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.


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.


**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.


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.


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.


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.

NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2023

The Trade Deadline is March 3, 2023. Check out the latest on J.T. Miller, Jakob Chychrun and Colton Parayko plus updates on the Flyers, Red Wings, Hurricanes, Leafs, Oilers and Wild in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Matt Vensel reports two league sources told him that the Penguins and the Vancouver Canucks recently engaged in trade discussions regarding forward J.T. Miller.

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

One source said those talks have reached an impasse but could be revisited before Friday’s trade deadline. It’s not known what the Penguins discussed sending to the Canucks for Miller, whose new seven-year contract with an average annual value of $8 million kicks in on July 1. Vensel noted that Pittsburgh general manager Ron Hextall last week said he wouldn’t part with future assets unless it was for an impact player signed beyond this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vancouver Hockey Insider’s Rob Simpson believes it would have to be “a pretty damn nice package” to tempt the Canucks into parting with Miller. He also noted Canucks star Elias Pettersson likes having Miller around.

Miller’s current contract carries a cap hit of $5.25 million and lacks no-trade protection. The Canucks could retain half of that for the remainder of this season to facilitate a deal as it would clear his upcoming contract completely off their books. I’m not sure if the Penguins have the assets to tempt the Canucks but perhaps the latter is desperate to move Miller.

(UPDATE: Cap Friendly confirms whatever the Canucks retain on the remainder of Miller’s current contract would also have to be retained on his new contract as well)


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Washington Capitals have had “some pretty substantial talk” with the Arizona Coyotes about defenseman Jakob Chychrun. The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins have also spoken with the Coyotes about Chychrun. Arizona general manager Bill Armstrong is willing to hand onto the blueliner if no one meets his asking price and try again this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still think Chychrun could be moved by the deadline. It certainly won’t be a good look for the Coyotes to sit him out for over two weeks and not trade him. However, I don’t think that’s something that concerns Armstrong. If Chychrun isn’t moved, he’ll just shrug and say he’s not budging off his asking price. I can understand Armstrong’s insistence on getting a quality return for Chychrun but he risks hurting the blueliner’s value by not being a little more flexible in trade talks.


TSN: Darren Dreger reported the Edmonton Oilers had kicked tires on St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko. With the Oilers’ acquisition of blueliner Mattias Ekholm, he believes it’s more likely that Parayko stays put in St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parayko’s contract makes him difficult to move during the season. He’s signed through 2029-30 with an AAV of $6.5 million and full no-trade protection. Maybe he would’ve waived it to join the Oilers but the Blues aren’t going to just give him away.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Philadelphia Flyers are getting more calls about winger James van Riemsdyk. The Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames have looked into acquiring him. LeBrun believes the Flyers could seek a second and a third-round pick.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher is willing to listen to offers on all his players if it makes sense for his team. He added that he wants his roster to get younger.

The Flyers GM didn’t rule out moving 30-year-old forward Kevin Hayes for the right offer. Hayes has said he’d prefer to remain with the Flyers than get traded to a contender. He has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $7.1 million and a 12-team no-trade clause.

Fletcher said he’d be looking for draft picks and prospects in the trade market. He’s also open to retaining salary to facilitate a trade, which Carchidi felt was in reference to James van Riemsdyk and his $7 million cap hit on his expiring contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk seems the most likely Flyer to get moved before Friday’s trade deadline. Moving Hayes won’t be easy unless Fletcher is willing to retain some salary or take back a comparable contract.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Detroit Red Wings could become sellers as they’re recognizing the arms race in the Eastern Conference is too rich. He feels they can’t risk letting winger Tyler Bertuzzi depart for nothing as a free agent this summer. They’re also looking at moving winger Jakub Vrana and perhaps winger Filip Zadina.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Back-to-back lopsided losses this week to the Ottawa Senators stalled the Red Wings’ momentum. They’re still within striking distance of a wild-card berth but general manager Steve Yzerman could decide his roster needs a little more tinkering before they’re finally ready for playoff contention.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes have been very active in trade talks, including going hard for Timo Meier before he was shipped to the New Jersey Devils. General manager Don Waddell acquire Jesse Puljujarvi from the Oilers yesterday and a league source claims he could look at bringing back Max Domi from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Waddell said he’s not giving up the young players on his roster. LeBrun believes he’s referring to Seth Jarvis and Martin Necas. Prospect defenseman Alexander Nikishin is also off-limits. The Hurricanes still have around $7 million in deadline cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell will likely make another addition before the deadline. It might not be as impressive compared to the moves made by his Eastern rivals in recent weeks. Still, just because he won’t move his best young talent doesn’t mean he can’t get a good player if the trade market is anything to go by. He could be waiting to see if prices drop as the deadline draws near.


TSN: Chris Johnston doesn’t rule out the Toronto Maple Leafs making another move before Friday’s deadline. He pointed out that the 2023 first-round pick they received from Washington could be used as potential trade ammo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I made a similar observation during my evaluation of yesterday’s Leafs-Capitals trade. I also noted that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is loading up because he knows his job is on the line. He could use that first-rounder to add another player who could help them get over the playoff hump.

Darren Dreger doesn’t rule out the Edmonton Oilers making another move. He said they’re looking at a forward such as Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi or Arizona’s Nick Bjugstad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes held Bjugstad out of last night’s game for “trade-related reasons”. He’ll likely be on the move between now and Friday’s deadline, perhaps heading to Edmonton.

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin could still make another move or two before the trade deadline. He noted that they still have $7.4 million in trade deadline cap space after acquiring Marcus Johansson and Gustav Nyquist on Tuesday.

Smith wondered if Guerin might pursue someone like the Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi. He also noted there’s “still some smoke” around James van Riemsdyk and the Flyers. Smith also wouldn’t be surprised if winger Jordan Greenway gets moved if there’s enough interest by Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be surprising if Guerin doesn’t use that cap space to his advantage. He has enough draft picks and prospect depth to make a significant addition if he chooses.

NHL Rumor Mill (Part 2) – February 23, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill (Part 2) – February 23, 2023

Check out the latest on Brock Boeser, Sam Reinhart, Mattias Ekholm, J.T. Miller, Boone Jenner, Adam Henrique and more in Part 2 of today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: With the March 3 trade deadline over a week away, Elliotte Friedman examined each NHL club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We looked at the first 16 teams in Part 1 earlier today. Here’s a summary of the remaining 16 clubs.

Calgary Flames: They looked into acquiring Vancouver’s Luke Schenn but the price looks like it was higher than they wanted to pay. The Flames also kicked tires on Vancouver winger Brock Boeser.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson observed the Flames are in a difficult position here given their position sitting just outside of a Western Conference wild-card berth. General manager Brad Treliving appears to be in wait-and-see mode with the club’s performance over the next seven days likely to decide whether he buys or sells.

Buffalo Sabres: Friedman believes they should do something no matter how small to bring in someone to help their roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres GM Kevyn Adams isn’t likely to make a major acquisition by the deadline. However, with his rebuilding club sitting tantalizingly close to a playoff spot, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make an affordable rental addition to add a little more experience and leadership to the room.

Nashville Predators: Friedman doubts forward Tanner Jeannot is going anywhere with the club opening talks on a long-term contract extension. It would take a “strong package” to pry away defenseman Mattias Ekholm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed GM David Poile is willing to listen on most of his players. However, he’d got a lot of veterans on expensive long-term deals and those types of players usually don’t move before the trade deadline. And no, I don’t see him peddling goaltender Juuse Saros or captain Roman Josi. Moving on…

New York Islanders: Friedman isn’t sure what GM Lou Lamoriello could be up to. He’s already made a major move by acquiring Bo Horvat. He doesn’t see pending free-agent defenseman Scott Mayfield getting moved while they’re still in playoff contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out Lamoriello making another addition if the Isles can strengthen their grip on the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot. It won’t be as big a splash as the Horvat deal but one that provides some affordable depth. Much could depend on how long center Mathew Barzal will be sidelined by his lower-body injury.

Florida Panthers: They’ve climbed back into the playoff race and winger Anthony Duclair should soon return to the lineup. Friedman’s heard Sam Reinhart’s name come up in the rumor mill but isn’t sure about the timing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart would be a trade chip if the Panthers were still wallowing near the bottom of the standings. He’s not going anywhere now that they’ve played their way back into the playoff race. GM Bill Zito could be a buyer but getting Duclair back into the lineup could be just as good as acquiring someone via trade.

Washington Capitals: GM Brian MacLellan is open to discussing his pending unrestricted free agents in the trade market. He’s not close to a new contract with Dmitry Orlov. Other UFAs include Garnet Hathaway, Connor Sheary, Marcus Johansson and Trevor van Riemsdyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals are just two points out of a wild-card spot with Alex Ovechkin returning to the lineup following the death of his father. I expect MacLellan will remain patient for the next week to see how his club responds.

Ottawa Senators: Friedman pointed out they’ve inquired about every available defenseman this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli said the Senators have also expressed an interest in St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko. Also, their shipping away Nikita Zaitsev to Chicago for “future considerations” (and including two draft picks in the deal) suggests they could be preparing for a significant acquisition. Maybe it’s Parayko or another notable defenseman. We’ll see…

St. Louis Blues: They’ve now got three first-round picks in the 2023 draft. It’s believed they’ve inquired about San Jose’s Timo Meier and Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun. If Meier’s unavailable, Friedman also wondered if GM Doug Armstrong might pursue Alex DeBrincat if he doesn’t re-sign with Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes the Blues must clear more salary-cap space if they intend on making a quick rebuild. Trading away Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Niko Mikkola and Noel Acciari didn’t free up any cap room for next season because they were all on expiring contracts. Thomas wondered if Armstrong would try to trade a defenseman such as Colton Parayko or Torey Krug but noted they’ve got expensive contracts with full no-trade protection.

Philadelphia Flyers: Friedman doesn’t see forward Travis Konecny going anywhere. James van Riemsdyk’s a scoring option for a few teams. Kevin Hayes is available and Felix Sandstrom could end up on waivers. The Flyers are looking for centers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A pending UFA, van Riemsdyk’s a goner though I expect interested clubs will want the Flyers to retain half of his $7 million salary-cap hit. Hayes carries a $7.1 million cap hit through 2025-26 with a 12-team no-trade clause. That’s a contract that gets moved in the offseason, not the trade deadline.

Montreal Canadiens: Injuries to Sean Monahan and Joel Edmundson rule them out as trade chips. Winger Evgenii Dadonov might go for a later-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The expectation is the Canadiens could have a quiet trade deadline. It would be a different story if Monahan and Edmundson were healthy and productive. GM Kent Hughes could surprise us but unless he’s shopping someone like Josh Anderson I don’t see him making many moves this year.

Vancouver Canucks: Defenseman Luke Schenn has been held out of the lineup for trade-related reasons. Friedman’s getting mixed messages regarding Washington’s supposed interest in Brock Boeser. Teams want to see what they’ll do with J.T. Miller but Friedman considers it unlikely that anything happens with him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schenn is the most likely to go given his affordable salary ($800K) and his playoff experience. The Canucks could probably move Boeser at the trade deadline if they agree to retain half of his $6.65 million cap hit. Miller’s no-trade clause doesn’t kick in until July 1 but I agree that he’s unlikely to be moved.

Arizona Coyotes: Jakob Chychrun’s been held out of the lineup for trade-related reasons since mid-February. Friedman doubts Boston is in on him because of salary-cap issues. That leaves Columbus, Los Angeles, St. Louis and perhaps Winnipeg as possible destinations. Shayne Gostisbehere is another Coyotes defenseman worth watching.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was assumed Chychrun was heading to the Kings earlier this month but that appears to have fallen through for now. I still expect he’s going to get moved by deadline day. Gostisbehere is also likely to be on the move.

San Jose Sharks: Suitors for Timo Meier include Carolina, New Jersey, St. Louis, Vegas and Winnipeg. Freidman wondered if it could cost Western suitors more for Meier than Eastern ones. Erik Karlsson to Edmonton appears unlikely. Pending free agents such as Nick Bonino and James Reimer are worth watching.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier’s a goner, it’s just a question of where. The Devils, Hurricanes and Blues appear to be the front-runners. Karlsson’s not going anywhere because his hefty contract is too difficult to move in-season. It won’t be easy to shop him this summer. I think Bonino and Reimer will be changing teams by March 3.

Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane’s decision regarding a trade is expected any day now. It’s down to picking one team to get traded to or making a decision to look after his health beyond this season and address his nagging hip issue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In Part One, I noted that there remains a possibility Kane ends up with the New York Rangers after all. We’ll find out soon enough if that’s the case and how they’ll pull it off.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Vladislav Gavrikov has been taken out of the lineup for trade-related reasons. Friedman wondered if the Blue Jackets will try to pursue Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun. Joonas Korpisalo and the sidelined Gustav Nyquist could also become trade candidates. Some teams have looked at Boone Jenner but there aren’t many who can handle his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov is gone given his UFA status and affordable $2.8 million cap hit. Chychrun to Columbus makes no sense if reports that he doesn’t want to go there are true unless the Jackets intend to flip him to another team. A team in need of cap flexibility could acquire Nyquist’s contract, put him on LTIR and use the savings to add another player.

Anaheim Ducks: John Klingberg is available. Friedman believes it’s time to move Maxime Comtois. He also believes the Ducks and goalie John Gibson would love to find a way to get him to a new home. There are also teams interested in Adam Henrique but the Ducks could demand a premium to retain salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks GM Pat Verbeek was very busy leading up to last year’s trade deadline, shipping out Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell. It’ll be interesting to see what moves he makes this year and what returns he might get.

Gibson’s hefty contract means he’s not moving at the deadline. Henrique has a year left on his deal with a $5.8 million cap hit and a 12-team no-trade clause. Comtois is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights carrying an affordable $2.037 million cap hit.

NHL Rumor Mill (Part 1) – February 23, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill (Part 1) – February 23, 2023

Check out the latest on Patrick Kane, Timo Meier, Jakob Chychrun, Vladislav Gavrikov, Colton Parayko, Torey Krug and more in Part 1 of today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: With the March 3 trade deadline over a week away, Elliotte Friedman checked in on each NHL club. The following is a summary of the first 16 NHL teams that he looked at:

Boston Bruins: Everything points to the Bruins acquiring Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov but they’re attempting to move a player (“Mike Reilly? Craig Smith”) to clear sufficient cap space first. While they’ve also been linked to other players such as San Jose’s Timo Meier but Friedman doubts they can squeeze him into their limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the cap-strapped Bruins going after an affordable addition like Gavrikov. Meier and his $6 million AAV are a bridge too far.

Carolina Hurricanes: They could potentially get Timo Meier given their $10 million in projected trade deadline cap space. The Canes have also monitored Chicago’s Patrick Kane. Friedman believes they’ve spoken to the Bruins about Smith as Boston might incentivize Carolina to do it.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss believes the Bruins could find another club to send Smith to rather than making what could be their prime playoff opponent even stronger.

New Jersey Devils: They could face competition from the St. Louis Blues in the bidding for Meier. The Devils want the Sharks winger with a contract extension or close to it. Friedman also pointed out their need for size and skill on their forward lines and wondered if Nashville Predators winger Nino Niederreiter makes any sense to them. He also dismissed speculation that they might trade defenseman Damon Severson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils still appear to be the front-runners for Meier. GM Tom Fitzgerald has indicated his preference is to add a top-six winger with a contract that can be controlled beyond this season. There’s also been some suggestion the Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson could be a fit if they miss out on Meier but the Habs aren’t actively shopping him.

Toronto Maple Leafs: They might not be done dealing though they don’t have much draft capital to use as trade bait. They could pursue a rental defenseman if the prices soften in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have $4.4 million in projected deadline cap space but that will shrink when Matt Murray returns to action. They were linked to Chicago’s Jake McCabe and Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov. However, the acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari probably doesn’t leave them enough to get either guy without moving out a salaried player in the deal.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Their limited draft and prospects capital could see them pursue an affordable checking-line forward like Washington’s Garnet Hathaway or Chicago’s Sam Lafferty. They could also pursue a depth defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning GM Julien BriseBois always manages to swing a deal leading up to the trade deadline to bolster his roster for the postseason. He won’t pursue a notable talent this year but should be able to find a way to add a cost-effective player.

New York Rangers: Friedman isn’t sure that Rangers GM Chris Drury is done dealing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Scott Powers and Arthur Staple and the New York Post’s Larry Brooks haven’t ruled out the possibility of the Rangers adding Chicago’s Patrick Kane. It will require a three-team deal in order for the Rangers to take on just $2.625 million of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit. Brooks writes Drury doesn’t want to part with his 2023 first-rounder but he wondered if the Rangers GM might pitch his 2024 or 2025 first-round pick.

Vegas Golden Knights: They’ve looked into Timo Meier and liked St. Louis forward Ivan Barbashev. Friedman wondered if they might look into acquiring Blues defenseman Torey Krug.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman acknowledged the four years remaining on Krug’s contract plus his no-trade clause complicates things. While I admit that anything’s possible, I don’t expect to see Krug suiting up with the Golden Knights anytime soon.

Dallas Stars: They looked into Patrick Kane and considered Tyler Bertuzzi but he’s unavailable. Friedman wondered if they might consider Ivan Barbashev or Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars are struggling a bit of late. GM Jim Nill could make a move for an affordable rental scorer.

Winnipeg Jets: If they could sign Timo Meier they’d be all over him. St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko has come up and Friedman thinks he’d be a good fit if Parayko would waive his no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is usually cautious but could make a significant move this season with Mark Scheifele, Connor Hellebuyck and Blake Wheeler having only a year left on their contracts and the uncertainty facing restricted free agent Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Seattle Kraken: They’re searching for a center to help them in the faceoff circle. They could also trade Carson Soucy rather than lose the defenseman for nothing to this summer’s free-agent market. However, they’d likely want some sort of replacement for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Kraken GM Ron Francis could retain Soucy as an “own rental” if a replacement for him cannot be found. Trading him for a draft pick or prospect could hurt their blueline depth as they push for a playoff berth.

Los Angeles Kings: They want to add a left-side defenseman. The Kings made a pitch for Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun. Chicago’s Jake McCabe could make sense. Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov isn’t a fit for them as they want someone with term on their contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A deal sending Chychrun to the Kings seemed imminent earlier this month but nothing’s come of it so far.

Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche lack of second and third-rounders for 2023 and 2024 hurts their ability to address their need for a second-line center in the trade market. They won’t move someone like Alex Newhook for a rental player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have been linked to pretty much every available center in this year’s trade market. However, it could prove tricky attempting to address that need without giving up a first-rounder as part of the return.

Edmonton Oilers: The chances of landing San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson appear “one in a million”. They’ve also looked into Chicago’s Patrick Kane.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers might have to settle for more affordable options to improve their roster before the trade deadline. They’ve been linked to Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov for some time now.

Minnesota Wild: Adding someone signed beyond this season is unlikely unless it’s a game-changing player. Matt Dumba and Jordan Greenway are out there in the trade market. Friedman isn’t sure if GM Bill Guerin will go hard after the best offensive player he can find, suggesting instead someone like Washington’s Conor Sheary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Michael Russo and Joe Smith report the agent for Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser is working hard to work out a trade that sends the Minnesota native to the Wild. It won’t be easy given his $6.65 million AAV through 2024-25 but we can’t rule it out if the Canucks agree to retain some salary here.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Missing the playoffs isn’t an option but Friedman also thinks they shouldn’t mortgage their future. He wondered if they should try a cost-cutting move by shopping Brian Dumoulin or Tristan Jarry or Jason Zucker and see if that gives them the flexibility to add.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Ron Hextall has made additions in the last two trade deadlines (Jeff Carter, Rickard Rakell) when it appeared he had little room to do so because of his cap constraints. He could do it again this year.

Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi aren’t being shopped as it appears they’re pushing to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No selling this time by the Wings. Perhaps GM Steve Yzerman will consider a foray into the trade market to bring some help to his roster.

NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2023

Could the Blues trade a defenseman? Are the Predators about to become sellers? What’s the latest on the Canadiens and Senators? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the St. Louis Blues could give some consideration to moving a defenseman. Their top four of Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, Torey Krug and Nick Leddy all have no-trade clauses which could complicate things. Nevertheless, Parayko has been drawing the most interest among this group.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE Parayko, Krug and Faulk are each earning an average annual value of $6.5 million. Krug and Faulk are signed through 2026-27 and Parayko to 2029-30. Leddy’s AAV is $4 million through 2025-26.

I don’t doubt that Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is willing to entertain offers for those four. As Dreger pointed out, however, they all have full no-trade clauses. It’s possible they could be moved but the potential destinations will be limited. Their cap hits could also prove difficult for most clubs to absorb unless Armstrong retains a portion, which I don’t see him doing for contracts with that much term remaining on them.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Nashville Predators could become sellers by the March 3 trade deadline if they don’t soon get on a winning streak to salvage their playoff hopes. He believes GM David Poile could be willing to listen to offers on a lot of his players, including Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, Mattias Ekholm or Mikael Granlund.

NHL WATCHER: cited Elliotte Friedman’s recent appearance on The Jeff Marek Show where he said he doesn’t think the Predators will move Ekholm or Alexandre Carrier. Instead, he speculated it could be Dante Fabbro “or something else”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news is those players all lack no-trade protection. The bad news is that all but Fabbro and Carrier have two years or more remaining on their respective contracts with annual salary-cap hits between $5 million and $8 million per season. Good luck peddling them before the March 3 trade deadline with so many teams carrying limited cap space. I doubt Poile is willing to retain salary on any of them.

Fabbro and Carrier would draw more interest given their more affordable cap hits. They’re both due to become restricted free agents with arbitration rights this summer which could also make them enticing for clubs seeking more than a rental defenseman.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens could have difficulty drumming up interest in their trade candidates. Sean Monahan and Joel Edmundson are considered to have the most value but their respective injury histories have teams wary about acquiring them. There’s very little interest in Jonathan Drouin while winger Evgeni Dadonov’s improved play of late might draw attention as a secondary trade target.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens got a first-round pick from the Flames last summer for taking Monahan off their hands so he’s already provided them with draft capital going forward. They also got value for Dadonov by acquiring him from the Vegas Golden Knights last summer as it enabled them to shed the entirety of the remainder of Shea Weber’s contract.

Edmundson is under contract through 2023-24 so the Canadiens can try again in the offseason or next season. There was talk of re-signing Sean Monahan before he was sidelined in December. If they can’t move him now, they could sign him to an affordable one-year deal and try again to peddle him if there’s real interest.

As for Drouin, his plethora of injuries and inconsistency torpedoed his trade value. Nevertheless, the Toronto Star’s Nick Kypreos wondered if the Colorado Avalanche might look into reuniting Drouin with his old Halifax Mooseheads teammate Nathan MacKinnon. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion dismissed speculation suggesting he might trade winger Alex DeBrincat. He said the 26-year-old winger won’t be traded. “No chance,” said Dorion, adding the club still hopes to re-sign the pending restricted free agent before the end of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators gave up a lot to acquire DeBrincat last summer. Yes, it will be expensive to re-sign him but they’ll get it done, especially with new ownership soon to take over.

The Senators have received lots of calls regarding rugged forward Auston Watson. Dorion is willing to listen to offers for goaltender Cam Talbot, winger Tyler Motte and defenseman Nick Holden. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings have been linked to Talbot but his recent injury hasn’t helped drum up interest.

Dorion indicated he’s 99.9 percent certain that he’s not trading veteran center Derick Brassard. The club has been pleased with defenseman Travis Hamonic and likely won’t move him.

NHL Rumor Mill – February 6, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – February 6, 2023

Check out the latest on Jonathan Toews and Kevin Hayes, possible Blues trade candidates and a look at the goalie market in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently listed the Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars as six teams who should be in the mix for Jonathan Toews.

Goldman acknowledged Toews has yet to decide if he’ll waive his no-movement clause before the March 3 trade deadline. She also noted the decline in the 34-year-old center’s performance but suggested that could be due to the depleted Blackhawks roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews and teammate Patrick Kane are expected to meet with Blackhawks management by the middle of this month to discuss their futures. Toews should draw interest around the league if he agrees to waive his no-movement clause, though the remainder of his $10.5 million cap hit will require some creativity for the aforementioned clubs to acquire him.

The Avalanche and Hurricanes both need a reliable second-line center while the Jets and Stars could be in the market for a top-six forward. The Oilers and Capitals, on the other hand, are believed seeking blue-line depth. That will take them out of the market for Toews.

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes (NHL Images).


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi cited Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen recently reported that there is an NHL club showing interest in Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes and wants to move him back to center. The 30-year-old has been playing mostly on left wing this season and has 15 goals and 45 points in 50 games this season.

Carchidi points out that Hayes has three more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $7.1 million. He also has a 12-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen and Carchidi didn’t indicate which team is interested in Hayes. His partial no-trade clause could be a sticking point but his annual cap hit is the bigger obstacle.

The interested club could prefer the Flyers retain part of Hayes’ cap hit. I don’t think Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher would want that retained salary on his books as dead cap space for three years.


SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe looked at potential St. Louis Blues trade candidates if they become sellers leading up to the March 3 deadline. He noted that GM Doug Armstrong isn’t afraid to make difficult or occasionally unpopular decisions.

Wiebe believes decisions are coming soon for pending unrestricted free agents such as Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev, Noel Acciari, Tyler Pitlick, Josh Leivo, Niko Mikkola and Thomas Greiss. However, he also wondered if Armstrong would consider moving some of his core players with term remaining on their contracts. Whether there will trade discussions regarding defenseman Colton Parayko or winger Pavel Buchnevich remains to be seen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wiebe pointed out that not all of those Blues pending UFAs could hit the trade block. Some of them, including O’Reilly, could be re-signed. As for players like Parayko and Buchnevich, Armstrong could retain them with an eye on building up a new core around Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. Still, he could listen if a club comes calling with an interesting offer.


SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon recently examined a rather thin trade market for goaltenders as deadline day approaches. Those who could draw some trade buzz include the Arizona Coyotes’ Karel Vejmelka, Columbus Blue Jackets Joonas Korpisalo, San Jose Sharks James Reimer, Ottawa Senators Cam Talbot and the Vancouver Canucks’ Thatcher Demko.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Demko popped up in the rumor mill after Bo Horvat got traded but I don’t believe the Canucks are willing to go that far. They’re talking about retooling rather than rebuilding and they’ll need an affordable starter ($5 million annually through 2025-26).

I realize there is some concern about Demko’s shaky play earlier this season before he was sidelined on Dec. 1 with a leg/hip injury. Still, trading him would be an extreme reaction on the Canucks’ part and an admission that they’re doing more than just retooling.

Vejmelka keeps coming up in the rumor mill because he carries an affordable $2.75 million cap hit through 2024-25 and put up decent numbers this season on the woeful Coyotes until January. Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong could listen to offers but I’m skeptical that he’ll trade Vejmelka.

Korpisalo, Reimer and Talbot seem more likely trade candidates given their UFA statuses this summer. Of those three, I think Reimer is the one who’ll be on the move. Talbot’s banged up and teams passed on Korpisalo at last year’s deadline.