NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2022

The Devils and Golden Knights each collect their 10th road win of the season, Mitch Marner and Jason Robertson extend their points streaks, the three stars of the week are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils picked up their 10th road win of the season with a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Yegor Sherangovich scored two goals and Vitek Vanecek stopped 35 shots as the Devils (19-4-0) take over first place in the overall standings with 38 points. Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck replied for the 10-9-4 Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers’ struggles this season can be tied in part to Igor Shesterkin’s difficulties between the pipes. He seems to have lost the form that earned him the Vezina Trophy last season and shouldered the blame for the loss against the Devils.

A shootout goal by Paul Cotter lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to their 10th road win as they dropped the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. William Karlsson and William Carrier gave Vegas a 2-0 lead but the Jackets rallied on goals by Johnny Gaudreau and Boone Jenner. The Golden Knights (17-6-1) sit in first place in the Western Conference with 35 points while the Blue Jackets (7-12-2) remain mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils and Golden Knights are the first clubs to reach 10 road wins this season. Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo missed this game for personal reasons.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored to extend his points streak to 17 games as his club doubled up the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-2. Matt Murray kicked out 44 shots while Auston Matthews and Rasmus Sandin each had a goal and an assist for the Leafs (14-5-5), who are unbeaten in the last nine games (7-0-2). The Red Wings (11-6-4) got goals from Moritz Seider and Adam Erne.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson extended his points streak to 16 games in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Robertson tallied his league-leading 19th goal of the season while Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston each had two points for the 13-6-4 Stars. Brandon Saad replied for the Blues as they fall to 11-11-0. They played without center Robert Thomas, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Leon Draisaitl gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman each had three points for the Oilers as they improve their record to 12-10-0. Matthew Tkachuk remains a thorn in the Oilers’ side with his new team as he tallied a goal and collected an assist for the 10-8-4 Panthers.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got an overtime goal by Steven Stamkos to beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-5. Stamkos scored twice and collected an assist for the Lightning (13-7-1) as he now sits two points shy of 1,000 career points. Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev had three assists for the Bolts. Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist for the 9-12-1 Sabres.

HEADLINES

Stars winger Jason Robertson, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey and New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 27, 2022.

SPORTSNET: The Philadelphia Flyers placed winger Travis Konecny (upper body) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 17.

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark has been cleared to play after suffering an apparent arm injury on Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins also placed defenseman Anton Stralman on waivers as they prepare to make room for blueliner Derek Forbort’s return from injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks have placed goaltender James Reimer on IR with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day. Defenseman Mario Ferraro has a foot injury that could sideline him on a week-to-week basis.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed winger Alex Galchenyuk on a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild sent struggling rookie forward Marco Rossi to their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

TSN: Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer has been added to Team Canada’s staff for the upcoming Spengler Cup next month.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 27, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 27, 2022

Could the Sabres be a suitor for Jakob Chychrun? Which defensemen should the Leafs target to shore up their injury-ravaged blueline? Are the Oilers shopping for a forward? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

COULD THE SABRES OR LEAFS PURSUE CHYCHRUN?

SPORTSNET: With Jakob Chychrun returning to action last week for the first time this season, Jeff Marek wondered if the Buffalo Sabres might be a dark-horse candidate to acquire the 24-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams has maintained he’s sticking with youth. However, Marek noted that “there is a feeling out there” that they’re running their young blueliners (Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power and Mattias Samuelsson) hard this season. He believes they’ve got their young core locked in that doesn’t need any more prospects and need to start putting together their team.

Marek also expects the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets will be linked to Chychrun.

TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos believes Chychrun would be the best answer to address the Maple Leafs’ banged-up blueline corps. He claims Leafs GM Kyle Dubas had a great interest in the Coyotes’ rearguard from the start and that hasn’t wavered.

Kypreos claims the Leafs will have competition, saying there are believed to be six clubs sniffing around for a deal. Four of the more serious contenders have a wider range of prospects than the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Chyrchrun rumor mill will grind away now that he’s returned to action from off-season wrist surgery. So far, he’s looked good in the three games he’s played, collecting three points with a plus-minus of plus-four. The longer he plays, the more interest he’ll draw and perhaps the sooner this year-long saga will come to an end.

The Kings have long been linked to Chychrun and possess considerable depth in prospects and young players to tempt the Coyotes. So do the Blue Jackets, who were rumored to have looked into acquiring him leading up to this year’s draft.

I don’t see where Chychrun’s a fit with the Islanders. They’ve already got two solid left-side defensemen in Adam Pelech and Alexander Romanov plus right-shot Noah Dobson has emerged as their blueline point producer. Their focus over the summer was finding a scoring forward.

The Sabres’ biggest need thus far seems to be reliable goaltending. If they want to bolster their blueline perhaps they’ll consider more affordable, healthier options than Chychrun.

As for the Leafs, I can’t see them outbidding other clubs for Chychrun, especially if the Coyotes insist on getting a couple of first-rounders and a high-end prospect or good young NHL player in return.

MORE PROPOSED LEAFS TRADE TARGETS

Nick Kypreos also suggested several other defensemen that could address their blueline woes if Chychrun wasn’t feasible. One was the Nashville Predators’ Dante Fabbro, who’s a restricted free agent next summer. Word is the Predators are willing to move the right-shot defenseman for the right price. Kypreos believes it could cost the Leafs prospect Matthew Knies.

The other is Vladislav Gavrikov of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July and could cost a first-round pick and more to acquire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I must confess this is the first I’ve heard that Fabbro might be available. Perhaps the right price would be a scoring forward. The Predators, however, won’t be under any significant pressure to move him by the March 3 trade deadline given his RFA status.

I still believe the Blue Jackets will try to retain Gavrikov. Nevertheless, he will draw plenty of interest if he hits the trade market before March 3.

Other options include the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy, the Vancouver Canucks’ Luke Schenn, the Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg and the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Soucy and Dumba won’t be going anywhere as long as their clubs remain in playoff contention by the trade deadline. Klingberg, on the other hand, will become available when his no-trade clause expires on Jan. 1. Expect the Ducks to start peddling him between then and deadline day.

OILERS SEEK A FORWARD

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers are in the market for “edgy”, grinding depth forwards. There’s a feeling since Evander Kane was sidelined that they’re easier to play against. He points out that they’re close to the salary cap and wonders if they can find a budget player to address their needs.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2022

The Devils’ Lindy Ruff reaches a coaching milestone, the Leafs’ Mitch Marner and the Stars’ Jason Robertson maintain their points streaks, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff picked up his 800th career NHL win as his club defeated the Washington Capitals 5-1. Jack Hughes tallied his first career hat trick and Vitek Vanecek made 37 saves as the Devils (18-4-3) move into a tie for first place in the overall standings with the Boston Bruins. John Carlson replied for the Capitals as they fall to 9-11-3.

New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ruff is the fifth NHL coach to reach the 800-win milestone. He’s also the leader in wins among active coaches. As for the overall standings, the Bruins hold a game in hand over the Devils. It will be interesting to see if these two clubs can maintain their strong performance through the first quarter over the remainder of the schedule.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his points streak to 16 games with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Auston Matthews had a goal and two assists while William Nylander had a goal and an assist as the Leafs (13-5-5) are 6-0-2 in their last eight games. Rickard Rakell tallied for the 11-8-3 Penguins.

A 41-save performance by Alexandar Georgiev carried the Colorado Avalanche over the Dallas Stars by a score of 4-1. Josh Manson had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (12-6-1). Dallas winger Jason Robertson collected an assist on Joe Pavelski’s goal to extend his points streak to 15 games but his Stars fall to 12-6-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Avalanche announced winger Evan Rodrigues will be sidelined for two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser stretched his points streak to nine games with a goal in a 5-1 upset of the Vegas Golden Knights. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists while Spencer Martin stopped 26 shots as the Canucks improved to 8-10-3. Jonathan Marchessault replied for the 16-6-1 Golden Knights, who hold a five-point lead over the Stars for first place in the Western Conference with 33 points.

The Edmonton Oilers got four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the New York Rangers 4-3. Evan Bouchard scored twice, Dylan Holloway scored his first career NHL goal and Leon Draisaitl tallied the winning goal as the Oilers rise to 11-10-0. Ryan Lindgren collected two assists for the 10-8-4 Rangers.

Speaking of comebacks, the St. Louis Blues also scored four unanswered goals in a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers. Jordan Kyrou tallied twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Blues improved to 11-10-0. Sam Reinhart had two assists for the Panthers (10-8-3), who were playing without captain Aleksander Barkov as he was sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.

The New York Islanders also staged a four-goal rally as they dumped the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. Zach Parise scored twice, Ryan Pulock collected four assists and Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 shots for the 15-8-0 Islanders. Lukas Sedlak and Joel Farabee scored for the Flyers (7-10-5) as their winless skid extends to 10 games.

A third-period goal by Brett Pesce lifted the Carolina Hurricanes (11-6-5) to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, ending their winless skid at five games. Dan Vladar made 30 saves for the 9-9-3 Flames but they’ve dropped three straight games. Flames defenseman Michael Stone returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a non-disclosed injury.

HEADLINES

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck wants a rule change for an immediate stoppage of play when a netminder’s mask is knocked off or comes off during play. Hellebuyck lost his mask during a collision in Friday’s game against the Dallas Stars and was lying prone and shaken up on the ice with no stoppage of play, enabling the Star to score an empty-net goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL situation rule allowed the Stars’ goal to stand. Hellebuyck was able to resume playing but he and teammate (and NHLPA representative) Adam Lowry would like clarity on this issue. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek suggest this could lead to a new directive from the league.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. No word as to the seriousness of his undisclosed injury but he will be sidelined for at least a week.

THE ATHLETIC’S Michael Russo tweeted the Wild have recalled goaltender Zane McIntyre as a precautionary measure after one of their goalies had an issue at practice on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Netminder Filip Gustavsson apparently left practice early.

CBS SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Rudolfs Balcers is expected to miss the club’s upcoming three-game road trip with an upper-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2022

The Bruins set a season-opening wins record, the Kraken continues to win through November, the Stars’ Jason Robertson takes over the goal-scoring lead, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins became the first team in league history to open the season with 12 straight home victories by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on an overtime goal by David Pastrnak. David Krejci scored twice as the Bruins (18-3-0) sit in first place in the overall standings with 36 points. Stefen Noesen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored for the Hurricanes, who drop to 10-6-5.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Bruins as goaltender Linus Ullmark left the game in the third period with an apparent injury to his right arm. Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said the goalie had full range of motion in his arm and is “pretty confident” Ullmark is ok. For now, he’s considered day-to-day.

Seattle Kraken winger Andre Burakovsky scored twice as his club doubled up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Adam Larsson collected two assists for the Kraken (12-5-3), who’ve won eight of their last 10 games to sit third overall in the Western Conference with 27 points. Nicolas Roy and Phil Kessel replied for the Golden Knights, who sit atop the west with a record of 16-5-1 and 33 points. Vegas center Brett Howden missed this game with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Josh Morrissey lifted the Winnipeg Jets over the Dallas Stars by a score of 5-4. The Stars rallied to tie the game on two straight third-period goals by Jason Robertson, who takes over the NHL goals-scoring lead with 18. The Stars (12-5-4) sit second in the West with 28 points while the 12-6-1 Jets are fifth overall with 25 points.

The New Jersey Devils picked up their ninth straight road victory with a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. All the scoring took place in the second period with Jack Hughes, Jesper Boqvist and Tomas Tatar tallying for the Devils (17-4-0) while Victor Olofsson replied for the 9-12-0 Sabres. With 34 points, the Devils are two behind the first-place Bruins in the Eastern Conference.

William Nylander scored what proved to be the game-winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Minnesota Wild 4-3. John Tavares collected two assists for the 12-5-5 Leafs while Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist for the Wild as they drop to 9-9-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs wore shoulder patches on their sweaters to honor Borje Salming, who passed away on Thursday from ALS. Nylander dedicated his winning goal to his late countryman.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got two goals from Brayden Point and three assists from Nikita Kucherov to down the St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-2. The Lightning (12-7-1) has won five of their last six contests. Pavel Buchenich and Jordan Kyrou were the goal scorers for the Blues as they fall to 10-10-0.

A two-goal performance by Ryan Poehling powered the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Teddy Blueger collected three helpers while Sidney Crosby also scored for the Penguins (11-7-3). Kevin Hayes had the lone goal for the Flyers (7-9-5), who are now winless in their last nine contests.

Washington Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves to shut out the Calgary Flames 3-0. Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie each had a goal and an assist, Sonny Milano picked up two assists and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals, who improve to 9-10-3 while the Flames drop to 9-8-3.

A third-period goal by Brock Nelson lifted the New York Islanders to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mathew Barzal collected two assists for the Isles (14-8-0) as they’ve won three straight games. Johnny Gaudreau and Kent Johnson each had two points for the 7-12-1 Blue Jackets.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek extended his goal streak to four games as his club defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on a shootout goal by Dylan Larkin. Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi each had two assists for the Wings (11-5-4). Jakob Chychun scored his first of the season for the 7-9-3 Coyotes.

The Los Angeles Kings got a goal and an assist from Viktor Arvidsson and Jaret Anderson-Dolan in a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves and Phillip Danault tallied his seventh goal of the season for the 12-9-2 Kings. James Riemer stopped 24 shots for the Sharks as they fall to 7-13-3.

Montreal Canadiens winger Kirby Dach scored the winning goal in a shootout over his former club in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Nick Suzuki and Joel Edmundson had two goals and Sean Monahan collected two assists for the Canadiens as they improve to 11-9-1 while Caleb Jones and Taylor Raddysh replied for the 6-10-4 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens rookie Juraj Slafkovsky left the game in the third period following a high hit by Jason Dickinson. He would later return to the bench but didn’t see any further action in this game. As for the Blackhawks, they announced earlier in the day that forward Sam Lafferty will miss several games with an upper-body injury.

The Ottawa Senators snapped a three-game losing skid with a 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Derick Brassard and Mathieu Joseph led the way as they each had a goal and two assists for the Senators (7-12-1). Max Jones had the lone goal for the 6-14-1 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators goalie Anton Forsberg didn’t dress for this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a minor lower-body injury.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Colorado Avalanche-Nashville Predators game scheduled for yesterday was postponed due to a water main break at Bridgestone Arena. The game will be rescheduled for a later date.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2022

Remembering Hall-of-Famer Borje Salming, Patrick Marleau adjusts to retirement, the Hurricanes’ offense has short-circuited, plus the latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Marco Rossi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Hockey Hall-of-Famer and former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming passed away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on Thursday at age 71. He was diagnosed with the incurable disease in April but only revealed the diagnosis in August.

Toronto Maple Leafs Hall-of-Fame defenseman Borje Salming. (NHL.com).

Salming blazed a trail for European players to reach the NHL. Joining the Maple Leafs in 1973-74, the Swedish defenseman went on to play 16 seasons in Toronto, becoming their all-time points leader among blueliners (768).

He was a finalist for the Norris Trophy four times, named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1976-77 and to the Second All-Star Team five times. He played one season with the Detroit Red Wings before returning to his native Sweden to finish his playing career.

Earlier this month, Salming returned to Toronto for the Hall-of-Fame weekend, where he received two standing ovations from Leafs fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Salming belongs with Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, Larry Robinson and Brad Park among the top defensemen of the 1970s. He was the greatest blueliner in Leafs’ history and a true inspiration for European players hoping to join the NHL.

Salming was so beloved by Toronto fans that he received a standing ovation at Maple Leaf Garden during the 1976 Canada Cup tournament when he was introduced as part of Sweden’s starting lineup for a game against Team Canada.

THE ATHLETIC: Patrick Marleau revealed to Kevin Kurz that he had a difficult time adjusting to retirement when his 23-year NHL playing career came to an end in 2021. It even became difficult for him to watch the game on television as the reality that his career was over began to sink in before he officially announced his retirement in May 2022.

Marleau and his family have since relocated to Florida to help further the hockey career of his son, Landon. He also accepted an invitation from the San Jose Sharks to work with prospects at their development camp this past summer.

Marleau is now working as an assistant coach to head coach (and former NHL teammate) Shawn Heins in the under-16 AAA Florida Alliance program. He is also the head coach of the under-12 team, on which his son Jagger plays.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Marleau in his new career. Perhaps we’ll one day see him return to the NHL as a coach.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes are struggling to score this season, managing just 18 goals in his last nine games and a league-worst shooting percentage of 7.7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes last season were ninth overall in goals-per-game average (3.38). This season, they’re 27th at 2.70. Losing top-line winger Teuvo Teravainen to injury is a contributing factor as is the absence of offseason acquisition of winger Max Pacioretty. Losing center Vincent Trocheck to free agency may be another factor. The eventual return of Teravainen and Pacioretty’s debut later this season should boost their production. They’ll need it if they hope to stage a serious run for the Stanley Cup next spring.

TSN: The Minnesota Wild have activated goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury off injured reserve ahead of this afternoon’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Speaking of the Leafs, Jordie Benn joins fellow defensemen Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly and TJ Brodie on the sidelines as he’s week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Don’t expect to see recently-acquired Conor Timmins in this game as the Leafs want to give him some time to get settled.

TWIN CITIES.COM: Speaking of the Wild, general manager Bill Guerin is considering his options for struggling rookie center Marco Rossi, who’s been held scoreless in 16 games and was a healthy scratch in the Wild’s last two contests. One of those options is sending him to their AHL affiliate in Iowa to regain his confidence and scoring touch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rossi is a highly-touted young forward who was considered among this season’s potential candidates for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. He won’t improve his play by sitting in the press box.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche forward Evan Rodrigues is to miss this afternoon’s game against the Nashville Predators as a precautionary measure. He suffered a lower-body injury during Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

OTTAWA SUN: More than 20 potential buyers have expressed interest in purchasing the Ottawa Senators. Among them are Michael Andlauer (owner of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs), Rocco Tullio (owner of the OHL’s London Knights), Farmboy CEO Jeff York, Toronto Star co-owner Paul Rivett, and actor Ryan Reynolds.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A condition of the sale is the Senators cannot be relocated to another city. One reason why there’s so much interest is the potential to construct a new arena near downtown Ottawa. The report noted that the new venue could boost the franchise’s value, which was recently calculated at $655 million.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 24, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 24, 2022

Check out the latest Canadiens speculation plus a look at some other potential blueline trade targets for the Leafs in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The New Jersey Devils’ rumored interest in Josh Anderson apparently hasn’t waned since the offseason. Canadiens podcaster and former broadcaster Tony Marinaro reports Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald wants the 28-year-old Canadiens winger badly.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson (NHL Images).

Marinaro wonders if the Devils would part with a promising youngster such as Luke Hughes, Simon Nemec or Alexander Holtz in a package deal. It remains to be seen if Canadiens GM Kent Hughes (no relation to Luke or Devils winger Jack Hughes) would be willing to move Anderson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marinaro also claims there are a couple of teams besides the Devils who would take Anderson. Assuming the Canadiens are willing to move him, they probably aren’t in any rush to do so at this stage in the season.

If there is interest in Anderson, it might be best to wait until the March 3 trade deadline approaches to start considering serious offers. His value in the trade market could be much higher by that point.

Marco D’Amico recently listed Sean Monahan, Joel Edmundson and Christian Dvorak as the Canadiens’ top-three most valuable trade chips.

D’Amico noted TSN’s Pierre LeBrun recently linked Monahan to the Colorado Avalanche, who could be among several clubs that will be in the market for a second-line center. Edmundson has apparently been the subject of conversations between Hughes and his peers, while the recent improvement of Dvorak could bolster his trade value.

Speaking of Anderson, D’Amico speculated the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers could present irresistible offers to Hughes at some point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Monahan, Edmundson or Dvorak could be moved before Anderson. Much will depend on where the Canadiens are in the standings leading up to the March 3 trade deadline and what the market is for those players. Given the plethora of defensemen the Canadiens are carrying, maybe Edmundson gets traded first.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports the Canadiens possess a logjam of defensemen with Mike Matheson’s recent return from injury and the rise of promising blueliners like Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj and Johnathan Kovacevic. He also noted there were 19 scouts at Tuesday’s game between the Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of those scouts would’ve been there simply because their teams will be playing the Canadiens or Sabres in the near future. However, I daresay some could be there to check out some potential trade bait.

LIST OF POTENTIAL BLUELINE TRADE TARGETS FOR THE LEAFS

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary recently published a list of 10 defensemen the Toronto Maple Leafs could target to bolster their injury-ravaged blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Leary’s list came out before the Leafs acquired promising rearguard Conor Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 23. However, they could perhaps pursue one of his suggested trade targets if Timmins doesn’t pan out or if Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and TJ Brodie are sidelined longer than expected.

Pending unrestricted free agent options include the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov, the Washington Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov, the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba, the New Jersey Devils’ Damon Severson, the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy and the Vancouver Canucks’ Luke Schenn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t see Orlov, Dumba, Severson and Soucy going anywhere as long as their respective teams remain in playoff contention. Gavrikov could be shopped if he hasn’t signed a contract extension before the trade deadline. Schenn will likely become available if the Canucks fail to gain ground in the standings.

Notable defensemen with term remaining on their contracts include the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun, the Boston Bruins’ Mike Reilly and Matt Roy and Sean Walker of the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The high asking price for Chychrun is likely too rich for the Leafs. Reilly could be a good option but the Bruins may be reluctant to trade him to a division rival. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has a trade history with Kings GM Rob Blake so perhaps Roy or Walker would be more likely options here.