NHL Rumor Mill – February 21, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – February 21, 2024

The latest on Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin, the Penguins are listening to offers for non-core players and the Rangers are interested in Kraken forward Alex Wennberg. Get the details on these and rumors involving several other teams in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston reports the Calgary Flames might make another push to sign Noah Hanifin to a contract extension. However, it seems likely that the 27-year-old defenseman will be traded. He’s got an eight-team no-trade clause and they’re not all Canadian teams.

Nevertheless, Johnston believes Hanifin will end up with a US-based team because it’s believed his preference is to sign with an American club. He singled out the Tampa Bay Lightning as a possible destination.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning have the cap space to pursue Hanifin with Mikhail Sergachev on long-term injury reserve (LTIR) for the remainder of the regular season. The Flames’ asking price for Hanifin will likely start with a first-round pick but the Lightning don’t have any first-rounders in this year’s or next year’s drafts. Their prospect pool is also shallow, ranked 29th by The Athletic.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas is entertaining offers on pretty much everyone except his core players. One of them is winger Reilly Smith, who has a year remaining on his contract with a $5 million cap hit. He won a Stanley Cup last season with the Vegas Golden Knights and that experience could intrigue a few contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined winger Jake Guentzel is among the Penguins’ core. He’s been dogged by trade rumors for weeks amid speculation that Dubas could also re-sign him. Perhaps this report means Dubas still intends on re-signing him? Stay tuned…


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports sources claim the Rangers are looking at Seattle Kraken forward Alex Wennberg to fill their third-line center position. The 29-year-old Wennberg is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and carries a $4.5 million cap hit for this season.

Brooks cited Wennberg’s playoff experience, his skating ability and his 200-foot game among the reasons behind the Rangers’ interest in him. He also noted the Boston Bruins have been linked to the Kraken center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken are just three points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference so they’re probably not sellers right now. That could change if they fail to gain ground in the standings over the next couple of weeks.


THE ATHLETIC: While the Blue Jackets are in the process of finding a new general manager, Aaron Portzline reports interim GM John Davidson is focused on the upcoming NHL trade deadline.

The Jackets won’t trade their prospects nor is team captain Boone Jenner available. Jack Roslovic is their one prominent pending UFA. Portzline estimates his trade value as being worth a late-round draft pick or a distant prospect.

There was speculation defenseman Ivan Provorov could be a trade candidate to make room for promising Denton Mateychuk on their blueline. However, Davidson said Mateychuk must earn a roster spot in training camp. Nevertheless, Portzline believes Provorov could be moved if the right phone call is made.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Provorov could be moved if someone pitches a first-round pick or a high-quality young player. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s still with the Jackets after March 8.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Ottawa Senators want to do something bigger but must wait for the trade market to establish itself…The Edmonton Oilers would ideally like to add a top-six forward to Leon Draisaitl’s line. However, they’re also eyeing the Anaheim Ducks’ Adam Henrique as a third-line center…The Dallas Stars would like to add a right-shot defenseman as could the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils. Speaking of the Devils, they’re also looking for a goaltender and kicking tires on forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have over $2.3 million in trade deadline cap space. It could make it difficult to add Henrique even if the Ducks retain half of his $5.8 million cap hit…With Vitek Vanecek on injured reserve, the Devils’ need for help between the pipes should be their priority if they hope to nail down a wild-card spot.

Pierre LeBrun believes the Florida Panthers want to add to their roster before the trade deadline. They’ll have around $5 million in accrued cap space by deadline day to add a top-nine forward but they lack first-round picks in 2024 and 2025 to use as trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They also lack a second-rounder in this year’s draft. The Athletic recently ranked their prospect pool at No. 24 but they’ll likely have to dip into it if they intend to be buyers this year.

Chris Johnston believes the Arizona Coyotes will once again look to load up with draft picks at this year’s trade deadline. They’re looking to move pending UFAs such as Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have 13 picks in this year’s draft, 11 in next year’s draft and 10 in 2026. 10 of those are second-rounders, seven are third-rounders and four are fourth-round picks. However, they only have one first-rounder in each of those drafts.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber recently suggested the New York Rangers could be a good fit for Nic Dowd if the Washington Capitals put him on the trade block. She also cited Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation suggesting the Edmonton Oilers as a fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Part of what makes Dowd enticing in the trade market is his contract. The 33-year-old checking-line center carries an affordable $1.3 million annual average value through next season.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2024

The Blue Jackets could listen to offers for Patrik Laine and Ivan Provorov plus the latest on the Senators and Kings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is willing to at least listen to trade offers for winger Patrik Laine and defenseman Ivan Provorov.

He also indicated there were other players the Jackets GM could listen on but didn’t indicate who they were.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine (NHL Images).

Dreger said teams are interested in forward Boone Jenner but the Jackets captain is a “heart-and-soul guy” so it’s highly unlikely they’ll trade him. Their “untouchables” include young players such as rookie Adam Fantilli.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t know which clubs would be interested in Laine unless they’re hoping to pay very little to get him and have the Jackets retain up to half of his $8.7 million average annual value through 2025-26. Injuries and inconsistent play have likely hurt his value in the trade market.

Provorov was acquired by the Blue Jackets last June from the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an AAV of $6.75 million and lacks no-trade protection. He has 23 points in 47 games and could still have value as a top-four puck-moving defenseman. Nevertheless, his cap hit could be a sticking point.


TSN: Ottawa Senators general manager Steve Staios said he’s been exploring all options for his club heading toward the March 8 trade deadline. He remains focused on adding experienced players with leadership ability who play a 200-foot game.

Staios said the market would dictate if he’ll be able to find such players this season. If not, he’ll continue looking in the offseason.

The Senators GM said he hasn’t approached Vladimir Tarasenko yet about waiving his no-trade clause. The 32-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and carries a $5 million cap hit.

Staios also expressed his disappointment that Jakob Chychrun has come up in trade rumors. He’s not surprised other clubs covet the 25-year-old defenseman but said his club will try to find the cap space to sign him to a contract extension. Staios also doesn’t want to rush to a decision regarding his club’s core players leading up to the trade deadline.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes Staios seeks a gritty winger and a right-shot defenseman.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steve Warne observed Staios said he’ll keep Jacques Martin as interim head coach for the rest of this season while continuing to search for a full-time replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think it’s only a matter of time until Staios asks Tarasenko to waive his no-trade clause. He’s likely waiting to see how the market develops for the scoring winger. That decision could come by late February.

The Senators aren’t under any pressure to move Chychrun as he’s signed through next season. They could consider shopping him during the offseason if any difficulties arise during contract negotiations. It’ll likely cost at least $8 million annually on a long-term deal to keep him in the fold. Combined with Thomas Chabot’s and Jake Sanderson’s cap hits, that would mean tying up $24 million in three left-shot defensemen, though Chychrun does play on the right side with the Sens.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the struggling Los Angeles Kings intend to stay the course despite losing 12 of their last 14 games. That means no coaching change or trades, at least for now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are clinging to one of the wild-card berths in the Western Conference. If they slip out of contention, I think general manager Rob Blake will have little choice but to replace head coach Todd McLellan or shake up the roster with a trade.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2023

Recaps of Thursday’s games featured two-goal performances by the Rangers’ Chris Kreider and the Devils’ Jack Hughes plus the Bruins reveal their All-Centennial Team. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider scored a power play and a shorthanded goal in a 5-1 season-opening victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Mika Zibanejad collected three assists while Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves for his 100th career victory to give Peter Laviolette his first win as Rangers head coach. JJ Peterka scored for the Sabres.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

The New Jersey Devils opened the season with a two-goal performance by Jack Hughes to hold off the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. Jonas Siegenthaler collected three assists while Vitek Vanecek stopped 32 shots for the win. Alex DeBrincat scored his first goal for the Red Wings while Ville Husso made 23 saves.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny tallied twice, Scott Laughton had two assists and Carter Hart kicked out 31 shots in a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Patrik Laine scored for the Jackets while rookie Adam Fantilli picked up an assist for his first career NHL point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers center Sean Couturier had an assist and winger Cam Atkinson scored as both players played their first games after being sidelined by injuries for the entirety of last season. Meanwhile, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski left the game in the second period with a quadriceps contusion following a hit by Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway.

The Minnesota Wild got a 41-save shutout from Filip Gustavsson to blank the Florida Panthers 2-0. Wild rookie (and Minnesota native) Brock Faber scored his first career NHL goal while Joel Eriksson Ek scored and assisted on Faber’s goal. Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves for the Panthers.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros stopped 23 shots for his 21st career shutout in a 3-0 win over the Seattle Kraken. Colton Sissons, Gustav Nyquist and Juuso Parssinen scored for the Predators, giving head coach Andrew Brunette his first win behind their bench. Philipp Grubauer made 32 saves for the Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken played without forward Brandon Tanev as he remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. Predators defenseman Luke Schenn was a late scratch from this game with a lower-body injury.

Shootout goals by Jason Robertson and Matt Duchene lifted the Dallas Stars over the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Jamie Benn opened the scoring while Jake Oettinger stopped 23 shots for the Stars. Tyler Tucker replied for the Blues, who got a 33-save effort from Jordan Binnington.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars played without top-line forward Roope Hintz as he continues to nurse an upper-body injury.

Second-period goals by Nic Hague and Nicolas Roy carried the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Logan Thompson made 22 saves for the Golden Knights. Filip Zadina replied for the Sharks.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins announced their All-Centennial Team yesterday.

Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Bucyk, Wayne Cashman, Bill Cowley, Phil Esposito, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Rick Middleton, Cam Neely, Terry O’Reilly, David Pastrnak, and Milt Schmidt.

Defense: Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara, Dit Clapper, Bobby Orr, Brad Park and Eddie Shore.

Goaltenders: Frankie Brimsek and Gerry Cheevers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fans will likely quibble over the same of the names on this list, making for what should be a fun debate. Overall, however, it’s comprised of players who played major roles for the Bruins in their biggest moments over their 100-year history.

Oh, and if they haven’t already chosen the biggest moment in Bruins history, it’s unquestionably Orr’s Stanley Cup winner in 1970. That is the most iconic goal ever scored in the NHL.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings placed winger Viktor Arvidsson (lower-body injury) on long-term injury reserve. Meanwhile, Kings center Phillip Danault was fined $5,000.00 for slashing Colorado Avalanche forward Ross Colton on Wednesday.


Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet revealed the reason why goaltender Thatcher Demko left the game during Wednesday’s 8-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Demko was battling the flu and was pulled during the third period after he “puked in his mask,” according to Tocchet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My apologies to those of you who may have been eating when you read this bit, but I did warn you!

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Blue Jackets defenseman Ivan Provorov pointed to the Flyers and their style of play for the decline in his performance during his final three seasons with the club. Provorov was traded to the Jackets in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any reaction from the Flyers about Provorov’s comments, especially from head coach John Tortorella. Time will tell if his move to the Jackets will improve his game.

Mind you, Provorov does have a point about the Flyers’ style of play. Part of that was due to their coaching changes since 2021, firing Alain Vigneault and going with Mike Yeo on an interim basis before hiring Tortorella in 2022.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Anaheim Ducks rookie Leo Carlsson will miss the club’s season opener on Saturday with a lower-body injury. However, he’s expected to rejoin the lineup at some point next week.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning recalled forward Alex Barre-Boulet, which is seen as an indication that winger Tyler Motte will remain sidelined with an injured hand.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ottawa Senators free agent Alex Formenton has signed with Swiss club HC Ambri-Piotta until the end of the calendar year. The club also released a statement referencing an ongoing investigation into sexual assault allegations made toward some unnamed members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team. Formenton was part of that club but hasn’t commented on the investigation nor has he been accused or charged.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Formenton’s contract also contains an out-clause allowing him to return to the NHL.

NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2023

Are more moves coming for the Flyers, Kings and Blue Jackets following their deal to move Ivan Provorov to Columbus? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PHILADELPHIA HOCKEY NOW: Chuck Bausman reports more moves could be coming for the Flyers after they shipped Ivan Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday in a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Kings.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (NHL Images)

Flyers general manager Daniel Briere was asked about the status of Carter Hart during his press conference announcing the Provorov trade. The 24-year-old goaltender has been the subject of trade speculation after Briere recently indicated he would listen to offers.

I’m still in the same spot I was,” said Briere. “We’re open for business. We listen on everybody. Everybody’s being treated the same way for us on our side.”

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont noted a rumor that surfaced immediately following the Provorov trade claiming the Flyers were working on a deal involving Hart. He mused over whether the Canadiens should pursue him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been nothing new thus far regarding that rumored Hart trade. Perhaps we’ll learn more details soon or maybe it’ll come to nothing. What’s clear is Briere isn’t afraid to make bold moves involving one of his core players provided he gets a solid return. He could trade Hart if someone makes him a good offer.

LA HOCKEY NOW: Austin Stanovich reports the Kings cleared $5.6 million by shipping goaltender Cal Petersen and defenseman Sean Walker. That will give them more cap room to re-sign defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and forward Gabriel Vilardi. Gavrikov and Korpisalo are due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 while Vilardi is a restricted free agent.

Stanovich expects Gavrikov will be signed soon, perhaps to a three-year, $6 million per year deal. He also stated there’s nothing linking the Kings to Carter Hart but wouldn’t be surprised if they were in the mix.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens also weighed in on what the Kings’ next moves could be. He agrees the Provorov trade makes it easier for them to re-sign Gavrikov. Stephens cited colleague Pierre LeBrun indicating the blueliner’s agent seeks a two-year deal while Eric Duhatschek speculated Gavrikov could get around $5.7 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The thinking here for the Gavrikov camp is he could be in line for a much bigger payday in 2025 when the salary cap is expected to rise by a significant amount. He made $2.8 million annually on his current deal so something between $5.5 million and $6 million would be a healthy raise.

As for Korpisalo, Stephens suggested they could re-sign him or look at bringing in another goalie to share the duties with Pheonix Copley.

MAYOR’S MANOR: The influential Kings’ blog offered their analysis of what the Provorov deal means for this club. In addition to re-signing Gavrikov, they believe it allows the Kings to retain forwards Alex Iafallo, Trevor Moore and Viktor Arvidsson. The trio was to be considered cost-cutting trade candidates.

They anticipate the Kings will add another goaltender but will likely only have around $2 million to make that move. “We are not expecting Joonas Korpisalo to be an option for LA.” They also ruled out the possibility of pursuing Anaheim’s John Gibson or Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just over $13 million in projected cap space and 16 active roster players under contract, the Kings can easily afford Gavrikov. However, it will take a substantial bite out of their cap space. That’s why they’ll likely pass on Korpisalo in favor of more affordable goaltending options.

The Provorov trade might be the only major one the Kings make this summer. They could look at a smaller deal for a goalie or seek a cost-effective option via free agency.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline speculates Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen might not be done dealing after acquiring Provorov. He noted that Kekalainen said his club will keep evaluating with free agency coming up and he didn’t rule out making another trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets have some promising centers on their roster (Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger. Dmitri Voronkov) and could attempt to select another such as Leo Carlsson with the third-overall selection in this year’s draft. However, they still need more experienced depth at that position. With $12 million in cap space and 19 active roster players under contract for next season, Kekalainen could set his sights on a center through the trade or free-agent markets.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2023

Reaction to the three-team trade that sent Ivan Provorov to the Blue Jackets, the latest Stanley Cup Final news, an update on Timo Meier and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers general manager Daniel Briere thanked Ivan Provorov for his years of service to the club after trading the defenseman on Tuesday to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Kings.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere (NHL.com).

Briere indicated that the deal was “really enticing” based on the draft picks the Flyers received and the direction the club is going as it rebuilds. “For us, what we were looking at is young guys and picks. We’ve said it from the beginning, so that was the major reason behind it,” said Briere.

In exchange for Provorov and veteran minor leaguers Kevin Connauton and Hayden Hodgson, the Flyers will receive a first-round draft pick from Columbus (No. 22 overall), veteran goaltender Cal Petersen, defenseman Sean Walker, defensive prospect Helge Grans, a conditional second-round pick from Columbus, and a 2024 second-rounder from Los Angeles. Provorov heads to Columbus, while Hodgson and Connauton go to L.A. The Kings will pay for 30% of Provorov’s contract for Columbus.”

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen considers Provorov “a defenseman who slots in perfectly with our group.” He believes his club now has “two really strong defensemen on the left side of our top four with Zach Werenski and Ivan Provorov”.

Meanwhile, some LGBTQ+ Blue Jackets fans and community members are disappointed about the club’s addition of Provorov, citing his refusal in January to wear a Pride Night jersey when he was a member of the Flyers. Provorov cited his Russian Orthodox beliefs for declining to take part in the pregame formality.

Kekalainen defended the acquisition of Provorov. “We’ve always been an organization that promotes inclusion and diversity and all those things,” he said. “Hockey is for everyone, but we also respect freedom of opinion and freedom of choice.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my take on the Provorov trade here.

Speculation abounds in the aftermath of the Provorov trade over whether Briere has other offseason moves in the works and how it affects the Kings’ efforts to re-sign a couple of key free agents. I’ll have more on that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NHL.COM: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights averaged 2.8 million viewers in the United States across TNT, TBS and truTV. It was the second-most watched Cup Final game ever on US cable. Viewership peaked at 3.3 million viewers between 10:45 – 11 PM ET.

Game 3 goes Thursday night in Florida at 8 pm ET. The Golden Knights hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault’s play since the middle of the second round has pushed him into the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation.

The 32-year-old has scored nine goals in his last nine games and leads the Golden Knights in this postseason with 12 goals in 19 games. He also has the best plus-minus (plus-16) among postseason players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this stage, I’d say it’s between Marchessault and Jack Eichel as the favorites among the Golden Knights as this postseason’s MVP. Nevertheless, there’s no question he’s played a big role in his club’s playoff run thus far.

THE SCORE: Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said he has “complete faith” in Sergei Bobrovsky, who was pulled in Game 2 after giving up four goals on 13 shots in the Panthers’ 7-2 loss. He dismissed any talk of Bobrovsky wearing down from the grueling playoff run.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s teammates also defended the goaltender. They cited their own poor defensive play and vowed to play better in front of him. 


NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald said his club will begin serious contract discussions with Timo Meier’s agent to sign the winger to a long-term contract. The 26-year-old winger is a restricted free agent on July 1 and is also a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A sticking point is Meier’s salary. He’s coming off a four-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million but earned $10 million in actual salary this season. That’s how much it’ll cost the Devils to qualify his rights unless he and the club reach an agreement on a new contract before July 1.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders will maintain its status quo in the front office and behind the bench for 2023-24. Lou Lamoriello will be back as general manager while Lane Lambert remains their head coach.

Lamoriello said he intends to prioritize signing key free agents such as Zach Parise, Scott Mayfield, Pierre Engvall and Semyon Varlamov. However, he suggested winger Josh Bailey’s 15-year tenure with the club may be coming to an end. Bailey, 33, has a year left on his contract with a cap hit of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears that Lamoriello will attempt to trade Bailey, who lacks no-trade protection. Failing that, the Isles GM could buy out that remaining year before the buyout period ends on June 30.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Nashville Predators have announced their new ECHL partnership with the Atlanta Gladiators.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of Atlanta, there’s some talk that the NHL could one day try again to establish a franchise in that city. Two previous teams, the Flames and Thrashers, relocated to Calgary and Winnipeg respectively.

Bad rosters, poor ownership and an arena in a bad location were cited as reasons why the Thrashers failed during their 11-year tenure there. However, if those issues are addressed and accounted for, there could be another opportunity to put an NHL franchise there.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged the two previous failed attempts in Atlanta. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of a third effort at making it work there. However, he indicated the issue of expansion will not be on the table during the league’s upcoming board of governors meeting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The size of the Atlanta market and the potential money it could generate explains why the league won’t shut the door on returning there. It’s the same reason behind the NHL’s stubborn efforts to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.

Flyers Trade Provorov in Three-Team Deal

Flyers Trade Provorov in Three-Team Deal

The Philadelphia Flyers have traded defenseman Ivan Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three-team trade involving the Los Angeles Kings.

As per NHL.com:

Philadelphia trades Ivan Provorov and Hayden Hodgson to Los Angeles in exchange for Cal Peterson, Sean Walker, Helge Grans and the Kings’ 2024 second-round pick. Columbus acquires Kevin Connauton from Philadelphia in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick (22nd overall) and conditional second-round pick in either the 2024 or 2025 NHL Draft. Columbus acquires Provorov from Los Angeles in exchange for Connauton.”

Philadelphia Flyers trade defenseman Ivan Provorov in three-team deal (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The first major trade of the 2023 NHL off-season is also the first trade by Daniel Briere since taking over as Flyers general manager in March. He’s wasting no time putting his stamp on his club with a healthy return for Provorov.

A skilled puck-moving defenseman, Provorov had difficulty playing up to expectations for the Flyers since 2019-20. With 13 goals and 36 points in 69 games, he was on pace for a career-best performance before that regular season was prematurely ended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Landing a first-round pick in this year’s draft plus two second-rounders in 2024 as part of the return for Provorov will be useful investments in the Flyers’ rebuilding process. They could also be used as trade capital to add more immediate roster help.

Grans, 21, is a promising defense prospect with two AHL seasons under his belt. Walker has a season remaining on his contract and will bring some additional experience to the Flyers blueline.

As per Cap Friendly, the Kings retained 30 percent ($2.025 million) of Provorov’s $6.75 million average annual value through 2024-25. That’s more affordable than carrying Petersen’s $5 million AAV over the same period.

Petersen had a 10-team no-trade clause. He either waived it to go to Philadelphia or the Flyers weren’t on that list. He’s the most intriguing piece of this deal for the Flyers, prompting speculation that Briere could attempt to trade starter Carter Hart. Petersen’s earning more than Hart ($3.979 million) but his struggles last season saw him banished by the Kings to the minors.

The Blue Jackets are hoping that a change of scenery could help Provorov regain his once-promising form. A left-side rearguard, he’ll fill the void on their blueline from the departure of Vladislav Gavrikov, who was shipped to the Kings at the trade deadline. Considering what they’ve given up to get him, this could be an expensive gamble for the Jackets.

Speaking of the Kings, they now have $13.2 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 with 16 active roster players under contract. This move cleared sufficient cap space to re-sign Gavrikov, who was a solid fit with the club over the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.