NHL Rumor Mill – November 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 25, 2022

Which forwards could the Golden Knights target in the trade market? Should the Oilers attempt to acquire Kasperi Kapanen? Are the Wild in the market for more scoring? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TRADE TARGETS FOR THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps has Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat at the top of his list of six potential trade candidates for the Golden Knights to boost their forward depth. He admits, however, the Canucks could set an asking price that’s too expensive for Vegas.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan, Chicago Blackhawks forward Max Domi, Columbus Blue Jackets winger Gustav Nyquist, Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen round out Krepps’ list.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Max Domi (NHL Images).

Krepps acknowledged the cap-strapped Golden Knights will have to shed some salary. One way could be shopping goaltender Laurent Brossoit ($2.3 million) as Logan Thompson and Adin Hill are playing well as the goaltending tandem. Another option could be shopping defenseman Alec Martinez.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Golden Knights can free up sufficient cap space to acquire Horvat and they probably can’t afford the Canucks asking price in terms of picks and prospects. Monahan’s $6.4 million cap hit also probably prices him out of their market unless the Habs agree to retain some of his salary, and that will mean parting with a sweetener they probably can’t afford to give up. The same goes for Nyquist and his $5.5 million cap hit.

Domi ($3 million), Puljujarvi ($3 million) and Kapanen ($3.2 million) are more affordable and likely obtainable targets. Domi is the best of this bunch. While inconsistent, he’s putting up better stats this season (14 points) than Puljujarvi and Kapanen combined (nine points). However, the Golden Knights might not be able to outbid other clubs if he continues playing as well as he has for the rebuilding Blackhawks.

WOULD KAPANEN BE A FIT FOR THE OILERS?

THE ATHLETIC’S Jonathan Willis recently wondered if Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen might be a worthwhile “change-of-scenery flip” for the Edmonton Oilers. He pointed out Kapanen makes around the same cap hit as Jesse Puljujarvi and is signed a year longer. Willis noted he’s “better 5v5 scoring & finishing history, worse possession metrics.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kapanen straight up for Puljujarvi. Both might benefit from a change of scenery. Who says no? Provide your answers in the comments section below.

THE WILD ARE SEEKING SOME SCORING HELP

THE ATHLETIC’S Michael Russo tweeted on Wednesday that Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin admitted he’s looking for scoring help. However, he’s hoping the issue can be addressed internally.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep an eye on the Wild in the coming weeks. Guerin could be active in the trade market if he can’t find an internal fix for his scoring woes.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 5, 2022

Could the Flames re-sign Milan Lucic? Will the Oilers trade a forward to make room for Dylan Holloway? What coaches are available if some teams consider making changes behind the bench? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WILL THE FLAMES SIGN LUCIC TO A NEW CONTRACT?

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane recently mused over whether the Flames will re-sign Milan Lucic. The 34-year-old power forward is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s been one of their steadiest players this season and is skating on the second line with Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli.

Calgary Flames winger Milan Lucic (NHL Images).

In addition to Lucic’s improved play, he’s also become a leader in the dressing room. Macfarlane believes there’s little doubt he wants to stay in Calgary and would cost a lot less than the $6 million average annual value he’s earning split between the Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have limited cap space ($1.7 million) for 2023-24. Fortunately, all their core players are under contract and Lucic is their most noteworthy pending free agent.

They might have to create some additional cap room even if Lucic’s next contract is a short-term one at a far more affordable rate than his current one. Still, I think the two sides can work something out if he wants to stay and management feels he can still contribute.

WILL THE OILERS MOVE A FORWARD TO MAKE ROOM FOR HOLLOWAY?

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell examined the Edmonton Oilers’ options to get promising winger Dylan Holloway more playing time this season. The easiest choice would be to send him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield and then recall the 21-year-old if he does well there after a few games.

Another would be finding a way to create room on the roster for Holloway to skate among the top-six forwards. That could come down to making a decision on moving Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele.

Mitchell believes Yamamoto will stay put, in part because he’s signed through next season. Puljujarvi has frequently surfaced in media trade rumors but Mitchell believes the big winger helps the team even when he’s not scoring.

That leaves Foegele as potentially vulnerable. He‘s a left-shot winger filling the position Holloway is best suited to play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foegele hasn’t popped up as much as Puljujarvi in the rumor mill but he has been mentioned before as a trade candidate. However, general manager Ken Holland has found ways to balance his roster thus far without resorting to a trade. I think Holloway’s destined spend some time in Bakersfield.

AVAILABLE NHL COACHES

DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin looked at the notable former NHL coaches currently available for any team that might be considering a shakeup behind the bench this season.

Topping the list, of course, is Barry Trotz followed by Rick Tocchet. Other familiar names include Alain Vigneault, Dave Tippett, Andrew Brunette, Travis Green and Jeff Blashill.

Larkin also listed “up-and-comers” such as Ryan Warsofsky, Jay Leach and Ian Laperriere. He also noted former NHL coaches Mike Babcock and Joel Quenneville are available but suggests both carry too much baggage to return to the league’s coaching ranks.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2022

Will the Oilers pursue a trade for Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin and Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE OILERS PURSUE CHYCHRUN AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?

THE ATHLETIC: In his recent bold predictions for 2022-23 for the Edmonton Oilers, Daniel Nugent-Bowman believes they’ll make a splash at the March 3 trade deadline. He claims they have had varying degrees of interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Given their salary cap constraints, Nugent-Bowman believes the Oilers will need to give up a salaried player such as Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele to make the dollars work. Nevertheless, he felt this is the season where they should bring in a player of the caliber of Kane or Chychrun.

In a recent mailbag segment, Nugent-Bowman was asked what the Oilers might have to give up to acquire Chychrun. He doesn’t see the Coyotes retaining part of the blueliner’s contract given he’s signed through 2024-25 with an affordable $4.6 million annual cap hit. He also doubts they’d have much interest in Puljujarvi.

The return would have to include defenseman Philip Broberg but that would be almost a non-starter for the Oilers. Nugent-Bowman also has concerns about Chychrun’s injury history. However, he feels comfortable in parting with Broberg in order to acquire the Coyotes rearguard provided he has no chronic ailments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun’s been a fixture in the rumor mill since last season and will likely remain so well into this season. His injury history, however, is a cause for concern that is holding up a possible trade. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently observed, teams are reluctant to meet the Coyotes’ high asking price in part because of Chychrun’s previous injuries.

GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan recently rattled off Chychrun’s list of ailments. In his six-year NHL career, he’s had surgery on both knees, shoulder ligament surgery, ankle surgery to remove a bone spur, two wrist surgeries and at least one concussion. Morgan believes that’s why interested general managers will want to see him play this season before committing to a trade.

UPDATES ON DROUIN AND SIMMONDS

TSN: Darren Dreger provides an update on Jonathan Drouin, who was scratched from the Montreal Canadiens’ season-opening lineup. He’s been dealing with some issues, including a bad flu that held him back during training camp.

Drouin is expected to return to the lineup any day now. Dreger said the winger has had open communication with head coach Martin St. Louis, who assured him there is a fit for him in the lineup.

Dreger added the hope is Drouin can play his way into a meaningful role this season and perhaps improve his trade value before the March 3 deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. His cap hit for this season is $5.5 million and he carries a three-team no-trade list. The Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan recently speculated Drouin is likely to be shopped at some point this season.

Chris Johnston reports Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds remains in limbo after clearing waivers on Monday. He still wants to play and would prefer to stay with the Leafs. However, something would have to change within the roster such as injuries or something in the salary-cap picture for him to rejoin their lineup.

Simmonds is being patient and is skating with the Leafs’ injured players. He’s open to being traded, preferably to a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds could be waiting for a while. The Leafs let it be known last weekend that he’s available to be traded. They aren’t concerned with the return but want to do what’s best for him. Despite an affordable $900K cap hit this season, there haven’t been any takers thus far.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 8, 2022

The Oilers enter this season with little cap room, the Flames face a decision with Juuso Valimaki, and a lack of tradeable assets could hurt the Bruins this season. Get the details in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

OILERS SQUEEZED FOR CAP SPACE

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports the Edmonton Oilers will enter this season with just $165.00 in salary-cap space for the upcoming regular season.

They could get $1.25 million in cap relief if center Mattias Janmark is claimed off waivers later today. If he’s not, they’ll have to place Devin Shore and his $850K cap hit on waivers to become cap compliant by Monday.

Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi (NHL Images).

This will affect the Oilers’ efforts to recall players from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield this season.

Spector points out Oilers general manager Ken Holland attempted to trade winger Jesse Puljujarvi and his $3 million salary during the offseason but couldn’t find any takers. The same goes for winger Warren Foegele, who carries a $2.75 million cap hit but is harder to move because he’s signed through 2023-24.

Holland hoped to get a second-round pick in exchange for Puljujarvi. Spector wonders if the Oilers GM will accept a lesser return to solve his cap situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cousin Mark believes Holland will let the season play out and see if injuries provide some roster relief.At some point, however, the Oilers GM could find himself having to make a cost-cutting trade.

That could mean accepting less of a return for Puljujarvi or Foegele provided he can find a taker for either guy. It’s something worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.

Speaking of Janmark, Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe wonders if the Winnipeg Jets might try to claim him off waivers today.

FLAMES FACE A DECISION WITH VALIMAKI

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane reports Juuso Valimaki could be the odd man out for one of the last two spots on the Flames blueline. If they try to send the 24-year-old defenseman to their AHL affiliate, he’ll have to clear waivers first. There’s a good chance another club could snap up the former first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Macfarlane observes Valimaki has had difficulty nailing down a roster spot since Darryl Sutter returned as head coach. Given their blueline depth, perhaps he’ll become a trade candidate at some point.

BRUINS LACKING QUALITY TRADE BAIT

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: A lack of quality assets to make upgrades via the trade market is among Nick Goss’ list of five huge obstacles preventing the Bruins from winning the Stanley Cup this season.

GM Don Sweeney has shipped out a first-round pick in three of the last five NHL trade deadlines. Doing so again this season would further hinder the Bruins’ ability to draft and develop quality young talent. The Athletic’s February prospect pool ranking had the Bruins 27th out of 32 clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s worse than that. In The Athletic’s August prospect pipeline rankings, the Bruins are dead last in part because they’ve traded away so many first-round picks. If Sweeney’s going to make any deals to upgrade his roster this season he’ll have to draw upon players currently on the team or from his shallow pool of prospects.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 5, 2022

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: trying to guess what Auston Matthews’ next contract will look like plus the latest on Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.

HOW COULD A RISING SALARY CAP AFFECT MATTHEWS’ NEXT CONTRACT?

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen looked at how the projected rise of the salary cap to $88 million by 2024-25 could affect the Toronto Maple Leafs’ efforts to re-sign Auston Matthews. The 25-year-old center is signed through 2023-24 and carries an average annual value of $11.64 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

Boylen examined several scenarios regarding Matthews signing for a certain percentage of the Leafs’ cap payroll up to the maximum of 20 percent as managed by the collective bargaining agreement.

If Matthews signs an extension for five or eight years next season at 20 percent of $83.5 million, Boylen projects the Leafs star will earn an AAV of $16.7 million. If he waits until he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2024, (when the cap could be $88 million) he could get an AAV of $17.6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a trade or a free agent rumor but it’s definitely something to keep in mind as Matthews approaches the end of his current contract, especially if he decides to wait until July 1, 2024, to sign his new deal.

Matthews is going to be very expensive to sign. I doubt he’ll accept a “hometown discount” to stay with the Leafs. He’s already a two-time Richard Trophy winner as the NHL’s leading goal scorer, winner of the 2022 Hart Memorial Trophy and the first player in a decade to tally 60 goals in a season. He’s in his playing prime and will remain among the league’s elite superstars when he signs his next contract.

That means Matthews is going to get top dollar, either from the Leafs or another club if he tests the market.

LATEST ON PULJUJARVI AND GOSTISBEHERE

THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman believes the emergence of young winger Dylan Holloway could spell the end of Jesse Puljujarvi’s tenure with the Edmonton Oilers, “whether that’s next week or next year.”

Puljujarvi’s been on the trade block for some time and likely would’ve been moved by now if the market hadn’t gone soft. Oilers general manager Ken Holland has been resistant thus far to trading him for futures.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ limited salary-cap space could force Holland to accept futures for Puljujarvi if injuries strike the lineup later in the season and he needs cap room to call up players from the minors. The 24-year-old winger carries a $3 million cap hit for this season.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan believes Shayne Gostisbehere could be traded this season by the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes if he plays as well this season as he did in 2021-22. The 29-year-old defenseman played his way onto the Coyotes’ top defense pairing, finishing with 51 points in 82 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere would be more affordable than teammate Jakob Chychrun, who’s been a fixture in the rumor mill since the middle of last season. He could be a solid addition for a playoff contender seeking additional production from the blueline.

Gostisbehere’s contract will also make him attractive. Slated to become a UFA next summer, he carries a $4.5 million cap hit. However, he’s earning $3.25 million in actual salary, of which $2.25 million has already been paid by the Coyotes as a signing bonus.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 4, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 4, 2022

Could the Stars trade Jason Robertson or lose him to an offer sheet? What’s the latest on Jakob Chychrun and Jesse Puljujarvi? Are the Canucks and Penguins considering moves? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON ROBERTSON

THE ATHLETIC: While the contract standoff continues between the Dallas Stars and Jason Robertson, Saad Yousef doesn’t believe the 23-year-old winger will receive an offer sheet or be traded.

The Stars can afford to sign him to an average annual value of between $7 million and $8 million. Robertson’s camp could be seeking something comparable to the $9 million AAV being earned by Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov.

Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson (NHL Images)

Yousef points out that only three teams (Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres) have sufficient salary-cap space to sign Robertson to a lucrative offer sheet. The compensation of two first-round picks, a second and a third would be sacrificing a lot for those rebuilding teams.

The Sabres would have to offer up over $10.5 million AAV because they lack the required compensation as the Vegas Golden Knights own their 2023 third-round pick. The Stars would also have the opportunity to match any offer sheet.

Yousef acknowledged the Stars could trade Robertson but there are few NHL clubs right now that can afford to pay him a better contract. There’s also no indication that contract talks between the two sides have gone that sour.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer this drags on and the more playing time Robertson misses, the worse it’ll be for his performance this season. In turn, it could hamper the Stars’ playoff hopes. Yousef also points out that the two sides have until Dec. 1 to hammer out a new contract or he’ll become ineligible to play the remainder of this season.

UPDATE ON CHYCHRUN AND PULJUJARVI

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi remain in the trade market. However, he doesn’t see anything on the front burner for either player right now.

The Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators stand out for Seravalli in the Chychrun saga. While the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs have been linked to the Coyotes blueliner, it doesn’t appear either club has their sights set on acquiring him.

As for Puljujarvi, Seravalli doesn’t know if teams are going to get a lot of value out of a player earning $3 million on a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, no real change for either player. Chychrun will stay in Arizona until a rival club like the Kings or Senators step up to meet the Coyotes’ asking price. Puljujarvi will have to improve this season to bolster his trade value but that could also make him more valuable to the Oilers.

CANUCKS AND PENGUINS COULD BE PLANNING SOME MOVES

DAILY FACEOFF: Seravalli also reported the Vancouver Canucks have been attempting to trade the contract of Micheal Ferland to a team that has already had injuries or is already using long-term injury reserve and could use a boost.

Ferland has a $3.5 million AAV but is earning $2.75 million in actual cash. A potential problem, however, is his contract isn’t insured, meaning whoever picks it up would have to pay the full $2.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ferland, 30, is permanently sidelined due to concussion issues. His contract will expire at the end of this season.

Seravalli also reports the Pittsburgh Penguins have informed the other 31 NHL teams that Pierre-Olivier Joseph is available via trade. They have nine defensemen under NHL contracts and risk losing one of them to waivers. Seravalli wonders if they’ll keep Joseph or risk losing Chad Ruhwedel or Mark Friedman to waivers.