NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2022

An update on Jakob Chychrun plus the latest on the Blackhawks plus in today’s NHL rumor mill.

GOPHNX.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Craig Morgan was asked about Jakob Chychrun’s future with the Arizona Coyotes. He believes once rumors got out that teams were calling about the 24-year-old defenseman that his camp became open to the idea of a trade.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Morgan doesn’t think Chychrun, who’s signed through 2024-25, wants to sacrifice three seasons of his playing prime in a rebuild. He doesn’t see Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong budging from his high asking price. If teams aren’t willing to pay it this summer (and Chychrun’s subpar season didn’t help), Armstrong won’t trade him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The passing of last month’s NHL trade deadline brought an end to the seemingly endless Chychrun trade speculation that had been ongoing since last fall. Things are quiet now but we can expect the rumors to ramp up again as teams are eliminated from the playoffs, reaching another fever pitch approaching the 2022 NHL Draft on July 7 and 8.

Despite the decline in Chychrun’s production this season, his age, puck-moving skills and affordable $4.6 million contract will ensure he remains an attractive trade candidate this summer. A number of the clubs that were linked to him before the trade deadline, such as the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues could revisit their interest when the offseason begins.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently speculated over the potential rebuilding plans of Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson in the upcoming offseason. If they end up with one of the top two picks in this year’s draft following next month’s draft lottery and send their 2023 first-round to Columbus as part of the Seth Jones trade, perhaps Davidson will have some incentive to improve the club next season. He won’t want that pick to turn into a generational talent for the Jackets if he tanked next season.

On the other hand, if the Blackhawks don’t get that top-two placement and send their 2022 pick to the Blue Jackets, Davidson could commence a major teardown to improve his club’s chances of winning next year’s draft lottery. That could mean letting restricted free agents Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome walk this summer without bringing in top-six forwards to replace them.

A league source told Powers they wouldn’t be shocked if Davidson shopped Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat this summer. However, there’s no indication the Blackhawks GM has any plans to do that. Davidson is expected to meet with Pat Brisson, the agent for Kane and team captain Jonathan Toews, to discuss his offseason plans.

Meanwhile, Mark Lazerus recently reported Tyler Johnson is willing to embrace a role in the Blackhawks’ rebuild. However, it’s uncertain where he fits in Davidson’s plans.

Johnson is signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value of $5 million. He could fill a veteran leader role if Toews and/or Kane decide to move on from the Blackhawks. Otherwise, Davidson could attempt to move Johnson via trade or buy out the remainder of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks will be one of the clubs worth watching during this offseason. Big changes could be in the works that might involve a core player like Toews, Kane or DeBrincat moving on. Davidson won’t shop those guys just for the sake of making changes. However, as we saw with the Brandon Hagel trade, he’ll be willing to move those players for the right offer.

Toews and Kane are in the final seasons of their respective contracts with $10.5-million annual cap hits and full no-movement clauses. DeBrincat is a year away from becoming a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He has a $6.4-million annual cap hit and lacks no-trade protection but is slated to earn $9 million in actual salary next season.

Johnson’s decline in production and injury history could make him a tough sell in this summer’s trade market. He also has a 20-team list of preferred trade destinations. Cap Friendly shows a buyout will count as over $2.6 million next season, $1.66 million in 2023-24, followed by over $1.46 million for each of the final two years.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup (Part Two) – March 20, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup (Part Two) – March 20, 2022

Check out the latest on the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Islanders, Coyotes and Rangers in Part Two of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers wonders what Plan B will be for the Colorado Avalanche after failing to acquire Claude Giroux yesterday. He suggested the Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Max Domi and the Ottawa Senators’ Nick Paul as potential rental options.

THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh suggested the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp, Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel and Montreal Canadiens’ Artturi Lehkonen among his list of possible Avalanche trade targets.

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic could stand pat after acquiring Josh Manson and Nico Sturm last week. However, I don’t think he’s done scouring the market. One of those aforementioned forwards could end up with the Avs by tomorrow’s 3 PM ET deadline.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander mused over whether Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell will be active in the trade market before tomorrow’s deadline, especially when Eastern rivals such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers have already made moves to bolster their rosters. He wondered if they might be interested in a forward like the Ducks’ Rickard Rakell, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dominik Kubalik or the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes GM Don Waddell has a recent history of making moves at the trade deadline. In 2020, he acquired center Vincent Trocheck and defenseman Brady Skjei. I wouldn’t rule out Waddell swinging a deal before tomorrow’s deadline.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz cites sources suggesting there’s a good possibility the New York Islanders won’t move pending unrestricted free agents such as Zdeno Chara, Zach Parise, Andy Greene and Cal Clutterbuck. Recent speculation also suggests Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov and defenseman Scott Mayfield could stay put.

One source didn’t rule out Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello attempting to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun either at the deadline or during the offseason. Doing so could mean shipping out a forward such as Andrew Beauvillier or Josh Bailey in a separate deal and using the savings to improve the blue line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello is the most secretive GM in the NHL. He’s been known to cancel potential deals that get leaked to the media. He could stand pat, make a minor move or surprise us all with a blockbuster. Your guess is as good as mine.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan noted recent reports suggesting the Arizona Coyotes could move pending UFA goalie Karel Vejmelka. However, he feels the Coyotes could get him under contract.

The Coyotes still seek a king’s ransom for Jakob Chychrun but there are limited resources and few playoff hopefuls willing to make that move. The Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins were considered among the suitors but the latter is out now that they’ve acquired Hampus Lindholm. With Chychrun signed beyond this season, the Coyotes can revisit this in the offseason.

The Coyotes haven’t found any takers for winger Phil Kessel, who sought a trade to a contender earlier in the season. Morgan also doubts the Coyotes will part with forward Christian Fischer. He wondered if there might be any interest in sidelined pending free agents Johan Larsson and Jay Beagle. Both players are set to return to full practice on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d expect a Chychrun deal to go down in the offseason when teams have more resources and cap space they’re willing to invest in a major move. Kessel could draw some interest provided the Coyotes retain half of his $6.8 million cap hit.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks doesn’t see the Rangers trading goaltender Alexandar Georgiev at the trade deadline unless they bring in a suitable backup to replace him. He suggested the Detroit Red Wings’ Thomas Greiss as an option.










NHL Rumor Mill (Part Two) – March 19, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill (Part Two) – March 19, 2022

Check out the latest on the Golden Knights, Rangers, Blackhawks, Canadiens, Wild and Capitals in Part Two of today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

ARE THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS INTERESTED IN VARLAMOV?

NYI HOCKEY NOW/VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner and Owen Krepps cite sources claiming Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon is “pushing hard” to acquire goaltender Semyon Varlamov from the New York Islanders. Vegas starter Robin Lehner’s been hampered by injuries while backup Laurent Brossoit has struggled of late.

The Isles’ asking price is reportedly a first-round pick. Vegas traded their 2022 first-rounder to the Buffalo Sabres in last November’s deal for Jack Eichel but have their first-round picks for 2023 and 2024.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Varlamov carries a $5 million cap hit through 2022-23 so he wouldn’t be a rental player. However, he also has a 16-team no-trade list, though Vegas might not be on it. With Ilya Sorokin playing well as the Isles starter and GM Lou Lamoriello needing to shed some salary for next season, perhaps a Varalmov deal is possible. Whether it’s with the Golden Knights remains to be seen.

IS ANOTHER TRADE COMING FOR THE RANGERS?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks speculates Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell could be a good fit alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad on the Rangers’ top line if the price is right. A first-round pick could be asking too much though Brooks believes Rangers GM Chris Drury is keeping an open mind about that. The better of the Rangers’ two second-rounders should be on the table but more would probably be needed to acquire Rakell.

Brooks also cites sources reporting the Rangers have Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano on their radar. However, the price for rental players is high this year. It’s unclear if the Rangers could get Giordano and Rakell without dipping into their pool of prime assets.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple also indicated the Rangers are kicking tires on the Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Max Domi and the Arizona Coyotes’ Phil Kessel, though the latter two are low on their list. GM Chris Drury also called the Montreal Canadiens about Artturi Lehkonen but his improved play under coach Martin St. Louis could see him staying put. Drury could also see if a team is willing to take a flier on the Rangers struggling backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drury is sitting on nearly $32 million in trade deadline cap space and has plenty of tradeable assets to swing a deal for one or two of those aforementioned players I’ll be surprised if his recent acquisition of Frank Vatrano is his biggest deadline move.

WILL THE BLACKHAWKS MOVE KUBALIK AND DE HAAN?

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope recently reported the Blackhawks were making progress on a trade involving winger Dominik Kubalik, whose production has significantly declined this season. The Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks appear the front-runners.

Pope also anticipates Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan will be on the move by deadline day. Sources suggest the club could get the second- or third-round pick they’ve set as their asking price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kubalik is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. His annual cap hit is $3.7 million but he’s earning $4 million in actual salary. I didn’t post this rumor earlier because it appeared a trade was imminent. So far, however, there’s no indication yet that the Blackhawks are any closer to moving Kubalik.

Meanwhile, de Haan is an experienced stay-at-home blueliner slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He should be an affordable acquisition for a playoff contender.

COULD THE CANADIENS MOVE LEHKONEN OR KULAK?

TSN: Darren Dreger yesterday reported there is “high interest” in Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen leading up to Monday’s trade deadline. He could continue to produce for the Habs for the next four-five seasons, which is being measured against his trade value.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan recently reported Canadiens GM Kent Hughes isn’t looking to stage a fire sale leading up to deadline day. He indicated he’s not trying to move defenseman Brett Kulak, who became the subject of recent media trade chatter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes also said he wasn’t looking at trading Tyler Toffoli until he got a deal too good to pass up from the Calgary Flames. He could do the same with Lehkonen or Kulak but only if it meets his price. Hughes won’t trade them just for the sake of it.

Lehkonen is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. If he’s only willing to commit to a one-year deal to take him up to UFA status they should trade him for the best possible return.

LATEST ON THE WILD AND CAPITALS

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin recently indicated he’s not trying to trade his way out of his club’s roster problems but is instead trying to make the team better. Though it seems like the Wild were in the market for a star player a few weeks ago, that market seems to have dried up with Joe Pavelski re-signing with the Dallas Stars, Tomas Hertl staying with the San Jose Sharks, and Claude Giroux linked to the Florida Panthers.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo recently reported the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes are showing interest in Jack McBain. The prospect center has indicated he’s not going to sign with the Wild because he doesn’t see a center position opening for himself on their roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin sending Nico Sturm to Colorado for Tyson Jost earlier this week indicates he’s willing to make a move to bolster his roster if the right deal can be found. I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of him adding another player, perhaps one who’ll have more impact than Jost, by deadline day.

THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir expects the Washington Capitals to get in on the action if Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury becomes available in the trade market provided the asking price is palatable. They’re also not interested in goalies who are in the “good-but-not-great” tier.

GM Brian MacLellan isn’t willing to part with his first-round pick or a top prospect for a rental player. Rumors have linked the Capitals to Blue Jackets forward Max Domi. MacLellan is working the phones and we shouldn’t rule anything in or out at this point. He’s in the market for a middle-six forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be a great story if Fleury joined the Capitals given his history playing against them during his years with the Pittsburgh Penguins. At this stage, however, it’s hard to say if Fleury’s going anywhere.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 12, 2022

The latest on Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell, Marc-Andre Fleury, Dominik Kubalik, Max Domi and Joel Armia plus updates on the Blues and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NO LONG-TERM CONTRACT OFFERS FOR LINDHOLM, MANSON AND RAKELL?

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford reports scuttlebutt around the league suggests defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell won’t get long-term contract extension offers from the Anaheim Ducks. Pat Verbeek, their new general manager, is said to favor three- or four-year extension offers (or possibly shorter) rather than six- to eight years deals.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (NHL Images).

Verbeek’s priority is believed to be signing Lindholm. He’s the only one of those three pending unrestricted free agents the Ducks GM mentioned by name during a recent meeting with season-ticket holders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verbeek will have to make the money worth their while if he hopes to get those three to sign deals that are at most four years in length. Otherwise, he should start peddling those three now because I doubt they’ll take less than market value cap-wise on short-term deals to stay in Anaheim.

The annual average value of Lindholm’s current contract is $5.205 million but he’s earning $6.75 million in actual salary. He could seek at least $7 million annually on his next contract.

LATEST ON FLEURY AND KUBALIK

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reports Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury hopes to avoid this summer’s free-agent market by re-signing with the Hawks or inking an extension with whichever club might acquire him at the trade deadline. Pope also reported the Ducks and Edmonton Oilers have been linked to Blackhawks winger Dominik Kubalik.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He could be amenable to a one-year contract but could seek something not too far below his current annual average value of $7 million.

Kubalik is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. He’s earning an annual average value of $3.7 million while his actual salary this season is $4 million. Maybe the Ducks are eyeing the 26-year-old winger as a possible replacement for Rakell.

TEAMS INTERESTED IN DOMI AND ARMIA

TSN: Darren Dreger reports there’s a higher level of interest in the trade market for Max Domi. The Columbus Blue Jackets winger has elevated his play in recent games. Dreger noted Domi may not be among the top tier of players in the trade market but he’s not that far below.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico also cited Dreger reporting the Canadiens have fielded some calls about forward Joel Armia based on his playoff performance over the past two seasons. D’Amico points out Armia has three more seasons left on his contract with an annual average value of $3.4 million, suggesting the Canadiens might have to retain some salary to move him or take back a contract in return.

LATEST ON THE BLUES AND SENATORS

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford weighed in on some of the recent trade speculations regarding the St. Louis Blues. One source said they’re no longer involved in talks with the Seattle Kraken regarding Mark Giordano while Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun isn’t the blueliner they’re focused on as they seek a shutdown rearguard.

The Blues remain interested in the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot and the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy. They’re also seeking a fourth-line penalty-killing forward.

Rutherford acknowledged the trade speculation linking the Blues to Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. While not ruling it out, he considers the addition of Giroux a long shot citing his contract and the Blues’ depth at forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are also bumping up against the $81.5 million salary cap. It will take some creativity to acquire Chiarot or Soucy even though they carry affordable cap hits. It could take a three-team deal to bring Giroux to St. Louis.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion is ready to deal but things are quiet right now in the trade market. He’s willing to move defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Josh Brown and forwards Chris Tierney and Zach Sanford.

Teams are expressing interest in pending UFA forward Nick Paul and goaltender Anton Forsberg. However, the Senators are focused on keeping them.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2022

Check out the latest on the Blackhawks, Rangers and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BLACKHAWKS

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis reports it’s believed the Blackhawks won’t move Marc-Andre Fleury unless he asks to be traded. The 37-year-old goaltender has a 10-team no-trade clause and has surfaced in recent trade rumors, with the latest tying him to his former club, the Vegas Golden Knights. If he does request a trade, they won’t send him somewhere he doesn’t want to go.

Fleury acknowledged if he were to be traded he’d want to play for a Stanley Cup contender. “If…IF…I move, I would love a chance to win,” he said. “That’s what I play for and that’s what I love. It’s still a big if at this point.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason is there are not many Cup contenders seeking an upgrade between the pipes. The Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals could use Fleury but they’re not considered among this season’s Cup favorites. There’s also a report the Capitals attempted to acquire him but it’s rumored he rejected the deal. The remainder of his $7 million cap hit for this season is another sticking point. Fleury could end up finishing this season with the Blackhawks.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports sources said Blackhawks interim general manager Kyle Davidson was listening to offers for wingers Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Hagel. He claims there’s considerable interest in Hagel, who is signed through 2023-24 with a $1.5 million annual salary-cap hit. Seravalli suggests Hagel might fetch a first-round pick and a prospect.

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus reports winger Dominik Kubalik’s struggles this season have him facing an uncertain future with the Blackhawks. The 26-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but his production is down this season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope acknowledged Seravalli’s report about Hagel but said a source told him the 23-year-old winger is virtually off the table. Fleury and defenseman Calvin de Haan are the Blackhawks’ biggest trade chips. Kubalik and fellow RFA Dylan Strome have been on the market for months despite persuasive arguments for keeping both.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson might be listening but that doesn’t mean he’s moving DeBrincat or Hagel. Both are young enough to be core players on this rebuilding roster. Unless the gambit here is to piss off long-time leaders Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to the point where they demand a trade in the offseason, it makes little sense to move DeBrincat or Hagel unless the return is significant.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Kubalik and Strome are traded away, though the decline in their respective production means they won’t fetch much of a return for the Blackhawks. Given their arbitration rights, it might not be worth the hassle to keep them.

RANGERS

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers interest in Vancouver Canucks forward (and former Ranger) J.T. Miller has been “an open secret” for some time. The versatile Miller can skate at center or right wing. He could prove useful to them beyond this season if they’re unable to re-sign pending UFA center Ryan Strome this summer. However, the Blueshirts probably won’t be able to afford an extension for Miller and would have to seek another top-six center in 2023.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports the asking price for Miller could be the classic “draft pick/prospect/player”. He wondered if the Rangers could land him by pitching a first-round pick and promising defenseman Nils Lundkvist.

Staple also commented on a recent report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli saying the Vegas Golden Knights may have reached out to the Rangers about Alexandar Georgiev. However, sources say the Blueshirts haven’t received any real offers yet for the 26-year-old goaltender. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and is a year away from UFA eligibility. Parting with Georgiev would leave the Rangers seeking an experienced replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what moves Rangers GM Chris Drury makes before the March 21 trade deadline. He’s got plenty of deadline cap space and lots of promising young players/prospects to draw upon for trade bait.

Drury is well-positioned to make a solid bid for Miller but would it be with an eye on keeping him beyond next season or as a short-term measure? Will he pass on Miller and consider other options? We’ll find out soon enough.

I’ll be surprised if they move out Georgiev. He’s not a UFA so they can peddle him in the offseason if he doesn’t fit into their plans. He did a good job filling in for starter Igor Shesterkin when he was sidelined for several games earlier this season. Better to stick with the backup you know down the stretch and into the playoffs.

CANUCKS

DAILY FACEOFF/THE ATHLETIC: Scott Burnside and Thomas Drance report Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general and general manager Patrik Allvin are both preaching patience, stressing there’s no urgency for the club to make moves before the March 21 trade deadline.

Rutherford said the final decision to make trades rests with Allvin, who indicated he wants to evaluate his club’s performance as they continue to fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal cited Elliotte Friedman noted the Canucks interest in New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha. However, he also said to keep an eye on the Washington Capitals as they need some help up front.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal listed Zacha, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen, Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman Travis Dermott among several players between 20 and 25 years old that they speculate could be on the Canucks trade radar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks’ new front office still has five weeks before the trade deadline to evaluate their players and determine who to move and who to keep if they decide to become sellers by March 21. It appears they’re going to give this roster a chance to gain some ground in the standings and see if they have a shot at securing a playoff berth. If they fall out of contention, they could start shipping out some players.

The interest in bringing in younger players indicates they’re looking at a quick turnaround rather than a lengthy rebuild. Shopping Miller could help them land such a player. Whether it would be any of those listed above remains to be seen.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2022

The latest Blackhawks speculation includes the Capitals having an interest in Marc-Andre Fleury plus the latest Claude Giroux, Ben Chiarot, Jakub Chychrun and J.T. Miller in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports a league source told him anyone on the Chicago Blackhawks could be had in the trade market. That doesn’t mean they’re shopping players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane or Alex DeBrincat. However, they would do so if Toews or Kane asked to be moved and would at least listen if someone came calling about DeBrincat.

Powers considers Toews, Kane and Seth Jones to be pretty much untouchable. It would take significant offers to pry players such as DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, Lukas Reichel and Brandon Hagel away from the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks could end up giving a first-round pick in 2022 or 2023 to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the conditions for acquiring Jones. However, Powers doesn’t see them giving away a player they covet simply to fill a draft spot.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Powers believes Marc-Andre Fleury will have the best trade value for the Blackhawks, followed by winger Dominik Kubalik and defenseman Calvin de Haan. Fleury and de Haan are unrestricted free agents. Kubalik is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but the $4 million it’ll take to qualify his rights could dampen his value in the trade market.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell told Frank Seravalli and Ryan S. Clark that she believes there’s a greater than 50 percent chance the Capitals could have a new goaltender by the trade deadline. She thinks they’re among the teams interested in Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Any trade involving Toews, Kane or DeBrincat takes place in the offseason. Swinging the kind of deal it would take to move any of those players takes time and assets that interested clubs probably don’t have right now. That’s assuming Toews or Kane are willing to be traded or that a rival club can make an offer substantial enough to convince the Hawks to part with DeBrincat.

Fleury’s been linked to the Capitals several times in recent weeks as concern mounts over the status of their goaltending. They have just over $2 million in projected deadline cap space but that still won’t be enough to take on Fleury without the Blackhawks retaining some of the remainder of his $7 million cap hit or the Capitals freeing up some cap room. That’s assuming they’re not on his 10-team no-trade list.

SUGGESTED TRADE DESTINATIONS FOR GIROUX AND CHIAROT

SPORTSNET: During their recent “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed possible trade destinations for Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot.

Friedman considers the Colorado Avalanche a good fit for Giroux if he wants to chase a Stanley Cup provided they can make the cap dollars fit. Marek also suggested the Dallas Stars’ Joe Pavelski as another fit for the Avs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche seems to be linked to everybody, don’t they? I don’t rule out the possibility of general manager Joe Sakic making a move by the March 21 trade deadline. However, the Avalanche are pressed for cap space, requiring some creativity on Sakic’s part to take on the remainder of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit for this season if he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause to join the Avs.

As for Pavelski, he’s expressed his desire to stay with Dallas. While the Stars could shop unhappy defenseman John Klingberg before the deadline, I wouldn’t be surprised if they retain Pavelski if the two sides feel they can get a deal done before he becomes a UFA in July.

Regarding Chiarot, Friedman believes the St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames have an interest in the Canadiens blueliner. He also wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs might pursue him, pointing out they were interested in Chiarot before he signed with Montreal but couldn’t make it work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Avalanche, the Leafs also carry limited cap space, though absorbing the remainder of Chiarot’s $3.5 million cap hit wouldn’t be as challenging as it would for the Avs to take on the more expensive Giroux. GM Kyle Dubas has shown the ability to swing deals with a tight payroll in the past so we shouldn’t reject that possibility out of hand.

The Canadiens’ rumored ask for Chiarot is a first-round pick. Don’t forget that Dubas parted with his 2021 first-rounder last year for Nick Foligno. Will he part with another first-rounder for another rental player this year? Stay tuned…

LATEST ON JAKOB CHYCHRUN AND J.T. MILLER

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple weighed in on a recent report by Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman reporting the New York Rangers made a trade offer to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Jakob Chychrun centered around Vitali Kravtsov. The 23-year-old winger is playing in Russia this season awaiting a trade by the Rangers.

Unless there are more pieces to a deal for Chychrun, it won’t address the Rangers’ need for more scoring punch on the wings. Adding Chychrun, who has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.6 million, could complicate things when left-side defenseman K’Andre Miller becomes a restricted free agent in 2023.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan believes we should be careful about the rumors regarding what’s being offered to the Coyotes for Chychrun, especially when it gets too specific about the Coyotes’ asking price. He doubts GM Bill Armstrong will get into specifics about what he’s seeking for Chychrun. He’s not going to limit his asking price as that would close off alternatives.

Morgan also dismisses reports that those trade talks are heating up when the trade deadline is two months away, calling it a “media-driven narrative”. He reminds us that agents and league executives love to stir the pot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A sensible take by Morgan. One need only look at the trade market where we’ve seen just one trade so far this month compared to four in December and three in November to see just how quiet things are right now. General managers and agents are probably talking, and some could be dropping tidbits to their media pals to drive to generate some activity, but moves involving notable players appear weeks away.

Business should start to pick up as we go through February and intensify once the calendar flips to March. Whether Chychrun gets moved over the next two months remains to be seen. Armstrong doesn’t have to move him by the trade deadline. He can afford to wait until the offseason to get the deal he likes.

SPORTSNET 650: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli believes the Vancouver Canucks could get more than a first-round pick and a highly-touted prospect if they were to trade J.T. Miller. He felt the New York Rangers has expressed some interest in Miller, as well as the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Canucks making any significant roster moves until they’ve hired a new general manager, which should take place within the next couple of weeks. I also doubt they’ll move a core player like Miller if they’re still in the playoff hunt by the March 21 trade deadline. They’re also unlikely to be in a big hurry to move him since he’s still got a year left on his contract.