NHL Rumor Mill – May 6, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 6, 2022

Check out the latest on Shea Weber and Jeff Petry plus a look at which players have skated in their final games with the Golden Knights in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cited TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming the Canadiens came close to shipping the contract of sidelined defenseman Shea Weber before the March trade deadline to the Arizona Coyotes. However, Coyotes management grew impatient over the amount of time it took to sort out the insurance issues and opted instead to acquire Bryan Little’s contract from the Winnipeg Jets.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber (NHL Images).

Dreger feels it’s only a matter of time until Weber’s contract is shipped to the Coyotes or perhaps to another club interested in acquiring long-term injury reserve relief.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some readers have wondered why a team like the Coyotes would be interested in acquiring the contract of a player on permanent long-term injury reserve. In the case of a budget team like the Coyotes, they must spend to reach the salary-cap floor but want to keep their actual payroll as low as possible. Weber’s $7.857 million cap hit over the next four seasons would allow them to do so.

At the other end, there could be a handful of teams pressed against next season’s $82.5 million cap ceiling looking for an LTIR player to allow them to legally exceed the cap by up to the sidelined player’s annual cap hit. The downside to this is they cannot accrue cap space over the course of the season that can be put toward acquiring players by the trade deadline.

D’Amico also believes Jeff Petry’s improved performance after Martin St. Louis took over as coach should make it easier for the Canadiens to trade him in the off-season. RDS analyst Marc Denis thinks the Habs would still have to include a draft pick as a sweetener in the deal to make the 34-year-old defenseman more enticing in the trade market.

However, D’Amico pointed to Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes claiming he’d had conversations about Petry with several teams leading up to the trade deadline. Hughes indicated he came close to moving the veteran blueliner but the deal failed to materialize. Interest in Petry should pick up in the offseason, enabling the Canadiens to move him without bundling a draft pick or prospect in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s age and $6.25 million annual average value through 2024-25 remain sticking points. Hughes might have to work quickly to find a suitable trade partner willing to take the blueliner’s full contract off his hands without adding a sweetener before teams start spending their available cap space.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey believes Hughes won’t be able to make any significant moves until he’s got more clarity about Carey Price’s status for next season. If the 34-year-old goaltender requires more surgery on his knee and misses part or most of next season, the Canadiens GM can place Price and his $10.5 million cap hit on LTIR.

Hughes will have to use the savings to bring in a goaltender. Backup Jake Allen struggles under a heavy workload while Samuel Montembault and Cayden Primeau aren’t up to filling the starter’s job on a full-time basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We should learn more about Price’s status before the draft in July. If he’s going to miss substantial time again, Hughes will have to go shopping for a replacement.

Hickey suggested several options via the free-agent market. The St. Louis Blues’ Ville Husso, Colorado Avalanche’s Darcy Kuemper and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jack Campbell are among those who could be available this summer, but the Habs will have competition for their services.

WHO HAS PLAYED THEIR FINAL GAMES WITH THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS?

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps looked at several players who have probably skated in their final games with the Golden Knights.

Reilly Smith is among the few remaining original Golden Knights. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. A consistent performer coming off a multi-year deal worth $5 million per season, the 31-year-old winger probably won’t be back unless he agrees to a pay cut.

The Golden Knights had a deal in place at the March trade deadline to ship winger Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks. However, it was overturned by the league when it was discovered his no-trade list was still valid and the Ducks were on it. He could be shopped this summer as a cost-cutting move.

Mattias Janmark, Laurent Brossoit and Nolan Patrick could also be cut loose this summer. Like Smith, Janmark is eligible for UFA status this summer. Brossoit and Patrick each have a year remaining on their contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Golden Knights sitting at just over $83 million invested in 18 active players next season. Somebody’s gotta go if they hope to be cap compliant and ice a full 23-man roster when the season opens in October. Dadonov and his $5 million cap hit still make him their most-likely salary-dump candidate.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 1, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 1, 2022

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and Jakob Chychrun’s future with the Coyotes in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

BUSY OFFSEASON AHEAD FOR THE CANADIENS

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes indicated he’ll need clarity on the condition of Carey Price before he can begin to address his roster needs in the offseason. The 34-year-old goaltender indicated the current condition of his knee would prevent him from playing a full season. Price said he’ll be seeking a second opinion and didn’t rule out a second surgical procedure.

Pat Hickey suggests the Canadiens could see a roster teardown in the offseason. He pointed out they’re up against next season’s $82.5 million salary cap with 19 players, including the probably permanently sidelined Shea Weber, under contract. They’ll get some cap relief by trading Weber’s contract or placing him on long-term injury reserve next season, but it won’t allow enough to go on a free-agent spending spree.

It’s expected Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry and his $6.25 million cap hit. However, that won’t put them further ahead if they were to pay $7 million per season to sign a pending free agent like Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang. They also must free up cap room to sign restricted free agents Alexander Romanov and Rem Pitlick.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reported Hughes said he’ll evaluate all options to navigate his tricky salary-cap situation. He also said he wouldn’t be trading futures for short-term gains that would adversely affect the club’s long-term success.

Hughes said he has no plans to trade winger Brendan Gallagher, who has five seasons left on his contract with an annual average value of $6.5 million. He’s hoping the 29-year-old winger will have a solid bounce-back performance next season.

The Habs GM made no comment about the futures of winger Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia. Drouin, meanwhile, hopes to make a full recovery from wrist surgery and prove himself to Hughes and head coach Martin St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sooner Hughes gets more clarity on Price’s condition the easier it’ll be to conduct his offseason roster plans. If the long-time Canadiens’ starter looks to be sidelined again for a lengthy period or if his playing career is over, Hughes will place his $10.5 million cap hit on LTIR for next season. If he can return to action next season, the Habs GM will have to make some deep cost-cutting moves.

Hughes will try to shed some salary even if Price can return next season. We already know he attempted to trade Weber’s contract ($7.857 million through 2025-26) before the March trade deadline and will try again this summer. He’ll likely target budget teams looking to reach the cap floor. Clearing the full amount of Weber’s contract, however, could mean bundling him with a draft pick or a prospect.

Petry made a trade request earlier this season that Hughes attempted to fulfill. The 34-year-old defenseman yesterday said he didn’t want to close the door on his tenure with the Canadiens, saying he’ll be discussing it with his family this summer. Nevertheless, I think Hughes will quietly shop around for the right deal. It also wouldn’t be surprising if he explores Drouin’s value in the trade market.

There’s speculation suggesting Letang could come home to Montreal or that Hughes could target his former client if the 35-year-old blueliner hits the open market. Given the Canadiens’ cap issues and their other roster needs, I don’t see Letang suiting up for the Habs next season.

UPDATE ON CHYCHRUN

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports Jakob Chychrun doesn’t sound like he’s keen to be part of another rebuild with the Arizona Coyotes. The 24-year-old defenseman said he loves playing in Arizona but the recent roster teardown has been difficult for him, saying he badly wants to play for a winner.

Chychrun is under contract for three more seasons with an affordable $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit. He also recalled advice he once received from former teammate Mike Smith about only having so many chances and not letting them go by every year. “You really have to take advantage of the short time you have in this league because it flies by,” said Chychrun.

Morgan indicated Chychrun hasn’t approached Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong about a trade. However, his comments suggest he’s open to the possibility. Armstrong said he will explore the trade market this summer and admitted that moving Chychrun could be one of his options.

As for the Coyotes’ pending free agents, Morgan reports contract talks have started with RFA forward Lawson Crouse. He also anticipates they’ll bring back RFAs Barrett Hayton and Christian Fischer, as well as explore signing pending UFA defenseman Anton Stralman, who’s indicated a willingness to return next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morgan believes there’s a good chance Chychrun could be traded this summer. However, that depends on whether a club is willing to pay what’s believed to be a high asking price by Armstrong. He also felt the Coyotes GM will try to repair the relationship with his defenseman if a trade doesn’t materialize.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 27, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 27, 2022

What’s the latest on Carey Price’s future? Will the Canadiens attempt to trade Shea Weber and Jeff Petry this summer? Should they try to trade for Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Carey Price’s uncertain future took another turn yesterday when it was reported the Canadiens goaltender would be traveling to New York for an appointment concerning his surgically repaired knee. He’s listed as day-to-day but Cowan thinks he may be done for the season.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

Price has four more seasons remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $10.5 million. Cowan doesn’t expect the 34-year-old goalie to retire with that much money left on the table. The Canadiens could end up placing him on long-term injury reserve next season depending on the status of his knee. A trade at this point seems impossible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Price still hopes to be in net for the Canadiens’ season-ending home game against the Florida Panthers on Friday. The netminder also wants to resume his playing career next season. Nevertheless, the ongoing uncertainty over Price’s knee will generate plenty of speculation over his future during the offseason.

Cowan also noted that Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber has been on LTIR all season. He’s signed through 2025-26 with an annual cap hit of over $7.8 million. General manager Kent Hughes will attempt to trade Weber’s contract during the offseason. He’s also expected to shop blueliner Jeff Petry, who has three more seasons left with an AAV of $6.25 million.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico suggests Petry’s improved play of late will make him easier to move. The 34-year-old defenseman reportedly requested a trade and Hughes appeared to have a deal in place before last month’s trade deadline but it eventually fell through.

D’Amico suggests Petry will draw interest from teams with salary-cap flexibility looking to build a competitive roster this summer. He also pointed out this summer’s free-agent market is thin on comparable defensemen with John Klingberg and Kris Letang as the only standouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes tried to offload Weber’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes before the trade deadline but they opted to take on the remainder of Bryan Little’s deal from the Winnipeg Jets. The Canadiens GM will try to entice teams seeking to reach the cap floor to take Weber off his hands. However, that could involve bundling that contract with a sweetener such as a quality draft pick, a prospect or a decent young player.

The Dallas Stars were said to have had an interest in Petry as a potential replacement for Klingberg when it was rumored the latter might be shopped at midseason. That died out when the Stars decided to keep him as they pressed to clinch a playoff berth. Perhaps there’s a fit in Dallas for Petry if Klingberg departs as expected via free agency in July.

D’Amico also took note of Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s recent speculation suggesting Pierre-Luc Dubois’ name could be in this summer’s trade market if he’s unwilling to sign a long-term contract extension with the Winnipeg Jets.

The Canadiens have plenty of tradeable assets to acquire the 23-year-old Dubois if they’re not interested in a long rebuild. However, D’Amico believes the Habs should remain patient as it’s clear they’re not just one player away from being contenders. He felt they must stand pat and continue replenishing their prospect pool with more elite talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ contract situation will be worth watching this summer. I believe and the Jets will hammer out a long-term extension.

Should Dubois become available, I think interested clubs will want assurances he’ll sign a lengthy deal with them. He’s just two years away from UFA eligibility and they won’t want to give up quality assets on a player who could walk away in 2024.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2022

The Maple Leafs and Rangers clinch playoff berths, Auston Matthews, Chris Kreider and Alex Ovechkin each approach significant scoring milestones, the Avalanche tie a franchise record, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth by holding off the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Matthews reached 58 goals on the season, becoming the ninth player in league history to score 50 goals in a 50-game period. The Leafs sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 100 points. Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry returned to action after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. However, Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews is two goals away from becoming the NHL’s first 60-goal scorer since the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos reached that mark in 2011-12. Meanwhile, Allen’s injury is not expected to hasten the timeline for Carey Price’s return to the Canadiens’ net. Earlier in the day, the club announced winger Jonathan Drouin underwent season-ending wrist surgery on Friday.

The New York Rangers also clinched a postseason berth with a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Chris Kreider tallied two goals to reach 49 on the season while Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists. With 100 points, the Rangers are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes but the latter holds first place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider sits third in the goal-scoring race and is poised to become the third player to reach the 50-goal plateau this season. He’s also five away from tying Jaromir Jagr for the single-season franchise record of 54 goals.

Three unanswered third-period goals lifted the Washington Capitals over the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Alex Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season while Tom Wilson and John Carlson each collected two points for the Capitals, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 88 points. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, sits just four points ahead of the Capitals for third place in the Metro Division. Penguins winger Jason Zucker returned to the lineup after missing three games with a core-muscle injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is tied with Gordie Howe for the second-most goals scored in a season by a player 36-or-old. He’s four behind record-holder Teemu Selanne. The Capitals captain also needs six more goals to tie Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons (nine) in a career.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored the tying goal and the only goal in the shootout in a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Darcy Kuemper turned in a 49-save performance as Colorado tied a franchise single-season record with 52 wins. The Avalanche sits two points ahead of the Florida Panthers for first in the overall standings with 110 points. With 90 points, the Oilers hold a four-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for second place in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard returned to action after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury.

Speaking of the Panthers, they picked up their seventh straight victory by dropping the Nashville Predators 4-1. Jonathan Huberdeau scored to extend his points streak to 11 games while Spencer Knight got the win by stopping 24 shots. The Predators hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 86 points.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin collected assists on each of his club’s goals on route to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. With 97 points, the Flames are seven points up on the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division.

The St. Louis Blues took over sole possession of second place in the Central Division with 94 points as they thumped the New York Islanders 6-1. Justin Faulk scored two goals and collected an assist as his club extended its points streak to eight games. Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas each had a goal and an assist. The Islanders were playing without Casey Cizikas, who served a one-game suspension for boarding Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith on Friday.

New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist to lead his club to a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. The loss leaves the Stars two points behind the Predators and clinging to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 84 points.

Max Pacioretty scored in his return to the Vegas Golden Knights lineup as they crushed the Arizona Coyotes 6-1. Pacioretty had missed 12 games with an undisclosed ailment. Brayden McNabb had a goal and two assists while Robin Lehner turned aside 29 shots. The Golden Knights are tied with the Stars but the latter has two games in hand.

The Vancouver Canucks remain alive in the chase for the final Western wild-card berth by doubling up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Thatcher Demko stopped 35 shots while Alex Chiasson had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who are four points behind the Stars and Golden Knights.

A hat trick by Jack Roslovic, including the winner in overtime, powered the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings, handing the latter their eighth defeat in their last nine contests. Jakub Vrana tallied twice for the Wings.

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras scored two goals to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Flyers forward Joel Farabee missed this game as he’s suffering from the flu.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 27, 2022

The Flames and Oilers combine for 14 goals, Marc-Andre Fleury gets the win in his debut with the Wild, Jonathan Huberdeau sets a Panthers record and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Johnny Gaudreau collected five assists as his Calgary Flames downed the Edmonton Oilers 9-5. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and added two assists while Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund each tallied two goals. Leon Draisaitl had a hat trick and an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted four points for Edmonton. With 88 points, the Flames hold a seven-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division while the Oilers cling to third place with 77 points.

Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin collected two assists as he became the fifth-youngest defenseman in NHL history to play 500 games.

Speaking of the Kings, they doubled up the Seattle Kraken 4-2. Cal Petersen made 23 saves for the win, Adrian Kempe picked up two assists and Jordan Spence scored his first NHL goal, becoming the first Australian-born player to do so.

Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 23 shots in his Minnesota Wild debut as he backstopped them to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jared Spurgeon scored in overtime after Kirill Kaprizov tied the game with his second of the night and 35th of the season. The Wild sit in second place in the Central Division with 82 points.

Jonathan Huberdeau collected an assist in his franchise-record 655th career game with the Florida Panthers in a 4-3 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators. Aleksander Barkov scored the winner and also tallied the game-tying goal. Claude Giroux collected two assists for the second straight game with the Panthers. Anton Forsberg had 46 saves in a losing cause for the Senators. The Panthers sit atop the Eastern Conference standings with 94 points.

Carolina Hurricanes forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Seth Jarvis each tallied twice in a 7-2 romp over the St. Louis Blues, handing the latter their fifth loss in their last six games. Pavel Buchnevich netted both goals for the Blues. The win leaves the Hurricanes one point behind the Panthers while the Blues (79 points) are three behind the Wild for third place in the Central Division.

The Boston Bruins picked up their fourth straight win with a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders. Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall each had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 87 points. Islanders center Brock Nelson reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time.

An overtime goal by Brayden Point lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Steven Stamkos scored the tying goal late in the third period as Tampa Bay sits one point behind the Bruins in third place in the Atlantic. Before the game, the Lightning announced defenseman Ryan McDonagh is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

A 49-save performance by Jake Allen carried the Montreal Canadiens over the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Nick Suzuki, Paul Byron and David Savard each had two points for the Canadiens while Auston Matthews potted his 47th goal of the season for the Leafs, who sit one point behind the Lightning in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Canadiens revealed Jeff Petry (lower body) and Jonathan Drouin (wrist) are sidelined indefinitely while assistant coach Luke Richardson entered COVID protocol.

The Washington Capitals got three third-period goals to hold off the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Alex Ovechkin scored his 42nd of the season while Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist on the night he was honored by his club for reaching 1,000 career points. Washington sits one point back of the Leafs in the final Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals fans littered the ice with small rubber apples commemorating Backstrom’s 1,000 points in appreciation of his third-period goal.

Evgenii Dadonov was the Vegas Golden Knights’ hero for the second straight game in their 5-4 defeat of the Chicago Blackhawks. Coming off a three-point performance in a win over the Nashville Predators, Dadonov scored the overtime goal in this contest as the Golden Knights cling to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 76 points. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had two points for the Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez returned to action for the first time since suffering facial injuries on Nov. 11 against the Wild. Golden Knights center Brett Howden didn’t suffer serious injuries after being stretchered out of Thursday’s game against the Predators but will be sidelined indefinitely.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive by dropping the Dallas Stars 4-1. Elias Pettersson scored two goals and Thatcher Demko made 35 saves for the win. Vancouver sits three points behind Vegas with 73 points while the Stars remain one back of the Golden Knights. Canuck winger Matt Highmore missed this game as he remains sidelined with an upper-body injury.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier picked up a hat trick in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, handing the latter their ninth straight loss.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 26, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 26, 2022

In today’s NHL rumor mill: the Canadiens came close to moving Jeff Petry at the trade deadline, possible offseason goalie targets for the Devils, and what could be in store for the Ducks this summer.

THE CANADIENS ALMOST MOVED PETRY AT THE DEADLINE

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cited Kent Hughes’ intermission appearance on TSN on Thursday during which the Canadiens general manager admitted a club was very interested in acquiring Jeff Petry before the trade deadline. However, a deal couldn’t be reached that would benefit both teams.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

D’Amico also noted Hughes saying he’d had conversations “a group of teams” regarding Petry. Most of the teams interested in dealing for the 34-year-old defenseman were close to the salary cap, making it difficult to take on his contract. The Habs GM suggested trading Petry could be an offseason move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry earns an annual average value of $6.25 million through 2024-25. He also carries a no-movement clause and a 15-team no-trade list.

It won’t be easy moving him this summer but Hughes could have a better opportunity to do so with teams carrying more cap space. He’ll have to do so before free agency begins on July 13 as most teams will quickly burn through their cap room soon after the market opens.

OFFSEASON GOALIE OPTIONS FOR THE DEVILS

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently examined potential offseason options for the New Jersey Devils to bolster their goaltending depth. Mackenzie Blackwood’s development as a starter has been slowed in part by injury while there’s no guarantee with backup Jonathan Bernier following his hip surgery. They could stick with Nico Daws in a backup role but that depends on how management wants to handle his development.

Goaltenders who could be available via this summer’s free-agent market include the St. Louis Blues Ville Husso, the Colorado Avalanche’s Darcy Kuemper, and the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev. Trade options could include the Blues’ Jordan Binnington or the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve singled out the more notable of Goldman’s suggested free-agent and trade targets for the Devils. Follow the above link for the full list and her detailed analysis of each goaltender.

Husso could be available if the Blues feel he’ll be too expensive to retain with Binnington already on the books. That seems more likely than moving Binnington, who’s struggled this season and has a full no-trade clause on a contract carrying a $6 million annual cap hit through 2026-27. Husso could be a more affordable option than some on this list but he only has this season as an NHL starter under his belt.

Kuemper could end up re-signed by the Avs if he backstops them on a deep playoff run. Signing with the Devils would cast Blackwood’s future as their starter into doubt. Georgiev could seek a starter’s job and might not be keen to fill a backup role in New Jersey.

Gibson’s situation with the Ducks could get interesting if he doesn’t want to be part of what could be a long rebuild. He’s signed through 2026-27 with an AAV of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. The Devils have the cap space to absorb his cap hit and sufficient depth in prospects and young players to entice the Ducks but that would depend on whether he’d agree to trade to New Jersey.

DUCKS GM ANTICIPATES A BUSY OFFSEASON

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens expects Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek will be busy in the coming offseason as he embarks on a rebuild of his roster. With a number of draft picks acquired in recent trades, Verbeek indicated it’ll provide him with options to perhaps acquire players “that might be moved down the line in their development”.

Verbeek also indicated he’ll be looking at this summer’s free-agent market for players that can improve the roster. Stephens speculated the Ducks GM could also look to the trade market with his draft capital to perhaps acquire a player like the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL players like Chychrun who are 25-or-younger could be Verbeek’s offseason targets. I doubt he’ll pursue a big-ticket free agent this summer as he won’t want to invest expensive contracts in aging talent. It’ll also be interesting to see if he shops a veteran on a long-term deal like John Gibson or Cam Fowler.