado Avalanche believed the front-runner. As Seravalli points out, the 34-year-old Flyers captain’s no-movement clause gives him full control over this situation.

Chiarot is expected to return to action next week from a minor injury, sparking conjecture the Canadiens could trade him soon. The Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues are said to be among his suitors.

Hertl and the Sharks have reportedly started contract extension talks. As Seravalli observes, there’s no certainty they’ll reach an agreement before the March 21 trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Hagel and Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun sit fourth and fifth. Seravalli reports the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames were known to have talks with the Blackhawks about Hagel, though the Flames moved on to Tyler Toffoli.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I noted yesterday the report by Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times citing a source saying Hagel was virtually off the table. The Blackhawks could be listening to offers for just about everyone but Hagel probably won’t be moved unless they get a terrific offer.

As for Chychrun, lots of teams are believed to be interested. However, the Coyotes’ hefty asking price of a high first-round pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player explains why he’s still in Arizona.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Canadiens blueliner Jeff Petry, and Seattle Kraken rearguard Mark Giordano fill spots six through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli notes the Boeser trade chatter increased soon after the Canucks new management team was in place. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll cost $7.5 million to qualify his rights.

However, the Canucks are still chasing a playoff berth in the Western Conference. Hockey ops president Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin both said there’s no urgency to make trades. They could wait until the offseason to shop Boeser if they can’t reach an agreement on a new contract or receive a suitable trade offer before the March 21 deadline.

The Stars are also in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference. They might not shop pending UFA Klingberg unless they fall out of contention over the next four weeks. Fleury’s contract and modified no-trade clause make shipping him to a Stanley Cup contender a difficult move. The same goes for Petry. Giordano, on the other hand, could end up on the move before March 21 if the Kraken can find him a suitable destination.

Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul, Canucks forward J.T. Miller, Stars winger Joe Pavelski, New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, and Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo fill spots 11 to 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paul, Pavelski and Korpisalo are UFAs this summer while Georgiev is a restricted free agent. The Senators hope to retain Paul but they could shop him if they can’t reach an agreement on an extension.

What I said about Klingberg applies to Pavelski. I continue to have my doubts the Rangers will move Georgiev as that will send them into a thin goalie market for an experienced, reliable backup.

New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha, Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp, Blue Jackets winger Max Domi, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith are in spots 16 to 20.

Zacha and DeBrusk are RFAs with arbitration rights while the others are UFAs. The Devils could entertain offers for Zacha but they can also afford to wait until the offseason. It’s been three months since DeBrusk requested a trade.

Copp will draw interest in the trade market if the Jets become sellers but that’s not yet a certainty. The well-traveled Domi could be on the move again. The Golden Knights won’t have to trade Smith to clear cap space if Mark Stone and Alec Martinez remain on LTIR for the remainder of the regular season.

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell, Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Leddy, Coyotes winger Phil Kessel and Calvin de Haan round out the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rakell could be on the move if the Ducks continue to slide out of playoff contention. Roslovic has really struggled following the Jackets coaching change last summer. Leddy and de Haan should be affordable pickups for playoff contenders seeking defensive depth. Kessel could also interest clubs looking for a winger with playoff experience.