Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 16, 2024

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 16, 2024

A look at Daily Faceoff’s list of potential contract buyout candidates in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli has Los Angeles Kings center Pierre-Luc Dubois atop his list of potential contract buyout candidates this summer.

Seravalli acknowledged Kings general manager Rob Blake indicating the club doesn’t plan on buying out the 25-year-old Dubois. However, he thinks it makes too much sense to do so if it can be done before the forward turns 26 on June 24. Until that date, they could buy him out at one-third of the remaining value over twice the remaining tenure of the contract. If he’s bought out at age 26 or older, it’s at two-thirds the remaining value.

Los Angeles Kings center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The buyout period begins on June 15 or 48 hours following the completion of the Stanley Cup Final, whichever is later. The latest the current series runs is June 24.

Blake was firm when he said that Dubois wouldn’t be bought out. We’ve since seen or heard little indication he or his superiors will change their minds.

Seravalli’s other buyout candidates include Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell, New York Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow, Ottawa Senators goalie Joonas Korpisalo, New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug, Philadelphia Flyers netminder Cal Petersen, Flyers winger Cam Atkinson, and Dallas Stars defenseman Ryan Suter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petersen and Atkinson are the most likely to be bought out. On June 7, Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said his club was examining its options, including buyouts for those two players.

Campbell was a free-agent bust for the Oilers. They’ve put their faith in Stuart Skinner as their starter this season, banishing Campbell to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. A buyout wouldn’t be out of the question, especially if they want to free up cash to re-sign restricted free agent Evan Bouchard this summer.

Goodrow is another possibility as the cap-strapped Rangers consider their options this summer. However, there could be a trade market for him given his playoff experience. Suter could also become a cost-cutting casualty.

The Islanders could prefer to trade Pageau rather than go the buyout route to free up salary. He popped up in trade rumors earlier this season.

The Senators are rumored to be shopping for an upgrade between the pipes. That could require clearing Korpisalo from their books.

Most reports out of Ottawa thus far suggest they could return with the tandem of Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg and hope they improve next season. Still, if there’s a chance to add someone like Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom or Boston’s Linus Ullmark, buying out Korpisalo could become a realistic option.

Krug used his no-trade clause last summer to reject a trade with the Flyers. He could become a buyout candidate if the Blues become desperate to create cap space for next season.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2024

A look at what could be in store for the Blues during the offseason plus speculation of a possible coaching change for the Red Wings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE BLUES DURING THE OFFSEASON?

THE ATHLETIC: With the St. Louis Blues poised to miss the playoffs again, Jeremy Rutherford believes St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will shake up his roster during the offseason.

The Blues will still be retooling their roster. Rutherford doesn’t see Armstrong making significant, expensive upgrades. Any big moves could involve money going out rather than coming in. He also doesn’t see the Blues GM spending to the salary cap next season.

Rutherford doesn’t expect pending unrestricted free agents Sammy Blais and Kasperi Kapanen will be back. Marco Scandella could also be allowed to walk depending on what plans Armstrong has for his top-four defense and for Scott Perunovich.

He also doesn’t believe the Blues will buy out a high-salaried defenseman’s contract. Armstrong hasn’t gone the buyout route since becoming the general manager in 2010. He could instead attempt to package one of them with a draft pick or prospect in a trade.

St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich (NHL Images)

Rutherford doesn’t see the Blues shying away from signing winger Pavel Buchnevich to a long-term extension. He thinks it could come down to where they see Buchnevich’s arc, how much he wants and if they think they’re going to compete in the next few years.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli recently examined the Blues’ options if they attempt to move a high-salaried defenseman like Colton Parayko, Torey Krug, Justin Faulk and Nick Leddy. All are signed for at least two more seasons after 2023-24 and have no-trade clauses.

Parayko would have the most value but he’s also the defenseman the Blues probably don’t want to move. They tried to trade Krug last summer and a lot of teams view the undersized defenseman differently in the playoffs. There are also some diminishing returns on Faulk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the goal is to shed salary the Blues have to move one of those four defensemen. They had a deal in place last June to send Krug to the Philadelphia Flyers but he used his no-trade clause to reject the trade as is his right.

Armstrong could approach one of those blueliners and ask them for a list of preferred destinations if he hasn’t already done so. Parayko is probably the only one he could move without having to include sweeteners in the deal. The rest could cost some combination of draft picks, prospects and a good young NHL player to make it happen.

Buchnevich surfaced in the rumor mill leading up to last month’s trade deadline. Some teams reportedly contacted Armstrong asking if he was available. The Blues GM wasn’t shopping the 28-year-old winger but was willing to set a high asking price to see if anyone would meet it.

Armstrong could follow the same plan this summer if teams come calling about Buchnevich. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Blues signed him to a contract extension.

COULD THE RED WINGS HIRE BERUBE AS THEIR NEW HEAD COACH?

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff reported a source told him that Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is mulling the possibility of a coaching change in the offseason.

The source claimed Yzerman could replace Derek Lalonde as head coach if the Wings fail to reach the playoffs this season. Lalonde is currently in the second year of a three-year contract.

Former St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube is said to be at the top of Yzerman’s wish list.

Another source told Duff that Yzerman read the riot act to his coaching staff and players on Friday regarding their recent lackluster performance. They’re 0-2-2 on their current five-game road trip that ends on Monday in Tampa Bay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings were in freefall throughout March, winning just three of 14 games. They tumbled out of a wildcard berth and sit two points out of a playoff spot with eight games to play.

Duff noted that the Wings’ slow start to games, their puck management and defensive structure have been issues this season. Part of that is how the team is constructed, which is Yzerman’s department. However, the coaching staff also deserves its share of the blame.

It wouldn’t be shocking if Yzerman shook up his coaching staff by hiring a more experienced bench boss with Stanley Cup experience.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2024

Recaps of Sunday’s game and the Leafs Morgan Rielly faces an in-person hearing for cross-checking Ridly Greig. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by J.T. Miller with 4.8 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. Thatcher Demko stopped 31 shots for the 35-12-6 Canucks (76 points) as they opened a three-point lead over the Boston Bruins for first place in the overall standings. Alex Ovechkin scored for the fifth straight game as his Capitals (23-20-8) sit six points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (NHL Images).

St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug collected five assists as his club thumped the Montreal Canadiens 7-2. Robert Thomas had a goal and three assists while Jordan Kyrou tallied twice for the Blues (28-21-2) as they hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 58 points. Nick Suzuki and Joel Armia scored for the 21-23-8 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug’s five assists were a single-game franchise record for a Blues defenseman.

Meanwhile, Canadiens blueliner Jordan Harris left the game with an upper-body injury (suspected concussion) after being boarded by Blues forward Sammy Blais, who received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. Before this contest, the Canadiens announced that forward Rafael Harvey-Pinard would be sidelined for four to six weeks with a lower-body injury.

HEADLINES

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly has an in-person meeting with the NHL’s department of player safety for cross-checking Ottawa Senators center Ridly Grieg during Saturday’s game between their two clubs. Rielly took exception over Greig firing a slap shot into the empty Leafs net during the dying seconds of the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rielly could be facing a suspension of five games for more. Meanwhile, Leafs and Senators fans lit up social media over the weekend arguing over the incident.

With the Senators assured of victory in that game, Greig may have been rubbing it in a bit with his slapshot empty-netter. Frustrated over the game’s result, Rielly took exception to it.

Rielly’s defenders argue that Greig violated an unwritten code or was guilty of poor sportsmanship. However, there is nothing in the rule book against the way that goal was scored. It was no excuse for Rielly deliberately attempting to injure Greig by cross-checking him in the head.

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was fined $5,000.00 for spearing Washington Capitals winger Max Pacioretty on Saturday.

CBS SPORTS: Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Foligno will miss the club’s next two games with a lower-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice picked up his 850th career NHL coaching victory when his club shut out the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 on Saturday. He moved into sole possession of fifth place for the most coaching victories in league history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: New Jersey Devils bench boss Lindy Ruff sits nine wins ahead of Maurice in fourth place with 859.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2024

Could the Canucks pursue Jake Guentzel? Will the Kings attempt to land Jake Allen? Which players could become Blues trade candidates? Find out in the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE CANUCKS PURSUE GUENTZEL?

SPORTSNET: During his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast episode, Elliotte Friedman expressed his belief that the Vancouver Canucks would be interested in acquiring Jake Guentzel if the Pittsburgh Penguins winger becomes available before the March 8 trade deadline.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

Friedman noted that Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford knows Guentzel from his days as Penguins general manager. However, he also said a lot of other clubs would be interested in the 29-year-old winger, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Kyle Dubas earlier this week dismissed recent trade speculation about Guentzel, saying he hasn’t had discussions about him with other clubs. Dubas also said at some point they’ll evaluate what’s best for Guentzel and the Penguins going forward.

With the Penguins jockeying for a wild-card berth Dubas could hang onto Guentzel as an own rental for the remainder of this season. Perhaps he’s already decided that he’s keeping the winger in the fold and has no plans to move him regardless of where his club sits in the standings.

Rutherford has said he’d like to add a top-six forward before the trade deadline. He’ll probably look into the cost of acquiring Guentzel if he’s available. Whether he’d be willing to pay what could be a steep asking price or can outbid other clubs is another matter.

JAKE ALLEN TO THE KINGS?

TVA SPORTS: cited Friedman also talking about where Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen might end up. He believes the Canadiens’ asking price is a draft pick but that could go higher if an interested club wants the Habs to retain part of his $3.85 million average annual value through 2024-25.

Friedman said at one point earlier in this season he thought the 33-year-old Allen would be headed to the Edmonton Oilers but he’s not convinced of that now. Instead, he suggested the Canadiens goalie could be a trade target for the Los Angeles Kings.

I think they’re going to acquire a goalie,” said Friedman. “Whether it’s Allen or whoever, I think they will add a goalie.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings were getting good goaltending from aging starter Cam Talbot but he’s had his difficulties in recent games. With Pheonix Copley sidelined for the season by a knee injury, call-up David Rittich has performed well in limited action.

It remains to be seen if Kings management is willing to stick with Rittich as a backup for the rest of the season. They could look for someone with a more reliable record.

WHICH BLUES COULD BECOME TRADE CANDIDATES?

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford recently looked at which players the St. Louis Blues could attempt to move if they become sellers before the March 8 trade deadline.

Sammy Blais, Oskar Sundqvist, Kasperi Kapanen, Jakub Vrana and Marco Scandella are their notable pending unrestricted free agents. Of these, Rutherford expects Sundqvist might the the only one with a chance of re-signing with the Blues.

Other trade candidates could include Pavel Buchnevich, Jordan Binnington, Justin Faulk, Brandon Saad, Nick Leddy and Torey Krug. They all have term remaining on their respective contracts, making them more likely to be off-season trade candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug used his no-trade clause to nix a move to Philadelphia last summer. Unless he has a change of mind or a preferable trade destination, I don’t see him going anywhere. The same goes for Binnington, Saad, Faulk and Leddy as they also possess full no-trade protection.

Buchnevich, meanwhile, has a 12-team no-trade clause while Scandella’s is a seven-team NTC. That makes them easier to move than the others but still limits the number of potential trade partners.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 14, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 14, 2023

Are more changes in store for the Blues following their coaching change? What’s the latest Penguins speculation? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD MORE CHANGES BE IN STORE FOR THE BLUES

NHL NETWORK (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman looked at other possible moves for the St. Louis Blues following their coaching change.

He noted that general manager Doug Armstrong indicated in his press conference that there was no guarantee that interim head coach Drew Bannister would be in that role for the remainder of the season. Bannister was head coach of their AHL affiliate in Springfield before Berube’s firing.

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong (NHL.com).

Friedman thinks Armstrong has “specific people he wants to talk to” regarding his club’s head-coaching position. He wondered if one of them could be former Edmonton Oilers bench boss Jay Woodcroft.

Asked if other personnel changes could be in store, he noted that Armstrong isn’t afraid to make bold moves. He pointed out the Blues had a deal in place last summer with the Philadelphia Flyers that would’ve sent defenseman Torey Krug to the Flyers for blueliner Travis Sanheim but Krug invoked his no-trade clause to spike the deal. He also observed that Armstrong tried to trade struggling winger Jakub Vrana before putting him on waivers.

Friedman doesn’t think Armstrong is trying to trade players such as Robert Thomas or Colton Parayko. However, he wouldn’t be surprised if the Blues GM could make some roster changes if things don’t improve soon.

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford noted Armstrong said making roster changes was difficult to achieve during his press conference on Wednesday. The Blues GM said he’s spoken to teams and seen what’s out there. Nevertheless, he stressed that nobody in their current group should feel safe right now. “I mean player-wise, management-wise.”

If the Blues fail to improve, Armstrong said he’s not against buying players out who carry long-term contracts with no-trade clauses, though he feels that’s not his first course of action. He’s also not against demoting players to the Blues’ AHL farm team if he feels they’re not pulling their weight. He said that nothing can be off the table for management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are just one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Big changes to the roster probably won’t happen as long as they remain competitive for a playoff berth. If they collapse and tumble down the standings, perhaps more significant moves will be in store.

Those Blues carrying long-term contracts with no-trade clauses include forwards Brayden Schenn and Brandon Saad, defensemen such as Krug, Parayko, Justin Faulk and Nick Leddy, and goaltender Jordan Binnington. Any attempt to move one or more of those players likely won’t happen until next summer at the earliest assuming any of them would waive their no-trade clauses.

LATEST ON THE PENGUINS

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun noted Pittsburgh Penguins GM Kyle Dubas’ remarks on Monday about deciding on the club’s future by the All-Star break in February. He believes Dubas wants to give his current roster time to overcome their current woes in the standings and prove to him what they have.

Dubas is on a seven-year contract. LeBrun believes that gives him time to implement a long-term vision while hoping to avoid a roster teardown for as long as possible. He also suggested that Sidney Crosby’s contract (which runs through 2024-25) could be the most important target date for Dubas’ plans.

Given the contracts of Evgeni Malkin, Erik Karlsson and Kris Letang, it won’t be easy to stage a roster teardown. However, LeBrun points out that Dubas’ acquisition of Karlsson last summer shows where there’s a will there’s a way.

LeBrun doubts those players would block a trade to a contender if Dubas goes into teardown mode. The question then becomes how much salary would the Penguins have to retain to move them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The acquisition of Karlsson (and that of Reilly Smith) was to provide a short-term boost to the Penguins roster to give their core of Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Jake Guentzel one more opportunity to stage a run for the Stanley Cup before their contracts expire or age catches up with them.

If Crosby wants to stay in Pittsburgh it’ll be interesting to see how long he’ll want to stick around, especially if the Penguins are heading into a rebuild or if it appears to be on the horizon.

Dubas is just trying to put it off for as long as possible until most of those players are finished with their contracts or in the final year of their deals. By that point, the rebuild can begin in earnest.

A roster rebuild is inevitable. It could come much sooner than Dubas or the Penguins’ veteran core expected it to occur.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 30, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 30, 2023

How long will the Blues continue to carry eight defensemen? Can the Canadiens capitalize in the goalie trade market? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford pondered how long the St. Louis Blues will continue to carry eight defensemen this season. They’re currently doing so because they don’t want to risk losing Tyler Tucker or Scott Perunovich on waivers trying to send them to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (NHL Images).

If this season continues going the way it has for the Blues, Rutherford wondered if they might revisit the trade market for Torey Krug or other defensemen such as Robert Bortuzzo or Marco Scandella. The latter two are slated to become unrestricted free agents next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford isn’t sure how much interest those three might draw in the trade market. The Blues attempted to move Krug to the Philadelphia Flyers in June but he invoked his no-trade clause and could do so again.

Scandella carries a $3.275 million cap hit plus a seven-team no-trade clause. Bortuzzo carries a more affordable $900K cap hit and lacks no-trade protection but he might not draw much interest and won’t fetch much of a return.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont noted the Canadiens continue to carry three goaltenders in Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau. Goalies tend to carry little value in the trade market but a rival club in need of depth between the pipes could pony up assets to acquire one.

Dumont noted that the Buffalo Sabres might fall into that category, pointing out that Eric Comrie will be sidelined for several weeks with a lower-body injury. They briefly called up Devin Cooley following Comrie’s injury but returned him to their AHL affiliate as Devon Levi is expected to return to action this week.

There’s no indication that the Sabres and Canadiens have engaged in talks with teams like the Sabres. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if they did given that Habs general manager Kent Hughes is keen to move a netminder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible the Canadiens will move one of their three goaltenders at some point this season. For now, however, it doesn’t appear as though the Sabres will be a trade partner. They appear content for now to stick with their current goalies. If not the Sabres, perhaps another team will come calling if injuries or inconsistent play becomes an issue.