Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 20, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 20, 2020

Some recent Bruins and Senators speculation in today’s NHL rumor roundup.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked if there’s any truth to recent rumors linking the Bruins to Mike Hoffman. While Haggerty believes the Bruins could be interested in the free-agent winger he doesn’t believe they’re close to signing him unless he’s willing to accept a one-year, $3.5 million contract. They only have $3.6 million in cap space.

Hoffman reportedly seeks a one-year deal starting at $5.5 million. Haggerty feels he could get something in the $5 million range from somebody. He acknowledged the Bruins could put sidelined winger David Pastrnak on long-term injury reserve to start the season to free up sufficient wiggle room to sign Hoffman. However, he doesn’t see them going that route with Pastrnak due to return in February.

No truth to a rumor linking Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin to the Boston Bruins (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Hoffman agrees to a more affordable salary or the Bruins make a cost-cutting deal, I don’t see him suiting up for Boston this season. I still think their priority is addressing the left side of their blueline.

Haggerty cites colleague Jimmy Murphy shooting down a rumor suggesting the Bruins ship winger Ondrej Kase to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Noah Hanifin. Murphy indicates that rumor was an idea proposed by a reporter and not actually discussed by the Bruins and Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That proposal would certainly help the Bruins shore up the depth on the left side of their blueline. However, it makes no sense for the Flames.

Kase has one 20-goal season during his short, injury-ravaged NHL career. He really struggled to adjust with the Bruins after they acquired him from the Anaheim Ducks last season, with one assist in six regular-season games and four assists in 11 playoff contests.

THE ATHLETIC: Hailey Salvian was recently asked in a mailbag segment who she thought would become the first Ottawa Senators player to be traded this season. She observed they have five potential unrestricted free agents, which are the type of players typically moved before the trade deadline.

She points out goaltender Anders Nilsson is battling concussion issues, defenseman Erik Gudbranson carries a big cap hit ($4 million) for what he brings to the ice, while forward Artem Anisimov also has a significant cap hit ($4.45 million) and struggled with injuries last season.

That leaves Alex Galchenyuk and Mike Reilly. The latter could be the most likely trade candidate as he’s shown he can be a capable puck-moving defenseman with the Senators. Galcheyuk could also attract some interest if he had a good offensive season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We shouldn’t rule out Gudbranson or Anisimov also becoming trade candidates near the deadline. Much will depend upon their performances this season but they could be enticing to a playoff contender.

Everyone writes off Gudbranson’s value but teams still keep trading for him. I can see him landing with a playoff contender if the Sens agree to pick up part of his cap hit. A healthy season could make Anisimov worthwhile as an experienced depth forward.

The Senators won’t get much for any of those UFAs. Nevertheless, they will get some draft picks they can stockpile for off-season deals with cap-strapped clubs.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2019

Roberto Luongo retires, the Golden Knights trade Erik Haula to the Hurricanes, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: After 19 NHL seasons with the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, and Vancouver Canucks, goaltender Roberto Luongo yesterday announced his retirement. He has the third-most wins (489) in league history, is second all-time in saves (20,409), and 10th all-time in save percentage (.919). Of the seven NHL goalies to appear in at least 900 games, Luongo’s save percentage is the best

Roberto Luongo hangs up his goalie pads after 19 NHL seasons (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Luongo, 40, is among the greatest goaltenders never to win the Stanley Cup. He also never won the Vezina Trophy despite being a five-time finalist and was runner-up for the Hart Trophy in 2007. Luongo backstopped Canada to Olympic gold in 2010 and helped the Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

Apart from his eight-year stint with the Canucks, Luongo played for a lot of bad teams during his 19 seasons. During his first go-around with the Panthers, he was often the only reason they were at least competitive.

Luongo was the best goaltender in Panthers history, definitely among the best in Canucks history, and a future Hall-of-Famer. Best wishes to “Bobby Lu” and his family in their future endeavors. 

TSN: The Canucks and Panthers will feel the bite of Luongo’s salary-cap recapture penalty. The Canucks will be tagged $3.03 million for each of the next three seasons, the Panthers $1.09 million per season over the same period.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM/REVIEW-JOURNAL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights last night traded center Erik Haula in exchange for center Nicolas Roy and a fifth-round pick in 2020. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a straightforward salary dump by the Golden Knights. By shedding Haula’s $2.75-million annual average value for Roy’s $750K, they sit $4.775 million above the $81.5-million salary cap. Perhaps they’ll make another move to get closer to the cap before the start of the season.

Haula is a versatile swift-skating forward who can play center or wing. He missed most of last season to a knee injury. If he regains his form, he could be a solid addition to the Hurricanes’ forward lines. 

ARIZONASPORTS.COM: The Coyotes have hired former Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley as an assistant coach. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed goaltender Brian Elliott to a one-year, $2-million contract extension. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Flyers also hired former NHL defenseman Nick Schultz as a player development coach. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers didn’t like the slim pickings for experienced backups in this summer’s UFA market. 

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year, $3-million contract. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins re-signed defensemen Zach Trotman and Kevin Czuczman to two-year, two-way contracts. 

NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

Today’s trades involving NHL players will be compiled here. Analysis of the notable deals will follow following the 3 pm ET trade deadline the Soapbox.

The New York Rangers have dealt defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Vladislav Namestnikov, prospects Libor Hajek andBrett Howden, 2018 1st round pick and a conditional second round pick.

Edmonton Oilers trade left wing Patrick Maroon to the New Jersey Devils for a third-round pick and college prospect forward J.D. Dudek.

The Detroit Red Wings traded winger Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018, a second in 2019 and a third in 2021

The Vancouver Canucks have dealt winger Thomas Vanek to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen.

The Buffalo Sabres have traded left wing Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks for “a conditional first-round pick in 2019, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020 and center Daniel O’Regan. 

The St. Louis Blues trade center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets “in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, forward Erik Foley and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.” The Blues also retain half of Stastny’s $7 million cap hit. 

The Chicago Blackhawks trade forward Ryan Hartman and a fifth round pick in 2018 to the Nashville Predators for prospect forward Victor Edjsell plus the Predators first- and fourth-round picks in 2018.

The Ottawa Senators trade defenseman Ian Cole to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a third-round pick in 2020 and minor league right wing Nick Moutrey.

The Montreal Canadiens acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019 (previously acquired from Washington).  Canadiens trade defenseman Joe Morrow to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2018.

The New York Islanders trade forward Jason Chimera to the Anaheim Ducks for center Chris Wagner.

The Calgary Flames acquire forward Nick Shore from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2019. 

The Boston Bruins acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2019.

The Vancouver Canucks trade minor league defenseman Philip Holm to the Vegas Golden Knight for forward Brendan Leipsic.

The Carolina Hurricanes trade forward Josh Jooris to the Pittsburgh Penguins for minor-league forward Greg McKegg.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 4, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 4, 2018

Game recaps plus the latest on Phil Kessel, Tuukka Rask, Jonathan Drouin, Connor Hellebuyck and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask extended his personal points streak to 20 games (Photo via NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask extended his personal points streak to 20 games (18-0-2) backstopping his club to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy returned to the lineup after being sidelined nearly two weeks due to a procedure to address an abnormal heart rhythm. Leafs blueliners Morgan Rielly and Ron Hainsey also returned from injuries and illness.

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac scored twice and set up another as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. Penguins winger Phil Kessel picked up his 40th assist of the season and moved within three points of Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov for the NHL scoring lead.

Speaking of Kucherov, he picked up two assists (including his 300th career point) as the Lightning doubled up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2.  

Michael Frolik’s game-tying goal in the third period set the stage for Sean Monahan’s overtime tally as the Calgary Flames snapped a six-game losing skid with a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Anntti Niemi made 43 saves and Jeff Petry tallied two power-play goals as the Montreal Canadiens upset the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin left the game after being struck in the ribs by a slapshot by teammate Karl Alzner. X-rays revealed no fractures but he’ll be re-evaluated on Sunday.

Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves as the Winnipeg Jets shut out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0. Hellebuyck picked up his career-high 27th victory of the season and is two away from tying Ondrej Pavelec (29) for second-most wins in a season by a Thrashers/Jets goalie. Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov made his first start after missing 11 games with a groin injury.

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Darcy Kuemper turned in a 27-save shutout effort in a 6-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Teammate Jake Muzzin had a goal and two assists. 

Tyler Seguin netted three points while Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov each collected two points as the Dallas Stars thumped the Minnesota Wild 6-1. 

Third-period goals by Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson rallied the New York Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Isles goalie Jaroslav Halak made 46 saves for the win.

Kevin Fiala scored twice and goalie Pekka Rinne picked up his seventh straight victory as the Nashville Predators downed the New York Rangers 5-2. Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and winger Jimmy Vesey both left the game with head injuries.

St. Louis Blues netminder Carter Hutton had a 27-save shutout performance as his club blanked the Buffalo Sabres 1-0. Carl Gunnarsson scored the only goal late in the third period.

Mike Hoffman’s shootout goal gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, who overcame a 3-1 deficit to tie the game. Flyers forward Travis Konecny assisted on all three of his club’s goals.

A controversial goal by Aleksander Barkov with 8 seconds left in the game resulted in the Florida Panthers edging the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Wings contended Barkov interfered with goalie Petr Mrazek by bumping him before scoring. “That’s insane they called that a goal,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “That was an easy one, I thought. It’s frustrating.”

TSN: The NHL’s department of player disciplined fined Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie $5,000.00 for cross-checking Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang on Friday. 


NHL Rumor Mill – February 2, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – February 2, 2018

Updates on Max Pacioretty, John Tavares, Ryan McDonagh and more in your NHL rumor mill.

Sources close to Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty say he expects to be traded soon (Photo via NHL Images).


SPORTSNET: Appearing on the Jeff Blair Show, TVA Sports Renaud Lavoie reported sources close to Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty say the Habs captain expects to be traded soon, possibly before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Lavoie believes Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin seeks a player who can help them right now and might not be interested in draft picks or prospects. He said a first-round pick they get from a Cup contender would be lower in the round, which isn’t the type of first rounder they need.

Lavoie notes reports that Bergevin is looking for a young top-six centerman but he doesn’t see any teams having that type of available asset right now. He speculates the Habs GM could also seek a left-shot defenseman or perhaps a young scoring left winger with equal or better stats than Pacioretty.

Speaking about Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk, Lavoie said he has no value. He claims general managers around the league don’t have a high opinion of the winger. If a team wants him, he’d be an expensive gamble. Perhaps Galchenyuk could be part of a bigger deal but Lavoie doubts he’ll be moved by the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty could be dealt before the deadline but Lavoie reminds us that Bergevin is willing to wait until the offseason to move his captain if there’s no suitable deal available before the trade deadline. I agree with Lavoie that there currently isn’t any team shopping a good young scoring center. It’s going to take time for the Habs GM to address that glaring need. He might have better luck landing a young scoring winger or a top-four left-side blueliner. Maybe Bergevin might get a promising prospect center as part of a package deal. 

As for Galchenyuk, Lavoie’s assessment is harsh but fair. Despite the 23-year-old winger’s offensive skills and upside, his ongoing inconsistency hurts his value. With an annual cap hit of $4.9 million through 2019-20, moving Galchenyuk for a decent return could prove difficult. 


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow has no intention of moving John Tavares at the trade deadline. The Isles intend to use all the time they have up to July 1 to re-sign Tavares, who’s due to become an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only scenario where Tavares moves by the deadline is if he demands a trade. I don’t see that happening. 

LeBrun also said Mike Fisher coming out of retirement doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of the trade market. He believes they could still seek a top-six scorer. Fisher will likely go into a bottom-six role.

Bob McKenzie believes Edmonton Oilers forwards Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu are likely to become playoff rentals at the trade deadline. Maroon would like to re-sign but the Oilers will only do so at the right price. If a contract cannot be worked out soon, Maroon’s name could become front and center in rumors leading up to deadline day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maroon, 29, is completing a three-year, $6-million contract. If he seeks more than double his current cap hit on a long-term deal, he and the Oilers could part company by Feb. 26.

Maroon and Letestu aren’t the only pending free agents the Oilers might move by the deadline. The Athletic’s Jonathan Willis wonders if winger Ryan Strome’s tenure in Edmonton could be drawing to a close. Strome’s a restricted free agent who hasn’t played up to expectations this season. The Oilers’ limited cap space for next season could make it difficult to re-sign him. 

Meanwhile, Frank Seravalli updated the TSN Trade Bait board, adding Carolina Hurricanes center Derek Ryan and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nikita Soshnikov while dropping Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Cody Franson


NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis believes New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh could fit perfectly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, whose roster is bereft of good veteran blueliners. While McDonagh has a 10-team no-trade list, Cyrgalis doubts he would pass up an opportunity to go to Toronto. Noting the Leafs depth in good young forwards, Cyrgalis suggests if Rangers GM Jeff Gorton could “pry away the likes of either a Mitch Marner, William Nylander or Zach Hyman, plus some sort of high draft pick, a deal could be more than worthwhile for both sides.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie recently shot down talk of McDonagh going to Toronto. He doesn’t see the Leafs parting with a good young forward for a defenseman who turns 29 in July. There’s also McDonagh’s eligibility next summer for UFA status that could also be a concern. 


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey believes we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. If the Wild slip further out of playoff contention and decide to become sellers, Mackey feels there’s a chance they could shop Cullen and he feels Penguins GM Jim Rutherford could leap at the chance to bring him back. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild are within one point of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. If they remain in contention they probably won’t be sellers. 

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo speculates Wild defenseman Mike Reilly could hit the trade block by the deadline. Russo notes the Wild have been platooning Reilly and Gustav Olofsson on the third defense pairing and wonders if something could give soon. He reports there’s been chatter for a couple of months that Reilly would welcome an opportunity to play elsewhere and his agent has been given permission to speak with other teams. In December, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher denied he was shopping Reilly, who said he hasn’t asked to be traded. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Reilly is traded he won’t fetch a return that provides immediate help for the Wild. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s peddled before the 2018 NHL Draft. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 4, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 4, 2017

Washington Capitals sign winger Devante Smith-Pelly to a one-year deal.

Collection of recent signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Alexander Radulov inking a five-year contract with the Dallas Stars dominated yesterday’s free-agent signings. Here’s a look at several others. 

Two former New Jersey Devils landed with new teams yesterday. WGR 550 reports the Buffalo Sabres signed center Jacob Josefson to a one-year contract ($700K). CSN MIDATLANTIC reports the Washington Capitals signed winger Devante Smith-Pelly to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K at the NHL level. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings re-signed defenseman Xavier Ouellet to a two-year deal worth $1.25 million per season. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-sign defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year, $1.45 million contract. 

NBC SPORTS: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed blueliner Slater Koekkoek to a one-year, $800K deal. 

PUCK DADDY Greg Wyshynski reports Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan had no plans to buy out Brooks Orpik’s contract. 

CSN BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks hired Rob Zettler as an assistant coach. 

TSN: Former Colorado Avalanche center Mikhail Grigorenko has reportedly signed a three-year contract with KHL club CSKA Moscow.