NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2022

Could the Canadiens re-sign Sean Monahan or attempt to move him before the March 3 trade deadline? Which Sharks are the most likely to be traded this season? What’s next for unsigned Senators Alex Formenton? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WILL THE CANADIENS SIGN OR TRADE MONAHAN?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens are considering whether to trade Sean Monahan before the March 3 trade deadline or re-sign him. Having acquired the 28-year-old center last summer along with a first-round pick, it seems a foregone conclusion they’d flip him for another asset before the deadline.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan (NHL Images).

Monahan, however, has impressed Canadiens management with how well he’s fit in on and off the ice. There’s now talk within the organization over whether they should re-sign the pending unrestricted free agent. LeBrun believes Monahan is likely to be moved but considers the fact they’re talking about keeping him as an interesting development.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montreal Hockey Now recently reported that Monahan is considered among the most popular targets in this season’s trade market. The Ottawa Senators have been scouting the Canadiens regularly of late, though they’re believed to be interested in Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson. Then again, the Sens could be simply scouting the Habs for their upcoming game on Dec. 14. 

Monahan’s enjoying a strong bounce-back performance this season after hip injuries hampered his final seasons with the Calgary Flames. He’s fourth among the Canadiens’ scorers with a respectable 16 points in 23 games. Those are solid numbers on a rebuilding club.

How long Monahan stays in Montreal could depend on what type of contract he’s seeking. What type of offers he draws in the trade market will also be a determining factor. If a Cup contender comes calling with a first-round pick and/or a top prospect, that could be an offer that general manager Kent Hughes can’t refuse.

TOP FIVE SHARKS TRADE CANDIDATES

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Timo Meier and James Reimer top Sheng Peng’s list of the five most tradeable San Jose Sharks.

If Meier gets shopped he could command the highest return of any forward likely to be moved by the 2023 trade deadline. A restricted free agent next summer, the 26-year-old is a bona fide first-line winger in the prime of his playing career. It will cost $10 million to qualify his rights, however, which could make him a rental player unless he can be signed to a long-term extension with a lower annual cap hit.

Reimer would be invaluable for contenders looking for insurance between the pipes. He carries an affordable $2.25 million cap hit and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Middle-six wingers Alexander Barabanov, Matt Nieto and Nico Sturm round out Peng’s list. Nieto is also a pending UFA while Barabanov has a year left on his deal with a $2.25 million cap hit and Sturm has two more seasons at $2 million per.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Peng doesn’t consider Meier getting traded as a certainty. That’s because the Sharks don’t have to peddle him at the trade deadline but could wait until the offseason if unable to get him signed to an extension. I can see them peddling Reimer and Nieto but they could hang onto Barabanov and Sturm unless they get some solid offers for those two.

WHAT NEXT FOR FORMENTON?

TSN: Darren Dreger looked at what could be next for restricted free-agent winger Alex Formenton. He and the Ottawa Senators failed to reach an agreement on a new contract by the Dec. 1 deadline and he’s now ineligible to play in the NHL for the rest of this season.

Dreger said there was some trade interest in Formenton and Senators GM Pierre Dorion worked on that until well past the deadline. The 23-year-old winger could play with a European club for the remainder of this season. The Senators could trade his rights or he could sign an offer sheet with another NHL club. In those two instances, however, he’d remain ineligible to play in the NHL this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger also said Formenton’s situation is “complicated.” He could be alluding to the winger being a member of Canada’s 2018 World Junior club currently under investigation on allegations of sexual assault.

That investigation is reportedly close to completion. Formenton has maintained his silence about this situation, which has been interpreted as guilt by some observers. Thus far, however, there’s nothing formally tying him to those allegations. We will learn more once the findings of the investigation are completed.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2022

The Devils and Golden Knights each collect their 10th road win of the season, Mitch Marner and Jason Robertson extend their points streaks, the three stars of the week are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils picked up their 10th road win of the season with a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Yegor Sherangovich scored two goals and Vitek Vanecek stopped 35 shots as the Devils (19-4-0) take over first place in the overall standings with 38 points. Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck replied for the 10-9-4 Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers’ struggles this season can be tied in part to Igor Shesterkin’s difficulties between the pipes. He seems to have lost the form that earned him the Vezina Trophy last season and shouldered the blame for the loss against the Devils.

A shootout goal by Paul Cotter lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to their 10th road win as they dropped the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. William Karlsson and William Carrier gave Vegas a 2-0 lead but the Jackets rallied on goals by Johnny Gaudreau and Boone Jenner. The Golden Knights (17-6-1) sit in first place in the Western Conference with 35 points while the Blue Jackets (7-12-2) remain mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils and Golden Knights are the first clubs to reach 10 road wins this season. Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo missed this game for personal reasons.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored to extend his points streak to 17 games as his club doubled up the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-2. Matt Murray kicked out 44 shots while Auston Matthews and Rasmus Sandin each had a goal and an assist for the Leafs (14-5-5), who are unbeaten in the last nine games (7-0-2). The Red Wings (11-6-4) got goals from Moritz Seider and Adam Erne.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson extended his points streak to 16 games in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Robertson tallied his league-leading 19th goal of the season while Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston each had two points for the 13-6-4 Stars. Brandon Saad replied for the Blues as they fall to 11-11-0. They played without center Robert Thomas, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Leon Draisaitl gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman each had three points for the Oilers as they improve their record to 12-10-0. Matthew Tkachuk remains a thorn in the Oilers’ side with his new team as he tallied a goal and collected an assist for the 10-8-4 Panthers.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got an overtime goal by Steven Stamkos to beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-5. Stamkos scored twice and collected an assist for the Lightning (13-7-1) as he now sits two points shy of 1,000 career points. Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev had three assists for the Bolts. Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist for the 9-12-1 Sabres.

HEADLINES

Stars winger Jason Robertson, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey and New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 27, 2022.

SPORTSNET: The Philadelphia Flyers placed winger Travis Konecny (upper body) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 17.

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark has been cleared to play after suffering an apparent arm injury on Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins also placed defenseman Anton Stralman on waivers as they prepare to make room for blueliner Derek Forbort’s return from injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks have placed goaltender James Reimer on IR with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day. Defenseman Mario Ferraro has a foot injury that could sideline him on a week-to-week basis.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed winger Alex Galchenyuk on a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild sent struggling rookie forward Marco Rossi to their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

TSN: Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer has been added to Team Canada’s staff for the upcoming Spengler Cup next month.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 23, 2022

A look at the early season trade targets in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

ANALYSIS OF THE EARLY-SEASON TRADE TARGETS

DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat top Frank Seravalli’s first list of trade targets for 2022-23. He pointed out there hasn’t been much talk about a contract extension between the pending free agent and Canucks management since prior to training camp. Seravalli suggests “Colorado, Detroit, Boston and Edmonton” among the clubs that could use a top-flight center like Horvat.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford is in no hurry to decide what to do with Horvat. That’s understandable since the trade deadline isn’t until March 3 so there’s no reason for Rutherford to rush into a decision regarding his captain at this point.

Nevertheless, the longer Horvat remains unsigned the more speculation over his future will increase as the trade deadline approaches. We’ll find out in due course if those clubs mentioned by Seravalli actually get into the bidding for the Canucks captain.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews sit second and third on Servalli’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli indicated the Blackhawks are expected to start a conversation with Kane in December to gauge his interest in a trade. He and Toews have complete control over their fates given their no-movement clauses.

Friedman wonders whether the Los Angeles Kings would make a pitch for Kane. He indicates they have the picks and prospects to make this move. Provided Kane is willing to accept a trade to Los Angeles, I question whether the Kings can comfortably afford to pick up the remainder of his $10.5 million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Anaheim Ducks blueliner John Klingberg sit fourth and fifth on this list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman reported the Coyotes are still asking for “two first-rounders (upcoming picks or recently-drafted prospects), plus something else.”

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Coyotes based their high asking price for Chychrun on what the Ducks received from the Boston Bruins last season for Hampus Lindholm. That package included a first-round pick and two second-rounders. He also cited the two first-round picks the Chicago Blackhawks received as part of the return from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Brandon Hagel deal.

As for Klingberg, Seravalli reminds us that the pending UFA’s no-trade clause is lifted on Jan. 1. We can expect to hear his name more frequently in trade rumors between New Year’s Day and March 3.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier, Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Sean Walker and Sharks rearguard Erik Karlsson fill positions six through 10.

Seravalli points out Meier’s expensive qualifying offer ($10 million) will have teams looking at him as a rental player than as a restricted free agent…Duclair is only on the list because the Panthers will have to shed salary when he’s ready to return from his offseason Achilles tear but he might not necessarily be the player who gets traded. He carries a $3 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier could be shopped unless he and the Sharks can agree to a new deal with a more affordable cap hit. Given his RFA status next summer, the Sharks can wait until the offseason to shop him if they don’t get any offers they like before the trade deadline.

As for Duclair, I think the Panthers intend to keep him after he rediscovered his game playing for them last season. They’ll have to shed around $3 million to become cap compliant.

Gavrikov is a pending UFA but I’m not convinced the Blue Jackets will move him unless contract talks go south before the trade deadline…Seravalli pointed out the Kings have a glut of defensemen. They don’t want to move Walker but he could be the odd man out given his injury history.

Karlsson would help any NHL club but, as Seravalli notes, his $11.5 million annual cap hit and full no-movement clause significantly limit the number of potential trade destinations. That could be a trade that happens in the offseason provided Karlsson is willing to waive his NMC and the Sharks retain a big chunk of his cap hit.

Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic, Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, Blackhawks winger Andreas Athanasiou, Coyotes blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere and Sharks goalie James Reimer coming in at spots 11 through 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roslovic’s inconsistency really hurts his trade value…The Capitals could peddle Jensen if they’re out of playoff contention leading up to the trade deadline. The same goes for Athanasiou and Reimer…I would place Gotisbehere higher on this list, perhaps in the bottom half of the top 10. The puck-moving defenseman had 51 points in 82 games last season on the offensively anemic Coyotes and has 10 points in 17 games this season. He should draw plenty of interest near the trade deadline from teams seeking offense from the blueline.

Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Blackhawks center Max Domi, New York Rangers winger Ryan Reaves, Canadiens center Sean Monahan and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen round out the remainder of this list.

If the Canucks continue to spiral they could start unloading expensive contracts like Boeser’s…Reaves has been a healthy scratch in recent games. The Rangers wouldn’t want much in return as they’d prefer the cap flexibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s a scoring threat when healthy but his injury history could make him difficult to move…Domi would draw interest from contenders seeking a versatile depth rental…Reaves’ toughness should make him an affordable and enticing option for contenders seeking postseason grit…Monahan’s having a solid season (11 points in 17 games) with the Canadiens and would make a good depth center on a playoff contender…Kapanen’s trade value is so low right now that the Penguins probably couldn’t give him away at this point.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2022

Recaps of Wednesday’s games, the Leafs place Morgan Rielly on LTIR and the Stars’ Jason Robertson is on pace to match a franchise points record. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres snapped an eight-game losing skid by thumping the Montreal Canadiens 7-2. They jumped out to an early 3-0 lead within the first 2:13 and finished the night with Jeff Skinner scoring twice and adding three assists, Tage Thompson enjoying a four-point performance while Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch each collected three points. Cole Caufield and Sean Monahan replied for the Canadiens (9-9-1) while the Sabres improve to 8-11-0.

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner (NHL Images).

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider tallied two third-period goals to lead his club to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin picked up the win with a 35-save performance to boost his club’s record to 10-6-4. Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists for the 11-9-2 Kings.

HEADLINES

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve after he suffered a knee injury against the New York Islanders on Monday. He’ll be sidelined for at least 10 games and 24 days.

Rielly joins fellow blueliners Jake Muzzin (neck) and T.J. Brodie (strained oblique) on the sidelines. The Leafs have called up Victor Mete and Mac Hollowell.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rielly’s absence is stoking trade speculation that began when Muzzin went down last month. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill update.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Jason Robertson can tie a Stars franchise record for the longest points streak (13) held by Dave Gagner when his club faces off on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Robertson, 23, currently sits third among NHL scorers with 14 goals and 29 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson and Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger are two of the brightest young stars in the league right now. The Stars are currently second overall in the Western Conference in part because of those youngsters but they aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Hopefully, that changes as the season rolls on.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Good news for the Blackhawks as defenseman Seth Jones is returning to the lineup after being sidelined for 10 games with a broken thumb.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers provided an update on sidelined forwards Scott Laughton, Travis Konecny and Wade Allison. Laughton will miss approximately two weeks with a suspected head injury, Konecny is out 10-14 days with an injured right hand while Allison is out for two-to-three weeks with a hip pointer/strained oblique muscle.

Laughton, Konecny and Allison joined Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk, Cam Atkinson and Bobby Brink on the sidelines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no wonder the Flyers have struggled in recent weeks.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks have called up Aaron Dell as starting goaltender James Reimer is out with a lower-body injury. Forward Nico Sturm is also sidelined as he has an upper-body injury.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins forward Trent Frederic is listed as day-to-day with an apparent shoulder injury.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 8, 2022

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: some suggested goalie trade targets for the Leafs, changes could be coming for the Canucks, the latest on the Senators’ efforts to land a defenseman, and what the future could hold for the Bruins’ Mike Reilly.

SUGGESTED GOALIE TRADE TARGETS FOR THE LEAFS

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli examine five potential trade targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs if they decide to bolster their goaltending depth. Injuries to Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov left them with third-stringer Erik Kallgren and AHL call-up, Keith Petruzzelli, to man the nets.

San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (NHL Images).

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo and the San Jose Sharks’ James Reimer topped Seravalli’s list. Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Dan Vladar of the Calgary Flames and Anton Khudobin of the Dallas Stars rounded out his list. He also had the Detroit Red Wings’ Alex Nedeljkovic as an honorable mention

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo has an affordable $1.3 million cap hit but he’s struggled over the past two years since losing the Blue Jackets’ starter role to Elvis Merzlikins. Reimer is a former Leaf who could be welcomed back with open arms by Toronto fans. He’s put up decent stats and has a reasonable $2.25 million cap hit. However, the Sharks could hang onto him until closer to the March trade deadline to maximize his value.

Quick’s name keeps surfacing in the rumor mill in recent years in part because of his lack of no-trade protection. However, the Kings have shown no desire to move him, especially now that they’re a playoff contender again in the Western Conference. Until Cal Petersen finally steps up and seizes the starter’s job, I don’t see Quick going anywhere.

I don’t see the Flames being in any rush to move Vladar. They’ll want a reliable backup in case anything happens to starter Jacob Markstrom. The Stars would love to move Khudobin from their books. He’s playing well with their AHL affiliate but teams could prefer seeing him garner some NHL starts before pursuing him.

Ville Husso has outperformed Nedeljkovic thus far but I don’t believe Wings GM Steve Yzerman is under any pressure to shake up his goalie tandem.

ARE CHANGES COMING FOR THE CANUCKS?

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston cited Jim Rutherford’s appearance Monday on Sportsnet 650 in which he expressed his ongoing unhappiness with the Vancouver Canucks’ performance. Rutherford, the Canucks’ president of hockey operations, called on his players to take more responsibility.

We have to make the players more accountable,” said Rutherford. “We’ll have to take the necessary steps to try to get the players’ attention.”

Rutherford indicated management attempted to make some trades during the offseason. However, they were hampered by cap space or high prices paid by other clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Rutherford’s goal for next summer is moving big contracts to clear salary cap space. “VAN is open for business,” tweeted Seravalli.

So who could become trade candidates for the Canucks by next summer?

They signed J.T. Miller to a seven-year extension with an average annual value of $8 million but he’ll also have a full no-movement clause. Maybe Miller gets shopped before his new contract kicks in as his current deal lacks no-trade protection.

Elias Pettersson is signed through next season with an AAV of $7.35 million and he also lacks no-trade protection. However, he’s also just 23 and supposed to be a foundation player unless Rutherford has soured on him. Defenseman Quinn Hughes is signed through 2026-27 with an annual cap hit of $7.85 million but it would make little sense to move out their best blueliner unless Hughes is pushing for a trade.

Defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larssen ($7.26 million AAV through 2026-27) and Tyler Myers ($6 million annually through 2023-24) could also become trade candidates. Both, however, are past their best-before dates. The Canucks will have to retain some salary or package them with sweeteners in order to move them.

Thatcher Demko is earning $5 million annually through 2025-26. Putting their starting goalie on the trade block, however, would leave a gaping hole between the pipes that could take years to fill.

Winger Conor Garland ($4.95 million AAV through 2025-26) surfaced in media trade gossip earlier this season. He seems a more likely candidate at this point. They could also shop Bo Horvat before the March 3 trade deadline if the pending free agent hasn’t signed a contract extension by then.

LATEST ON THE SENATORS AND BRUINS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion admits he’s having difficulty finding some help for his defense corps in the trade market. He’s spoken to the Arizona Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun but they’ve set a high asking price for the 24-year-old blueliner that Dorion isn’t willing to pay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch reported Dorion will continue to look for a top-four defenseman in the trade market. In the meantime, he’ll continue to look within his organization to plug the holes in his blueline.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa recently reported Mike Reilly has not requested a trade from the Boston Bruins following his recent stint in the minors to make way for returning forward Brad Marchand.

An injury to Derek Forbort has kept Reilly in the Bruins’ lineup for now. However, he could become the odd man out when Charlie McAvoy returns from offseason shoulder surgery in the coming weeks.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 20, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 20, 2022

Why didn’t the Islanders land Kadri? What’s the latest on Isles RFAs Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov? Who will the Golden Knights turn to for goaltending with Robin Lehner out for the season? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE ISLANDERS

NHL NETWORK: Elliotte Friedman believes the New York Islanders were interested in Nazem Kadri. However, he thinks they struggled to free up the necessary cap space to sign him, whereas the Calgary Flames were in a better position to clear cap room. On Thursday, the Flames signed the 31-year-old center to a seven-year, $49-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello isn’t sure what the Islanders’ next move will be. They’ve been in the market this summer to bolster their offense. General manager Lou Lamoriello reportedly had an interest in Johnny Gaudreau before he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. There was also speculation he was working on a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for J.T. Miller but it apparently fell apart during the NHL Draft last month.

The Islanders have over $11 million in salary cap space, but most of that will be going toward re-signing two key restricted free agents. Speaking of whom…

New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson (NHL Images).

Friedman believes Lamoriello has already signed RFA defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov to new contracts. He guesses Romanov will come in around the $3 million range per season. Friedman believes Dobson’s will be “a big number”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dobson is coming off a breakout performance, netting 51 points on a club that was among last season’s lowest-scoring teams. That big number Friedman is referring to could be over $6 million annually.

UPDATE ON THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS GOALTENDING SITUATION

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited a league source claiming the Vegas Golden Knights intend to start the season with their current goaltenders unless something falls into their laps. Starter Robin Lehner is sidelined for the season recovering from hip surgery, leaving Logan Thompson, Laurent Brossoit and Michael Hutchinson to fill the void.

Brossoit is also recovering from hip surgery but is believed ahead of schedule. However, he’s not expected to return to action until several weeks into the coming season.

Peng noted the Sharks have three goalies in Kaapo Kahkonen, James Reimer and Adin Hill for the coming season. Reimer could be the odd man out but the Sharks are rumored to be seeking a second-round pick for him. Peng said it’s uncertain if the Sharks and Golden Knights have discussed Reimer but he thinks the latter could be unwilling to part with a second-rounder.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner considers it unlikely that the Islanders will part with veteran netminder Semyon Varlamov. Nevertheless, he wondered if the Golden Knights would be willing to offer up defenseman Nic Hague and a mid-round pick for Varlamov if their current goalies fail to get the job done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights will likely use next month’s training camp/preseason schedules to evaluate their goaltenders before determining if they need an upgrade. Thompson showed promise down the stretch last season. If he can rise to the occasion, they’ll be content to stick with what they’ve got and see how the season unfolds.

If Thompson struggles, the Golden Knights could hit the trade market to avoid falling out of playoff contention. Maybe they’d be willing to pony up for Varlamov if the Isles are willing to move him and if the Golden Knights aren’t on his 16-team no-trade list. Otherwise, they’ll have to consider other options like Reimer.