NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2023

Check out the latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Bo Horvat, Jakob Chychrun, Anthony Mantha and Andrei Kuzmenko in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

O’REILLY HOPES TO REMAIN WITH THE BLUES

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly sounds like he doesn’t want to be moved by the March 3 trade deadline.

This is where I really want to be,” said the 31-year-old center. “I hope I don’t get moved, but I think things will probably progress, especially with the deadline coming up and the talks with that. We’ll see how it goes. We’re starting to get into that.”

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images)

O’Reilly was referring to his contract negotiations. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and is earning an average annual value of $7.5 million on his current contract. He also lacks no-trade protection. O’Reilly is currently sidelined with a broken foot until mid-February.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday night that O’Reilly was “officially in play” in the trade market. General manager Doug Armstrong could be gauging the market on the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner in case discussions fail to produce a new contract by the trade deadline.

It’s believed the Blues would prefer to retain their captain but he’ll have to accept a short-term contract with a lower salary cap hit.

O’Reilly will draw interest in the trade market. Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy believes Bruins GM Don Sweeney should give the Blues a call but cautions against pursuing him if the asking price is similar to what the Vancouver Canucks seek for Bo Horvat. Speaking of Horvat…

LATEST CANUCKS SPECULATION

TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos is hearing that the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils are among the teams that could aggressively pursue Canucks captain Bo Horvat. He said both clubs want an extended playoff run this spring and seem willing to pay for it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat’s also been linked to the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken in recent trade conjecture.

Teams will be interested in him as a rental player but I think they’ll pay larger returns if they can sign him to a contract extension. So far, the Canucks reportedly haven’t allowed his agent to speak with other clubs yet.

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reports agent Dan Milstein said contract discussions have started with the Canucks regarding his client Andrei Kuzmenko. His camp’s preference is for a short-term “bridge deal.”

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Kuzmenko’s representatives seek a two-year contract worth an average annual value of between $5 million and $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzmenko is an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s steadily improved this season as he adjusted to the NHL game, sitting second among Canucks scorers and 22 goals and third in points with 43 in 47 games.

Kuzma pointed out that the Canucks’ rabid fan base prefers management sell high on Kuzmenko at the trade deadline for a return that helps them rebuild instead of retooling. However, I think we’ll see him re-signed to a two-year deal worth $5.5 million per season, especially if they end up moving Bo Horvat at the trade deadline and Brock Boeser in the offseason.

ISLANDERS EYEING CHYCHRUN?

NYIHOCKEY.COM: Stefen Rosner cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting someone told him the New York Islanders were looking around at Jakob Chychrun. He said they’d previously had an interest in the 24-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman. However, Friedman doesn’t think the Islanders should pay the Coyotes’ high asking price.

THE ATHLETIC: The Islanders are also on Shayna Goldman’s list of potential trade destinations for Chychrun. She noted the Isles need offense and he can provide it from the blueline. However, their more pressing need is for a high-end winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Going after Chychrun would be a desperate move by Isles GM Lou Lamoriello at this stage in the season with his club sliding out of playoff contention. He spent last summer trying in vain to land a scoring forward and I believe that’s where his priority lies this summer.

NO TRUTH TO “MANTHA-TO-MONTREAL” RUMORS

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reported Anthony Mantha’s recent scratching from the Capitals’ lineup sparked trade rumors about the 28-year-old forward. One of them had the Montreal Canadiens shipping defenseman Joel Edmundson to the Capitals for Mantha. However, a source told Silber that there haven’t been any trade discussions involving Mantha between those two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The oft-injured Mantha’s had a frustrating season in Washington. He’s been healthy but managed just nine goals and 24 points in 46 games.

Mantha is a native of Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal, which might explain why this rumor popped up linking him to the Canadiens. I don’t see him as a fit with the rebuilding Habs.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2023

What’s the latest on Erik Karlsson? What’s going on with the Canucks? Are the Flyers gauging the trade market for Ivan Provorov? Could the Wild shop Matt Dumba? Are the Oilers shopping around for a defenseman? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TEAMS ARE CALLING ABOUT ERIK KARLSSON

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports that teams have spoken with the San Jose Sharks about what a trade might look like for Erik Karlsson. The 32-year-old is this season’s highest-scoring blueliner with 55 points and is on pace to become the first rearguard since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 to reach 100 points in a season.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

LeBrun still thinks this would be an off-season move it if happens at all. Karlsson has a full no-movement clause and would have to agree to be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur that this is a potential move that probably doesn’t happen until the offseason when teams have more cap space and a greater willingness to make big trades.

Getting Karlsson to waive his NMC isn’t the biggest hurdle. It’s sorting out how to move a talented defenseman who is approaching his mid-30s’ carrying a contract with an average annual value of $11.5 million through 2026-27. There’s also the matter of what the Sharks would want in return.

THE LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are still poking around about Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser. He doesn’t think a trade is close to happening but interested clubs are giving consideration to how to make a deal work.

The Minnesota Wild have spoken to the Canucks about bringing Boeser back to his home state. However, LeBrun doesn’t think they can make it work cap-wise. The 25-year-old winger has two more seasons left on his contract with an AAV of $6.65 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have over $14 million in dead cap space for 2023-24 due to their buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Matt Boldy, Calen Addison and Sam Steel are restricted free agents this summer.

I can’t see Boeser landing in Minnesota unless the Canucks retain a portion of his salary (which they reportedly don’t want to do) or the Wild shed sufficient salary for Boeser and those RFAs.

LeBrun also reports teams are calling the Canucks about Andrei Kuzmenko. The 26-year-old winger is enjoying a fine NHL debut season but he’s also slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He currently carries an affordable $950K cap hit.

The Canucks haven’t started contract extension talks yet but LeBrun said they haven’t given up hope of re-signing him. He indicated the winger enjoys playing in Vancouver but it could cost $6 million on a short-term deal to keep him there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 35 points in 39 games, Kuzmenko’s been a bright spot in a turbulent season for the Canucks. Perhaps if they can move Boeser it’ll free up sufficient space to keep the Russian winger.

FLYERS LISTENING ON PROVOROV

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports multiple sources confirmed the Philadelphia Flyers are listening to offers for Ivan Provorov. The 25-year-old defenseman has two more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $6.75 million so there’s no urgency to move him before the March 3 trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also doesn’t think there’s anything imminent regarding a Provorov trade. However, he feels they could be heading in that direction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Appearing on NHL Network, Friedman said he believes the Flyers will consider just about everything over the next 12 to 18 months. He also said they’re concerned that Provorov could blossom elsewhere so they’ll want a really good return.

COULD THE WILD SHOP MATT DUMBA?

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators have reached out to the Minnesota Wild regarding Matt Dumba. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and lacks no-trade protection.

However, the Wild are playing pretty well right now and they still need Dumba as they jockey for a playoff spot. They’re not sure yet if they can move him even though they can’t afford to re-sign him given their salary-cap constraints for next season. Dreger believes their asking price for Dumba would be high and they would have to potentially hit the trade market to find a replacement for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Dumba going anywhere before the March 3 trade deadline unless the Wild fall out of contention or they ship him to another club in exchange for a comparable defenseman. He could become their “own rental” for the 2023 playoffs.

OILERS CALLING AROUND FOR A DEFENSEMAN

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland has been calling around the league in search of a defenseman. It’s believed he’s spoken to the Arizona Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun and the Montreal Canadiens regarding Joel Edmundson.

However, asking prices are high right now for blueliners in the trade market. LeBrun expects Holland won’t panic and will remain patient. He also believes it’ll take more than a trade to resolve the Oilers’ current struggles as the message internally is, “We need to play better”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers supporters howling at Holland to do something – ANYTHING! – to acquire a defenseman overlook that he’s handcuffed by his limited cap space. He’s also dealing from a position of weakness right now. If it was possible to unload, say, Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele for a top-four left-side blueliner, that deal would’ve gone down by now.

The Coyotes reportedly seek two first-round picks (though one of those could be a former first-rounder) along with a high-end prospect or good young NHL player for Chychrun.

It’s believed the Canadiens hope to land a first-rounder for Edmundson. Before you scoff, remember that they got a first-round pick from the Florida Panthers last March for Ben Chiarot. Edmundson also has a year remaining on his contract so there’s cost certainty there ($3.5 million) for an interested team.

Maybe those prices go down as the trade deadline nears. Then again, they could remain high if more clubs get into the bidding for Chychrun or Edmundson.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2022

The Kraken keep rising in the standings, the Canucks are clawing their way back into playoff contention, plus the latest on Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Daniel Sprong lifted the Seattle Kraken to a 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Matty Beniers had a goal and two assists for the Kraken (13-5-3) as they pick up their fifth straight win. Mason McTavish and Adam Henrique scored in the third period for Anaheim to force overtime as their record falls to 6-15-1). Ducks forward Trevor Zegras collected three assists.

Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the win, the Kraken moves one point ahead of the Dallas Stars for second place in the Western Conference standings with 29 points. Beniers leads all NHL rookies this season with 18 points. Meanwhile, Ducks goaltender John Gibson left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.

Vancouver Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko scored in overtime to nip the San Jose Sharks 4-3. Kuzmenko, Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller each collected two points as the Canucks (9-10-3) have won five of their last six games. Luke Kunin scored twice and Erik Karlsson picked up two assists for the 7-13-4 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have overcome a poor start to this season. With 21 points, they’re one point out of a wildcard berth in the Western Conference. Kuzmenko’s been a key part of that improvement. After netting just two points in his first seven NHL games, he now has 19 points in his last 14 contests, including two game-winning goals.

The Winnipeg Jets thumped the Chicago Blackhawks 7-2. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Saku Maenalanen each scored twice while Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey each had three-point performances as the Jets improved to 13-6-1. Taylor Raddysh and Jujhar Khaira replied for the Blackhawks (6-11-4) as their winless skid reached seven games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since their 4-2-0 start, the Blackhawks have won only twice in their last 15 games. Jets forward Morgan Barron collected an assist as he returned to action for the first time since being sidelined by an injury on Oct. 30. With 27 points, the Jets are fourth in the Western Conference.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists as his club held off the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-3. Joel Eriksson Ek collected two assists for the Wild (10-9-2) while Matias Macelli also picked up two assists as the Coyotes slid to 7-10-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Macelli sits second among this season’s rookie scorers with 13 points but he’s their leader in assists with 12.

The Ottawa Senators downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on an overtime by Claude Giroux. Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot each had two points as the Senators boosted their record to 8-12-1. Arthur Kaliyev scored both goals for the Kings (12-9-3) as they’ve dropped four of their last five contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big win for the struggling Senators as they salvage four points from this four-game western road trip.

HEADLINES

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov will be sidelined for the next two games with a non-COVID-related illness.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed forwards Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan McLeod on injured reserve.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres placed forward Riley Sheahan on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract after he declined to report to their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former Canucks coaching staff member Rachel Doerrie filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal last week. She alleges she was discriminated against by the team and assistant general manager Emilie Castonguay for her mental and physical disabilities.

Doerrie, who has PTSD and a heart condition, was hired by the Canucks in January as an analyst and promoted to the coaching staff on Aug. 1. She indicated she had revealed her medical conditions to Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford during the hiring process. She was terminated from her position in September.

The Canucks issued two statements saying they “strongly disagreed” with Doerrie’s allegations.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2022

The Lightning defeated the Avalanche in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the latest details on the Stars’ reported hiring of Pete DeBoer, the Canucks sign KHL star Andrei Kuzmenko, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning avenged their lopsided Game 2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche with a convincing 6-2 win in Game 3 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (NHL Images).

A four-goal second period blew the game open for the Lightning, chasing Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper after he gave up five goals on 22 shots. The Bolts also got a 37-save performance from Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Nick Paul scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the second period after returning from a first-period injury. Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Pat Maroon each had a goal and an assist while Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman both collected two assists. Gabriel Landeskog scored both Avalanche goals.

Game 4 is on Wednesday in Tampa Bay with the Avalanche holding a 2-1 series lead.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As we’ve come to expect, the Lightning once again rose to the occasion in a must-win contest. They didn’t panic when the Avalanche opened the scoring for the third straight game, pouncing on defensive miscues and playing a much more physical style to neutralize their opponent’s speed. Vasilevskiy was outstanding, shrugging off his poor performance in Game 2 and making several big saves to pick up the win.

This game got chippy as it went on. Several roughing penalties were handed out and there was a fight late in the third period between the Lightning’s Ross Colton and the Avalanche’s Logan O’Connor.

It was a potentially costly win for the Lightning as Kucherov left the game in the third period following a cross-check by Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews. No update was given on his condition following the game. They were already playing without Brayden Point, who sat out this contest after returning from a lower-body injury to play in the first two games.

The Avalanche were without forwards Nazem Kadri (thumb injury) and Andre Burakovsky (injured hand) for this game. Both are listed as day-to-day.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Dallas Stars and former Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer are working on a four-year contract expected to be worth over $4 million per season. The deal hasn’t been finalized and signed yet but it’s expected to be done soon.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have signed KHL star Andrei Kuzmenko to a one-year contract. He’ll earn a base salary of $855K along with bonuses that could take him up to $1.95 million. The contract will be officially filed with the NHL on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzmenko is a 26-year-old left wing who tallied 53 points in 45 games this season with SKA St. Petersburg. He’s considered a smart, gifted playmaker. If he plays up to expectations he’ll provide offensive depth among the Canucks’ top-six scorers.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals signed forwards Brett Leason and Beck Malenstyn to two-year contracts. Leason’s is a one-way deal worth $750K in 2022-23 and $800K in 2023-24. Malenstyn’s is a two-way deal next season and a one-way deal worth $775K.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators will play the Montreal Canadiens in two Kraft Hockeyville training-camp games in Gander, NL on Oct. 6 and Bouctouche, NB on Oct. 8.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are reportedly interested in adding Finland’s national coach Jukka Jalonen to their coaching search.