NHL Rumor Mill – December 6, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 6, 2022

Could there be a reunion between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin this season? What’s the latest on Brock Boeser? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD PATRICK KANE REUNITE WITH ARTEMI PANARIN?

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Arthur Staple recently wondered if there could be a reunion of Patrick Kane with his former Chicago Blackhawks teammate Artemi Panarin later this season with the New York Rangers. Kane and Panarin were highly productive linemates for two seasons before the latter was traded to Columbus in 2017. He subsequently signed with the Rangers in 2019.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Kane’s eligibility for unrestricted free-agent status in July combined with the Blackhawks’ ongoing rebuild has sparked speculation that he might favor a trade to the Rangers. The 34-year-old winger has a full no-movement clause giving him complete control over where he finishes this season.

Both players would welcome the opportunity to skate together again but they also realize it’s not that simple. Powers and Staple suggest the Blackhawks would want a first-round pick and a prospect in exchange for Kane and half of his salary.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker also took note of the trade rumors linking Kane to the Rangers. However, she believes the Blueshirts must improve their recent play and become a postseason contender to convince him to waive his no-movement clause to join them before the March 3 trade deadline.

The Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season but are currently struggling for a wild-card berth. She pointed out they have two first-round picks in the 2023 draft. Walker doubted they would part with top prospect Brennan Othmann.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most NHL pundits consider the Rangers as the likely destination for Kane by the trade deadline. As Walker points out, however, the Blueshirts might not get the chance to bid for him if they’re not holding down a playoff berth by the time he decides if he’ll waive his no-movement clause.

The Rangers might not be the only New York club interested in Kane. NYI Hockey Now’s Stefen Rosner wondered if the Islanders might be able to pry the future Hall-of-Famer away from the Blackhawks.

The Islanders are currently sitting in a better position in the standings than the Rangers. Rosner speculates it could cost perhaps a first and a second-round along with a top prospect to acquire Kane, especially if the Blackhawks agree to retain some salary.

THE LATEST ON BROCK BOESER

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports it’s his understanding that Brock Boeser’s agent has spoken to half-a-dozen teams since receiving permission last week from the Vancouver Canucks. He’s expected to speak with some more this week.

LeBrun doesn’t believe a trade is imminent as it will take some work. However, he feels it could be inevitable that he ends up playing elsewhere before the end of this season.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: suggested Boeser’s situation could create an opportunity for the Canadiens to acquire Boeser. The 25-year-old winger could act as a mentor for some of the Habs’ upcoming stars while he is also young enough to be part of the club’s long-term plans.

Boeser could also help fill the void if the Canadiens trade some of their veterans before the trade deadline. Josh Anderson, Jonathan Drouin, Sean Monahan, Evgenii Dadonov, Christian Dvorak and Mike Hoffman have surfaced in the rumor mill this season. The Canadiens could use a younger forward to provide them with much-needed secondary scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sticking points are Boeser’s injury history, his inconsistent production over the past couple of seasons, and his $6.65 million annual salary through 2024-25.

I’m not saying a trade won’t happen before the March 3 deadline. Given the high number of teams with limited cap space (including the Canadiens), it wouldn’t be surprising if Boeser got moved in the offseason when teams have more cap room.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2022

Check out the latest on Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson, Jakob Chychrun and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” COLUMN

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there were rumors that Patrick Kane would prefer to play out this season with the Chicago Blackhawks and decide his future in next summer’s free-agent market. However, sources told him that’s not the case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman noted, we can expect more clarity on what Kane and fellow UFA Jonathan Toews want in the New Year. It’s believed Blackhawks management will meet with both players at some point this month to discuss their futures.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Friedman believes the Florida Panthers have an interest in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he’s not sure how they’ll pull it off.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson carries a no-movement clause. Assuming he’d agree to be traded to the Panthers, they can’t afford his $11.5 million cap hit through 2026-27 without shedding salary and having the Sharks retain a healthy chunk of it.

The cost in terms of return would also be high, including at least one first-round pick. That’s something the Panthers don’t have, having traded away their first-rounders for 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The Philadelphia Flyers are at the 50-contract limit and thus cannot promote Artem Anisimov from their AHL affiliate. Friedman wonders if they might make a move to address that issue.

LATEST ON CHYCHRUN

SPORTSNET: Adam Vingan took note of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s recent return to action following off-season wrist surgery. The 24-year-old blueliner’s youth, size and affordable $4.6 million salary-cap hit combined with his puck-moving abilities continue to make him enticing for teams seeking a rearguard with his skills.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres have been linked to Chychrun. So have the Ottawa Senators. Vingan also pointed out that the injury-ravaged Toronto Maple Leafs need some help on defense.

Vingan also cited Chychrun’s injury history and is prone to turnovers. Nevertheless, he considers him to be a “well-rounded defenseman” who can lead a breakout, control a power play and hold his own against tough competition.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those interested clubs will want to see Chychrun play some games this season before bidding for his services. The asking price is heavy on futures (draft picks, especially first-rounders, plus prospects and/or a good young NHL player) which is why teams will be cautious given his injury history.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Kings seek a left-hand shot on their blueline. While linked to Chychrun and carrying the type of assets the Coyotes would want, he believes there’s no guarantee it happens. Friedman also thinks Chychrun has let management know that he prefers getting moved to a contender.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could push to move Chychrun this season. The blueliner’s 10-team no-trade clause kicks in next July, giving him more control over where he could be dealt.

SENATORS FACE DEADLINE TO SIGN FORMENTON

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have until 5 pm ET on Dec. 1 to sign Alex Formenton. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent. If he’s unsigned by that deadline, he’ll be ineligible to play in the NHL this season. Garrioch doesn’t anticipate a rival club tending Formenton an offer sheet.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli wonders if the Senators will attempt to trade Formenton to a club willing to sign him before that deadline. There’s speculation the winger could face discipline for his potential involvement in the Team Canada 2018 World Junior team’s sexual assault case. He’s among the few players who have not responded to the allegations directly or indirectly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The results from the investigation are expected soon but probably not in time for the deadline. It could be that the Senators or clubs potentially interested in Formenton are leery of signing or acquiring him because of this situation. We’ll find out soon enough. 

CAN THE PENGUINS FIND A TRADE PARTNER FOR KAPANEN?

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski recently wondered if the Pittsburgh Penguins can find a trade partner for Kasperi Kapanen by swapping him with another player with a comparably bad contract. The 26-year-old winger is in the first season of a two-year deal with a $3.2 million average annual value.

Kingerski suggested the Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi, Calgary Flames Milan Lucic and San Jose Sharks Kevin Labanc as trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt there’s any market for Kapanen after being a healthy scratch through most of November. Pujujarvi was the subject of trade rumors for months but nothing’s come of it. Lucic is aging and slowing down but he remains a popular dressing-room leader for the Flames.

Labanc is the more productive of that group with 13 points in 25 games. If the Sharks were to shop him I don’t see them wanting Kapanen in return.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2022

Could Patrick Kane be ready to part ways with the Blackhawks? Are the Sabres really interested in acquiring Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WILL PATRICK KANE STAY WITH THE BLACKHAWKS OR CONSIDER A TRADE?

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus has long maintained that he’s not sure whether Patrick Kane will stick with the Chicago Blackhawks this season or agree to be moved by the March 3 trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Lazerus still believes Kane truly wants to stay in Chicago but feels that the long-time Blackhawks superstar is wearing down as the losses pile up for the rebuilding club. He now thinks that a trade could be inevitable.

Kane still hasn’t given any indication as to his intentions. He’s in the final season of his contract with a $10.5 million cap hit and a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation over Kane’s future – and that of fellow Blackhawks franchise player Jonathan Toews – began shortly after last season’s trade deadline as management made clear its intention to rebuild the roster. As the Blackhawks continue to flounder, media conjecture over their respective futures will grow once the calendar flips to 2023 and the trade deadline appears on the horizon.

Recent reports claim Kane could meet with management sometime in December to discuss his situation. At some point, he’s going to have to make a decision. The 34-year-old winger can finish out the season with the Blackhawks and head to free agency and a fresh start elsewhere next July or decide to pursue a Stanley Cup with another club this season and perhaps bolster his free-agent value in the process.

Kane’s contract remains a significant obstacle on the path to a trade. Nevertheless, we can expect the Blackhawks to attempt to get creative with potential trade partners to make this work, such as retaining up to 50 percent of his remaining cap hit.

As Lazerus indicates, however, the final decision rests with Kane. Sometime between now and March 3, we’ll have our answer.

SABRES REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN CHYCHRUN

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski took note of Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek wondering aloud if the Sabres would be a dark-horse candidate for Jakob Chychrun during Saturday’s “32 Thoughts” segment on Hockey Night in Canada. He also noted Marek’s colleague Elliotte Friedman recently reported the Coyotes’ asking price includes a pair of first-round picks (either prospects chosen in previous drafts or future selections) plus “something else.”

Lysowski cites sources confirming the Sabres are among several clubs to have expressed an interest in acquiring the Arizona Coyotes defenseman. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams declined to discuss Chychrun when contacted by Lysowski on Sunday. However, Adams admitted he’s always on the lookout for anything that can improve his club.

With over $17 million in cap space, the Sabres can easily afford Chychrun’s $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit through 2024-25. Lysowski believes his style of play would fit well on their blueline, taking pressure off younger defensemen such as Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power and Mattias Samuelsson.

The Coyotes’ asking price, however, could be a problem for the Sabres. Adams has stated his desire to maintain a stockpile of high-end prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t blame Adams for looking into what it would cost to acquire Chychrun. His club has the depth in prospects and promising young players to meet the Coyotes’ asking price. Whether the Sabres GM wants to pay it, however, is another matter.

There’s also the question of whether Chychrun would want to go from one perpetually rebuilding team in Arizona to another in Buffalo. Lysowski pointed out the blueliner has a connection with Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula as he attended high school in Florida with two of their children. However, that might not be enough to convince him to go to Buffalo.

Chychrun lacks no-trade protection this season but it’s believed that the Coyotes want to do right by him if possible by sending him to a club of his choosing. It’s rumored he rejected a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets in early July.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

A look at the early season trade targets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

ANALYSIS OF THE EARLY-SEASON TRADE TARGETS

DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat top Frank Seravalli’s first list of trade targets for 2022-23. He pointed out there hasn’t been much talk about a contract extension between the pending free agent and Canucks management since prior to training camp. Seravalli suggests “Colorado, Detroit, Boston and Edmonton” among the clubs that could use a top-flight center like Horvat.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford is in no hurry to decide what to do with Horvat. That’s understandable since the trade deadline isn’t until March 3 so there’s no reason for Rutherford to rush into a decision regarding his captain at this point.

Nevertheless, the longer Horvat remains unsigned the more speculation over his future will increase as the trade deadline approaches. We’ll find out in due course if those clubs mentioned by Seravalli actually get into the bidding for the Canucks captain.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews sit second and third on Servalli’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli indicated the Blackhawks are expected to start a conversation with Kane in December to gauge his interest in a trade. He and Toews have complete control over their fates given their no-movement clauses.

Friedman wonders whether the Los Angeles Kings would make a pitch for Kane. He indicates they have the picks and prospects to make this move. Provided Kane is willing to accept a trade to Los Angeles, I question whether the Kings can comfortably afford to pick up the remainder of his $10.5 million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Anaheim Ducks blueliner John Klingberg sit fourth and fifth on this list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman reported the Coyotes are still asking for “two first-rounders (upcoming picks or recently-drafted prospects), plus something else.”

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Coyotes based their high asking price for Chychrun on what the Ducks received from the Boston Bruins last season for Hampus Lindholm. That package included a first-round pick and two second-rounders. He also cited the two first-round picks the Chicago Blackhawks received as part of the return from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Brandon Hagel deal.

As for Klingberg, Seravalli reminds us that the pending UFA’s no-trade clause is lifted on Jan. 1. We can expect to hear his name more frequently in trade rumors between New Year’s Day and March 3.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier, Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Sean Walker and Sharks rearguard Erik Karlsson fill positions six through 10.

Seravalli points out Meier’s expensive qualifying offer ($10 million) will have teams looking at him as a rental player than as a restricted free agent…Duclair is only on the list because the Panthers will have to shed salary when he’s ready to return from his offseason Achilles tear but he might not necessarily be the player who gets traded. He carries a $3 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier could be shopped unless he and the Sharks can agree to a new deal with a more affordable cap hit. Given his RFA status next summer, the Sharks can wait until the offseason to shop him if they don’t get any offers they like before the trade deadline.

As for Duclair, I think the Panthers intend to keep him after he rediscovered his game playing for them last season. They’ll have to shed around $3 million to become cap compliant.

Gavrikov is a pending UFA but I’m not convinced the Blue Jackets will move him unless contract talks go south before the trade deadline…Seravalli pointed out the Kings have a glut of defensemen. They don’t want to move Walker but he could be the odd man out given his injury history.

Karlsson would help any NHL club but, as Seravalli notes, his $11.5 million annual cap hit and full no-movement clause significantly limit the number of potential trade destinations. That could be a trade that happens in the offseason provided Karlsson is willing to waive his NMC and the Sharks retain a big chunk of his cap hit.

Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, Blackhawks winger Andreas Athanasiou, Coyotes blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere and Sharks goalie James Reimer coming in at spots 11 through 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roslovic’s inconsistency really hurts his trade value…The Capitals could peddle Jensen if they’re out of playoff contention leading up to the trade deadline. The same goes for Athanasiou and Reimer…I would place Gotisbehere higher on this list, perhaps in the bottom half of the top 10. The puck-moving defenseman had 51 points in 82 games last season on the offensively anemic Coyotes and has 10 points in 17 games this season. He should draw plenty of interest near the trade deadline from teams seeking offense from the blueline.

Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Blackhawks center Max Domi, New York Rangers winger Ryan Reaves, Canadiens center Sean Monahan and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen round out the remainder of this list.

If the Canucks continue to spiral they could start unloading expensive contracts like Boeser’s…Reaves has been a healthy scratch in recent games. The Rangers wouldn’t want much in return as they’d prefer the cap flexibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s a scoring threat when healthy but his injury history could make him difficult to move…Domi would draw interest from contenders seeking a versatile depth rental…Reaves’ toughness should make him an affordable and enticing option for contenders seeking postseason grit…Monahan’s having a solid season (11 points in 17 games) with the Canadiens and would make a good depth center on a playoff contender…Kapanen’s trade value is so low right now that the Penguins probably couldn’t give him away at this point.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 21, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 21, 2022

Should the Bruins consider pursuing Patrick Kane in the trade market? Will Nikolaj Ehlers’ injury force the Jets to make a trade? Did the Canucks have an interest in Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

SHOULD THE BRUINS PURSUE PATRICK KANE?

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited an NHL executive suggesting the Bruins should consider pursuing Patrick Kane if the Chicago Blackhawks star becomes available in the trade market. The Bruins are all-in for a Stanley Cup run this season and the executive believes they’ll do whatever it takes to win one more Cup for captain Patrice Bergeron.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

The executive acknowledged the Bruins have salary cap limitations right now. However, he feels they should be laying the foundation to acquire a player like Kane.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming Kane is open to being traded and would accept going to Boston, the Bruins would probably want the Blackhawks to retain part of the remainder of his $10.5 million cap hit. That might even involve getting a third team involved in the deal to spread the cap hit around.

Even then, however, I don’t believe the Bruins could outbid other teams to land Kane as a playoff rental. They don’t have many tradeable assets on their roster while The Athletic listed their prospect pipeline as the league’s worst back in August. Assuming they could pull it off, it could gut their prospect depth for the next few years. 

WILL THE JETS MAKE A TRADE TO REPLACE EHLERS?

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe wonders if the Winnipeg Jets will go the trade route to find a short-term replacement for Nikolai Ehlers. The 26-year-old winger has only played twice this season and is about to undergo sports hernia surgery.

The Jets are off to a solid 10-5-1 start and have adjusted well thus far to Ehlers’ absence. While there’s no need to rush into finding a forward, Wiebe believes it should be a priority.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ play thus far has bought some time for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to explore his options. If they can remain a playoff contender, he can afford to wait until closer to the March 3 trade deadline when the market for forwards should improve as more clubs fall out of the postseason chase.

CANUCKS HAD AN INTEREST IN ROSLOVIC

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline cited a source claiming the Vancouver Canucks expressed an interest in Jack Roslovic. However, the Columbus Blue Jackets were reluctant to part with the 25-year-old center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Portzline observes, the Jackets were hoping Roslovic would build on his strong finish to last season. However, he’s only managed six points in 15 games and Boone Jenner has taken over as their first-line center. Given the difficulties the Canucks have encountered this season, it’s probably for the best that their attempt to land Roslovic fell through.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2022

It’s Saturday and you know what that means: more speculation about Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Jakob Chychrun. Check it out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHAT WILL THE BLACKHAWKS DO WITH KANE AND TOEWS?

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector doesn’t see the Chicago Blackhawks’ surprisingly good start to this season will deviate management from its rebuilding plans. That includes what to do with longtime franchise superstars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who are both slated to become unrestricted free agents next July.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Some observers feel Kane will decide to sign a cheaper contract extension with the Blackhawks to help shepherd the rebuild and perhaps attempt to become the franchise’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. Others, however, see him finishing this season with the New York Rangers or Colorado Avalanche, with Kaapo Kakko or Samuel Girard heading to Chicago as part of the return.

As for Toews, Spector believes teams will line up for his services at the trade deadline. He suggested the Edmonton Oilers as a suitor as Toews would provide depth at center among their middle-six plus former teammate Duncan Keith works in their front office.

Spector also sees the Blackhawks peddling other UFAs such as Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou at the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Cousin Mark’s suggested destinations for Kane and Toews pan out by the trade deadline. The Blackhawks won’t just give those two away but it could prove difficult to get a king’s ransom for either guy.

The Rangers, Avalanche and Oilers would have to accrue sufficient cap space to take on what remains of their respective $10.5 million salary-cap hits. That’s assuming they’re willing to waive their no-movement clauses.

We already know Kane and his agent Pat Brisson intend to meet with Blackhawks management in December or January to discuss the situation. As Brisson also represents Toews, I daresay he’ll be in there as well. Until then, it’s all a guessing game as to whether they’ll stay or go.

COULD THE BLUE JACKETS HAVE INTEREST IN CHYCHRUN?

THE JEFF MAREK SHOW: The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline recently joined Jeff Marek to discuss the Columbus Blue Jackets’ rough start to this season. During the conversation, Marek mentioned the trade rumors linking the Jackets to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

Portzline noted the rumors this summer claiming the Jackets attempted to acquire Chychrun during the first round of this year’s draft in Montreal. The Jackets denied it but some in the defenseman’s camp said it was true.

There were also differing reports claiming Chychrun didn’t want to come to Columbus. He lacks no-trade protection but teams take into consideration whether a player wants to join them or not.

Portzline noted the Jackets have the assets to acquire Chychrun but believes they soured on him. He’s also more of a left-side defenseman whereas the Jackets require right-side depth. Nevertheless, he wouldn’t be surprised if they tried again. The Coyotes might want one of the Jackets’ young defensemen as part of the return. He doesn’t see the Jackets parting with David Jiricek or Denton Mateychuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This interview took place before the report later in the week claiming Chychrun suffered a setback in his recovery from offseason wrist surgery and could be sidelined longer than expected.

It’s believed interested clubs will want to see how well the talented but oft-injured Chychrun performs when he finally returns to action. Perhaps the Jackets will be among the suitors if the blueliner has had a change of heart about coming to Columbus. Stay tuned…