NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2022

Recaps of Sunday’s action plus a roundup of overnight moves as the 3 pm ET trade deadline approaches in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev turned in a season-high 44-save shutout performance to blank the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. Chris Kreider scored his 41st goal of the season while Frank Vatrano tallied his first goal as a Ranger since his acquisition last week from the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 88 points but the second-place Rangers are just three points behind them.

Alex Ovechkin reached the 40-goal plateau for the 12th time in his career but his Washington Capitals fell 3-2 to the Dallas Stars. Roope Hintz scored two goals for the Stars (72 points) as they move within one point of the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. With 80 points, the Capitals remain one point behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals defenseman John Carlson was injured in the final minutes of the game when he crashed into the end boards following a cross-check by Stars captain Jamie Benn. No update on his status following the game but Capitals coach Peter Laviolette considered it a dirty hit by Benn. We’ll find out soon enough if the league agrees with him.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored a goal and collected three assists to lead his club to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jansen Harkins scored twice for the Jets as they sit four points out of a Western wild-card spot with 68 points. Taylor Raddysh scored and picked up an assist for his first points with the Blackhawks since his recent acquisition from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

An overtime goal by Rasmus Dahlin lifted the Buffalo Sabres over the Vancouver Canucks 3-2, handing the latter their five loss in their last six games. J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who also sit four points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks’ recent stumble could prompt management to make a more significant move before today’s trade deadline. They made a couple of minor moves yesterday by shipping Travis Hamonic to the Ottawa Senators and acquiring Travis Dermott from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes tallied two second-period goals in a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders, ending the latter’s points streak at six games. Islanders veterans Cal Clutterbuck and Andy Greene were held out of this game for “maintenance” reasons as both were banged up in recent games.

The San Jose Sharks tallied three unanswered third-period goals to double up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Noah Gregor had a goal and an assist while James Reimer made 23 saves for the win. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.

HEADLINES

PUCKPEDIA: has the full breakdown of Hampus Lindholm’s eight-year contract extension with the Boston Bruins. He gets an average salary-cap hit of $6.5 million with a full no-movement/no-trade clause in the first five seasons followed by a 15-team no-trade list in the final three.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers placed defenseman Aaron Ekblad on long-term injury reserve. He’s expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with an apparent leg injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will provide the Panthers with some salary-cap flexibility to add another player before today’s trade deadline if they wish. They acquired Robert Hagg yesterday from the Buffalo Sabres.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators traded forward Nick Paul to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Mathieu Joseph and a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paul had a career-high 11 goals with the low-scoring Senators. Joseph is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but he likely would’ve become a UFA as the Lightning might not have qualified his rights. He’ll be much more affordable than Paul for the Senators to re-sign. Some observers wonder if the Lightning will put Paul with the recently acquired Brandon Hagel to form a new energy line.

The Los Angeles Kings acquired defenseman Troy Stecher from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft.

The Seattle Kraken traded defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2022 second-rounder.

The Dallas Stars acquired goaltender Scott Wedgewood from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars made this move because backup Braden Holtby remains sidelined by a lower-body injury and Anton Khudobin recently underwent season-ending hip surgery.

The Winnipeg Jets have brought back forward Mason Appleton by acquiring him from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2023 fourth-round pick. The Kraken had selected Appleton during last summer’s expansion draft.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Reports indicated the Coyotes have acquired the rights to college prospect Jack McBain in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022.

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed defenseman Mark Friedman to a two-year, one-way contract extension with an annual average value of $775K.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed goaltender Petr Mrazek on waivers and signed Finnish goalie Harri Sateri to a prorated $750K contract for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I guess that means the Leafs won’t be acquiring a goalie in the trade market.










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.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s action, the Blackhawks trade Brandon Hagel to the Lightning, the Predators are still talking contract extension with Filip Forsberg, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin each collected three points as the Colorado Avalanche held off the San Jose Sharks 5-3. The Sharks rallied from a 4-0 deficit to cut the lead to one goal before Nichushkin scored his second of the game late in the third period to seal the win. With 93 points, the Avalanche holds a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the overall standings.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Panthers, Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice, Joe Thornton tallied his 430th career goal and Spencer Knight made 17 saves to blank the Anaheim Ducks 3-0, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. The Panthers (90 points) hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference while the fading Ducks (65 points) are five points behind the Vegas Golden Knight for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Panthers as defenseman Aaron Ekblad left the game with an apparent injury to his right leg. Head coach Andrew Brunette said there was no structural damage and it doesn’t appear Ekblad will be sidelined long-term.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, dropped a 4-3 decision to the Washington Capitals on a shootout goal by Alex Ovechkin, who also scored his 39th of the season in the third period to tie the game. Seth Jarvis scored twice for the Hurricanes while Antti Raanta made 37 saves in a losing cause. With 88 points, the Hurricanes are five points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals (80 points) sit one behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals saw two players sidelined by injuries as Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk both left the game. It’s unclear how long they will be sidelined.

As for the Bruins, Taylor Hall snapped a 2-2 tie and Charlie McAvoy netted the insurance goal as they doubled up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. Bruins forward Charlie Coyle collected three assists while Brad Marchand tallied his 25th goal to tie Rick Middleton for the second-most 25-goal seasons (nine) in franchise history. Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in a losing cause as the Jets (66 points) are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Buffalo Sabres upset the Calgary Flames 1-0. Dustin Tokarski turned in a 24-save shutout while Tage Thompson netted the winning goal in overtime. The Flames remain on top of the Pacific Division with 82 points.

Third-period goals by Josh Norris and Alex Formenton lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their 12th straight road loss. Norris is the Senators’ leading goal scorer with 25 goals in 45 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators held Nick Paul out of this game after he reportedly rejected a four-year, $10 million contract extension. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, Paul could be on the move before Monday’s trade deadline. It’s believed the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers are interested in the versatile forward.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks trade winger Brandon Hagel, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a fourth-rounder in 2024 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, a first-round pick in 2023 and a first-round pick in 2024. Both first-round picks are top-10 protected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I confess I was surprised the Blackhawks moved the 23-year-old Hagel, who’s emerged as a hardworking two-way forward with an affordable $1.5 million cap hit through 2023-24. He seemed the type of player they needed as part of their roster rebuild.

The word among Chicago pundits prior to this trade was Hagel wasn’t going anywhere unless the Blackhawks got a significant offer. They certainly got it from the Lightning. Katchouk and Raddysh are young players who had difficulty cracking the Lightning’s deep forward lines. They’ll get plenty of opportunities to develop in Chicago. Those two first-rounders will help Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson restock his club’s depleted prospect pipeline.

Hagel will be a solid addition to the Lightning as they attempt to become the first team to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions since the New York Islanders in 1982. He’s comparable to forwards Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, who helped the Bolts win their last two championships before salary-cap limitations forced their departures last summer.

THE ATHLETIC: Hagel’s trade has left Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews mulling his future. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Toews confessed to being shocked that Hagel got traded, suggesting it left the impression no one on the club was safe from being moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The futures of Toews and Patrick Kane have become the topic of speculation this season after Stan Bowman stepped down as GM earlier this season. I suspect they’ll start turning up in trade rumors during the offseason.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Meanwhile, the Blackhawks placed Connor Murphy on long-term injury reserve and Tyler Johnson on injured reserve.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Nashville Predators have re-engaged in contract discussions with Filip Forsberg’s agent but progress has been marginal thus far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if Forsberg gets shipped out on Monday with the Predators jockeying for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. We’ll see how things unfold.

YAHOO SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer expressed concern over the status of Jack Eichel after the center departed Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers with an upper-body injury (arm) after blocking a shot. They’re awaiting more conclusive results as to his condition.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 17, 2022

Check out the latest on Claude Giroux, Christian Dvorak, Max Domi, Marc-Andre Fleury, Alexander Radulov. Semyon Varlamov and many more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE LATEST ON GIROUX, SANHEIM AND DVORAK.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Colorado Avalanche are interested in Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux, “but there’s a preference for the Panthers, although it doesn’t look like anything is close”. The Flyers haven’t been impressed with offers thus far but it’s expected the real negotiations start following Giroux’s 1,000th game tonight. The 34-year-old forward controls this process.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not sure if Friedman is referring to the Panthers as Giroux’s or the Flyers’ preference. Regardless, I’m not surprised that he hasn’t been moved yet. He and the Flyers wanted to have him reach his 1,000th game as a Flyer. He could be moved over the weekend.

Friedman also addressed rumors suggesting the Flyers might shop Travis Sanheim after re-signing defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen last week. He noted the two played together so it would make sense to keep them. He also wondered what the Flyers will do with talented rearguard Ivan Provorov given his struggles this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d be more shocked if the Flyers move Provorov than I would if they move Sanheim. While general manager Chuck Fletcher will consider his options, I think he’ll keep those two defensemen.

TVA SPORTS: As Montreal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak returns from injury, Renaud Lavoie believes the club’s goal is to trade him. He considers the 26-year-old Dvorak more of a Western Conference player. Lavoie said several teams were interested in Dvorak, including the Minnesota Wild, but it remains to be seen if they’re willing to compromise to get him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliotte Friedman said he’d heard the Wild had a prior interest in Dvorak but they can’t fit him into their lineup now. The Wild will be facing a salary-cap crunch after this season. Dvorak’s signed through 2024-25 with an annual cap hit of $4.45 million.

UPDATE ON THE LEAFS AND BLUE JACKETS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas doesn’t want to part with any of his top prospects or his first-round pick for a rental player. Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm is their top target but they’ve also looked at the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano, the Flyers’ Justin Braun, the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg, and the San Jose Shark’s Jacob Middleton.

The Leafs have been shopping Travis Dermott and Justin Holl for months. Friedman wouldn’t be surprised if Dermott gets a fresh start elsewhere. He also makes a “completely insane prediction” of the Leafs acquiring New York Islanders blueliner Zdeno Chara.

If the Leafs decide to pursue Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury it’ll come down to whether Fleury believes he can win in Toronto. Friedman also dismissed the possibility of the Leafs acquiring John Gibson from the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to cost the Leafs a top prospect and/or a first-round pick as part of the return for Lindholm, Giordano and Klingberg, though the latter isn’t going anywhere with teammate Miro Heiskanen sidelined by mononucleosis. Those guys are all slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. I also don’t see Chara agreeing to a trade to the Leafs.

Fleury’s situation is so muddied we don’t know if he’s staying or going. At this point, I’ll be surprised if there’s a deal that will work well enough for the Blackhawks to approach him about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Leafs end up sticking with the goalies they already have and hope for the best.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi could be on the radar of the Washington Capitals while Jeff Marek suggested the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche as possible destinations. Marek also suggested Jackets defenseman Dean Kukan as a fit with the Edmonton Oilers but Friedman doubts that’ll happen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber believes Domi could be a good fit in Washington. However, his $5.3 million cap hit makes him an expensive rental for the cap-strapped Capitals.

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

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman repeated his earlier reports suggesting the Canadiens were among the teams interested in New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha, as well as contract extension talks continuing between the Nashville Predators and Filip Forsberg.

The New York Rangers have shown interest in Dallas Stars winger Alexander Radulov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: But are the Stars willing to move him? They’re not believed to be in sell mode as they jockey for a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Radulov also might not be the best fit for the Rangers. The 35-year-old winger has been hampered by injuries in recent years and his production is down this season with just 18 points in 52 games.

Two sources expressed doubt to Friedman that New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov will be going anywhere by the trade deadline. Isles forward Cal Clutterbuck’s name has come up in the rumor mill quite a bit of late.

The Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs remain in the market for a left-side defenseman.

Keep an eye on the St. Louis Blues. Friedman expects they’ll be busy in the trade market. They were interested Ben Chiarot before he was traded to the Panthers and are linked to the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are pressed for cap space so it might have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out move, or a three-team trade to spread the cap hit around if they intend to add a notable defenseman.

The Capitals continue to monitor the goalie market.

Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp has been linked to the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins.

There’s not much movement in contract talks between the Ottawa Senators and pending UFA forward Nick Paul.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2022

Check out my analysis of Daily Faceoff’s Trade Targets list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot, and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl top Frank Seravalli’s top-25 NHL trade targets list.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lot of speculation over where Giroux could go with the Colorado Avalanche believed the front-runner. As Seravalli points out, the 34-year-old Flyers captain’s no-movement clause gives him full control over this situation.

Chiarot is expected to return to action next week from a minor injury, sparking conjecture the Canadiens could trade him soon. The Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues are said to be among his suitors.

Hertl and the Sharks have reportedly started contract extension talks. As Seravalli observes, there’s no certainty they’ll reach an agreement before the March 21 trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Hagel and Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun sit fourth and fifth. Seravalli reports the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames were known to have talks with the Blackhawks about Hagel, though the Flames moved on to Tyler Toffoli.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I noted yesterday the report by Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times citing a source saying Hagel was virtually off the table. The Blackhawks could be listening to offers for just about everyone but Hagel probably won’t be moved unless they get a terrific offer.

As for Chychrun, lots of teams are believed to be interested. However, the Coyotes’ hefty asking price of a high first-round pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player explains why he’s still in Arizona.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Canadiens blueliner Jeff Petry, and Seattle Kraken rearguard Mark Giordano fill spots six through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli notes the Boeser trade chatter increased soon after the Canucks new management team was in place. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll cost $7.5 million to qualify his rights.

However, the Canucks are still chasing a playoff berth in the Western Conference. Hockey ops president Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin both said there’s no urgency to make trades. They could wait until the offseason to shop Boeser if they can’t reach an agreement on a new contract or receive a suitable trade offer before the March 21 deadline.

The Stars are also in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference. They might not shop pending UFA Klingberg unless they fall out of contention over the next four weeks. Fleury’s contract and modified no-trade clause make shipping him to a Stanley Cup contender a difficult move. The same goes for Petry. Giordano, on the other hand, could end up on the move before March 21 if the Kraken can find him a suitable destination.

Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul, Canucks forward J.T. Miller, Stars winger Joe Pavelski, New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, and Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo fill spots 11 to 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paul, Pavelski and Korpisalo are UFAs this summer while Georgiev is a restricted free agent. The Senators hope to retain Paul but they could shop him if they can’t reach an agreement on an extension.

What I said about Klingberg applies to Pavelski. I continue to have my doubts the Rangers will move Georgiev as that will send them into a thin goalie market for an experienced, reliable backup.

New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha, Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp, Blue Jackets winger Max Domi, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith are in spots 16 to 20.

Zacha and DeBrusk are RFAs with arbitration rights while the others are UFAs. The Devils could entertain offers for Zacha but they can also afford to wait until the offseason. It’s been three months since DeBrusk requested a trade.

Copp will draw interest in the trade market if the Jets become sellers but that’s not yet a certainty. The well-traveled Domi could be on the move again. The Golden Knights won’t have to trade Smith to clear cap space if Mark Stone and Alec Martinez remain on LTIR for the remainder of the regular season.

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell, Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Leddy, Coyotes winger Phil Kessel and Calvin de Haan round out the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rakell could be on the move if the Ducks continue to slide out of playoff contention. Roslovic has really struggled following the Jackets coaching change last summer. Leddy and de Haan should be affordable pickups for playoff contenders seeking defensive depth. Kessel could also interest clubs looking for a winger with playoff experience.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2022

Could Mark Stone’s injury provide cap relief for the Golden Knights? Are the Panthers still pursuing Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on Tyler Toffoli, Rasmus Sandin and Pavel Zacha? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

STONE INJURY COULD ALLOW GOLDEN KNIGHTS TO ACTIVATE EICHEL

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli took note of Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer saying captain Mark Stone continues to deal with a nagging injury that already cost him 29 games this season. If Stone should be sidelined until the playoffs, it could provide the club with the necessary cap relief to active Jack Eichel without having to trade a forward such as Reilly Smith or Evgenii Dadonov.

Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone (NHL Images).

Eichel’s annual average value is $10 million while Stone’s is $9.5 million. The move would also enable them to reactivate sidelined defenseman Alec Martinez.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger also weighed in on the conjecture, pointing out there’s nothing certain about the Golden Knights plans, only that league sources were speculating about it. It’s uncertain whether Stone’s injury will sideline him for the remainder of the season. If he were to return to the lineup following the trade deadline and before the end of the regular season, the club wouldn’t be able to make a cost-cutting trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Call it the “Kucherov Gambit” when a team places a player on LTIR for the remainder of the season to garner cap relief only to welcome him back into the lineup for the postseason when the salary cap doesn’t count. That’s what the Tampa Bay Lightning did last season with Nikita Kucherov. Actually, it should be known as the Patrick Kane gambit, since it was the Chicago Blackhawks who set the standard in 2015 when Kane was sidelined by a broken collarbone.

It’s a form of cap circumvention but it’s also allowed under the CBA. Some general managers might grumble but they’re not about to do anything about it because they know they can also benefit from it if facing similar circumstances.

No one’s faking an injury here. Kane and Kucherov suffered legitimate injuries that took time to heal and their recoveries were monitored by the league to ensure everything was above board cap-wise. They’ll do the same for Stone and the Golden Knights if he ends up on LTIR for the remainder of the regular season.

ARE THE PANTHERS STILL INTERESTED IN CHYCHRUN?

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, George Richards was asked if the Panthers still had an interest in Jakob Chychrun. He believes they do but doubts they can meet the Arizona Coyotes’ asking price for the 23-year-old defenseman. He felt they would be fine with a rental like the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot.

Richards also doused any talk of the Panthers part with rookie star Anton Lundell to acquire Chychrun, calling him untouchable. “Get his name out of any rumor right now – in fact, it probably shouldn’t have been brought up.” However, he doesn’t dismiss the notion of giving up goalie Spencer Knight for the Coyotes blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe it was Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek who suggested the Coyotes could ask for Lundell as part of the return. As Richards observed, they could ask for him but that doesn’t mean the Panthers will do it.

There’s no reason for the Panthers to part with Lundell as he’s already become an indispensable part of their lineup. Trading him for Chychrun would address their need for another skilled puck-moving blueliner but it would create a hole on their forward lines that could prove difficult to plug.

LATEST TIDBITS FROM TSN’S INSIDERS AND SPORTSNET’S 32 THOUGHTS

TSN: Discussing what could be next for the Edmonton Oilers following yesterday’s coaching change, Darren Dreger suggests their need for a top-four defenseman is greater than their requirement for reliable goaltending depth. He considers the addition of a right-shot blueline a priority.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe addressing their goaltending is the priority. Given the limited options available or the cost of acquiring Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury if they’re not on his 10-team no-trade list, adding a defenseman would be the next best option. The Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg would be the best rental blueliner but the Oilers might not have sufficient assets to win a bidding war for his services.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman repeated his speculation that the Calgary Flames could be interested in Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli. He also suggested a reunion with the Los Angeles Kings, who are seeking some scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli is also the type of player the Canadiens could prefer retaining for their upcoming rebuild. If he forces the issue and wants out, the Habs could seek a first-round pick and either a top prospect or good young NHL player in return.

There were rumblings the Dallas Stars may have considered a coaching change. Friedman believes they’d decided to stick with head coach Rick Bowness.

Friedman would be surprised if the Toronto Maple Leafs traded defenseman Rasmus Sandin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As would I. It would be premature to give up on him for a quick fix.

Despite speculation about Nick Paul’s future with the Ottawa Senators, a source told Friedman he’s pessimistic Paul would be available by the trade deadline.

Teams are showing interest in New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha and New York Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov, who is expected to return to the NHL next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha was the sixth-overall pick by the Devils in 2015. While he hasn’t blossomed into a star as hoped, he’s put up decent numbers in a secondary role.

The 24-year-old Zacha is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. The Devils could be reluctant to part with him but perhaps they’ll entertain offers if they feel he’ll be difficult to retain beyond 2023.