NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2022
TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes there’s a “decent chance” the Chicago Blackhawks trade Patrick Kane by the March 3 deadline. He indicated that the 33-year-old winger wasn’t ready to have a conversation about a trade during the offseason. LeBrun believes Kane’s agent and Blackhawks management will circle back to that sometime in December or January and see where things stand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the Rangers could be the most likely destination for Kane.
Assuming Kane accepts a trade to the Rangers or Islanders, both clubs lack sufficient cap space to acquire him. The Blackhawks will have to retain half of his $10.5 million cap hit for this season to make it work, and even then, it might take getting a third team involved to spread the remaining half of that cap hit around to make it palatable to the Blueshirts or Isles.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports there’s a strong appetite by Boston Bruins management and David Pastrnak’s camp to reach an agreement on a contract extension. The 26-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
However, Dreger suggests there’s no guarantee a deal can be made. He thinks the starting point could be something comparable to the eight-year contract ($10.5 million annual average value) that Jonathan Huberdeau signed this summer with the Calgary Flames, pointing out Pastrnak is younger than the 29-year-old Huberdeau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is probably going to get at least $10 million annually on his next contract. That’s the market value for a player of his skills. It’ll either come from the Bruins or another team next summer via free agency. And no, he won’t accept a hometown discount to stay in Boston.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Jakob Chychrun still hasn’t received clearance to resume practicing with his Arizona Coyotes teammates as he continues to recover from a wrist injury. He wonders if anyone is willing to trade for the 24-year-old defenseman before he’s fully healed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the high asking price the Coyotes have set for Chychrun in the trade market, the answer appears to be “no.” Otherwise, he’d have been moved by now. Friedman said there’s definitely interest, noting the Ottawa Senators have been closely following this situation. However, I think those interested parties want to see how Chychrun plays once he returns to action before getting serious with trade offers.
Elliotte Friedman said a couple of sources used the word “stalemate” to describe Bo Horvat’s contract extension talks with the Vancouver Canucks. However, Friedman isn’t taking that too seriously, pointing out how the Canucks were reportedly unwilling to commit to an expensive long-term extension for J.T. Miller before they ultimately signed him last month.
Friedman used Sean Couturier ($7.75 million AAV) as a comparable for Horvat as well as for Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin. He thinks anyone who believes the AAV on Horvat’s next contract will start with a six “is in a Wizard-of-Oz-style dreamland.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Unless things really go downhill, I expect Horvat will be staying in Vancouver starting at something over $7 million annually.
No two contract negotiations are the same. Nevertheless, I don’t think the Canucks will risk letting their captain walk away next summer, especially if he has another solid performance this season.
TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”
The Toronto Maple Leafs will continue exploring waiver-exempt or waiver-cleared defensive depth due to three preseason injuries.
Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin will keep an eye out for scoring help but will give his talented youth the opportunity to prove themselves.