NHL Rumor Mill – September 14, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – September 14, 2023

Check out the latest on the Flames and the Blues in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

UPDATE ON THE FLAMES KEY PENDING FREE AGENTS

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames general manager Craig Conroy isn’t panicking over having six key players eligible for unrestricted free-agent status next summer. He said he’s been talking to those players (Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Noah Hanifin, Oliver Kylington, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov) during the summer and those discussions will continue.

Lindholm didn’t have much to say to reporters yesterday regarding his contract talks when the Flames gathered for their annual charity golf tournament. “I’ve made it pretty clear that I want to stay,” said the 28-year-old center. “That’s about it”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daniel Austin also reported on Lindholm’s contract situation. It’s understood that the Flames have made a big-money, long-term offer to the two-way center to keep him in Calgary. He also indicated that Conroy doesn’t want to risk losing Lindholm to free agency like his predecessor did with Johnny Gaudreau.

Earlier in the week, Gilbertson suggested it could take over $9 million annually to keep Lindholm in the fold. However, he thinks the lack of progress in getting a deal done is due to the center taking what appears to be a wait-and-see approach regarding the coming season.

Gilbertson believes Conroy doesn’t want to trade Lindholm but doesn’t doubt that he’s gauged the interest of his fellow NHL general managers to see what type of package they’d be willing to offer. Trading him, however, would also leave a huge hole at center for the Flames that will be difficult to fill internally.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

TSN’s Salim Nadim Valji believes Lindholm sounded more open and optimistic about his future in Calgary than he did a couple of months ago. Time will tell if that’s the case as this season unfolds.

Hanifin also provided some clarity on his situation following a summer of reports claiming he didn’t want to sign a contract extension. The 26-year-old defenseman told reporters he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of re-signing with the Flames but is putting his focus on the coming season and will see how things go from there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Valji reported that Hanifin told management he would wait and see how the season went but he hadn’t shut the door on an extension. He also informed them during the summer that he needed time to digest the disappointment of last season.

Conroy stressed that none of those six pending UFAs have asked to be traded or told him that they didn’t want to be in Calgary. He considered it understandable that they want time to evaluate the club’s performance this season following last year’s disappointing outcome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, a bounce-back performance by the Flames followed by a strong postseason effort could sway most of those core UFAs to re-sign. Another discouraging season like 2022-23 could lead to Conroy peddling some of them by the March 8 trade deadline.

LATEST ON THE BLUES

THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Jeremy Rutherford was asked if there was any substance to rumors of the St. Louis Blues being interested in William Nylander and offering up Colton Parayko for the Toronto Maple Leafs winger.

Rutherford dismissed that rumor as well as another reader’s suggested offer for Nylander with Torey Krug as the centerpiece of the return to the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Rutherford observed, Nylander is a two-time 40-goal scorer who nearly had 90 points last season. The Leafs wouldn’t accept Krug even if he was healthy. He also believes any possibility of a Nylander-for-Parayko swap died out a long time ago. Parayko isn’t on the same level of talent as the Leafs winger.

Rutherford was also asked if the Blues might attempt to move a veteran defenseman such as Krug, Parayko, Justin Faulk or Nick Leddy at some point this season. He didn’t rule out the possibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As we saw with Krug earlier this summer when he nixed a trade to Philadelphia, the respective no-trade/no-movement clauses of those blueliners will make them difficult to shop.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 3, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 3, 2023

Check out the latest on Ducks goaltender John Gibson and Blues defenseman Colton Parayko in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH DUCKS GOALIE JOHN GIBSON?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Levine observes that we’ve heard less and less about Ducks goaltender John Gibson since he reportedly wanted out of Anaheim earlier in the summer. It’s been dead quiet since, prompting Levine to suggest the 30-year-old netminder may have changed his mind after seeing some of management’s offseason moves.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (NHL Images).

Some of the Ducks’ veteran signings this summer suggest they want to get their rebuild started. Gibson would give them a legitimate option in goal so it’s hoped that he sticks around for the upcoming season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported in early July that Gibson asked management for a trade. The goalie’s agent swiftly and firmly denied that his client wanted to be moved.

Gibson has regularly surfaced in media trade chatter since last summer. As Levine observed, however, there’s been nothing about the netminder since his agent’s statement.

The Ducks could be working on a trade for Gibson. His stats have suffered over the past three seasons as the roster depth was depleted in front of him. His contract also remains a significant obstacle. He’s signed through 2026-27 with an average annual value of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade list.

It won’t be easy to move Gibson with all but a handful of clubs carrying less than $5 million in cap space to start the coming season. Unless the Ducks agree to retain a portion, the best opportunity to trade the veteran goalie could be next summer when the cap is projected to rise by at least $4 million for 2024-25.

THE BLUES COLTON PARAYKO HOPES TO QUIET TRADE RUMORS

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports Colton Parayko hopes to win back St. Louis Blues fans and quiet trade rumors. As the club has declined since winning the Stanley Cup in 2019, the 6’6”, 228-pounder has been criticized as a soft player who isn’t a No. 1 defenseman.

Parayko, 30, was the subject of trade rumors last season. However, nothing came of them because he has a full no-trade clause. He’s focused on the coming season with the belief it will be a better one for himself and the Blues.

Nevertheless, Parayko is aware that his no-trade clause won’t silence the media trade chatter. He said that his intent is to stay with the Blues and never heard anything about a trade from anyone “around here”, referring to the organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk that the St. Albert, Alberta native would only waive his NTC to join the Edmonton Oilers. Given the Oilers’ limited cap space and their addition last March of defenseman Mattias Ekholm, we shouldn’t expect to see him suiting up with the Oilers anytime soon.

Maybe Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was calling around last season to gauge potential interest in Parayko. Perhaps it was rival general managers calling to see if the big defenseman was available. Or maybe a pundit was musing about hypothetical trade scenarios involving the Blues and the rumor mill blew it up into Parayko being on the trade block.

Whatever the reason, Parayko isn’t going anywhere for the time being. That possibility will become more remote if the Blues rebound into playoff contenders this season.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 19, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – April 19, 2023

What moves should the Blues and Coyotes make this offseason? Is this Matt Dumba’s final season with the Wild? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHAT SHOULD THE BLUES DO THIS OFFSEASON?

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford recently made some suggestions regarding offseason moves for the St. Louis Blues.

One was trading Torey Krug or Nick Leddy if there’s any interest in them this summer provided they’re willing to waive their no-trade clauses. It would help the cap-strapped Blues and allow younger defensemen more playing time during the club’s roster retooling.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given their ages (32) and contract terms, that could be easier said than done. The oft-injured Krug carries an average annual value of $6.5 million through 2026-27 while Leddy’s is $4 million through 2025-26.

Leddy seems the easiest to move but that depends on whether there’s a market for him and if he’ll agree to be traded.

Colton Parayko popped up in trade rumors this season but nothing materialized. It seems unlikely that the Blues will move him because they’d need to find a suitable replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parayko also has a full no-trade clause. It was rumored that he’d only waive it for the Edmonton Oilers as his hometown is St. Albert, Alberta. If so, forget about moving him anytime soon.

Rutherford also suggested a contract buyout for Marco Scandella if they fail to move Krug or Leddy. He has one season left on his contract worth $3.275 million. A buyout would save them $2 million for 2023-24 and $1 million the following season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be their best option if they can’t move Krug or Leddy or find a trade partner for Scandella.

WHAT WILL THE COYOTES DO THIS SUMMER?

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan recently looked at several questions facing the Arizona Coyotes this summer.

One of them was what this year’s draft will provide the Coyotes. They have 12 picks in this year’s draft, including two first-rounders, four in the third round, and two in each of rounds five and six. They also have a total of 47 picks over the next four drafts.

Morgan doesn’t expect they’ll trade either of this year’s first-rounders. However, they do have the pieces with their other picks to trade for a young prospect or existing NHL player.

There’s also the possibility of a trade on the draft floor. Morgan noted that Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz drew plenty of interest leading up to the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes could be a team to monitor as the opening day of the draft (June 28) approaches. General manager Bill Armstrong could look at packaging some of those picks (other than his 2023 first-rounders) for a young player who can help accelerate their rebuild.

Morgan speculated that Schmaltz might fetch them another first-rounder. It’s not a far-fetched suggestion given how often his name surfaced in the rumor mill before the trade deadline.

IS DUMBA’S TENURE WITH THE WILD DRAWING TO A CLOSE?

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Sarah McLellan reports this year’s playoffs could be the final leg of Matt Dumba’s 10 seasons with the Minnesota Wild. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. With the Wild facing a salary-cap crunch this summer, he’s unlikely to be re-signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is probably Dumba’s final season with the Wild. His name frequently surfaced in trade rumors in the weeks leading up to the March 3 deadline.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 5, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – April 5, 2023

Three teams could be willing to move first-round picks in this year’s draft, an update on Timo Meier’s contract situation plus the latest on the Blues and Senators in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

BLUE JACKETS, BLUES & CANADIENS COULD LISTEN TO OFFERS FOR 2023 FIRST-ROUNDERS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is “100 percent” open to trading the 2023 first-round pick he received from the Los Angeles Kings in the trade that sent Joonas Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov to the Kings. It’s not going to be a high pick given the Kings’ place in the overall standings. LeBrun said Kekalainen would like to get a top-four defenseman as part of the package for a first-round pick.

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen (NHL.com)

The Blue Jackets might not be the only team willing to move a 2023 first-rounder. LeBrun indicated the St. Louis Blues previously expressed a willingness to entertain offers for the first-round picks they received from the New York Rangers for Vladimir Tarasenko and the Toronto Maple Leafs for Ryan O’Reilly.

LeBrun also believes the Montreal Canadiens would be willing to trade the 2023 first-rounder they received last year from the Florida Panthers in the Ben Chiarot deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that the Blue Jackets, Blues and Canadiens aren’t talking about listening to offers for their own first-rounders. Those picks will be in the top 10 and one of them could be first overall following the draft lottery. This year’s draft is considered a deep one so any team holding a top-10 selection won’t part with it unless they get an offer too good to pass up.

Like the Jackets, the Blues and Canadiens could be looking for a promising young NHL player in return (or part of the return) for those picks. That’s what the Canadiens did at last year’s draft, acquiring the New York Islanders pick (13th overall) and flipping it to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kirby Dach.

UPDATE ON TIMO MEIER

LeBrun also reported New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald has met with trade-deadline acquisition Timo Meier to talk about a long-term contract for the 26-year-old winger. They see him as a core piece moving forward. However, they won’t open discussions until after the playoffs to allow Meier time to adjust to life on and off the ice with his new team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

The annual average value of his current contract is $6 million but he’s earning $10 million in actual salary this season. That’s how much it would cost the Devils to qualify his rights unless the two sides can work out an agreement on a deal with a more affordable AAV.

MORE BLUES SPECULATION

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Jeremy Rutherford was asked which one of Blues forward Brayden Schenn and defensemen Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk and Nick Leddy could be moved this summer.

He doesn’t see Schenn and Faulk going anywhere. Despite having a lot of term left on their respective contracts, they’ve been good players for the Blues.

Rutherford thinks they’d move Krug if they could but he hasn’t heard of much interest in the oft-injured 31-year-old defenseman. He believes they’d move the minute-munching Parayko in the right situation. However, they won’t give him away plus he’s got a full no-trade clause.

They could try to move Leddy and his $4 million AAV. However, the three years remaining on his contract could be too much for most teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues might have to look at other candidates to cut costs if they’re going to go that route this summer unless they’re willing to part with Schenn or Faulk. There was talk before the trade deadline of teams with interest in Parayko but it’s rumored he would only waive his NTC for the Edmonton Oilers.

Krug or Leddy could be bought out of their respective contract but that would eat up a lot of long-term cap space.

UPDATE ON CAM TALBOT’S CONTRACT SITUATION

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported the Senators met with Cam Talbot’s agent in December to discuss a contract extension. However, the two sides weren’t close so the talks were put on hold.

It’s believed the two sides discussed a two-year deal. However, the Talbot camp sought a considerable raise over the 35-year-old goalie’s $3.5 million AAV.

The Senators wanted to see how Talbot performed down the stretch before deciding about next season but it’s not looking good for his return. He was sidelined by groin and rib injuries over that period.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2023

Will the Canadiens shop Joel Edmundson and Mike Hoffman in the offseason? What’s next for the Blues following a busy month of trade activity? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST CANADIENS SPECULATION

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan recently speculated the Canadiens could trade Joel Edmundson this summer if the 29-year-old defenseman stays healthy and plays well over the remainder of this season.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson has a year remaining on his contract with an affordable $3.5 million average annual value. Despite his injury history, the veteran blueliner remained a subject of interest in the trade market leading up to last Friday’s deadline. A solid finish to this season could help his value in this summer’s trade market.

TVA SPORTS: Louis Robitaille raised the possibility of the Canadiens trading Mike Hoffman this summer to the Arizona Coyotes. He also suggested Jonathan Drouin might earn himself a cheap new contract with the Canadiens if he keeps playing well down the stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robitalle thinks Hoffman could help the rebuilding Coyotes turn the corner. Whether they share that view, however, is another matter.

As for Drouin, I think his time with the Habs is over regardless of his play over the rest of the season. The Habs are bringing in younger talent and I don’t see room for Drouin on their roster going forward.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico speculated the Canadiens might be able to sign Sean Monahan to a one-year, bonus-laden contract. Such deals are usually reserved for young players on entry-level contracts or players over 35 years of age. However, the CBA stipulates a player with over 400 or more games played who spent 100 or more days on injured reserve or long-term injured reserve during the final season of their contract is also eligible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some media chatter prior to Monahan’s injury in December that the Canadiens could sign him to a contract extension. They could go that one-year route with him for next season but that will depend on his health status. There’s talk his foot injury may have aggravated a surgically repaired hip.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE BLUES?

STLTODAY.COM: Following Friday’s trade deadline, Jim Thomas and Matthew DeFranks reported St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong believes most of his roster is set for next season.

I don’t feel comfortable that this is the summer to get out in the free-agent market,” Armstrong told reporters. If he does make forays into the market, he’d prefer signing players to one-year contracts to let them prove their long-term value to the retooling Blues. He’s also looking at promoting some players from within the club’s system.

There were rumors leading up to the trade deadline that the Blues would need to trade a defenseman to create more salary-cap flexibility. Colton Parayko’s name surfaced as a trade candidate. Armstrong declined to get into any specific player but defended Parayko.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know for certain if Armstrong was shopping Parayko. It may have been a case of interested clubs expressing interest in the 29-year-old Blues defenseman and Armstrong listening to offers but not hearing anything he liked. Then again, Parayko’s $6.5 million annual cap hit through 2029-30 and his full no-movement clause makes him difficult to trade.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 2, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – March 2, 2023

The trade deadline is March 3 at 3 pm ET. Here’s the latest on Brock Boeser, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jonathan Quick and Colton Parayko plus the latest on the Flyers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

IS BROCK BOESER NEXT OUT OF VANCOUVER?

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan reported a lot of teams have an interest in Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser. However, a lot of them have balked at his $6.65 million average annual value through 2024-25. The Canucks are open to retaining part of the 25-year-old winger’s cap hit if it helps them net a good return. They’ve even spoken of including draft capital in the deal.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reported yesterday that a Boeser trade is not close. He’s expected to play tonight against the Minnesota Wild. Two teams are calling about the winger but his contract is difficult to move and Dhaliwal doubts the Canucks have much of an appetite to retain much salary. They’re also not about to give him away. Dhaliwal considers Boeser easier to move in the offseason when teams have more cap space to work with.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports Boeser acknowledged hearing his name in trade rumors before but this year it feels more real. Some of that is because the Canucks have authorized his agent to speak with other clubs about trading for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve been saying the same thing about Boeser since he first surfaced in the rumor mill this season. If the Canucks want to move his entire cap hit from their books, the summer is the best time to do it. However, they’ll have to work quickly. Once the free-agent market opens on July 1, the number of teams with the cap space to take on his cap hit will quickly dwindle.

COULD TYLER BERTUZZI BE THE NEXT RED WING TO BE TRADED?

**UPDATE** The Red Wings traded Bertuzzi this morning to the Boston Bruins for a conditional first-round pick in 2024 (top-10 protected) and a 2025 fourth-rounder. The Wings have retained 50 percent of Bertuzzi’s $4.75 million cap hit for this season.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff reports growing speculation regarding Tyler Betuzzi’s future with the Red Wings following the club’s trade of Filip Hronek to Vancouver yesterday. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were linked to Bertuzzi but their acquisition of Mikael Granlund may have taken them out of the running. Duff also suggested the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes as possible destinations.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan considers Bertuzzi the Wings’ best trade chip heading toward Friday’s deadline. They can’t risk losing him this summer to free agency. Bertuzzi could fetch a decent return.

Wings general manager Steve Yzerman would also like to move struggling winger Jakub Vrana. However, he has a year remaining on his contract at $5.25 million and the Wings might have to retain some of his salary to move him. Winger Filip Zadina could also be available but his lack of production and the two years remaining on his contract at $1.825 million annually could hurt his trade value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi should generate interest from playoff contenders or perhaps clubs seeking a top-six winger willing to attempt to sign him to a contract extension. The Leafs, Stars and Oilers all lack sufficient cap space to acquire him. The Hurricanes still have some wiggle room with $2.6 million in projected cap space after acquiring defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere yesterday.

LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION

TSN: Darren Dreger yesterday reported the Philadelphia Flyers are taking calls on Ivan Provorov. The 26-year-old defenseman carries an AAV of $6.25 million for two more seasons. Dreger believes it would take a significant offer to convince the Flyers to move him.

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan reported the Flyers are trying to move Provorov but a deal hasn’t emerged yet. Meanwhile, she believes there’s a limited market this week for forward Kevin Hayes even if the Flyers retained part of his $7.1 million cap hit. Pending UFA winger James van Riemsdyk remains the most likely to be moved by Friday’s deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers could surprise by shipping out Provorov and/or Hayes, which would certainly provide some excitement for what’s shaping up to be a quiet deadline day. However, I agree with Kaplan that van Riemsdyk is the most likely to be traded, and I can see the Flyers retaining part of his $7 million AAV for the right return.

BLUES JACKETS COULD MOVE JONATHAN QUICK

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted on Wednesday that the Columbus Blue Jackets will explore the trade market to see if a playoff team has any interest in Jonathan Quick. The Jackets acquired the 37-year-old pending UFA goaltender early Wednesday morning from the Los Angeles Kings. LeBrun said Quick has been made aware of the Jackets’ intentions.

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski tweeted that Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he’s communicated with Quick and his agent. He said he has the utmost respect for the goaltender and his career and will “try to do the right thing” for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick’s performance really declined this season which is why the Kings decided to trade him for Joonas Korpisalo. The rebuilding Jackets will probably retain half of his $5.8 million cap hit for a suitable offer. Perhaps a playoff contender looking for an experienced backup will take a chance on him.

LATEST ON COLTON PARAYKO

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports a source claims the St. Louis Blues want to move a defenseman. Colton Parayko seemed the likely candidate due to his poor performance this season and the Blues desire to free up salary-cap space.

Despite the 29-year-old Parayko’s struggles, there is interest in him around the league. However, a source close to the blueliner, who was born in St. Albert, Alberta, claimed he would only waive his no-trade clause to go to Edmonton.

Rutherford believes this situation could carry over into the offseason if Blues GM Doug Armstrong can’t find a suitable deal by the trade deadline. Of course, it will depend on whether Parayko will agree to be moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parayko is signed through 2029-30 with an AAV of $6.5 million. Given his on-ice difficulties this season, that contract could prove difficult to move if the Blues don’t retain part of his salary, which I doubt they want to do. It could come down to swapping him for a comparable contract. If Parayko remains adamant about only going to Edmonton, he’ll be with the Blues for a long time.