Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo hopes to rebound from an injury-shortened 2016-17 season.
Latest on Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller, Petr Mrazek and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: After an injury-shortened 2016-17, Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo hopes his summer of rehab will lead to a healthier 2017-18 campaign. Luongo’s also incorporated a lengthier, intricate warm-up routine last 45-60 minutes.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: After years of being linked to the Anaheim Ducks in trade rumors, goaltender Ryan Miller is getting ready for his first season with the team. Miller inked a two-year contract with the Ducks this summer.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Coming off a poor performance in 2016-17 and being left exposed in June’s expansion draft, Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek has a renewed attitude as he looks toward a bounce-back season.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Sophomore forward Nick Schmaltz is getting an opportunity to center the Blackhawks’ second line.
CSNNE.COM: Veteran winger Teddy Purcell hopes to rekindle his NHL career on a professional tryout contract with the Boston Bruins.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues center Zach Sanford will missed the remainder of training camp with a shoulder injury.
TSN: The Philadelphia Flyers hired former Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi to work under GM Ron Hextall.
Should the Tampa Bay Lightning trade Ben Bishop now?
Latest on Ben Bishop, top-five rental players & more in your NHL rumor mill.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin recently listed five reasons the Tampa Bay Lightning should trade goaltender Ben Bishop now. Injuries to key players such as Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan, the club finding themselves in an unexpected dogfight for a playoff berth and Andrei Vasilevskiy being ready for the starter’s job topped the list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this season, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he was willing to maintain his current goalie tandem for another run at the Stanley Cup next spring. Obviously, if issues arise that threatens those chances for a Cup run, Yzerman could reconsider. If he does, however, I expect he’ll be patient and see how the club performs in the coming weeks before deciding to pull the trigger on a Bishop deal.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen lists Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata, “goalie to be named later” (Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, Vancouver’s Ryan Miller, Islanders Thomas Greiss or Philadelphia’s Steve Mason or Michal Neuvirth) and Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla as this season’s top-five rental players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanzal and Vrbata could be moved if they’re unwilling to accept short-term deals from the Coyotes. Wideman is a goner if the Flames are out of playoff contention by the March 1 trade deadline. Bishop and Greiss could move, but the Canucks seem intent to re-sign Miller. Mason’s play has significantly improved of late, contributing to the Flyers climb up the Eastern Conference standings. They could keep him and Neuvirth for the remainder of the season. Iglina will likely be shopped.
SPORTSNET: If the struggling Colorado Avalanche decide to shake things up with a trade this season, Elliotte Friedman believes goaltender Semyon Varlamov is an obvious trade candidate, as his hold on the starter’s job is tenuous. The Avs are looking to add defensemen. Center Nathan MacKinnon isn’t going anywhere. Forwards Gabriel Landeksog and Matt Duchene have “great value contracts”, which increases the asking price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Varlamov, Landeskog or Duchene during the season could prove difficult because of their contracts. Such moves could wait until the offseason.
Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden said a possible decision to re-sign goaltender Ryan Miller won’t take place until next summer. Friedman wonders what the Anaheim Ducks might do to sweeten a Miller for Jonathan Bernier deal. Like Miller, Bernier’s contract expires next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: By the sound of things, the Canucks probably won’t be interested in that swap. Unless the Ducks are willing to toss in a young defenseman like Shea Theodore (which they won’t), I don’t see this deal happening. Bernier may be younger but isn’t a significant upgrade over Miller.
Despite the solid play this season of centers Alexander Wennberg and William Karlsson, Friedman wonders if the Columbus Blue Jackets might take a look at Arizona Coyotes pending UFA center Martin Hanzal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend upon where the Jackets are in the standings if Hanzal gets dangled before the trade deadline. If they’re still in playoff contention, maybe they’ll take a look at it. However, they won’t be the only club interested in Hanzal by the deadline.
He wonders if Winnipeg Jets center Alex Burmistrov might be a suitable replacement for sidelined Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d also suggest Toronto Maple Leafs center Peter Holland. Won’t put up a lot of points but he will work hard and bring some energy to the Habs checking lines.
The Los Angeles Kings tried to trade winger Teddy Purcell($1.6 million cap hit) but couldn’t find any takers because of budget issues. The Kings didn’t want to take any salary back. Purcell recently cleared waivers and Friedman wouldn’t be surprised if a team pursued him later in the season when they can afford him.
Friedman expects some trade movement by the Dallas Stars this season, but doesn’t see them dealing defensemen John Klingberg, Julius Honka, Jordie Benn or Stephen Johns.
Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Hendricks could be a good fit with the Minnesota Wild, who are seeking fourth-line help, though the Oilers would have to keep part of his salary.
The New York Islanders strongly denied rumors claiming they were shopping prospect forward Joshua Ho-Sang.
Latest on the Canucks, Leafs & Kings – December 6, 2016
Could the Vancouver Canucks re-sign Ryan Miller?
Updates on Ryan Miller, James van Riemsdyk and Teddy Purcell in your NHL rumor mill.
THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports it’s plausible the Vancouver Canucks could re-sign goaltender Ryan Miller, who’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. Kuzma cites what he calls “mutual-admiration dialogue between Miller and management,” leading him to conclude the 36-year-old goalie won’t be dealt by the trade deadline, even if the club tanks in the standings.
While Miller’s numbers aren’t great, Kuzma suggests his experience might work best with Jacob Markstrom. Canucks president Trevor Linden said the club will reassess where they are at season’s end, adding goaltending is the least of their worries, claiming Miller and Jacob Markstrom gives the team a chance to win. If Miller stays, Kuzma believe he’ll have to accept a significant pay cut from his current three-year, $6 million per season deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzma suggested perhaps a two-year deal worth $4 – $4.5 million per season. I think that’s a reasonable offer. However, it’ll depend upon whether Miller wants to stay in Vancouver or test the market. He’ll prefer to remain on the West Coast in order to be close to his wife, actress Noureen DeWulf.
The depth in talent in the UFA market for goalies next summer drops off significantly beyond Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop, and there’s no certainty the Canucks could win a bidding war for his services. The Canucks could be better off re-signing Miller to mentor Markstrom over the next two seasons.
THE STAR: Mark Zwolinski reports Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk is ignoring the recent trade speculation swirling round him. As a big winger who can score and has only one season left on his contract, van Riemsyk’s popped up as a potential trade candidate, as has young forward William Nylander. Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said the club isn’t looking to move either guy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs obviously won’t move van Riemsdyk this season, and I doubt they have any plans to trade Nylander. However, van Riemsdyk’s UFA status in 2018 does leave him with an uncertain future in Toronto as they continue to rebuild. Recent trade chatter suggested he’d be the obvious trade chip to bring in a top-four defenseman. That’s a move that might happen in the off-season if the Leafs get the right offer.
SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman speculates that contract and budget issues explains why Los Angeles Kings winger Teddy Purcell cleared waivers on Sunday. LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen said he heard there may have been a little trade talk with another club prior to Purcell being placed on waivers, suggesting the possibility that talk might continues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Purcell has only two points in 12 games this season, was a healthy scratch in the Kings last four games and carries a $1.6 million cap hit. No surprise he went unclaimed. That trade talk could hinge upon how much of his cap hit the Kings are willing to absorb.
Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel celebrates one of his two goals against the Detroit Red Wings.
Game recaps plus notable injury and waiver updates in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Phil Kessel scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied with four third-period goals to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3.
Patrik Laine scored his 16th of the season and set up Bryan Little’s winner in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets nipped the St. Louis Blues 3-2.
Leon Draisaitl scored in overtime and Jordan Eberle collected three assists as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Oilers announced defenseman Darnell Nurse is sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
Ivan Provorov scored two second-period goals only 30 seconds apart to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were playing without goalie Corey Crawford, who is sidelined two-three weeks following an appendectomy.
Tuukka Rask kicked out 35 shots as the Boston Bruins held on for a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Bruins forward Matt Beleskey left the game with a lower-body injury.
Mike Cammalleri scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the New Jersey Devils overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Nashville Predators 5-4. Earlier in the day, the Predators claimed forward Reid Boucher off waivers from the Devils.
Chris Kreider scored twice in the third period as the New York Rangers doubled up the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2.
Brian Boyle scored in a shootout and Ben Bishop made 31 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a four-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Kari Lehtonen got his first shutout of the season as he backstopped the Dallas Stars to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. While the Avs learned earlier in the day that sidelined captain Gabe Landeskog (lower-body injury) could soon return to the lineup, defenseman Erik Johnson suffered a broken fibula against the Stars and is sidelined for six weeks. Meanwhile, the Stars announced they’ve placed winger Patrick Sharp (concussion) on injured reserve.
The Vancouver Canucks blew a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Ryan Miller made 38 saves while Markus Granlund and Bo Horvat scored in the shootout as the Canucks prevailed 3-2.
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith made a franchise-record 58 saves but he couldn’t prevent his club from dropping a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Mike Condon turned in a 24-save shutout performance as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Florida Panthers 2-0.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators winger Clarke MacArthur, currently sidelined by a concussion, remains hopeful of returning to action by early-January.
SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Los Angeles Kings placed winger Teddy Purcell on waivers.
LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW: Could the Vegas Golden Knights pursue former Florida Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant to be their bench boss?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Knights’ front office isn’t saying anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if GM George McPhee contacted Gallant to gauge his interest.