NHL Rumor Mill – January 31, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 31, 2024

The Rangers could pursue Elias Lindholm while Kaapo Kakko could become trade bait, plus an update on Chris Tanev and the latest on the Canucks and Capitals in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST RANGERS SPECULATION

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports sources tell him the Rangers have Elias Lindholm at the top of their wish list and had done so before Filip Chytil was ruled out for the rest of the season with a suspected concussion.

Lindholm, 29, is a skilled two-way center slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Brooks noted that he’s not a bruising checking-line forward that would make the Rangers a tougher playoff opponent. However, he would improve the Rangers at five-on-five.

While the Flames could still attempt to re-sign him he could become what Brooks calls the “prize deadline rental property.” The asking price could be a first-round pick along with “at least one legitimate prospect and perhaps a young, NHL-ready player.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

It could take Kaapo Kakko and a first-rounder for the Rangers to land Lindholm. “Or maybe the Flames would prefer Will Cuylle or Brennan Othmann”. The Blueshirts have the cap room to absorb Lindholm’s $4.85 million cap hit but it would leave them little room to address other issues. Brooks believes the Flames’ asking price could increase if the Rangers asked them to retain 40 or 50 percent of Lindholm’s cap hit.

TSN: Darren Dreger reported Kakko is an asset that Rangers general manager Chris Drury could use as trade bait. He said multiple sources claim Drury is taking calls about the 22-year-old winger, who was chosen second overall in the 2019 draft. Dreger speculates Kakko could be used to acquire “a significant piece” leading up to the March 8 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers ownership and management consider themselves to be Stanley Cup contenders since reaching the 2022 Eastern Conference Final. They went big in last year’s trade deadline by acquiring Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko but were eliminated from the opening round of the 2023 playoffs by their arch-rival, the New Jersey Devils.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Rangers will swing for the fences again this year. They must address their depth at center and have the cap space to do so with Chytil on long-term injury reserve for the rest of the season.

Dangling Kakko as the centerpiece of an offer for Lindholm could give the Rangers the edge in a bidding war. He’s struggled with injuries and consistency in his five NHL seasons but still has the potential to become a reliable top-six forward, especially after last season’s promising 40-point performance. A change of scenery could be just what he needs to reach his potential.

TEAMS LINING UP FOR CHRIS TANEV

TSN: Darren Dreger reports multiple teams are in the mix for Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev. Among them are the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Senators would see Tanev as a foundational fit as they would be interested in signing him to a contract extension. Dreger also indicated some of the teams looking at Tanev are non-contenders like the Senators.

Dreger believes it comes down to whether Tanev is chasing the Stanley Cup this year. If he is, it will factor significantly into his decision as to where he wants to go.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch cites league sources claiming as many as 10 teams have reached out to the Flames about Tanev, including the Senators, Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks. It’s thought that Leafs general manager (and former Flames GM) Brad Treliving has made acquiring the blueliner a priority.

There aren’t many right-shot defensemen in this year’s trade market which is why Tanev is so coveted this season. Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Brett Pesce is the only other top-end right-shot blueliner available.

It’s believed the Flames asking price for Tanev is at least a first-round pick plus a prospect.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-rounder plus a prospect seems like a lot to pay for a 34-year-old pending UFA defenseman. However, it wouldn’t be the first time a team has overpaid for such talent leading up to deadline day.

As for Pesce, his name was out there in the rumor mill earlier this season. With the Hurricanes rising in the Eastern Conference standings, I doubt that he’s available now. Like Tanev, he’s slated to become a UFA in July but the Hurricanes could be willing to hang onto him for the rest of the season and deal with his contract situation once the playoffs are over.

COULD THE CANUCKS TRADE ZADOROV?

CHEK-TV’S Rick Dhaliwal reports agent Dan Milstein doesn’t believe rumors that the Vancouver Canucks could trade client Nikita Zadorov at the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The basis of that speculation had the Canucks moving Zadorov as a cost-cutting measure to free up cap room to acquire someone like Calgary’s Elias Lindholm or Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel.

Zadorov has struggled at times since joining the Canucks but he plays with a physical style that could prove invaluable in the heat of playoff competition. A more likely trade candidate would be Andrei Kuzmenko, who carries a $5.5 million AAV through next season. However, his declining performance this season could make him tougher to trade.

UPDATE ON THE CAPITALS

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammy Silber cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli including Washington Capitals forward Nic Dowd on his list of trade targets. He’s among the league’s best defensive forwards and has a year left on his contract with a cap hit of $1.3 million.

Silber expects Dowd will be a trade candidate if the Capitals become sellers at the March 8 trade deadline. So will pending UFA winger Anthony Mantha. Max Pacioretty, Joel Edmundson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel could also draw some interest as could defensemen Nick Jensen and Trevor van Riemsdyk.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2023

Four players most likely to be moved before the March trade deadline, the latest on the goalie market and some recent Flyers speculation as we catch up on the NHL Rumor Mill.

FOUR MOST LIKELY TRADE CANDIDATES

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau recently listed Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev, Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique, San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and Chicago Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson as the four players most likely to be moved by the March 8 NHL trade deadline.

Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (NHL Images).

All four are eligible to become unrestricted free agents next July unless they agree to contract extensions with their current clubs.

Tanev has been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils. Proteau doesn’t rule out the Colorado Avalanche making a pitch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs’ current priority is a second-line center which is why they’ve been recently tied to Calgary’s Elias Lindholm. Still, we can’t dismiss the possibility of adding Tanev to shore up their defense if they have enough cap room to do so.

Proteau suggests the New York Islanders as a fit for Henrique.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lou Lamoriello, who drafted Henrique in 2008 while general manager of the New Jersey Devils, is now the GM of the Isles. Lamoriello does at times reunite with some of his former players.

With San Jose mired at the bottom of the standings, there’s no compelling reason for them to hang onto Kahkonen. He could fetch a couple of draft picks or a decent prospect for the rebuilding Sharks. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks could peddle Johnson for long-term help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Johnson, Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cited an NHL executive claiming the Blackhawks have let it be known that the 33-year-old center will be available in the trade market. Murphy suggested he could be a more affordable option to the Bruins if they’re unable to pry Elias Lindholm away from the Flames.

LATEST ON THE GOALIE MARKET

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Toronto Maple Leafs have dipped its toes into the goaltending market as Ilya Samsonov continues to struggle while Joseph Woll remains sidelined until January. He doesn’t think anything’s imminent and the Leafs are hoping a few days away will help Samsonov as they continue to work with him.

Friedman also said that the teams with a surplus in goalies are hoping to work it to their advantage in the trade market. They’re asking for a lot especially if salary retention is involved.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks doesn’t see any worthwhile goalies on the market who can help the New Jersey Devils between the pipes. He suggested they shore up a blueline that was weakened by the offseason departures of Damon Severson and Ryan Graves and the recent sidelining of Dougie Hamilton for what could be the rest of the regular season.

Brooks thinks Calgary Flames rearguard Noah Hanifin would be a perfect target while Chris Tanev would also be on their list. He wondered if there would be any way for them to acquire Brady Skjei or Brett Pesce from the Carolina Hurricanes or if they’d have any interest in the Nashville Predators’ Tyson Barrie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of those playoff hopefuls in need of goaltending help could cave and meet the high asking price well before March 8, especially if they’re in danger of missing the postseason. Once that happens it could open the floodgates.

However, some of those clubs could share Brooks’ view about the depth in available goaltending talent and opt instead to bolster their bluelines.

Hanifin and Tanev would draw a lot of attention. So would Skjei or Pesce if the Hurricanes decide to become sellers but I don’t think they’re at that stage yet. As for Barrie, he would help teams seeking offense from the blueline but there might not be much of a market for his style of game right now.

LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz suggested the possibility of the Philadelphia Flyers becoming buyers as well as sellers at this season’s trade deadline because of their improved performance thus far this season.

He believes Flyers GM Daniel Briere could pull the trigger on Sean Walker and/or Nick Seeler if a team were to offer a first-round pick and/or a prospect for either defenseman. Morgan Frost and Rasmus Ristolainen are also on the trade board and it wouldn’t be surprising if they were dealt.

Meanwhile, the Flyers also carry some late-round draft picks that could be used as trade bait to fill the gaps in their roster after dealing away some of their more talented trade bait.

Kurz doesn’t see Briere trading away any of their promising young player or first-round picks for playoff rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend on how the rest of the Flyers’ season unfolds. Briere will be a seller if they stumble through the second half and fall out of playoff contention. However, as Kurz suggests, if they’re still in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race leading up to the trade deadline, Briere could see what he can do to help his club reach the postseason without giving up too much of his future to do so.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 29, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 29, 2023

Could the Bruins pursue Patrick Kane? Will the Hurricanes find a replacement for the sidelined Brett Pesce? Could the Islanders pursue Shane Pinto? Check out the latest Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

BRUINS NOT EXPECTED TO PURSUE PATRICK KANE

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source saying we shouldn’t expect the Bruins to get into the bidding for Patrick Kane. The 34-year-old unrestricted free-agent winger is expected to begin fielding offers next month from interested clubs as he moves toward the completion of rehabbing from offseason hip resurfacing.

Murphy’s source pointed out that the Bruins lack the cap space to sign Kane even if it were on a one-year, $3 million deal. He also noted that they have plenty of wingers and would have to move one out to make room for Kane, which would be difficult to do right now with so many teams pressed for cap room.

Free agent winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy also cited ESPN.com’s Emily Kaplan listing the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings as being considered serious contenders for Kane. Both clubs have plenty of cap room to sign the future Hall-of-Famer to a one-year deal. Time will tell if he ends up with one of them this season.

HURRICANES WON’T SEEK A REPLACEMENT FOR PESCE

NHL NETWORK: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman touched on what the Carolina Hurricanes might do with defenseman Brett Pesce sidelined for two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. It was originally feared that he could miss months or the entire season.

Given that shorter timeline, Friedman doesn’t expect they’ll go shopping for a replacement for Pesce. They’ve got extra defensemen who haven’t played that much this season so they’ll likely wait this out until Pesce returns.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tony DeAngelo and Jalen Chatfield will likely see more ice time while Pesce’s on the sidelines.

WOULD THE ISLANDERS BE INTERESTED IN PINTO?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The following was written prior to Shane Pinto receiving a 41-game suspension last week for violating the NHL’s wagering rules.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, a reader asked Arthur Staple if the New York Islanders might attempt to acquire center Shane Pinto. They cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating that the Isles might be interested if the Senators decided to shop the restricted free-agent center.

Staple was doubtful that the Islanders could pull it off. He observed that they lack the cap space to sign the 22-year-old Pinto plus the Senators would probably want a first-rounder, a prospect and something off the Isles roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the wake of Pinto’s suspension, the Senators issued statements indicating they would welcome him back once he’d served his punishment. The stalemate over his contract negotiations remains to be settled but some believe he’ll sign his qualifying offer in order to play out the rest of the season with the Sens.

Pinto’s value in the trade market likely took a hit from his suspension. I doubt the Islanders or any other club will attempt to pursue him once he returns to action.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2023

The Capitals defeat the Devils, the league’s teams vote overwhelmingly to decentralize the draft, plus the latest on Brett Pesce and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Dylan Strome, Connor McMichael and Alex Ovechkin rallied the Washington Capitals to a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. The Capitals jumped to a 3-0 lead after the first period but the Devils regrouped in the second with four straight goals.

Washington Capitals forward Dylan Strome (NHL Images).

Strome scored two goals while Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha each had two points for the 2-3-1 Capitals. New Jersey center Jack Hughes collected three assists while Tyler Toffoli tallied twice and collected a helper as the Devils slipped to 3-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes now leads all scorers with 13 assists and 17 points while Toffoli is among the top-10 goal scorers with six.

DAILY FACEOFF: The NHL’s 32 teams voted overwhelmingly to decentralize the league’s draft format. They prefer moving from the current format where the executives of all the teams gather in one central location to conduct their draft business to one where they remain in their home cities to perform those duties. The change could come as soon as the 2024 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The new format will be similar to those employed by the NFL, NBA and MLB. There will still be a host city where the top prospects are chosen with a handful of executives there but we won’t see the arena-style format currently employed in previous drafts.

I understand the rationale behind the change. As the report noted, some general managers didn’t like the crowded draft floor under the current format where their plans could be overheard by their rivals. The cost of traveling to and from the host city has risen over the years plus the draft is scheduled within days of free agency.

My only concern is how long it’ll take the teams to make their selections as they’ll be doing it remotely. When that format was used during the two COVID drafts it took hours for the proceedings to be completed, especially the later rounds. That might not be a big deal for fans but it’s a drag for those of us who cover the NHL for a living. The league must ensure they keep the teams to a tight schedule rather than have this drag out.

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: The good news for the Hurricanes is sidelined winger Andrei Svechnikov’s season debut is “around the corner.” The bad news is defenseman Brett Pesce is sidelined for two to four weeks following surgery for a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant loss for the Hurricanes blueline. Pesce usually skates on the second pairing with Brady Skjei. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon (upper body) has been placed on long-term injury reserve (LTIR). They also recalled forward Jujhar Khaira as forward Frederick Gaudreau will miss Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins placed goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. They also announced that defenseman John Ludvig suffered a concussion during Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks forward Alexander Barabanov is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed defenseman Jack Edward to a three-year entry-level contract and placed blueliner Ian Mitchell on waivers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2023

The Golden Knights set an NHL record, Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard reached a milestone, Oilers captain Connor McDavid suffered an injury and Kings captain Anze Kopitar set a franchise record. Details on these and other stories in the NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights became the first defending Stanley Cup champion to start a season with a 6-0-0 record in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago rookie Connor Bedard opened the scoring with his first NHL goal on home ice but the Golden Knights put the game out of reach with third-period goals by Nicolas Roy, Mark Stone and Paul Cotter. The loss dropped the Blackhawks to 2-4-0.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Mark Scheifele capped a three-goal rally in a 3-2 win by the Winnipeg Jets (2-3-0) over the Edmonton Oilers. However, their win was overshadowed by an injury to Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who missed the final minutes of regulation and the overtime period. McDavid appeared to injure his hip in the first period after getting entangled with Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss dropped the Oilers’ record to 1-3-1. We should get more details about McDavid’s condition on Sunday. With the Oilers stumbling from the gate, losing their best player for any significant period could be a significant blow.

Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand scored two goals and added an assist to double up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied his fifth goal of the season while Jeremy Swayman got the win with a 32-save performance as the Bruins improved to 4-0-0. Kings captain Anze Kopitar set a franchise record by skating in his 1, 297th game as his club’s record dropped to 2-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk was a healthy scratch from this game as he was late for a team meeting.

The Colorado Avalanche are 5-0-0 after beating the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4. Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen had a goal and three assists while Logan O’Connor scored a shorthanded goal for the third straight game. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jaccob Slavin each had a goal and an assist for the 3-3-0 Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injury-depleted Hurricanes lost another player as Brett Pesce missed this game with a lower-body injury. He joins center Sebastian Aho and goaltender Frederik Andersen on the sidelines.

The Detroit Red Wings downed the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Dylan Larkin had a goal and two assists, Joe Veleno tallied twice and Ville Husso made 35 saves as the Wings improved to 4-1-0. Jake Sanderson and Ridly Greig replied for the 3-2-0 Senators, who managed to hold Alex DeBrincat scoreless in his first game in Ottawa since being traded to Detroit in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators fans gave DeBrincat a “warm” welcome by booing him every time he touched the puck. Nevertheless, the Wings’ convincing victory gave him the last laugh.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka stopped 32 shots in a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Jason Zucker and Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes (3-2-0) while Frank Vatrano tallied for the 1-3-0 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zucker left this game with a lower-body injury while teammate Michael Carcone suffered an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first NHL player to defy the league’s ban on using Pride Tape, sporting a few strands of the rainbow-colored tape near the top of his stick.

The Buffalo Sabres defeated the New York Islanders 3-1. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist while Casey Mittelstadt collected two assists as the Sabres moved to 2-3-0. Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves and Noah Dobson scored for the 2-1-1 Islanders.

Third-period goals by Andrei Kuzmenko and Brock Boeser gave the Vancouver Canucks a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Kuzmenko and Elias Pettersson each had a goal and an assist, Ilya Mikheyev collected an assist in his first game since his knee surgery in January, and Casey DeSmith kicked out 34 shots for the 3-2-0 Canucks. Sam Reinhart scored two goals for the 2-3-0 Panthers.

An overtime goal by Cole Caufield lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Washington Capitals 3-2. The Canadiens (2-1-1) led 2-0 on goals by Sean Monahan and Brendan Gallagher but Capitals forward Dylan Strome netted two goals to force the extra frame. Jake Allen got the win with a 31-save performance while the Capitals sank to 1-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin remains stalled at 822 career goals four games into his season as he’s yet to find the back of the net.

The Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2-0) overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on an overtime goal by John Tavares. Matthew Knies scored twice and collected an assist while Joseph Woll made 29 saves for the win after Ilya Samsonov got the hook when he gave up three goals on four shots. Nikita Kucherov also scored twice and collected an assist while Jonas Johansson stopped 48 shots as the Lightning dropped to 2-2-2.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski scored in overtime to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. The Flyers overcame a 4-2 deficit to force the extra frame. Stars forward Wyatt Johnston had a goal and two assists as his club improved to 3-0-1. Travis Konecny scored twice for the 3-1-1 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers defenseman Marc Staal is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury after being placed on injured reserve on Friday. He was sidelined during Thursday’s win over the Edmonton Oilers.

An overtime goal by Jack Roslovic lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild. Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli netted his first career NHL goal while his club improved to 3-2-0. Filip Gustavsson made 49 stops for the 2-2-1 Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Blue Jackets announced that center Patrik Laine is day-to-day after being elbowed in the head on Friday by Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson, who received a four-game suspension for the incident. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets lost forward Liam Foudy as he was plucked off the waiver wire by the Nashville Predators.

Speaking of the Predators, they got two goals from Tommy Novak to down the San Jose Sharks 5-1. Juuse Saros stopped 31 shots to backstop his club to a 3-3-0 record. Tomas Hertl replied for the 0-4-1 Sharks.

A two-goal performance by Brandon Saad gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jordan Binnington got the win with 31 saves as the Blues improved to 2-1-1. Evgeni Malkin scored to extend his goal streak to four games but his Penguins dropped to 2-3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The second period has been death for the Penguins in their last three games as they’ve been outscored 6-0 in that frame.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Filip Chytil collected three assists as the Rangers moved to 3-2-0 on the season. Justin Schultz tallied for the Kraken as they sank to 1-4-1.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2023

An update on the Hurricanes’ Brett Pesce, concerns over the Kings’ goaltending and a suggestion about a recent Vezina Trophy winner as a trade option for the Lightning in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

UPDATE ON BRETT PESCE

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: Bryant Baucom recently cited The Fourth Period’s Dave Pagnotta claiming the Hurricanes management hoped to get Brett Pesce signed to a contract extension worth between $4 million and $5 million annually during the offseason.

Pesce, 28, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Pagnotta claimed the blueliner wants to stay in Carolina and management still hopes to get him under contract.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce (NHL Images).

With the salary cap set to rise significantly for next season, Baucom suggested there’s a chance to extend a more reasonable offer to Pesce. He felt that the blueliner would likely seek something around the $7 million range. If Pesce is re-signed, it would likely mean the end of Brady Skjei’s tenure with the Hurricanes

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes have over $32 million in projected cap space for 2024-25 but just nine active roster players under contract. Martin Necas and Seth Jarvis are restricted free agents in line for healthy raises as well next season. Management must also re-sign or replace pending UFAs such as Teuvo Teravainen, Antti Raanta and Jordan Martinook.

GOALTENDING COULD BECOME AN EARLY PROBLEM FOR THE KINGS

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli suggested that goaltending could be an early-season issue for the Los Angeles Kings. Their tandem of Cam Talbot and Pheonix Copley struggled through the club’s first two games with Talbot giving up four goals in a 5-2 loss to Colorado and Copley allowing five in a 6-5 shootout loss to Carolina.

Seravalli acknowledged Copley’s record last season (24-6-3) was “pretty damn good” but his underlying numbers were not. The oft-injured Talbot, meanwhile, was not very good last season with the Ottawa Senators even when healthy.

Kings GM Rob Blake will likely be patient but Seravalli speculates he could start seeking help between the pipes if Talbot and Copley fail to improve.

Montreal’s Cayden Primeau, Philadelphia’s Felix Sandstrom or Samuel Ersson could be trade or waiver options. Calgary’s Dan Vladar could be available for a second-round draft pick or perhaps they could look into signing free agent Jaroslav Halak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was solid in the Kings’ 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, finishing with 27 saves and a .963 save percentage. A few more games like that could alleviate that concern about their goaltending. Nevertheless, this situation could be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

COULD THE BRUINS OFFER UP ULLMARK TO THE LIGHTNING?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: With Tampa Bay Lightning starter Andrei Vasilevskiy sidelined until early December, Stan Fischler recently suggested the possibility of the Boston Bruins offering up Linus Ullmark to the Bolts. He noted the Bruins have been grooming backup Jeremy Swayman as their future starter. However, sources informed Fischler that Lightning GM Julien BriseBois has no plans to trade for a goalie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have no intention of trading Ullmark this season as they prefer to keep their award-winning goalie tandem intact. Besides, he carries a 16-team no-trade clause this season along with a $5 million cap hit that would be tough to move at this stage in the season.

Even if Ullmark was available, the Lightning couldn’t afford to acquire him. Yes, they have $7.7 million in cap space with Vasilevskiy on LTIR but they must become cap-compliant when he’s ready to return to action. Besides, the Bruins’ asking price would likely be too expensive for the Bolts, who don’t have much trade capital in terms of draft picks and prospects.