NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2024

Hat trick performances by the Leafs’ Auston Matthews and the Rangers’ Chris Kreider, the Canucks expand their lead in the overall standings, Connor Bedard returns to action for the Blackhawks, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews tallied his fifth hat trick of the season as his club nipped the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on an overtime goal by William Nylander. Mitch Marner collected three assists for the Leafs (28-16-8) as they hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 64 points. Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist for the 29-19-7 Flyers (65 points) as they hold third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews now has a league-leading 45 goals on the season, six more than Florida’s Sam Reinhart in second place. The Leafs center also set a franchise record with his 72nd multi-goal game.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider’s hat trick led his club over the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 7-4. Adam Fox collected four assists while Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad each had three points for the 35-16-3 Rangers, who picked up their sixth straight win as they lead the Metropolitan Division with 73 points. Cole Caufield scored twice while Juraj Slafkovsky had a goal and an assist for the 22-24-8 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Rangers as winger Blake Wheeler left the game in the first period with an injured leg following a hit by Montreal defenseman Jayden Struble. He was helped off the ice by teammates before heading down the tunnel on a stretcher. There was no postgame update on his condition. Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Slafkovsky set a franchise record for the longest Canadiens points streak by a teenager.

Elias Lindholm scored two goals as the Vancouver Canucks became the first team to reach 80 points this season with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Elias Pettersson picked up three assists and Thatcher Demko stopped 27 shots for the 37-12-6 Canucks as they’ve won three straight games. J.T. Compher scored for the Red Wings (27-20-6), who hold the final Eastern wild-card spot with 60 points but have dropped three of their last four games (1-2-1).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Red Wings announced that goaltender Ville Husso is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Chicago Blackhawks rookie star Connor Bedard collected an assist in his return to action but his club fell 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bedard missed 14 games with a fractured jaw. Sidney Crosby tallied twice for the Penguins (24-20-7) as they moved to within five points of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 55 points. Philipp Kurashev scored for the 14-37-3 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Penguins announced that winger Jake Guentzel will be sidelined for three to four weeks with an upper-body injury. I’ll have more about Guentzel in today’s Rumor Mill.

The Florida Panthers took over first place in the Eastern Conference by blanking the Buffalo Sabres 4-0. Anthony Stolarz kicked out 45 shots for his first shutout of the season while Carter Verhaeghe scored two goals for the 35-15-4 Panthers (74 points) as they picked up their fourth straight win and their 10th straight road victory. Eric Comrie turned aside 27 shots for the 23-26-4 Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers and Boston Bruins each have the same amount of points but Florida has more wins. Meanwhile, Comrie got the start for the Sabres as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Speaking of the Bruins, they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Seattle Kraken. Matty Beniers had a goal and two assists while Joey Daccord stopped 36 shots for the Kraken (23-21-10) as they moved to within four points of the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 56 points. David Pastrnak netted his 34th goal of the season for the 32-12-10 Bruins, who are winless in their last three games (0-2-1).

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored twice and collected an assist as his club defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-3. Kucherov leads the league with 94 points while his Lightning (30-20-5) picked up their third straight win. They hold third place in the Atlantic Division with 65 points. Bowen Byram scored two goals while Nathan MacKinnon had two assists to sit four points behind Kucherov in the scoring race. The Avalanche (33-18-4) hold second place in the Central Division with 70 points.

The Dallas Stars (34-14-6) have a four-point lead over the Avalanche with 74 points after crushing the Nashville Predators 9-2. Wyatt Johnston scored twice and collected two assists, Matt Duchene tallied twice against his former club while Tyler Seguin and Ty Dellandrea each had three points. Cole Smith and Tommy Novak replied for the 27-25-2 Predators (56 points) as they sit four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators have won just three of their last 10 games and are in danger of falling further out of the playoff race. That’s stoked recent trade speculation regarding goaltender Juuse Saros, which I’ll feature in today’s Rumor Mill. Meanwhile, Stars defenseman Nils Lundkvist left this game in the first period with an upper-body injury.

St. Louis Blues forwards Jake Neighbours and Robert Thomas each had a goal and two assists in a 6-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Jordan Binnington made 35 saves for the Blues (29-22-2), who’ve won eight of their last 10 games and hold the final Western wild-card berth with 60 points. Connor McDavid picked up three assists for the 31-18-1 Oilers as they remain in third place in the Pacific Division with 63 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is in third place in the scoring race, sitting nine points back of MacKinnon and 13 behind Kucherov. He’s tallied three or more points in five of his last seven games.

The Los Angeles Kings (25-16-10) maintained their hold on the first Western wild-card spot (60 points) by nipping the New Jersey Devils 2-1. Quinton Byfield broke a 1-1 tie in the third period while David Rittich stopped 26 shots for the Kings. Tyler Toffoli replied for the 27-22-4 Devils (58 points) as they remain two points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings welcomed back winger Viktor Arvidsson as he made his season debut following his recovery from an injured back.

San Jose Sharks forward Filip Zadina scored twice and collected two assists to lead his club to a 6-3 upset of the Calgary Flames. Luke Kunin tallied two goals and Justin Bailey had a goal and two assists for the 15-33-5 Sharks. Chris Tanev had two assists for the Flames (25-24-5) as they remain five points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 55 points.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler and winger Frank Vatrano each had a goal and two assists in a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Mason McTavish scored twice for the 19-32-2 Ducks while Claude Giroux replied for the 22-26-2 Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks goaltender John Gibson left the game after the second period with an upper-body injury.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022

The fallout from the Rangers shipping Nils Lundkvist to the Stars plus the latest on Jake Allen, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ethan Bear and Brett Ritchie in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks weighed in on the Rangers trading Nils Lundkvist yesterday to the Dallas Stars for a conditional first-rounder in 2023 and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2025.

Brooks feels Rangers general manager Chris Drury “has acquired a critical asset he can move for immediate help” at the March trade deadline. He suggests Drury will have potentially two first-rounders to play the rental market, or what Brooks calls “the Patrick Kane derby”.

New York Rangers traded defenseman Nils Lundkvist to the Dallas Stars on Sept. 19. (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks has suggested the Rangers should pursue Kane if the 33-year-old Chicago Blackhawks superstar becomes available by the trade deadline. Having that extra first-round pick could give Drury an advantage if he decides to get into the bidding. Something to keep an eye on depending on how the Rangers’ season shakes out.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports the Lundkvist deal is the first time Stars GM Jim Nill has traded a first-round pick for a player. He also thinks that move could affect efforts to free up salary-cap space.

Perhaps the first-rounder rids the Stars of Anton Khudobin? Perhaps the fourth-rounder entices a team to bite on Radek Faksa?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundkvist could pan out for the Stars if the 22-year-old blossoms into a reliable puck-moving right-side defenseman. As for what else Nill could’ve used those picks for, maybe he’s working on something else that moves Khudobin or Faksa to clear the cap space necessary to re-sign restricted free agent Jason Robertson.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico reports teams are continuing to ask Canadiens GM Kent Hughes about Jake Allen, who is in preliminary contract talks with the Habs. Given the interest in the 32-year-old goaltender, D’Amico’s source wonders if Hughes could be weighing the pros and cons of extending him.

D’Amico also reported Hughes continues working the phones in search of a defenseman. He’s reportedly willing to draw from his depth of forwards for trade bait. Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and (to a lesser extent) Christian Dvorak are those who could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As D’Amico also observed, it would be shocking if the Canadiens traded Allen now with Carey Price expected to miss the coming season. Maybe that’s a move that happens later in the season (perhaps by the March trade deadline?) if Allen decides to test next summer’s free-agent market.


SPORTSNET: Mark Spector wonders if the Edmonton Oilers will move Jesse Puljujarvi if Jake Virtanen impresses during his professional tryout offer. The 24-year-old winger is earning $3 million this season. Spector doesn’t believe the Oilers can get anything of value for Puljujarvi and lack depth on right wing to deal for a draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Oilers GM Ken Holland handles this. They must clear cap space if they’re to sign RFA forward Ryan McLeod and become cap compliant when the season begins. They could ice fewer players for the coming season but it would be better to either demote or trade someone.

Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks could have Ethan Bear on their radar in their search for a defenseman before the start of the coming season. The 25-year-old blueliner is on a one-year contract worth $2.2 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear struggled in his first season with the Hurricanes. He suffered a bout with COVID-19 that subsequently hampered his performance. If he’s no longer suffering any lingering ill effects, he could be a worthwhile pickup if available.

Eric Francis reported hearing the Flames are closing in on a one-year contract for Brett Ritchie.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2022

Sean Couturier is sidelined again, Keith Yandle announces his retirement, updates on Dylan Larkin, Claude Giroux and Mark Stone, the Rangers trade Nils Lundkvist to the Stars, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: A week after declaring himself good to go following back surgery, Sean Couturier suffered what the Philadelphia Flyers call an “upper-body injury.” The 29-year-old center will be reevaluated during training camp and is considered week-to-week.

CROSSING BROAD: Anthony SanFilippo cited “multiple team sources” claiming Couturier suffered a herniated disc in his back during strength and conditioning drills last week. It’s believed he could miss at least 12 weeks but that’s considered an optimistic assessment.

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman tweeted the Flyers and Couturier are seeking a second opinion to determine the exact nature of the injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will be a serious blow to the Flyers’ hopes of rebounding from an awful 2021-22 campaign. Couturier is their top center, their best two-way forward and one of their leaders. His back injury and subsequent absence from the lineup last season contributed to their poor performance.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Forwards Antoine Roussel and Artem Anisimov will be attending Flyers training camp on professional tryout offers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roussel recently confirmed his PTO with the Flyers. Anisimov is a 34-year-old center with 13 NHL seasons under his belt with the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators. Anisimov played in the KHL last season. He also spent four seasons playing for Flyers head coach John Tortorella during their days with the Rangers.

SPORTSNET: Keith Yandle announced his retirement on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast. The 36-year-old defenseman spent 16 seasons in the NHL with the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers, amassing 619 points in 1,109 regular-season games. Yandle also holds the league’s “Ironman” record of 989 consecutive games played.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Yandle in his future endeavors.

SPORTSNET: Dylan Larkin recently told Elliotte Friedman on the “32 Thoughts” podcast that he’s discussing a contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. The 26-year-old center is in the final season of his current deal with an average annual value of $6.1 million.

I don’t really see myself playing for another team,” said the Red Wings captain. “It’s moving along. I can’t really tell you when or how (the deal gets resolved), but that’s where I want to be.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rebuilding Wings consider Larkin a crucial member of their roster core. A Michigan native, he could seek a maximum eight-year contract with an AAV of $8 million.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators named Claude Giroux as one of their alternate captains. The 34-year-old is the former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A logical decision by the Senators. Giroux’s experience as Flyers captain ensured he’d be part of their leadership group before he even stepped on the ice with them this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger reports Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy said team captain Mark Stone is feeling good and is expected to be on the ice for their opening day of training camp. The medical team could put limits on his efforts but for now, he said he’s feeling great.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone, 30, underwent a successful lumbar discectomy in May and was expected to make a full recovery. The Golden Knights captain was limited to just 37 games last season.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers traded defenseman Nils Lundkvist to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2025.

If the Stars’ own first-round pick in 2023 is among the top 10, the Rangers will instead receive Dallas’ 2024 first-rounder. That pick will be unprotected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a bad return for the Rangers for an unhappy blueliner chosen 28th overall in the 2018 draft with just 25 NHL games on his resume.

It’s not immediate help to the Blueshirts roster but that extra first-rounder could prove useful trade bait at the trade deadline if they pursue a quality rental player at the March trade deadline. Otherwise, it’ll provide them with an extra first-rounder next year or in 2024.

Lundkvist, 22, should provide additional right-side depth to the Stars blueline. He won’t replace the departed John Klingberg’s offense but could grow into the role of a top-four puck-moving rearguard.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed former Anaheim Ducks winger Sonny Milano to a professional tryout offer.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed winger Jake Virtanen to a PTO.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That move has drawn criticism among some pundits, bloggers and Oilers fans. There are those who raised the point of Virtanen facing a civil suit after being found not guilty of sexual assault in a B.C. Court in July. Others point to his poor on-ice performance in recent years.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reporting that oft-injured Golden Knights forward Nolan Patrick might not play this season with some wondering about his future as a player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The second overall pick in the 2017 draft by the Flyers, Patrick has played just 25 NHL games because of nagging upper-body injuries, including migraines related to a possible concussion.

DAILY FACEOFF: Forward Kurtis Gabriel has retired after nine seasons in the NHL and AHL. He saw 51 games of NHL action with the Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks with five points and 153 PIMs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Gabriel in his future endeavors.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – September 17, 2022

A prediction regarding Bo Horvat’s contract talks, Nil Lundkvist won’t report to Rangers training camp, plus the latest on the Flames in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson believes Bo Horvat will stay in Vancouver. He predicts the 27-year-old Canucks captain will sign a new contract and “the sooner the better”, though he acknowledged negotiations could drag into the upcoming season.

Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

Simpson doesn’t the player or the team want this to drag on as a distraction. He also doesn’t see Horvat shutting down talks once the regular season begins. Pointing to the Canucks recently signing J.T. Miller to a seven-year extension, he acknowledged it would be a “big commitment” by the club to do the same for their captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat’s contract status and his future with the Canucks will become fodder to media trade gossip if he’s still unsigned once the regular season begins next month. Miller was also the subject of conjecture for most of last season and during this summer until he and the Canucks reached an agreement on an extension earlier this month.

I also believe Horvat will sign with the Canucks. For all management’s talk of wanting to stock their roster with younger, affordable talent, they clearly understand how important Miller and Horvat are to their plans going forward.

It wouldn’t be surprising if ownership wants to keep those two around. After spending the past several seasons rebuilding there’s probably little patience for another roster teardown.

How much Horvat gets and for how long will have an effect on the Canucks’ salary-cap payroll over the next several years. It could make it difficult to retain young stars like Elias Pettersson or to find sufficient cap room to address their roster weaknesses.


TSN: cites USA Today’s Vincent Z. Mercogliano reporting Nils Lundkvist won’t be reporting to the New York Rangers training camp when it opens next week. Claude Lemieux, who represents the 22-year-old defenseman, said his client intends to remain in Sweden until his trade request is honored.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This report eliminates earlier uncertainty over Lundkvist’s intentions. He wants out and he’ll continue training in Sweden until he’s traded.

Lundkvist could be in for a long wait. Teammate Vitali Kravtsov requested a trade last fall after refusing demotion to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford. He returned to Russia and spent last season on loan to a KHL team waiting for a trade that never materialized. He’s now back with the Blueshirts hoping to earn a roster spot for the coming season.

A few pundits and bloggers (including yours truly) have suggested several potential trade destinations for Lundkvist. His status as a puck-moving, right-shot defenseman could make him enticing to several clubs.

However, there hasn’t been any hint yet of any clubs making a serious offer to the Rangers. Perhaps that changes once training camps are underway and teams look to address their roster needs.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane took note of Michael Stone signing a professional tryout offer with the Flames. He wouldn’t be surprised if the 32-year-old defenseman earns another one-year contract with them if general manager Brad Treliving shops a defenseman or two in return for more forward depth.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 16, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – September 16, 2022

Will the Blues attempt to sign Ryan O’Reilly to a contract extension? What’s the latest on MacKenzie Weegar’s extension talks with the Flames? What’s going on with the Rangers’ Nil Lundkvist? Could Jake Virtanen sign a PTO with the Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: During his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast with Jeff Marek, Elliotte Friedman speculated the St. Louis Blues could shift their focus toward signing team captain Ryan O’Reilly to a contract extension. This comes after the club made re-signing Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou their offseason priority, with the duo inking identical eight-year contracts.

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

O’Reilly is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Term could be an issue for the 31-year-old center. Marek suggested the Calgary Flames’ Nazem Kadri as a comparable. He signed a seven-year, $49 million contract last month but Friedman doesn’t know if he sees the Blues doing that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly is in the final year of a seven-year, $52.5 million contract with an AAV of $7.5 million. He’s still among the league’s best two-way players but, as Friedman observed, he turns 32 in February. That could make Blues general manager Doug Armstrong leery about investing too much for too long in an aging asset.


SPORTSNET: During the same podcast, Friedman reports MacKenzie Weegar said during the Flames’ recent golf tournament that they’re “working on something” and hope to get it done. Friedman believes it could be comparable to Hampus Lindholm’s contract with the Boston Bruins. Lindholm inked an eight-year deal at $6.5 million per season soon after joining the Bruins in a trade from the Anaheim Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would double Weegar’s current AAV of $3.25 million. The Flames have shown a willingness to be generous with their talent, inking Jonathan Huberdeau to an eight-year, $84 million contract and Nazem Kadri to seven years and $49 million. It wouldn’t be shocking if Weegar gets a deal similar to Lindholm’s.

Those hefty contracts, however, could become burdensome for the Flames down the road. Weegar will turn 29 in January, Huberdeau will be 30 next June and Kadri turns 32 in October. Nevertheless, general manager Brad Treliving is willing to pay now in the hope these players can turn his Flames into Cup contenders over the next four or five seasons.

Another factor is the potential for significant increases in the salary cap perhaps starting as early as next season if revenue projections are higher than expected. New broadcasting deals with ESPN and Turner and new revenue streams such as online gambling are pouring more money into the league’s coffers. That could result in a big jump in the cap over the next several years which could help offset those expensive contracts for the Flames when Weegar, Huberdeau and Kadri inevitably decline.


NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker reports Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury remains uncertain over the status of Nils Lundkvist. The 22-year-old defenseman reportedly won’t report to training camp next week unless the Rangers trade him to a club where he has a better opportunity at a top-four role.

I really don’t have any update on it,” said Drury. He hopes Lundkvist will be in camp next week but said he doesn’t have a definitive answer yet regarding the blueliner’s plans. Walker indicated the belief that he’ll be traded but Drury wouldn’t confirm if he’s requested a trade.


THE ATHLETIC’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman tweeted the Edmonton Oilers appear to be out on Jake Virtanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They were reportedly among several teams interested in signing the former Vancouver Canucks winger to a professional tryout offer. Nugent-Bowman reported they’re considering offering a PTO for former Flames winger Brett Ritchie.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 9, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – September 9, 2022

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: an update on the Rangers’ efforts to trade Nil Lundkvist, teams are calling the Penguins about their defensemen, and the Oilers could add another affordable forward.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reported a source claims there’s an 80 percent chance that Nils Lindkvist won’t report to New York Rangers training camp on Sept. 21. The 22-year-old defenseman is unhappy with his chances of cracking the Rangers’ top-six defense and is being shopped by the Blueshirts.

New York Rangers defenseman Nils Lundkvist (NHL Images)

Lundkvist could remain in Sweden to continue his training if not moved by the time the Rangers open training camp. Staple believes there’s a spot waiting for him with Swedish Hockey League club Lulea, for whom the blueliner played for three seasons before joining the Rangers last season.

Two sources told Staple that the Rangers have received an offer of a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. However, it’s believed general manager Chris Drury is seeking a young player in return.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites an NHL scout telling him Lundkvist could be a “really logical target” for the Sharks. They could use more puck-moving depth on the right side of their blueline though his defensive game needs improvement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks have also been suggested as possible destinations for Lundkvist. So far, however, those reports have been merely speculative.

As Staple observed, Drury won’t just give away Lundkvist. He faced a similar situation with Vitali Kravtsov last season but the young Russian winger spent last season in the KHL awaiting a trade that never came because no one met Drury’s asking price. He’s now back with the Blueshirts attempting to earn a roster spot in training camp.

Lundkvist could end up loaned to a Swedish club for the season if Drury hasn’t received a suitable offer.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dave Molinari recently reported Penguins president Brian Burke confirmed some teams are calling to inquire about some of his team’s defensemen. He doesn’t rule out moving one of them though he indicated there haven’t been any recent active trade discussions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Molinari wrote that Burke didn’t appear to expect any deals of consequence before the preseason starts later this month. The Penguins carry nine defensemen under NHL contracts for the coming season. Brian Dumoulin and Marcus Pettersson have been mentioned this summer as potential trade bait.


THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman reports the Oilers are considering signing another free-agent forward to a professional tryout offer. A team source said Zach Aston-Reese, Riley Nash and Jake Virtanen are under consideration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, the Oilers signed former Vancouver Canucks winger Justin Bailey to a PTO.