NHL Rumor Mill – May 2, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 2, 2022

Mark Scheifele’s uncertain future with the Jets plus a roundup of recent Blackhawks speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SCHEIFELE FACES AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE WITH THE JETS

WINNIPEG SUN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Scott Billeck and Mike McIntyre reports Mark Scheifele said he needed to know management’s vision for the Jets over the remaining two years of his contract.

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (NHL Images).

Scheifele sounded frustrated during yesterday’s season-ending press conference. The 28-year-old center said he’s in the prime of his playing career and believes he’s improving all the time. However, he wants to know the club’s direction and what changes could be in store.

Completing his 11th season with the Jets, Scheifele said he’d love to be in Winnipeg. Nevertheless, he has to think about his career and what’s best for him and his family. He anticipates a “tough talk” with general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff during his end-of-season interview today.

Billeck and McIntyre believe Scheifele’s comments are the start of what could be a turbulent offseason for the Jets. While Cheveldayoff received a three-year contract extension yesterday, he will have a lot on his plate.

In addition to Scheifele’s future, there were reports of a divided dressing room and a lack of accountability throughout this season. A decision must be made whether to make interim head coach Dave Lowry the full-time bench boss or find a replacement. Center Pierre-Luc Dubois is a restricted free agent who’s in line for a lucrative new contract. Their defense corps also needs to be improved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scheifele’s inconsistent performance this season and seeming indifference toward his defensive play sparked speculation he could become an offseason trade candidate. He didn’t come out and demand a trade yesterday but that could be in the cards if his meeting with Cheveldayoff goes sour or he disapproves of the GM’s offseason moves.

Expect speculation over Scheifele’s future to be a hot topic following the playoffs in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft on July 7 and 8. That’s usually the period when notable players like himself get traded as teams have more cap room and a willingness to make big moves in the trade market.

Trading Scheifele would be a significant shakeup of the roster core. It could also set the table for a big raise for Dubois.

RECENT BLACKHAWKS SPECULATION

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis recently reported long-time Blackhawks star Patrick Kane said he’d had multiple conversations with general manager Kyle Davidson and expects to learn more about the club’s offseason plans following the end of the regular season.

Kane acknowledged his leadership role with the club could speed up its rebuild. He also enjoys the chemistry and relationship he’s built with winger Alex DeBrincat. The 33-year-old winger hopes the Blackhawks can follow the blueprint of the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers as they rebuilt on the fly and are playoff clubs this season.

Roumeliotis also wondered what the future holds for Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews as they both had one season remaining on their identical contracts. He pointed out the Blackhawks don’t have many tradeable assets to start a true rebuilding. Alex DeBrincat would fetch the best return but it would take a significant offer to convince Davidson to move the 24-year-old winger.

It remains to be seen if restricted free agent forward Dylan Strome will be back. Davidson must also address his goaltending after trading away Marc-Andre Fleury at the trade deadline. Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia are pending UFAs this summer.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reported that DeBrincat acknowledged this was a frustrating season for him. Nevertheless, he’s open to signing a contract extension with the Blackhawks. DeBrincat has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.4 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The futures of Kane and Toews have already sparked plenty of conjecture that will continue to grow between now and into July when business picks up in the trade market. Kane’s still-impressive offensive stats would draw considerable interest if Davidson tries to shop him.

However, moving Kane and/or Toews won’t be easy. Kane and Toews each carry hefty $10.5 million cap hits and full no-movement clauses.

DeBrincat hit 41 goals and 78 points this season. He’s a player the Blackhawks should be building around, especially if he’s interested in a contract extension. Then again, I said the same thing about Brandon Hagel before the trade deadline and he got shipped to Tampa Bay. Davidson could listen if someone makes a substantial offer for DeBrincat.

Davidson could keep Strome if he envisions rebuilding on the fly with the aim of reaching the playoffs in two or three years’ time. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be surprising if he becomes a trade candidate.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2022

An update on Jakob Chychrun plus the latest on the Blackhawks plus in today’s NHL rumor mill.

GOPHNX.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Craig Morgan was asked about Jakob Chychrun’s future with the Arizona Coyotes. He believes once rumors got out that teams were calling about the 24-year-old defenseman that his camp became open to the idea of a trade.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Morgan doesn’t think Chychrun, who’s signed through 2024-25, wants to sacrifice three seasons of his playing prime in a rebuild. He doesn’t see Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong budging from his high asking price. If teams aren’t willing to pay it this summer (and Chychrun’s subpar season didn’t help), Armstrong won’t trade him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The passing of last month’s NHL trade deadline brought an end to the seemingly endless Chychrun trade speculation that had been ongoing since last fall. Things are quiet now but we can expect the rumors to ramp up again as teams are eliminated from the playoffs, reaching another fever pitch approaching the 2022 NHL Draft on July 7 and 8.

Despite the decline in Chychrun’s production this season, his age, puck-moving skills and affordable $4.6 million contract will ensure he remains an attractive trade candidate this summer. A number of the clubs that were linked to him before the trade deadline, such as the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues could revisit their interest when the offseason begins.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently speculated over the potential rebuilding plans of Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson in the upcoming offseason. If they end up with one of the top two picks in this year’s draft following next month’s draft lottery and send their 2023 first-round to Columbus as part of the Seth Jones trade, perhaps Davidson will have some incentive to improve the club next season. He won’t want that pick to turn into a generational talent for the Jackets if he tanked next season.

On the other hand, if the Blackhawks don’t get that top-two placement and send their 2022 pick to the Blue Jackets, Davidson could commence a major teardown to improve his club’s chances of winning next year’s draft lottery. That could mean letting restricted free agents Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome walk this summer without bringing in top-six forwards to replace them.

A league source told Powers they wouldn’t be shocked if Davidson shopped Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat this summer. However, there’s no indication the Blackhawks GM has any plans to do that. Davidson is expected to meet with Pat Brisson, the agent for Kane and team captain Jonathan Toews, to discuss his offseason plans.

Meanwhile, Mark Lazerus recently reported Tyler Johnson is willing to embrace a role in the Blackhawks’ rebuild. However, it’s uncertain where he fits in Davidson’s plans.

Johnson is signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value of $5 million. He could fill a veteran leader role if Toews and/or Kane decide to move on from the Blackhawks. Otherwise, Davidson could attempt to move Johnson via trade or buy out the remainder of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks will be one of the clubs worth watching during this offseason. Big changes could be in the works that might involve a core player like Toews, Kane or DeBrincat moving on. Davidson won’t shop those guys just for the sake of making changes. However, as we saw with the Brandon Hagel trade, he’ll be willing to move those players for the right offer.

Toews and Kane are in the final seasons of their respective contracts with $10.5-million annual cap hits and full no-movement clauses. DeBrincat is a year away from becoming a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He has a $6.4-million annual cap hit and lacks no-trade protection but is slated to earn $9 million in actual salary next season.

Johnson’s decline in production and injury history could make him a tough sell in this summer’s trade market. He also has a 20-team list of preferred trade destinations. Cap Friendly shows a buyout will count as over $2.6 million next season, $1.66 million in 2023-24, followed by over $1.46 million for each of the final two years.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 11, 2022

In today’s NHL rumor mill, a look at what the offseason might hold for stars such as Patrick Kane, J.T. Miller, Filip Forsberg and Vladimir Tarasenko.

NHL.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Dan Rosen was asked whether several notable stars would still be with their respective teams when the puck drops next season.

Rosen believes Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat will remain with the Chicago Blackhawks. He doesn’t see Kane or Toews being moved unless they ask to be traded. Of the two, Kane could be the easiest to move because he’s still their best player and would fetch the best return. DeBrincat, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old elite scorer worth building around.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews and Kane also carry identical $10.5 million cap hits with full no-movement clauses through next season. While there would be interest in Kane if the Blackhawks were to shop him, they’ll have to retain a healthy chunk of his cap hit to facilitate a trade.

I agree that DeBrincat is a player the Blackhawks should retain but I also felt the same thing about Brandon Hagel. Chicago general manager Kyle Davidson would listen if a club make a big pitch for DeBrincat.

The Nashville Predators opted not to trade Filip Forsberg, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Rosen believes the two sides will work out an agreement on a new contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely cost the Predators around $8.5 million annually to keep Forsberg in the fold. With Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene each earning $8 million annually, I’m not sure how comfortable Predators general manager David Poile would be in having another $8 million-plus forward on the roster.

Rosen suspects the Vancouver Canucks could trade forwards J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser because of their contract statuses. Miller is a year away from UFA eligibility while Boeser is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and is two years from UFA status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports out of Vancouver seem to suggest the Canucks will attempt to sign Miller to a contract extension this summer while attempting to shop Boeser. It’s possible, however, that Miller also hits the trade block if he proves too expensive to retain.

It doesn’t appear that Vladimir Tarasenko has rescinded last summer’s trade request from the St. Louis Blues. He’s also a year away from UFA status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko was reportedly unhappy over the treatment he received for his shoulder injuries by the Blues’ medical staff and management’s handling of the situation. To his credit, he hasn’t allowed this to affect his performance or his relationship with his teammates.

Nevertheless, if Tarasenko still wants out, I expect the Blues will have an easier time finding trade partners this summer. He’s been healthy this season, with 65 points in as many games, and has only a year left on his contract. While the cap hit is $7.5 million, his actual salary for next season is $5.5 million.

Rosen also expects Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg and New York Rangers center Ryan Strome to test this summer’s free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg is likely a goner from Dallas after he publicly complained about his stalled contract negotiations with Stars management in January. As for Strome, it’ll depend on how much he seeks on his next contract and for how long.

Rosen doesn’t understand why the Arizona Coyotes should move Jakob Chychrun. The 23-year-old defenseman is signed for three more seasons and should be a big part of their rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be because Chychrun could fetch a significant return but I also wonder if the blueliner is growing unhappy with his role or the direction of the Coyotes. If so, that could explain why GM Bill Armstrong will continue to entertain trade offers this summer.

Mackenzie Blackwood has been injured for most of this season. Rosen doesn’t see the New Jersey Devils trading him because his value isn’t that high. He thinks Blackwood could be a 1A or 1B goalie depending on who they bring in during the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries have hampered Blackwood’s development. Rosen noted he’s signed through next season. I agree with him that Blackwood will be back with the Devils next season.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 25, 2022

What could the future hold for Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome? Could the Sharks trade a goaltender in the offseason? Read on for the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE BLACKHAWKS?

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported agent Pat Brisson, who represents Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Seth Jones, would meet this week with Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson. It’s felt Brisson will want to discuss his clients’ futures and where they fit into the Blackhawks offseason plans. LeBrun believes a number of teams would be drooling over the possibility of Kane becoming available this summer.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Davidson recently indicated he’ll keep an open dialogue with Kane and Toews regarding his rebuilding plans. Kane didn’t want to discuss his future with the media by saying that’s a topic for discussion in the summer. Toews, meanwhile, admitted he’s mused about the possibility of playing for another club but insisted he still enjoys living and playing in Chicago. I expect Jones remains a big part of the Blackhawks’ plans as his new eight-year contract kicks in next season.

Kane and Toews are both signed through next season with identical $10.5 million cap hits and full no-movement clauses. That gives them full control over their short-term futures while their respective cap hits would be difficult to move even in the offseason.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO/THE ATHLETIC: Charlie Roumeliotis and Scott Powers wondered what the future holds for Dylan Strome. The 25-year-old Blackhawks forward was a fixture in the rumor mill but wasn’t moved by the trade deadline. His performance improved over the second half of the season but it remains to be seen if that’ll translate into a new contract for the pending restricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid finish on Strome’s part could improve his value in the offseason trade market or it could convince Davidson to sign him to a one-year deal and see how next season unfolds.

SHARKS COULD TRADE A GOALIE THIS SUMMER

THE ATHLETIC: Corey Masisak speculates the San Jose Sharks’ addition of goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen from the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline could result in James Reimer getting shopped in the offseason. Reimer and Adin Hill are signed through next season while Kahkonen is a restricted free agent. Management doesn’t intend to carry three netminders next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas Hockey Now’s Sheng Peng cited TSN’s Pierre LeBrun indicating the Sharks were getting some calls about Reimer at the trade deadline. His solid performance this season could draw attention this summer from teams that sought goaltending depth this season. The Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals could be among the suitors.

Peng also reported the Sharks were dangling Matt Nieto and Nick Bonino at the trade deadline. Both forwards have one season remaining on their contracts Perhaps management will revisit efforts to move them during the summer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2022

A scoring milestone for Patrick Kane, the Canucks keep their playoff hopes alive, the fallout for the Golden Knights after the league invalidates the Dadonov trade, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Patrick Kane reached a career milestone with a goal and two assists as the Chicago Blackhawks doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Kane reached the 20-goal plateau for the 14th time, tying Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby for second among active players for the most 20-goal seasons.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Speaking of Crosby, he scored his 23rd goal of the season as his Penguins dropped a 4-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. Tage Thompson scored twice for the Sabres and netted the only goal in the shootout. The Penguins (88 points) picked up a point to move within two points of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive by holding off the Colorado Avalanche 3-1. Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves and J.T. Miller scored what proved to be the winning goal. With 70 points, the Canucks are three points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference playoff berth. The Avalanche, meanwhile, remains atop the league’s overall standings with 95 points.

Shorthanded goals by Ilya Mikheyev and Pierre Engvall gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Mark Giordano saw over 18 minutes of ice time in his debut as a Maple Leaf following his acquisition from the Seattle Kraken on Sunday. Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist for the Devils. The Leafs (85 points) sit one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The NHL has invalidated the Vegas Golden Knights trade of forward Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks. In a statement, the league indicated the trade could not be concluded because the deal didn’t comply with the forward’s modified no-trade clause.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Danny Webster reports the Ducks were on Dadonov’s 10-team no-trade list, which was filed last June 30 while he was a member of the Ottawa Senators. He was acquired by the Golden Knights on July 28. The Golden Knights claimed it didn’t receive Dadonov’s no-trade list and they and the league believed it hadn’t been filed correctly or had expired. However, documentation subsequently revealed it was filed on time.

Moving Dadonov to the Ducks would’ve freed up $3.4 million in cap space, enabling the Golden Knights to activate Mark Stone or Alec Martinez off long-term injury reserve. It’s expected they will attempt to trade Dadonov to a non-playoff club. Teams can still make trades after the deadline but the player becomes ineligible to play for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports several NHL clubs would listen to offers by the Golden Knights but the price could be at least a first-round pick.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng reports there’s still no hearing date set for Evander Kane’s grievance against the Sharks for terminating his contract in January. There doesn’t seem to be much of a hurry on either side to get it done during this season.

Kane subsequently signed with the Edmonton Oilers and apparently enjoys playing with them. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent in July. The Sharks need clarity regarding their salary-cap payroll for next season but they don’t really need it until the offseason. A league source told Peng they will try to schedule the hearing before the NHL Draft in Montreal on July 7-8.

THE ATHLETIC: Bill Shea examined this season’s NHL Fan Cost Index by Team Marketing Report, which annually measures the fan costs for the major US sports leagues. The average cost for a family of four to attend an NHL game this season is $462.58, up from $439.91 in part because of the expansion Seattle Kraken joining the league.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the highest FCI at $697.75 USD while the Arizona Coyotes have the lowest at $314.70 USD. The Kraken has the second-highest at $672.89 USD.

Shea considers the Florida Panthers as the best deal for NHL fans. The top team in the Eastern Conference standings has the second-lowest FCI at $319.74.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that teams charge their fans what the market will bear. That’s why it’s so expensive to attend a Leafs game and so affordable to go to a Coyotes or Panthers game.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 20, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 20, 2022

Check out the latest on Patrick Kane, Marc-Andre Fleury, Mark Giordano, Filip Forsberg and Max Domi plus the latest on the Flyers, Jets, Oilers, Canucks and Senators in Part One of the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

THE LATEST ON KANE, FLEURY, GIORDANO, FORSBERG AND DOMI.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Patrick Kane’s agent, Pat Brisson, said the long-time Chicago Blackhawks winger will not be dealt at Monday’s trade deadline. They’re also not moving Jonathan Toews or Seth Jones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane and Toews each carry $10.5 million annual salary-cap hit through 2022-23 with full no-movement clauses. Good luck moving either guy at the trade deadline. Those sort of moves, if they happen at all, will take place in the offseason when teams have more cap space, provided either guy is willing to waive their movement clauses. Jones starts his new eight-year contract next season so he’s staying put as well.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

The Minnesota Wild are believed to have an interest in Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Wild general manager Bill Guerin was Fleury’s teammate with the 2009 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Michael Russo reports Fleury is willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to Minnesota. The Blackhawks reportedly want a first-round pick for Fleury but Guerin is adamant he’s not moving his first-rounder. Russo believes he could part with his second-round pick. Whether that’s something the Blackhawks will accept is another matter. Russo also suggests Cam Talbot’s recent improvement could convince Guerin to stick with his current tandem.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano could be a trade target of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The New York Rangers could also be in the bidding for the 38-year-old blueliner. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has let it be known he’s not trading his first-round pick or his top prospects for a rental player. Friedman also believes Leafs rearguard Travis Dermott will be moved no matter what happens. If they fail to land Giordano, Jeff Marek believes they’ll pursue the Philadelphia Flyers’ Justin Braun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken could retain half of Giordano’s $6.75 million if the Leafs want him but Seattle GM Ron Francis apparently seeks at least a first-rounder as part of the return. Unless he drops his asking price or Dubas changes his mind, the Leafs will have to look elsewhere for a defenseman.

Contract extension talks between the Nashville Predators and winger Filip Forsberg reportedly haven’t gone well. It’s believed Predators GM David Poile has tested the trade market on Forsberg but doesn’t think he’ll get traded though that could change with one phone call.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile could surprise us by shipping out Forsberg but doing so could hurt their chances of nailing down a playoff spot. Some folks will say, “So what? They’re not going deep in the playoffs anyway so move Forsberg rather than risk losing him for nothing this summer”. We’ll find out soon enough if the Predators GM feels the same way.

Jeff Marek reports Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi is someone worth watching in the trade market. He’s on an expiring contract and the Washington Capitals are said to be interested in him, perhaps the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche. His $5.2 million cap hit could be an issue requiring a third-party deal or the Jackets retaining salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets could be willing to retain some of Domi’s cap hit for the right offer. It’ll be interesting to see where the well-traveled forward ends up.

FLYERS PROVOROV, SANHEIM, KONECNY DRAWING ATTENTION

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports there has been interest in other Flyers in the trade market such as defensemen Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov and forward Travis Konecny. There’s no belief the Flyers are in a hurry to move those players though it’s always possible someone could make a big pitch for them before Monday’s trade deadline. Marek believes decisions on those players could be summer decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Based on the reaction of Flyers fans on social media following the Giroux trade and the recent re-signing of Rasmus Ristolainen, they’re not happy with general manager Chuck Fletcher. Moving Sanheim, Provorov or Konecny this summer won’t sit well with them unless they’re getting solid returns.

UPDATES ON THE JETS, OILERS, CANUCKS, SENATORS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports trade conversations are “intensifying” regarding Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp. The Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers have been linked to the 27-year-old pending free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation is growing in Winnipeg over what moves Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has in mind for his club on deadline day. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck reports Copp and Paul Stastny are the two noteworthy trade assets. The Winnipeg Free Press’ Mike McIntyre wondered if Cheveldayoff might acquire a middle-six forward such as the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, the Blackhawks’ Dominik Kubalik or the Montreal Canadiens’ Artturi Lehkonen.

Jeff Marek doesn’t expect the Edmonton Oilers to make a big splash at the trade deadline. They’ve explored the goalie market but that hasn’t borne fruit. They’re happy with their forwards but could seek a left-shot defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson shares Marek’s opinion. He mentions they’ve been linked to Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul, Flyers defenseman Justin Braun, Detroit Red Wings blueliner Marc Staal and Kraken rearguard Carson Soucy.

Marek also believes the Canucks could be sellers if they don’t gain ground in the playoff race this weekend. Forwards Brock Boeser and Conor Garland have come up in trade rumors. He doesn’t expect they’ll move center J.T. Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could peddle Boeser and/or Garland at the trade deadline but they can also wait for the offseason if there are no current offers to their liking. Boeser is a restricted free agent this summer while Garland is signed through 2025-26. The Province’s Patrick Johnston reports the Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, Maple Leafs and Bruins have been linked to Garland.

Friedman believes the Ottawa Senators and pending UFA forward Nick Paul aren’t far apart in contract talks but both sides appear dug in. Both sides want to get a deal done but don’t yet have an agreement on the money.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators held Paul out of last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the New York Rangers are pushing hard to acquire Paul, while the Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild are also believed among the suitors.