NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 27, 2022

Could the Canucks make a significant move like trading J.T. Miller? Will the Flyers commence a rebuild by trading Claude Giroux? What’s the latest on Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Evander Kane? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE CANUCKS AFTER MANAGEMENT MOVES?

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli and Scott Burnside discussed what could be next for the Vancouver Canucks after hiring Patrik Allvin as their new general manager and Emilie Castonguay as assistant GM. They believe the top priority is figuring out what to do with J.T. Miller. The 28-year-old center leads the Canucks with 40 points and is signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Seravalli reports the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers (Miller’s former team) have expressed interest. While Miller has enjoyed his time in Vancouver, he could be open to returning to an American team.

Burnside felt an extension with Miller might be possible if he wants to be part of the Canucks’ process over the next four or five years. If not, that extra year on his current contract could fetch a first-round pick, a high-end prospect and a mix of later-round picks.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers’ preference is to re-sign second-line center Ryan Strome but Miller could be a potential replacement. The Canucks asking price is said to be astronomical but Brooks believes it could drop as the trade deadline approaches if the Canucks fall completely out of the playoff race by then.

Brooks envisions Miller playing right wing with Mika Zibanejad or Strome during this season and taking over as second-line center next season if Strome departs as a free agent. He also wondered if the Canucks will take a serious offseason run at acquiring Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere, who was a client of Canucks assistant GM Castonguay when she was a player agent.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins should pursue Miller despite the steep asking price as he would fill their need for a reliable second-line center. He doesn’t feel they should dangle top prospect Fabian Lysell but shouldn’t be afraid to dangle any of their other prospects while they’re in “win-now” mode.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Miller speculation has resurfaced because the Canucks finally have their new management team in place. The assumption is they could trade him because Rutherford will make the decisions on trades involving their core players based on his reputation as a wheeler dealer.

Miller could be shopped if the Canucks fall out of contention by the trade deadline. However, Rutherford indicated he’ll provide input but Allvin will handle the day-to-day operations and will be the key decision-maker. While they could get a solid return for Miller before the trade deadline, the Canucks can also wait until the offseason to peddle him if he doesn’t fit into their long-range plans.

If the Canucks do put Miller on the trade block by the deadline, I believe the Rangers would be better positioned to acquire him than the Bruins, Flames or Wild. They have plenty of salary-cap space and a lot of promising young talent to draw upon for trade bait.

FLYERS LEAVE GIROUX’S FUTURE IN HIS HANDS

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Giana Han reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher will be having discussions with Claude Giroux to determine their 34-year-old captain’s future with the club. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and holds a full no-movement clause. Fletcher intends to leave the decision up to Giroux whether he’ll waive it to accept a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux will reportedly be discussing his future with his agent next month, perhaps as early as next weekend’s All-Star Game.

Fletcher also indicated he’s looking to aggressively retool his roster rather than engage in a rebuild. The Flyers GM is not sure what moves he’ll make by the trade deadline but indicated “everything’s on the table.” He believes his club needs two or three players to complement the strong core he believes they have when they’re healthy. Despite the injury woes, he felt the club hasn’t played up to expectations and needs more top-end talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some might scoff at Fletcher’s unwillingness to stage a rebuild but he can also look at other teams that have successfully retooled and enjoyed a quick turnaround in their fortunes. The Nashville Predators are the most notable recent example. They weren’t considered a playoff contender entering this season but are among the top teams in the Western Conference. Whether Fletcher can achieve similar results remains to be seen.

LATEST ON THE PENGUINS AND OILERS

THE SCORE: cites The Athletic’s Josh Yohe reporting Evgeni Malkin is willing to accept a pay cut to remain with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His agents have reportedly spoken with Penguins management about a new contract. Malkin’s current cap hit is $9.5 million but he would be pleased with a multi-year deal earning less than teammate Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million AAV).

Kris Letang, meanwhile, believes he’s playing well enough to earn a raise over his $7.25 million annual average value. Yohe reports the Penguins are willing to sign him to a short-term deal with the possibility of a raise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on how short-term those deals could be, how much of a pay cut Malkin will accept and how much of a raise Letang is seeking. Crosby is signed through 2024-25. Those two could prefer three-year deals so they can finish their careers as Penguins with their captain.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reporting there’s a strong sense the Oilers will sign free-agent winger Evander Kane. He’s been skating for over a week in Vancouver and could be ready for games as early as this weekend depending on the outcome of the league’s investigation into whether he violated AHL COVID protocols. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes cites sources saying it’s down to two teams for Kane but the Oilers appear the likeliest destination.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2022

Which clubs are in or out on Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on Claude Giroux and Marc-Andre Fleury? How’s the Oilers goalie hunt going? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST CHYCHRUN SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports several teams are “going hard” at attempting to acquire Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. He believes the Florida Panthers are among them but doubts they’ll part with Anton Lundell. Other suitors could include the Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche, while the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings are out for now.

TSN: Darren Dreger believes the Toronto Maple Leafs are among the clubs who’ve “kicked tires” on Chychrun but it could take creativity on general manager Kyle Dubas’ part to fit him within their tight payroll. He also cites sources saying the Kings, Panthers, Bruins, Ducks, and St. Louis Blues are among the clubs with a strong interest in the Coyotes blueliner.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Friedman’s colleague Jeff Marek, only one team has pitched an offer that would meet the Coyotes’ rumored asking price of a good young NHL player, a top prospect and a first-round pick. If it was sufficient the Coyotes would’ve moved Chychrun by now. I suspect GM Bill Armstrong will use that offer as leverage to land a better return from another team. With Chychrun carrying three more years on his contract, Armstrong has the luxury of time here.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger is skeptical of rumors linking the Blue Jackets to Chychrun. He believes trading either of the first-round picks they’ll have in this year’s draft would take away a valuable asset that could be used to address their more pressing need for impact centers. Hedger also noted there’s no certainty Chychrun would stay with the Jackets once his current contract expires and raised concern about the rearguard’s history of knee injuries.

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman expects Claude Giroux to meet with his agent Pat Brisson to discuss his future during the All-Star weekend. Friedman believes there are Colorado Avalanche players who’d love to have him as a teammate but it could take getting a third team involved to make it work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux carries a full no-movement but could waive it to join a Stanley Cup contender like the Avalanche. However, he also carries an $8.275 million cap hit for this season with over $3.8 million remaining to be paid out. The Avs, meanwhile, are pressed for cap space which will make landing him a complicated endeavor.

The Washington Capitals are believed to be looking into acquiring Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have just over $2 million in projected trade deadline cap space. Fleury’s cap hit for this season is $7 million with $3.255 million currently remaining to be paid out. They’ll have to free up some room to make this work, assuming they’re not on Fleury’s 10-team no-trade list.

The Edmonton Oilers were willing to part with a late-round draft pick for Martin Jones but the Philadelphia Flyers wanted more for the 32-year-old goaltender. They’ve also looked at the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev, the Dallas Stars’ Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin, St. Louis Blues’ Ville Husso, Columbus Blue Jackets Joonas Korpisalo, Washington Capitals Vitek Vanecek and New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Rangers moving Georgiev after he did a fine job filling in for the sidelined Igor Shesterkin earlier this season. Ditto the Blues with Husso after he spelled off Jordan Binnington when he missed seven games to COVID-19 earlier this month

The Stars prefer moving Khudobin while the Oilers could be on Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade list. Vanecek won’t be available unless the Capitals acquire an upgrade while Jones and Korpisalo probably aren’t much of an upgrade over the Oilers’ tandem of Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner.

In short, the Oilers appear screwed in their efforts to land a goaltending upgrade.

Friedman wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs might attempt to acquire Ben Chiarot based on their previous interest in the defenseman before he signed with the Montreal Canadiens. The Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues are among the clubs looking at him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Chris Johnston reported the Leafs would prefer landing players with a little more term on their contracts. That shouldn’t rule them out of pursuing a UFA like Chiarot but it sounds like Dubas could be reluctant this season to part with assets for rentals after getting burned in last year’s Nick Foligno deal.

The Coyotes intend to retain Lawson Crouse…Friedman wonders if Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina could use a change of scenery.

UPDATE ON THE SENATORS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion scouted the Minnesota Wild during their recent game against the Canadiens and spoke briefly with Wild GM Bill Guerin. LeBrun doubts there’s anything imminent but pointed out the Wild were among the teams discussed during the Senators’ pro scouting meetings as one of the NHL clubs pressed for salary-cap space.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2022

The latest Blackhawks speculation includes the Capitals having an interest in Marc-Andre Fleury plus the latest Claude Giroux, Ben Chiarot, Jakub Chychrun and J.T. Miller in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports a league source told him anyone on the Chicago Blackhawks could be had in the trade market. That doesn’t mean they’re shopping players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane or Alex DeBrincat. However, they would do so if Toews or Kane asked to be moved and would at least listen if someone came calling about DeBrincat.

Powers considers Toews, Kane and Seth Jones to be pretty much untouchable. It would take significant offers to pry players such as DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, Lukas Reichel and Brandon Hagel away from the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks could end up giving a first-round pick in 2022 or 2023 to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the conditions for acquiring Jones. However, Powers doesn’t see them giving away a player they covet simply to fill a draft spot.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Powers believes Marc-Andre Fleury will have the best trade value for the Blackhawks, followed by winger Dominik Kubalik and defenseman Calvin de Haan. Fleury and de Haan are unrestricted free agents. Kubalik is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but the $4 million it’ll take to qualify his rights could dampen his value in the trade market.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell told Frank Seravalli and Ryan S. Clark that she believes there’s a greater than 50 percent chance the Capitals could have a new goaltender by the trade deadline. She thinks they’re among the teams interested in Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Any trade involving Toews, Kane or DeBrincat takes place in the offseason. Swinging the kind of deal it would take to move any of those players takes time and assets that interested clubs probably don’t have right now. That’s assuming Toews or Kane are willing to be traded or that a rival club can make an offer substantial enough to convince the Hawks to part with DeBrincat.

Fleury’s been linked to the Capitals several times in recent weeks as concern mounts over the status of their goaltending. They have just over $2 million in projected deadline cap space but that still won’t be enough to take on Fleury without the Blackhawks retaining some of the remainder of his $7 million cap hit or the Capitals freeing up some cap room. That’s assuming they’re not on his 10-team no-trade list.

SUGGESTED TRADE DESTINATIONS FOR GIROUX AND CHIAROT

SPORTSNET: During their recent “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed possible trade destinations for Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot.

Friedman considers the Colorado Avalanche a good fit for Giroux if he wants to chase a Stanley Cup provided they can make the cap dollars fit. Marek also suggested the Dallas Stars’ Joe Pavelski as another fit for the Avs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche seems to be linked to everybody, don’t they? I don’t rule out the possibility of general manager Joe Sakic making a move by the March 21 trade deadline. However, the Avalanche are pressed for cap space, requiring some creativity on Sakic’s part to take on the remainder of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit for this season if he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause to join the Avs.

As for Pavelski, he’s expressed his desire to stay with Dallas. While the Stars could shop unhappy defenseman John Klingberg before the deadline, I wouldn’t be surprised if they retain Pavelski if the two sides feel they can get a deal done before he becomes a UFA in July.

Regarding Chiarot, Friedman believes the St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames have an interest in the Canadiens blueliner. He also wondered if the Toronto Maple Leafs might pursue him, pointing out they were interested in Chiarot before he signed with Montreal but couldn’t make it work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Avalanche, the Leafs also carry limited cap space, though absorbing the remainder of Chiarot’s $3.5 million cap hit wouldn’t be as challenging as it would for the Avs to take on the more expensive Giroux. GM Kyle Dubas has shown the ability to swing deals with a tight payroll in the past so we shouldn’t reject that possibility out of hand.

The Canadiens’ rumored ask for Chiarot is a first-round pick. Don’t forget that Dubas parted with his 2021 first-rounder last year for Nick Foligno. Will he part with another first-rounder for another rental player this year? Stay tuned…

LATEST ON JAKOB CHYCHRUN AND J.T. MILLER

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple weighed in on a recent report by Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman reporting the New York Rangers made a trade offer to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Jakob Chychrun centered around Vitali Kravtsov. The 23-year-old winger is playing in Russia this season awaiting a trade by the Rangers.

Unless there are more pieces to a deal for Chychrun, it won’t address the Rangers’ need for more scoring punch on the wings. Adding Chychrun, who has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.6 million, could complicate things when left-side defenseman K’Andre Miller becomes a restricted free agent in 2023.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan believes we should be careful about the rumors regarding what’s being offered to the Coyotes for Chychrun, especially when it gets too specific about the Coyotes’ asking price. He doubts GM Bill Armstrong will get into specifics about what he’s seeking for Chychrun. He’s not going to limit his asking price as that would close off alternatives.

Morgan also dismisses reports that those trade talks are heating up when the trade deadline is two months away, calling it a “media-driven narrative”. He reminds us that agents and league executives love to stir the pot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A sensible take by Morgan. One need only look at the trade market where we’ve seen just one trade so far this month compared to four in December and three in November to see just how quiet things are right now. General managers and agents are probably talking, and some could be dropping tidbits to their media pals to drive to generate some activity, but moves involving notable players appear weeks away.

Business should start to pick up as we go through February and intensify once the calendar flips to March. Whether Chychrun gets moved over the next two months remains to be seen. Armstrong doesn’t have to move him by the trade deadline. He can afford to wait until the offseason to get the deal he likes.

SPORTSNET 650: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli believes the Vancouver Canucks could get more than a first-round pick and a highly-touted prospect if they were to trade J.T. Miller. He felt the New York Rangers has expressed some interest in Miller, as well as the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Canucks making any significant roster moves until they’ve hired a new general manager, which should take place within the next couple of weeks. I also doubt they’ll move a core player like Miller if they’re still in the playoff hunt by the March 21 trade deadline. They’re also unlikely to be in a big hurry to move him since he’s still got a year left on his contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2022

Keith Yandle ties the league’s Ironman record, Chris Kreider takes the lead in the goal-scoring race, the Avalanche takes over first overall in the standings, the Canucks hire their first female assistant GM, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle tied the NHL’s Ironman record of 964 consecutive games but his club also tied a franchise record with its 12th straight defeat in a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist and Jake Oettinger made 27 saves as the Stars won their third straight game to sit tied with the Calgary Flames with 44 points.

Philadelphia Flyers defeneman Keith Yandle (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Yandle, who can break the record tonight against the New York Islanders. It’s the sole bright spot for the Flyers of late, who hold the fourth-worst record (13-21-8, 34 points) in the Eastern Conference.

Speaking of the Flames, they’ve taken over the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference by thumping the St. Louis Blues 7-1. Matthew Tkachuk collected a career-high five assists while Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three helpers for Calgary, who hold two games in hand over the Stars and five games over the San Jose Sharks, who also have 44 points.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider scored his league-leading 30th goal of the season as his club beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Adam Fox tallied the winning goal in a shootout while teammate Artemi Panarin picked up two assists for the Rangers, who sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 60 points and are just one back of the Eastern Conference-leading Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Kings, meanwhile, slip to third in the Pacific Division with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers played without Kaapo Kakko as the 20-year-old winger is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Filip Chytil also missed this game as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Colorado Avalanche extended its home winning streak to 16 games and its points streak to 13 by blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0. Pavel Francouz turned in a 23-save shutout while Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen were the goal scorers. With 61 points, the Avalanche sits atop the Western Conference and has taken over first place in the overall standings.

Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist and Hampus Lindholm collected three assists as the Anaheim Ducks downed the Boston Bruins 5-3. With the win, the Ducks slipped ahead of the Kings into second place in the Pacific with 49 points. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 50 points. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is considered day-to-day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask did not look sharp in this game as he struggles to shake off the rust from his lengthy absence recovering from offseason hip surgery. He’s won two of his four starts but gave up five goals in each of his losses and has a 4.29 goals-against average and .844 save percentage after four games.

Robin Lehner made 34 saves and Michael Amadio scored the only goal as the Vegas Golden Knights shut out the Washington Capitals 1-0. It was the seventh straight road victory for Vegas, who remains atop the Pacific Division with 52 points. The Capitals hold the first wild-card berth in the East with 55 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner had a frightening moment in the second period when a slapshot by Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin broke the cage of his mask, forcing him to use the mask he wore last season as a backup. “It was probably the hardest shot I have ever taken to the head,” said Lehner. It was a little scary, as I felt the cage bend…”

The Minnesota Wild extended their points streak to seven games by crushing the Montreal Canadiens 8-2. Nico Sturm had a goal and two assists while Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, Jared Spurgeon and Kevin Fiala were among eight Wild to finish the night with two points. Canadiens center Christian Dvorak left the game after a high hit by Spurgeon in the first period and didn’t pass the concussion protocol.

HEADLINES

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks made franchise history as Emilie Castonguay become the club’s first female assistant general manager. Castonguay had previously made history by becoming the first female NHLPA-certified player agent in 2016. She played NCAA Division 1 hockey in her youth and holds degrees in law and finance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Castonguay, who was also under consideration for the role of general manager of the Montreal Canadiens before they hired player agent Kent Hughes last week.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso and San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan 23, 2022.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger will be sidelined six-to-eight weeks following surgery to repair a fractured jaw.

DAILY FACEOFF: The International Ice Hockey Federation accidentally leaked Canada’s roster for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics before Hockey Canada’s official reveal today. Former NHLers include Eric Staal, Jason Demers, David Desharnais and Mark Barbeiro. 2021 NHL first-overall pick Owen Power and third-overall pick Mason McTavish are also on the roster.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 23, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 23, 2022

Check out the latest on Jakob Chychrun, Jake DeBrusk and Evander Kane plus an update on the Oilers’ search for a goaltender in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST ON CHYCHRUN AND DEBRUSK

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports the Arizona Coyotes have received an offer of a young player, a prospect and a first-round pick for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. The package is said to be two former first-rounders plus a first-round pick. The Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets are said to be among the suitors.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Marek believes the Panthers are the team to watch in this bidding for Chychrun. He also said the Rangers offered up a package that included winger Vitali Kravtsov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could use that offer as leverage in hope of getting a better deal from one of the other clubs with an interest in Chychrun. With the 23-year-old blueliner under contract for three more seasons, Armstrong isn’t under pressure to move him before the March 21 trade deadline. He can wait until the offseason if he doesn’t get an offer to his liking.

I can see the Panthers being very interested in Chychrun. His youth and contract would make him a perfect fit on their blueline and in their long-term plans. Marek last week speculated the asking price could be goalie Spencer Knight, center Anton Lundell and a first-round pick. Some observers misconstrued his comments to mean that’s what the Coyotes have asked for but there’s no indication that’s the case. Nevertheless, the Panthers could be forced to give up quite a bit to pry Chychrun away from the Coyotes.

The Rangers are well-stocked with promising young players and can afford to part with a first-round pick. It makes sense for GM Chris Drury to include the unhappy Kravtsov given the winger’s preference for a trade led to his playing in Russia this season.

It would be interesting to know who is the other player in the Rangers’ offer. Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Braden Schneider and K’Andre Miller are former first-rounders but I don’t think Drury is willing to part with any of them. Perhaps he would offer up Filip Chytil or Nils Lundkvist, though I can’t see the Coyotes agreeing to that.

Jeff Marek reports the Rangers have also inquired about Jake DeBrusk. The Boston Bruins winger requested a trade in late November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins GM Don Sweeney reportedly seeks a forward or defenseman of comparable value. I don’t think he’d be interested in Kravtsov and I doubt Drury offers up any of those young forwards I mentioned earlier except for maybe Chytil. It’ll be interesting to see if a deal can be made there.

UPDATE ON EVANDER KANE

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there still isn’t clarity if the NHL will add any penalty to Evander Kane over his alleged breaking of AHL COVID protocols during his tenure with the San Jose Sharks farm team. The Washington Capitals are believed to have considered whether to sign Kane, though there’s no indication any offer has been made to the embattled winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has also been linked to the Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. There was a rumor the Oilers already had him under contract and are awaiting the result of the league’s investigation before announcing it. That decision could come sometime next week.

OILERS’ GOALTENDER SEARCH CONTINUES

Friedman also said the Edmonton Oilers checked into the cost of acquiring a goaltender. Money will have to go out to make the dollars fit for the cap-strapped Oilers. He believes if the Oilers could’ve done something where they gave up a late-round pick they would’ve done it. However, they’re not keen to part with their first, second, or third-rounder in this year’s draft.

Rory Boylen recently published a list of possible goalie targets for the Oilers. They include the Chicago Blackhawks Marc-Andre Fleury, the Dallas Stars’ Braden Holtby or Anton Khudobin, the Seattle Kraken’s Chris Driedger, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo, and the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers traded their third-rounder to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Duncan Keith trade. Cap Friendly indicates that pick would become a second-rounder if the Oilers reach the Stanley Cup Final and Keith is a top-four among the Oilers in ice time during the first three rounds of the playoffs. Those scenarios seem unlikely given the Oilers’ current position in the standings and their roster weaknesses.

As for Boylen’s list, Fleury and Varlamov’s respective cap hits and no-trade clauses make them unlikely to land in Edmonton by the trade deadline. The Stars prefer moving Khudobin over Holtby but the extra year and $3.33 million on the 35-year-old’s contract isn’t something the Oilers seem willing to take on.

Driedger and Korpisalo are younger with affordable cap hits but I don’t think they’re going to move the needle very much for the Oilers. Desperate times, however, call for desperate measures. The question is whether the Oilers can work out a suitable trade that fits within their tight cap payroll.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2022

The scoring race tightens as Chris Kreider, Alex Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl enjoy multi-point performances. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider is tied for the NHL’s goal-scoring lead after tallying a hat trick in a 7-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Kreider has reached a career-high 29 goals, tying him with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin atop this season’s leader board. Jacob Trouba also scored twice and Mika Zibanejad collected three assists as the Rangers remain atop the Metropolitan Division with 58 points. Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko missed this contest as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

Speaking of Ovechkin, he scored two third-period goals to rally his club over the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on an overtime goal by Nicklas Backstrom. With 55 points, the Capitals maintain a five-point lead over the Boston Bruins for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl scored twice to sit one goal behind Ovechkin and Kreider as his club snapped a seven-game losing skid by dousing the Calgary Flames 5-3. The Oilers (40 points) sit two points behind the Flames, who remain two points back of the San Jose Sharks (44 points) for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Thanks to his four-point performance, Draisaitl has tied Ovechkin for the points lead with 58. Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie missed this game due to injuries suffered on Thursday against the Florida Panthers.

Speaking of the Sharks, they were on the receiving end of a 7-1 drubbing by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ross Colton scored two goals while Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn each had a goal and an assist while Brian Elliott made 27 saves. The Lightning and the Florida Panthers each have 61 points but the Panthers remain in first place in the overall standings with two games in hand. Lightning defenseman Cal Foote was fined $2,125.00 by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Anaheim Ducks forward Buddy Robinson on Friday.

Gabriel Landeskog’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. The Avs extend their points streak to 12 games and their home winning streak to 15, sitting on top of the Western Conference with 59 points. Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau made 43 saves to keep this one close. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens placed Jonathan Drouin (upper body) on injured reserve and listed goalie Sam Montembault as day-to-day with a minor wrist injury.

Nashville Predators forward Matt Duchene scored two goals and collected an assist to lead his club over the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. Teammate Filip Forsberg tallied his 20th goal of the season and chipped in an assist as the Predators remain four points back of the Avs with 55 points.

The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up their first multi-goal win since Jan. 5 by dropping the New York Islanders 3-1, snapping the latter’s three-game win streak. Morgan Rielly had a goal and an assist and Petr Mrazek made 27 saves for the Leafs, who remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 53 points.

New Jersey Devils forward Andreas Johnsson and defenseman Ryan Graves each had a goal and two assists in a 7-4 upset of the Carolina Hurricanes. Nathan Bastian also scored twice for the Devils as they overcame a 2-0 deficit. With 56 points, the Hurricanes sit two points behind the Rangers in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

An overtime goal by Marcus Foligno gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Henrik Borgstrom scored twice for the Blackhawks. With 51 points, the Wild have a firm grip on the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks played without forward Jujhar Khaira and defenseman Riley Stillman as both were placed on injured reserve.

The Boston Bruins got a tie-breaking goal from David Pastrnak in a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Brad Marchand shook off an upper-body injury from his previous game to pick up an assist. Like the Oilers, the Jets are four points behind the Sharks in the chase for the Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Buffalo Sabres downed the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 as the latter’s winless skid reached 11 games (0-8-3). Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson and Peyton Krebs each scored twice for the Sabres while Claude Giroux tallied two goals for the Flyers. Earlier in the day, the Sabres announced rookie Jack Quinn will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jordan Subban was the target of a racist gesture during an ECHL game on Saturday. Jacksonville Iceman Jordan Panetta made monkey gestures at Subban, a defenseman for the South Carolina Stingrays, during an altercation leading to a fight. Subban is the younger brother of New Jersey Devils blueliner P.K. Subban, who shared a video of the incident on Twitter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There should be no place for racism in any level of hockey or society. However, this was the second episode this month of a black minor-league player being the target of racial taunting. On Friday, the American Hockey League suspended San Jose Barracudas forward Krystof Hrabik for 30 games after he made similar monkey gestures at Tucson Roadrunners Boko Imama on Jan. 12.