Could the Canucks attempt to move J.T. Miller or Tanner Pearson this season? Will the Bruins trade Mike Reilly? Are the Devils in the market for a goaltender? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
COULD THE CANUCKS SHOP MILLER OR PEARSON?
VANCOUVER CANUCKS INSIDER: Rob Simpson mused over the possibility of the Canucks shopping J.T. Miller if this season continues to go south and the franchise opts to shake up its core.
Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (NHL Images).
Miller signed a seven-year contract extension in September that begins next season and carries a full no-movement clause until 2026-27. However, he’s in the final season of his current deal which lacks no-trade protection.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simpson acknowledged the notion of trading Miller is hypothetical and unlikely to happen. Nevertheless, we can’t dismiss the possibility. Miller’s contract extension could make him more enticing for contenders looking for more than a playoff rental at the March 3 trade deadline.
Simpson believes Canucks winger Tanner Pearson is the most likely to be moved depending on his health. He suggested teams might be interested in Pearson’s Stanley Cup experience.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 30-year-old Pearson is signed through 2023-25 with an average annual value of $3.25 million. He’s currently sidelined for four-to-six weeks recovering from hand surgery. Pearson is an inconsistent scorer but he could draw interest from contenders seeking an affordable and experienced depth winger.
ARE THE BRUINS SHOPPING MIKE REILLY?
NHL.com contributor Mark Divver reportedBoston Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly didn’t play for their AHL affiliate in Providence last night and isn’t expected to do so on Sunday. “Word is he’s hoping for a trade,” writes Divver. “No idea whether there is something in the works or not.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reilly cleared waivers and was sent down to Providence due to Charlie McAvoy’s return to the Bruins lineup on Thursday. It’s unusual that he’s not playing if he isn’t injured or sick. Perhaps they’re holding him out of the lineup as the parent club works on a trade.
DEVILS CONSIDERING THEIR OPTIONS IN NET.
NJ.COM’s Ryan Novozinsky reportedNew Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald is willing to explore all his options regarding his injury-plagued goaltenders. “We’ll explore anything and everything,” said Fitzgerald. “If it makes sense for us to keep from overworking certain goalies or if we prefer to keep our (young goalies) in the AHL.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps Fitzgerald is in talks with the Dallas Stars? They had to keep Anton Khudobinburied in the AHL while Jake Oettinger was sidelined because they couldn’t afford to call him up. He’s in the final season of his contract and carries a $3.33 million cap hit but lacks no-trade protection. The Devils, however, have limited cap space ($1.2 million) so they might have to consider a more affordable option.
Then again, perhaps they’ll go with Jonathan Bernier if he is ready to return to action. He’s been recovering from hip surgery but has been recently spotted practicing with the Devils.
Jack Eichel tallies a hat trick in his second return to Buffalo, Charlie McAvoy rejoins the Bruins, the Blues and Blue Jackets end their losing skids, P.K. Subban steps behind the microphone, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Jack Eichel tallied a hat trick in his second return to Buffalo as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Sabres 7-4. Eichel and teammate Chandler Stephenson finished with four points each as the Golden Knights (13-2-0) extended their winning streak to nine games. Tage Thompson scored twice for the Sabres, who dropped to 7-7-0.
Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fully healthy and settled in with the Golden Knights, Eichel is tearing it up offensively this season with 19 points in 15 games. He’s only been scoreless in three games thus far and is playing a big role in the Golden Knights’ red-hot start to this season.
Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy tallied what proved to be the game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames (5-6-0). McAvoy was making his season debut after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist while Linus Ullmark made 31 saves as the Bruins improved their record to 12-2-0.
The St. Louis Blues snapped their eight-game losing skid by dropping the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on third-period goals by Calle Rosen and Noel Acciari. Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich each collected two assists for the Blues (4-8-0). Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture scored for the 3-9-3 Sharks.
Speaking of ending losing streaks, the Columbus Blue Jackets ended a five-game winless skid with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Johnny Gaudreau led the way with a goal and two assists and Boone Jenner scored twice for the 4-9-0 Blue Jackets. The Flyers (7-4-2) got goals from defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Ivan Provorov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. No word yet as to how long he’ll be out of the lineup.
An overtime goal by Nico Hischier lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Ottawa Senators 4-3. The red-hot Devils (11-3-0) have won eight straight while the slumping Senators (4-8-1) have dropped seven straight. Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils already have two goalies sidelined in Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier. Losing Vanecek could threaten to derail what’s been an impressive start for this club. Meanwhile, the Senators lost goalie Magnus Hellberg yesterday as he was reclaimed off waivers by the Seattle Kraken, who had signed him this summer.
The Carolina Hurricanes got a hat trick from Andrei Svechnikov to thump the Edmonton Oilers 7-2 and boost their record to 9-4-1. Jack Campbell gave up all seven goals as the Oilers fell to 8-7-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers invested $25 million over five years last summer in Campbell in the hope he would bolster their goaltending. He’s won six of 10 stars but has been wildly inconsistent. That’s leading to calls for the Oilers to give more starts to backup Stuart Skinner, who has better stats in his five outings this season.
A six-goal third period powered the New York Rangers to an 8-2 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Rangers defenseman Adam Fox finished the night with a goal and three assists as his club improved its record to 7-5-3. Ville Husso gave up all eight goals for the 7-4-3 Red Wings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This wasn’t all on Husso. The Wings flat-out collapsed in that period, with four of the Rangers’ goals coming in a 2:57 span.
The Colorado Avalanche tallied four second-period goals as they defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3. Mikko Rantanen and Logan O’Connor led the way with two goals apiece while Alexandar Georgiev made 32 saves for the 7-4-1 Avalanche. The Predators, meanwhile, fell to 5-8-1.
An overtime goal by Kevin Fiala gave the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks (5-5-3). Jonathan Quick kicked out 31 shots for the Kings (9-6-3) while Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots in his first game since being sidelined on Oct. 21.
The Arizona Coyotes got a 24-save shutout from Karel Vejmelka to blank the New York Islanders 2-0. Travis Boyd and Jack McBain were the goal scorers in the third period as the Coyotes improve to 6-6-1 while the Islanders are 9-6-0. Cal Clutterbuck returned to the Isles lineup after missing a game with an injury but Casey Cizikas left this contest with an upper-body injury.
ESPN.COM: Former NHL defenseman P.K. Subban is joining the network as an in-studio analyst on a three-year contract. Subban contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. He recently retired after 13 NHL seasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised to see Subban move on to television work. He’s a natural in front of the camera and could bring some personality to ESPN’s hockey coverage.
The New Jersey Devils named Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur as their new executive vice president of hockey operations. His duties will include personnel decisions, player recruitment, scouting and overseeing the club’s goalie development department. He’s worked in their front office in business development since 2018. Brodeur spent all but one of his 22 NHL seasons with the Devils, backstopping them to three Stanley Cups.
DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks winger Tanner Pearson will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks following successful hand surgery.
CBS SPORTS: The Seattle Kraken placed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (lower body) on injured reserve.
TSN: Veteran forward Alex Galchenyuk has signed a one-year AHL contract with the Colorado Eagles. They are the minor-league affiliate of the Avalanche.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Tempe City Council yesterday voted unanimously to schedule and prepare a public vote on May 16, 2023, regarding a proposed arena and entertainment complex.
The latest on Bo Horvat’s contract status with the Canucks plus an update on the Canadiens’ efforts to re-sign Kirby Dach in today’s NHL rumor mill.
CANUCKS TURN FOCUS TO RE-SIGNING HORVAT
SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks are shifting their focus toward re-signing captain Bo Horvat after signing J.T. Miller last week to a seven-year contract extension. Horvat, 27, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (NHL Images).
MacIntyre points out that the constraints under the salary cap could make it difficult for the Canucks to invest heavily in their top-three centers such as Miller, Horvat and Elias Pettersson. It could limit their efforts to address their need to improve their defense corps.
General manager Patrik Allvin acknowledged this but also noted that Pettersson can play on the wing. He also felt a good team needs that depth at center. “But moving forward, we need to be aware of the cap situation and potentially some roster decisions coming into next summer,” said Allvin.
MacIntyre believes it’ll be surprising if the Canucks open their season next month with Horvat still unsigned after reaching an agreement with Miller. Still, he wonders if they’ll be able to afford Pettersson when he’s due for a new contract in 2024 and how they’ll upgrade their blueline.
THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston also wondered if the Canucks can really afford Miller, Horvat and Pettersson.
Allvin admitted multi-year contracts have proven difficult to trade. Johnston believes he’s referring to Tanner Pearson (two years at $3.25 million annually), Tyler Myers (two years, $6 million per season) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (five years at $6.75 million per).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allvin understands the importance of getting Horvat signed before the start of the season. “Hopefully we can figure something out here,” he said.
Miller’s new contract and an extension for Horvat won’t affect the Canucks’ salary-cap payroll for this season. However, with over $68 million invested in 14 players for 2022-23, a new deal for Horvat could push that to over $75 million, leaving little room to fill out the rest of the roster next summer.
At some point, the Canucks must free up cap space to accommodate new contracts for Horvat and Pettersson as well as address their roster weaknesses. Perhaps that means contract buyouts for Pearson and Myers next summer. Maybe it means retaining part of their salaries to facilitate a trade.
For this season, the Canucks are above the cap by $2.75 million. They should get cap relief by placing sidelined winger Micheal Ferland (concussion) and his $3.5 million AAV on long-term injury reserve. They could also attempt to a valuable player on a long-term contract such as winger Conor Garland.
ARE THE CANADIENS CLOSE TO SIGNING DACH?
TVA SPORTS: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating the Montreal Canadiens could be close to signing Kirby Dach. He believes it will be a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $3.5 million.
Friedman even suggested the Canadiens may have already reached an agreement with Dach. He felt the Habs might be trying to conclude a few things before formally announcing the new contract.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico also took note of Friedman’s remarks. He pointed out it’s no secret the Canadiens have been trying to move a forward. General manager Kent Hughes recently indicated he’d like to add another defenseman.
**UPDATE** The Canadiens announced they’ve signed Dach to a four-year, $13.5 million contract. The average annual value is $3.35 million
SPECTOR’S NOTE: D’Amico noted that Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and Christian Dvorak have been frequently mentioned as trade candidates. He believes their excess of wingers could see them try to move Hoffman or Armia.
A look at Daily Faceoff’s top offseason trade targets in today’s NHL rumor mill.
DAILY FACEOFF: Alex DeBrincat tops Frank Seravalli’s list of this summer’s top-25 trade targets. He considers it a question of “when”, not “if” the Chicago Blackhawks trade the 24-year-old left winger. Seravalli believes he’d be their best trade chip to stockpile futures for their rebuilding process. It will also cost them $9 million to qualify his rights at the end of next season.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis believes Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson could seek a return comparable to the two first-round picks and two NHL players he got from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Brandon Hagel. A high first-round pick and/or an A-level prospect would have to be a priority. He suggested the New Jersey Devils could be worth watching as they’re willing to part with their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft.
Whoever pursues DeBrincat must be prepared to pony up big bucks to re-sign him after next season. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.
The Coyotes’ expensive asking price for Chychrun remains a sticking point. The Canucks are expected to try and sign Miller to a contract extension this summer but could end up shopping him if that’s not possible.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo enjoyed a bounce-back performance this season but the Hurricanes might end up shopping him if they can’t re-sign him. Seravalli said Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek quietly floated Gibson’s name before the trade deadline. However, his contract could be difficult to move. He carries a $6.4 million annual salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a 10-team no-trade clause.
Barrie could be shopped by the Oilers to free up cap room for other moves. Seravalli suggests Zacha, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, could be used as a trade chip by the Devils to bring in help elsewhere in their lineup. He also thinks Myers could be useful for a cap-strapped team to acquire and buy out because of the way his deal is backloaded.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap-strapped Canadiens tried to fulfill Petry’s trade request before the trade deadline and could shop him this summer to free up cap room. Seravalli suggested he could be a solid backup plan for the Penguins if Kris Letang departs via free agency. He’s also been linked to the Dallas Stars. However, the three years left on his deal at $6.25 million could be a stumbling block.
Marino, Varlamov and Dadonov would also be cost-cutting trade candidates. There’s speculation the Canucks could be interested in Marino. Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade clause could complicate attempts to move him. The Golden Knights unsuccessfully attempted to move Dadonov before the trade deadline. They will likely try again this summer.
Seravalli believes the Oilers’ limited cap space could force GM Ken Holland to choose between Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. Both are restricted free agents with arbitration rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers need to free up cap space and Hornqvist has only a year left on his contract. Seravalli believes GM Bill Zito will be able to find a taker for the veteran forward as he did with Anton Stralman and Brett Connolly last season.
Seravalli doesn’t see any push by the Kraken to move Soucy but could listen to offers if they won’t re-sign him after next season. Pearson and Dickinson would be salary-dumping moves by the Canucks. Zadina might need a fresh start after struggling with the Red Wings.
Klefbom and Weber are on permanent long-term injury reserve. Seravalli points out that the Oilers and Canadiens would like to move those contracts as having them on LTIR prevents them from accruing cap space during the season.
There’s an assumption the Canadiens will try again to peddle Weber’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes after a rumored deal fell apart before the trade deadline. He carries a $7.857 million annual cap hit for four more seasons but will be paid just $6 million total in actual salary over that period.
Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico explains that would allow the Coyotes’ ownership to save millions in payroll, especially as they’ll be playing in a tiny university arena over the next three or four years while awaiting construction of their new arena. However, they could insist on draft picks in the 2023 and 2025 drafts be included in the deal if they’re still willing to take on Weber’s contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like so many on this list, Holl would be moved in an effort to trim payroll. Bear, meanwhile, fell out of favor in Carolina and was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. I don’t see the Canadiens shopping Anderson though it wouldn’t hurt the rebuilding club to at least listen to trade offers.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff last week indicated he expected Scheifele to be back next season. Seravalli acknowledged moving him probably isn’t high on Cheveldayoff’s list and considers it difficult for the Jets to get equal value in return.
Check out the latest Flyers and Bruins speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.
FLYERS COULD SOON FACE SOME TOUGH DECISIONS.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi believes it could be time for Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher to make some tough decisions if his club falls out of playoff contention. They’re mired in a lengthy losing skid and losing ground in the postseason race.
Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).
One of those decisions could involve shopping captain Claude Giroux. The 34-year-old Flyers forward is their leading scorer and still has something left in the tank. He’s also slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Carchidi believes Giroux could fetch a solid return if shopped before the March 21 trade deadline.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox also speculated on some of those difficult decisions facing Fletcher. He wondered if Giroux would agree to waive his no-movement clause. Fox noted Elliotte Friedman mentioning Giroux on the Jeff Marek Show. “I’ve wondered about him going to Ottawa before,” said Friedman, who also pondered the possibility of the Flyers perhaps shaking up their core again after having done so in the offseason.
Fox felt any number of options could be on the table for the Flyers, including shopping winger Travis Konecny. While that would be a bold move, he also felt it would be a long shot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher recently spoke about being patient with the lineup but I think he’ll soon reach the stage where he’ll have to do something to shake this club out of its doldrums. That could include replacing Alain Vigneault as head coach in hope of saving the season.
If that doesn’t work or if Fletcher doesn’t go that route, trades will be in the offing at some point if the club fails to reverse its fortunes. He could sit down with Giroux to determine where his captain sees his future and if it’s with a rebuilding club.
THE LATEST ON THE BRUINS
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes it could take some time before Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney pulls the trigger on a Jake DeBrusk trade. The Bruins still need him in the lineup with Brad Marchand serving a three-game suspension plus their farm team in Providence is going through a COVID outbreak. He also pointed out Sweeney’s reputation for carefully considering trade offers and playing hardball for as long as he can.
Shinzawa also pointed out one of Sweeney’s preferences is clearing salary-cap space for Tuukka Rask. The play of current goalie tandem Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark has been the club’s other weakness besides its offensive production.
THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma took note of recent speculation linking the Vancouver Canucks to DeBrusk. He pointed to the Canucks’ limited cap space as a sticking point, suggesting it might have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out deal to take on DeBrusk’s $3.675 million cap hit.
One option could be shopping Tanner Pearson, who’s in the first season of a three-year, $9.75 million contract. However, he has a no-trade clause for this season.
NBC SPORTS: Sean Leahy believes the Bruins are keeping their crease warm for Tuukka Rask when he’s finally ready to return to action from offseason hip surgery. He’s currently training five days a week and could be ready in early January. Rask is an unrestricted free agent but has made no secret of his wish to sign with the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask has also indicated he’s willing to accept an affordable one-year deal with the Bruins. Still, it would be worthwhile to clear sufficient cap space to sign him. However, it could also complicate efforts to swap DeBrusk for another middle-six forward.
DeBrusk has been linked to around a dozen teams. Most of those mentioned, like the Canucks, are cap-strapped clubs. Sweeney might have to focus on those with cap space to make a deal happen.
The Hurricanes and Islanders move into first place in their respective divisions, Viktor Arvidsson tallies a hat trick for the surging Predators, Alex Ovechkin reaches another scoring milestone, the Blackhawks and Panthers swing a five-player deal, the Canucks re-sign Tanner Pearson, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes took over first place in the Discover Central Division by blanking the Florida Panthers 3-0. Alex Nedeljkovic had a 24-save shutout performance, Sebastian Aho collected his 300th career point and Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas each had a goal and an assist. The Hurricanes (57 points) sit one point up on the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
A four-goal first period powered the Lighting to a 6-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ryan McDonagh scored twice and Yanni Gourde collected four assists for the Lightning, who lost captain Steven Stamkos in the third period with an undisclosed injury. No update was provided on his condition. The Jackets made defenseman David Savard a healthy scratch as a precautionary measure ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. The Lightning and Panthers are tied with 56 points but the Lightning hold second place in the Central with a game in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Savard sits atop TSN’s Trade Bait list. This move means the blueliner could be playing elsewhere by Monday’s 3 pm ET deadline. Jackets captain Nick Foligno is also on TSN’s list but he played in this game, which suggests he could be finishing the season with the Jackets barring a significant trade offer before Monday.
Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson (NHL Images).
Viktor Arvidsson tallied a hat trick as the Nashville Predators crushed the Detroit Red Wings 7-1. The Predators (45 points) have won nine of their 10 games and hold a four-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks for fourth place in the Central.
Meanwhile, Chicago fell to the Dallas Stars 5-1 as Roope Hintz had a goal and three assists. The Stars sit three points back of the Blackhawks.
The New York Islanders took over first place in the MassMutual East Division by edging the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on a shootout goal by Brock Nelson. Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac were held scoreless in their first game with the Isles since being acquired from the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. With 56 points, the Islanders are two points ahead of the second-place Washington Capitals.
Speaking of the Capitals, they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Boston Bruins. Brad Marchand and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist while rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman kicked out 31 shots for his second straight win. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 266th career power-play goal to move into second place on the all-time list. The Bruins (48 points) opened a six-point lead over the Flyers for fourth place in the East Division.
Kris Letang and Jason Zucker each had a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins romped to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. The Penguins (52 points) moved to within two points of the second-place Capitals.
Third-period goals by Devin Shore and Jesse Puljujarvi gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Mike Smith turned aside 39 shots for the win as the Oilers (52 points) hold a one-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for second place in the Scotia North Division. Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed the game with an undisclosed injury.
Winnipeg, meanwhile, doubled up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 38 stops and Kyle Connor collected two assists. With 43 points, the fourth-place Canadiens are eight back of the third-place Jets.
Two power-play goals by Pavel Zacha carried the New Jersey Devils over the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich each had a goal and two assists.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks acquired forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman, prospect forward Henrik Borgstrom and a 2021 seventh-round pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is in line with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman’s stated willingness to use his cap space to absorb a bad contract if the return comes with a promising young player. Connolly’s contract isn’t onerous for the Hawks ($3.5 million annual average value through 2022-23) but it was for the Panthers as the veteran winger fell out of favor in Florida.
The prize for the Blackhawks is Borgstrom, a promising young forward who struggled to crack the Panthers’ lineup. He could have a better chance to establish himself as an NHL regular with the retooling Blackhawks as they transition toward younger players.
Meanwhile, the Panthers have cleared cap space for perhaps another move or two before Monday’s trade deadline. Cap Friendly indicates they have $16.4 million in trade deadline cap space. I’ll have more about the Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
TSN: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is unavailable until next week because of a lower-body injury.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is recovering from an upper-body injury. However, he’s expected to miss the club’s next two games.
THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (lower body) remains questionable for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks signed winger Tanner Pearson to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $3.25 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This signing received mixed reviews among pundits and fans on social media. It’s not because Pearson’s a bad player or that the contract is an overpayment. He’s become a dressing room leader and a good second-line winger.
Critics, however, point to other depth signings by Canucks GM Jim Benning (Sven Baertschi, Sam Gagner, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, Jake Virtanen) as cap dollars poorly invested when young stars like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes will soon be in need of significant raises. They fear the Pearson signing will further squeeze the Canucks cap space, leaving little room for other moves once Pettersson and Hughes receive their new contracts.
NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jacob MacDonald received a two-game suspension by the department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman on Wednesday.