Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 25, 2024
Teams are calling about Canucks center Elias Pettersson, the latest on the Penguins’ Jake Guentzel and speculation that the Hurricanes could be listening on Martin Necas. Details on these and other trade conjecture on the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
GROWING INTEREST IN PETTERSSON
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported a lot of noise has developed over the past couple of weeks regarding Elias Pettersson. Teams are calling the Vancouver Canucks to ask what’s going on regarding the 25-year-old center’s contract situation and if he’s available.
Pettersson is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. He’s completing a three-year contract with an average annual value of $7.35 million.
Friedman said the Canucks don’t want to comment on this. He added that they’re telling teams they are trying to re-sign Pettersson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Canucks position in the standings (first overall) I’ll be amazed if they were to trade Pettersson by the March 8 trade deadline. It’s rumored they’ve tabled a long-term contract with an AAV of $12 million but he prefers to wait until the offseason to discuss a new deal.
Given Pettersson’s RFA status, the Canucks are under no pressure to trade him by March 8. If the two sides can’t reach an agreement on a long-term extension and it appears he’ll head to market by his UFA eligibility in July 2025 they’ll shop him in June, probably leading up to the opening round of the 2024 draft.
LATEST ON THE PENGUINS
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers are among the clubs interested in Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having interest is one thing. Having the cap space to absorb the remainder of Guentzel’s $6 million cap hit as well as the tradeable assets to entice the Penguins is another. It could take some creativity on the part of one of these teams to pull it off, perhaps involving another club acting as a third-party broker.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Jarry wants out, the more likely to move is Nedeljkovic. Jarry is the better of the two, leading the league with six shutouts and among the leaders in goals-against average and save percentage. He’s been among the few bright spots for the Penguins this season.
Jarry would fetch a nice return but if general manager Kyle Dubas is looking at retooling the roster rather than rebuilding he’ll want to hang onto his starting goalie. I don’t see him moving Blomqvist as he’s part of that youth movement that Dubas wants for the future.
Friedman also took time to calm the waters about his musing over the possibility of Erik Karlsson returning to Ottawa. “That’s just me spitballing,” he chuckled. “Let’s not get too crazy about that one at this point in time.”
HURRICANES LISTENING ON NECAS?
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports being told that the Carolina Hurricanes could be willing to entertain offers on winger Martin Necas. He also wondered if the Hurricanes would be calling the Calgary Flames about goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of spitballing, could the Hurricanes package Necas in a deal for Markstrom? Discuss it in the comments section below.
UPDATE ON THE DUCKS
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers are seeking some forward depth. He thinks they’re looking at Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick. He’s not sure if they’re after both players or just one of them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been mentioned that the Oilers would like to add a third-line center and a gritty checking-line forward. Henrique would handle that center role plus he can also play on left wing while Carrick would bring a more physical presence to their checking lines. Of the two, Carrick would be the more affordable to acquire in terms of return and cap hit.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Ducks winger Frank Vatrano remains on the Rangers’ radar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks also took notice of speculation suggesting the Rangers reacquire Pavel Buchnevich from the St. Louis Blues. However, he believes Vatrano is the better former Ranger to bring back into the fold, citing the strong chemistry he had with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider down the stretch in 2022.
TEAMS CALLING THE FLYERS ABOUT SEELER AND WALKER
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes two teams have contacted the Philadelphia Flyers about defensemen Nick Seeler and Sean Walker as a pair. They’ve been a solid defense duo this season and the Flyers have been weighing whether to sign or trade them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk earlier this season that the Toronto Maple Leafs had looked into Seeler and Walker after a failed attempt to acquire Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames before Zadorov was traded to Vancouver.
LATEST ON THE LEAFS, STARS, ISLANDERS AND COYOTES
SPORTSNET: Friedman said the Leafs continue to look for a right-shot defenseman. That’s been their focus for most of this season.
The Dallas Stars have been quietly among the more aggressive teams in the trade market. They’re seeking defense and depth.
NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears believes Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello would like to add a more reliable No. 3 goaltender. Of the three they have with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, only one has a save percentage over .900.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reported Friday that Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong is once again in sell mode leading up to the trade deadline. The obvious trade candidates are rental players such as defenseman Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker.
Armstrong could get calls on players with a year left on their contracts like goaltender Karel Vejmelka and Nick Bjugstad. LeBrun said the Coyotes GM doesn’t sound motivated about Vejmelka and deflected when asked about Bjugstad.
The Coyotes are already well-stocked with draft picks but Armstrong is willing to accept more via trades. He pointed out that some of those picks will be used as trade currency to add established NHL players.