NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2022

What next for the Avalanche and Lightning following the Stanley Cup Final? What’s the latest on the Islanders and Sabres? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE AVALANCHE AND LIGHTNING?

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski and Kristen Shilton looked at what the offseason could hold for the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning following the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has some notable free agents to deal with, starting with forwards Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 13 and are coming off strong regular-season and playoff performances.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, winger Andre Burakovsky and defenseman Josh Manson could receive lucrative offers from other clubs in the upcoming free-agent market. Trade deadline acquisition Artturi Lehkonen is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility.

Hanging over all of his is the knowledge that superstar center Nathan MacKinnon is a year away from UFA eligibility. Sakic must manage his future cap space carefully and might have to get creative if they hope to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have a solid core next season in MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Samuel Girard and Bowen Byram. However, maintaining their supporting cast could be challenging.

Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with over $25 million in salary cap space with 14 players under contract for 2022-23. They’re enough room to re-sign Kadri, Nichushkin, Kuemper and Manson but it will eat up most of that cap space as well as bite deeply into their available space for 2023-24 when MacKinnon will be due for a big raise on a long-term deal.

Sakic might keep one of those key UFAs. It could be Kadri to ensure their depth at center but he could price himself out of their market. It could be Kuemper to maintain their solid goalie tandem with Pavel Francouz. I don’t think Burakovsky and Manson will be back.

My guess is Nichushkin is the most likely to return. Sakic took a chance on him after the Dallas Stars bought him out and he found his game with the Avs. He’s completing a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season and should be the more affordable to retain.

The Lightning’s decisions start with pending UFAs Ondrej Palat, Nick Paul and Jan Rutta. They’re up against the salary cap once again with 19 players under contract for next season. That makes a major roster overhaul unlikely.

Like Sakic, GM Julien BriseBois will have to use some creativity to maximize his bargaining power. He’ll need to decide if he’s happy with the club’s current depth, especially on the blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBois has proven skillful at finding inventive ways to maintain a championship roster. That ability will once again be put to the test.

The Lightning will get some wiggle room with Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million) on permanent long-term injury reserve. Still, it’s unlikely BriseBois be able to bring back all three of those UFAs. I expect BriseBois will put his efforts into signing Palat.

COULD THE ISLES SHOP BEAUVILLIER FOR A DEFENSEMAN?

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently pondered the possibility of the New York Islanders shopping Anthony Beauvillier for help on their blueline. While the 25-year-old winger’s development has stalled, he’s still young enough to improve. He also carries a reasonable $4.15 million annual cap hit for the next two seasons and lacks no-trade protection.

Zdeno Chara, Andy Greene, Sebastian Aho and Grant Hutton have likely played their final games for the Islanders. There are questions over whether those in the system, such as Robin Salo and Samuel Bolduc, are ready to move up.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun could be a trade target. Most Isles fans polled by Kurz would be fine with bundling Beauvillier with their first-round pick (13th overall) in this year’s draft for Chychrun, though Kurz believes the Coyotes would want a prospect included in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders aren’t the only team expected to have an interest in Chychrun. However, the Coyotes have set a very high asking price. Beauvillier, a first and a prospect might not be enough to land him. I suspect GM Lou Lamoriello will explore more affordable options if he uses the winger as trade bait for a blueliner.

LATEST ON THE SABRES

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington doesn’t see the Sabres using their plentiful salary-cap space to pursue a big-ticket UFA like Johnny Gaudreau, Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang. He also doesn’t see them pursuing Marc-Andre Fleury to bolster their goaltending depth if Craig Anderson decides he’s not returning.

He doesn’t see the Sabres being interested in Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. Toronto’s Jack Campbell might want a deal of three or four years and the Sabres aren’t interested in that type of term. He also believes St. Louis’ Ville Husso will want dollars and term that the Sabres aren’t interested in handing out.

Harrington advocates pursuing Braden Holtby to share the goalie duties and mentor promising Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen, suggesting they offer up a two-year, $8 million deal. It would also help the Sabres reach the $61 million salary-cap minimum.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see who the Sabres bring in to share the goalie duties with Luukkonen if Anderson hangs up his pads. The focus seems to remain on building up with their younger players, though I do see them adding affordable veterans to provide depth and leadership for next season.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 22, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 22, 2022

Are the Canucks listening to offers for J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser? What’s the latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Campbell, Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Necas? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON MILLER AND BOESER

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Vancouver Canucks are interested in listening to offers for J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. Miller, 29, is coming off a career-best 99-point season and is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Boeser is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Dreger said there isn’t a Stanley Cup playoff team (including the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning) who wouldn’t consider Miller a good addition. The Canucks aren’t interested in draft picks as they need good young NHL players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin and president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford appear intent on putting their stamp on this team right away, perhaps by retooling with an eye on the shortest possible turnaround. They won’t want offers of castoffs or struggling young players for Miller or Boeser.

Miller will have the best value but Boeser will also draw interest despite his struggles last season as he dealt with injuries, COVID-19 and his father’s declining health. Rutherford has indicated they intend to qualify Boeser’s rights (at a cost of $7.5 million) rather than let him walk away as a UFA.

Those two aren’t the only Canucks who could be shopped this summer. The Province’s Ben Kuzma wondered if they’ll find trade partners for wingers Tanner Pearson and Conor Garland in cost-cutting moves. He pointed out that the Boston Bruins were interested last summer in Garland before the Arizona Coyotes shipped him to the Canucks.

UPDATES ON GAUDREAU, CAMPBELL, FLEURY AND MANSON

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported the Calgary Flames already sent a contract offer to Johnny Gaudreau and there’s been ongoing dialogue between the two sides. He felt it won’t be about money if the 28-year-old left winger departs via free agency on July 13 as the Flames can offer up an extra year.

Chris Johnston reports the Toronto Maple Leafs seemingly haven’t reached out to Jack Campbell and Ilya Mikheyev. There have been ongoing discussions but no numbers offered up yet and no real negotiation. Mikheyev seeks between $4 million to $5 million annually while Campbell could go higher than that depending on the goalie market on July 13.

Darren Dreger said Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin would love to bring back goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to tandem with Cam Talbot for another season. Those talks haven’t started yet as the 37-year-old Fleury just returned from vacation with his family.

LeBrun also reported Colorado Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson is expected to hit the UFA market as they’ve got other key free agents such as Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin and Darcy Kuemper to deal with. Manson’s former club, the Anaheim Ducks, would like to speak to him when he hit the open market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everything’s still in the talking stage for most of this summer’s notable unrestricted free agents. With three weeks until the market opens on July 13, there’s still plenty of time for those negotiations to intensify and work out a deal. Nevertheless, the closer we get to that date with those players still unsigned, the more speculation will grow over their respective futures.

COULD THE HURRICANES MOVE NECAS?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are calling the Carolina Hurricanes about Martin Necas. The promising 23-year-old forward is coming off his entry-level contract and had an inconsistent 40-point performance. LeBrun doesn’t know if the Hurricanes really want to move him but didn’t rule it out if they can get an offer of a good defenseman.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2022

The Coyotes down the Senators, Auston Matthews suspended, the Ducks trade Josh Manson to the Avalanche, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse tallied his first career hat trick in a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller extended their points streak to six games with two points each while Scott Wedgewood made 40 saves for the win. Josh Norris scored two goals for the Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun missed this game and will be sidelined two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury. He’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation over the past couple of months but this injury could dampen his value in this season’s trade market.

TORONTO SUN: The NHL department of player safety handed a two-game suspension to Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin during Sunday’s Heritage Classic game in Hamilton.

Anaheim Ducks trade Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche (NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for prospect defenseman Drew Helleson and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the first major trade of this calendar year since the Calgary Flames acquired Tyler Toffoli last month from the Montreal Canadiens.

Cap Friendly indicates the Ducks also retained 50 percent of Manson’s $4.1 million cap hit. That gives the Avs’ some flexibility to make another deadline addition, especially if they place captain Gabriel Landeskog on long-term injury reserve following his knee surgery on Monday.

Manson, 30, will help to shore up the Avalanche’s blueline depth. Samuel Girard is out for four weeks plus there’s ongoing uncertainty over Bowen Byram’s status as he remains sidelined by concussion symptoms.

It’s not a bad return for the Ducks. Helleson is a well-regarded prospect who could blossom into a full-time member of their blueline.

Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek recently indicated he would trade his pending unrestricted free agents if he can’t re-sign them before the trade deadline. Manson’s departure casts a brighter spotlight on UFAs Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell, who will have greater value than Manson in the trade market.

NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom and New York Islanders captain Anders Lee are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 13, 2022.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Braden Holtby remains sidelined by a nagging lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holtby’s been mentioned as a possible trade candidate but I don’t think they intend to trade him while they’re jockeying for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. It’s even less likely with Anton Khudobin reportedly undergoing hip surgery on Monday. They will probably want to keep Holtby as Jake Oettinger’s backup for the remainder of the season.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals center Lars Eller was placed on COVID protocol after a positive test yesterday. It’s his second positive test this season and it’s uncertain when he’ll be back.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 13, 2022

Recaps of Saturday’s action, Hurricanes close to re-signing Kotkaniemi, Avs re-sign Francouz, Landeskog and Chychrun injured, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Artemi Panarin had a goal and four assists to lead the New York Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Dallas Stars. Dryden Hunt also collected three assists while Ryan Strome and K’Andre Miller each had two points for the Rangers (79 points), who moved ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins into second place in the Metropolitan Division. John Klingberg, Esa Lindell and Roope Hintz each had two points for the Stars (67 points), who sit one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

The Carolina Hurricanes took over first place in the overall standings by downing the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1, extending their home points streak to 13 games. Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen made 28 saves while Jordan Martinook and Sebastian Aho scored unanswered goals in the third period. The Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche each have 87 points but the Canes hold a game in hand.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice to lead his club over the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1. Mikko Koskinen made 31 saves for the win, Tyson Barrie collected two assists in his return from injured reserve while Josh Archibald was activated off long-term injury reserve for the Oilers (68 points), who moved ahead of the Golden Knights into third place in the Pacific Division. The Lightning (80 points) have dropped three straight and hold a one-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid regained first place in the scoring race with 83 points, one up on Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau and two ahead of teammate Leon Draisaitl.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves for his league-leading ninth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Elias Lindholm reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career and Matthew Tkachuk collected two assists. With 79 points, the Flames hold a seven-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

The Kings, meanwhile, were shut out by the San Jose Sharks 5-0. Adin Hill made 29 saves in his first start since Jan. 29 while teammate Timo Meier had a goal and two assists.

St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas scored twice and set up two others in a 7-4 victory over the Nashville Predators. The Blues blew a 3-0 lead but recovered on three unanswered third-period goals by Thomas, David Perron and Justin Faulk. Matt Duchene scored twice for the Predators, including his 30th goal of the season. The Blues hold a three-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division with 75 points. With 70 points, the Predators hold a two-point lead over the Golden Knights for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Boston Bruins nipped the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on a late goal by Charlie Coyle. Craig Smith scored twice and Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves as the Bruins (77 points) hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun left the game in the second period following a collision with a Bruins player. No update was provided but the club is hopeful he’ll be day-to-day. Chychrun has been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for the past couple of months. Coyotes forward Christian Fischer missed the game with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

Patrick Kane collected three assists while Jonathan Toews and Caleb Jones each scored twice as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-3. With 1,156 points, Kane moved in second place among the Blackhawks’ all-time scoring leaders. Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy was stretchered from the game after being hit into the boards in the first period. He wasn’t taken to hospital and remained at the arena under the team’s medical supervision. Murphy is traveling back to Chicago with his teammates.

Shootout goals by Tomas Tatar and Jesper Bratt gave the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Devils goalie Nico Daws made 33 saves in regulation and overtime. The loss leaves the Ducks four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Ducks defenseman Josh Manson returned from injured reserve but forward Sam Steel wound up on IR with a facial injury.

A shootout goal by Marcus Johansson lifted the Seattle Kraken over the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. The Canadiens rallied on third-period goals by Alexander Romanov and Nick Suzuki to force overtime and the shootout. Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson made his season debut after being sidelined last summer by a back injury while Kale Clague was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

TSN: The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly close to agreeing to an eight-year contract extension with center Jesperi Kotkaniemi. It’s believed to be worth between $4.25 million and $4.5 million annually. The Hurricanes successfully signed away Kotkaniemi last summer from the Montreal Canadiens with a one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Chris Johnston reports the deal cannot be formally completed until after the March 21 trade deadline because it’s an eight-year extension. Kotkaniemi was never a $6 million player but that was the salary needed to sign him away from the Canadiens. It was widely assumed he’d accept a lesser annual cap-hit on a long-term deal after this season.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will be sidelined indefinitely by a knee injury. The club hopes to have him back before the start of the playoffs in late April or early May. Defenseman Samuel Girard will miss approximately four weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landeskog and Girard earn a combined $12 million. If they’re placed on long-term injury reserve it would provide the Avalanche with much-needed salary-cap flexibility to add a player or two before the March 21 trade deadline.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed backup goaltender Pavel Francouz to a two-year, $4 million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Darcy Kuemper will also get an extension. The Avs starter is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner is listed as week-to-week with a lower-back injury.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers forward Scott Laughton is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a concussion during Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

TSN: Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for kneeing Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek on Friday.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 9, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 9, 2022

Check out the latest on Shea Weber, Jakob Chychrun, Tomas Hertl, Claude Giroux, Semyon Varlamov and P.K. Subban plus updates on the Ducks and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON WEBER, CHYCHRUN, HERTL AND HAGEL

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports several capologists responded to his recent musting about whether it would make sense for the Minnesota Wild to acquire Shea Weber’s contract from the Montreal Canadiens. The capologists don’t believe the Wild would do it as it would prevent them from accruing cap space, robbing them of flexibility. They also pointed out that a team cannot acquire a player on long-term injury reserve without activating him first, something few teams (like the Wild) can afford to do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Weber’s LTIR contract would only be suitable for low-spending teams looking for a creative way to reach the salary-cap floor, not for those bumping against the cap ceiling seeking a way to exceed it.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports eight teams are “seriously” pursuing Jakob Chychrun. Based on the Arizona Coyotes’ high asking price for the 23-year-old defenseman, it could come down to the March 21 trade deadline. The primary suitors include the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ asking price is reportedly a first-round draft pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player. Bear in mind some of these clubs (Blues, Hurricanes, Panthers) have limited salary-cap space so they’ll have to send some salary back to the Coyotes or make a separate cost-cutting deal to make the dollars work.

Chychrun is also signed through 2024-25 so there’s no rush on the Coyotes’ part to move him at the trade deadline. They can wait until the offseason if they don’t get any suitable offers over the next couple of weeks.

Pierre LeBrun reports teams have been calling the San Jose Sharks about Tomas Hertl but they’re still trying to sign the 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent. However, he speculates they could attempt to move him if there’s no progress in contract talks seven days from now. Teams have also called about penalty-killing defenseman Jake Middleton.

Dreger also reports there’s lots of interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Hagel given his play and affordable contract. However, there’s no guarantee he’ll be moved as he could have a place in the Blackhawks rebuild. Dreger said the asking price could be a first-round pick and something else.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers put the likelihood of Hagel getting moved at the trade deadline at one percent.

LATEST ON THE DUCKS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek is willing to test the trade market on pending unrestricted free agents such as Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell and Nic Deslauriers. It doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be traded as there’s a little more wiggle room with Lindholm. Winger Max Comtois could also be available after struggling through this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli moved Lindholm to No. 2 on his trade targets list. The Florida Panthers are believed among several teams said to be interested in the 28-year-old Ducks defenseman.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Ducks have opened contract talks with Lindholm but not yet with Manson. Some believe management wants to see how negotiations go with Lindholm and if they fall through they could try to sign Manson before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much could also depend on where the Ducks are in the standings. They’re currently four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Verbeek could be more inclined to become a seller if they don’t gain ground before the trade deadline. Nevertheless, he’s indicated he doesn’t want to lose those guys to free agency for nothing, so he could move them regardless of where his club sits in the playoff race.

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” COLUMN

SPORTSNET: Rumors suggesting sidelined Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram wanted a fresh start elsewhere have been denied.

There’s increased interest in New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who has a year remaining on his contract with a $5 million cap hit and a no-trade clause that covers half the league. Friedman doesn’t see the Edmonton Oilers as a destination.

Don’t count out the St. Louis Blues as a suitor for the Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux, who’s been linked to the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are bumping against the $81.5 million salary-cap ceiling. They’ll have to get creative to take on the remainder of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit.

No evidence the Winnipeg Jets have pivoted and tried to re-sign Andrew Copp. The Boston Bruins and the Avalanche are believed among the interested parties.

It will be tough for the New Jersey Devils to move P.K. Subban’s $9 million cap hit. However, his actual cash to him is $2 million. With most of that already paid out, Friedman wondered if it would make sense for the Devils to terminate his contract and let him sign elsewhere for similar money. He said he hasn’t run that idea by the league yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be interesting to learn the league’s response. I daresay it would be considered salary cap circumvention rather than Subban violating the terms of his deal, which is the reason behind the San Jose Sharks terminating Evander Kane’s contract earlier this season.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2022

The latest on the Ducks’ efforts to re-sign three key free agents plus updates on the Canucks and Flyers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WILL THE DUCKS TRADE OR SIGN LINDHOLM, MANSON & RAKELL?

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Anaheim Ducks new general manager Pat Verbeek intends to sign Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell to new contracts or he will move them before the March 21 trade deadline.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (NHL Images).

At the end of the day, there’s no guarantee I can get those three free agents back,” said Verbeek. “I’m going to attempt to sign them, if it doesn’t happen, I can’t just let them walk out the door free.”

Verbeek has reportedly started contract talks with Lindholm last week. There’s no word of discussions yet with Manson or Rakell.

LeBrun’s colleague Eric Stephens considers Lindholm a player the Ducks would prefer not to move but might have to if they can’t get him signed to an extension. He believes they’re willing to listen on Manson and Rakell. Stephens also suggested Max Comtois might benefit from a change of scenery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Lindholm would draw the most interest in the trade market. Former GM Bob Murray listened to offers on Rakell last season but ultimately retained him. Manson remains week-to-week with an injured finger and might not be back before the trade deadline.

UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS

CHEK TV: Appearing on the “Donnie and Dhali” show on Monday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Vancouver Canucks have thrown almost every player’s name out there except for Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Thatcher Demko to gauge their worth if they became available. However, they’re still in the playoff chase and don’t have to make any decisions by the trade deadline with players like J.T. Miller under contract for next season and Brock Boeser a restricted free agent this summer.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers got a good look at Miller during their 5-2 loss to the Canucks on Sunday with Miller setting up the Canucks’ first two goals. Brooks believes he’d be a great fit on the Rangers but the asking price and the lack of pressure on the Canucks to trade him would make Miller an expensive acquisition for the Blueshirts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks management could be more willing to entertain offers for players such as Miller if they tumble out of contention over the next three weeks leading up to March 21. Nevertheless, they can afford to wait until the offseason if they don’t get any offers to their liking.

COULD THE FLYERS SHOP RISTOLAINEN OR BRASSARD?

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating Rasmus Ristolainen could get moved. The 27-year-old Philadelphia Flyers defenseman has never played in the postseason in his NHL career and Friedman thinks his physical style is best-suited to playoff hockey. Murphy wonders if Ristolainen would be a good fit with the Bruins, citing rumors claiming general manager Don Sweeney was interested in the blueliner before he was traded to the Flyers by the Buffalo Sabres.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Olivia Reiner reports oft-injured Flyers forward Derick Brassard could become a trade chip if he can stay healthy leading up to the trade deadline.