NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2022

The Sabres defeat the Golden Knights on Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo, the Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau takes over the lead in the scoring race and much more from a busy night of action in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres spoiled Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1. Eichel was held scoreless while Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch (the two players he was traded for) each tallied a goal for the Sabres. It was a milestone game for Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson as he made 30 saves for his 300th career NHL victory. The loss leaves the Golden Knights in third place in the Pacific Division with 68 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel fired a shot at Sabres fans following the game as he received a mixed reaction from the Buffalo crowd. “That’s about the loudest I’ve heard this place, ever,” he said. “It only took seven years and me leaving for them to get into the game.”

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad each collected four assists and Sam Reinhart netted a hat trick as the Florida Panthers dropped the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3. Huberdeau broke his own franchise single-season record by picking up his 64th assist and vaulted over the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid into first place in the scoring race with 82 points. With 85 points, the Panthers move into a tie with the Carolina Hurricanes but the latter holds first overall in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got a 36-save shutout by Antti Raanta to blank the Colorado Avalanche 2-0. Ethan Bear and Sebastian Aho were the goal scorers as the Hurricanes sit two points behind the first-place Avalanche in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog could face supplemental discipline from the league for criticizing the officiating during and following the game after receiving a misconduct penalty in the final minute.

Johnny Gaudreau tallied a hat trick to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rasmus Andersson collected two assists while Jacob Markstrom got the win by stopping 30 shots. The Flames sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 77 points, five up on the second-place Los Angeles Kings. The Lightning (80 points) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau banked two of his goals in off the back of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He’s enjoying a fine performance in a contract year and is a big reason behind the Flames’ improvement this season.

The Leafs, meanwhile, dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the Arizona Coyotes. The Leafs overcame 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to force the extra frame. Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun scored the winner but it was controversial as he got away with a blatant hold on the stick of Leafs center Auston Matthews moments before. Chychrun finished the night with two goals, Matthews tallied his league-leading 44th goal of the season while Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot had three points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek was terrible, getting the hook after giving up four goals on 12 shots, with three of those while he was out of position. Erik Kallgren made 10 saves but gave up the overtime goal. Earlier in the day, the Leafs announced starter Jack Campbell will miss two weeks with a rib injury.

A late goal by David Pastrnak lifted the Boston Bruins over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Pastrnak had two goals on the night while Brandon Hagel tallied twice for Chicago. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane collected an assist to tie Bobby Hull for second place among the franchise’s all-time scoring leaders with 1,153 points. With 75 points, the Bruins hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas scored twice as his club downed the New York Rangers 6-2, chasing Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin after he gave up four goals on 17 shots. Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou each collected two points for the Blues (73 points) as they hold a two-point lead over the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division. The Rangers remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points.

The Wild, meanwhile, got shootout goals by Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Fiala in a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Matt Boldy scored twice for the Wild as did Red Wings rookie Lucas Raymond. The two clubs also engaged in a big brawl at the end of the second period.

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist and Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Juuse Saros made 27 saves for the win as the Predators (70 points) opened a three-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the first Western Conference wild-card berth. With 63 points, the Ducks remain four behind the Stars.

Tomas Hertl’s overtime goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings to snap a three-game losing skid. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson picked up two assists in his return to the lineup after missing 15 games recovering from a forearm tendon surgery. Trevor Moore had three points for the Kings (72 points), who hold a four-point lead over Vegas for second place in the Pacific Division.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor’s 35th goal of the season was also the winner as his club squeaked past the New Jersey Devils 2-1. Eric Comrie made 33 saves as the Jets (62 points) are five points back of the Stars. The Devils honored Travis Zajac in a pregame ceremony for playing 1,000 games with the franchise, a feat he accomplished last February when there were no fans allowed at Prudential Center due to COVID restrictions. Zajac retired at the end of last season.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves to shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0. Anders Lee picked up the hat trick while Ryan Pulock collected three assists.

An overtime goal by Josh Norris gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken. It was Norris’ second goal of the game. Senators goalie Anton Forsberg picked up the win with a 30-save effort.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price continues to train at the club’s training facility and is reportedly aiming at returning to action in April. He’s encountered a couple of setbacks in his recovery from offseason knee surgery that has sidelined him all season thus far.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen is sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.

THE ATHLETIC: The Anaheim Ducks placed forward Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg on injured reserve.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard is sidelined by a lower-body injury and has returned to Denver for further evaluation.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a five-year, $25.5 million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers value Ristolainen’s size and physical play. His new contract isn’t unreasonable in term or dollars as he’s completing a six-year deal worth $5.4 million annually.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Marco Scandella returned to action on Thursday after missing over a month with a lower-body injury. Forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Oskar Sundqvist missed Thursday’s game against the Rangers nursing injuries.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets granted forward Alexandre Texier a leave of absence for personal reasons stemming from the personal losses of people close to him.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed defenseman Markus Niemelainen to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $762K.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 2, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 2, 2022

Check out the latest Blackhawks speculation plus updates on Jake DeBrusk, Claude Giroux, John Klingberg and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BLACKHAWKS UNDER NEW GM DAVIDSON?

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers suggested Kyle Davidson, the Chicago Blackhawks’ new full-time general manager, should attempt to craft a trade package that will help the club gain a first-round pick in this year’s draft. The Hawks traded their first-rounder to the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer in the Seth Jones trade.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Trade candidates could include free agents such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Dominik Kubalik, Calvin de Haan, Ryan Carpenter and Dylan Strome. Of these, only Fleury could fetch a first-rounder but goalies are difficult to trade. In Fleury’s case, the Blackhawks intend to honor the promise made by former GM Stan Bowman giving the netminder total control over whether and where he goes.

Davidson’s intent to rebuild also raises questions over the futures of long-time Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Both have a year remaining on their contracts. Will one or both be re-signed and if so, will they be on long- or short-term deals?

DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin also weighed in on those factors. He thinks Davidson should try to convince Kane, who’s still a star, to stick with the rebuilding club as they try to build around Jones, Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Chris Johnston reports it sounds like Fleury might not be inclined to move by the trade deadline and seems to be leaning toward finishing the season in Chicago. The 37-year-old goalie could change his mind if a Stanley Cup contender comes calling. If he prefers to stay, however, it will rob the Blackhawks of a valuable bargaining chip leading up to the March 21 trade deadline.

There’s been some speculation suggesting the Blackhawks could listen to offers for Alex DeBrincat. However, I’m in agreement with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who said he’d be surprised if the Hawks traded the 24-year-old scoring winger. They need a player like him to build around.

DEBRUSK STILL WANTS TO BE TRADED

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports agent Rick Valette, who represents Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, said his client’s trade demand made back in November still stands. Valette also said he’s spoken with other clubs (with the Bruins’ permission) to let them know they’re willing to negotiate a contract extension if it will facilitate a trade.

DeBrusk, 25, is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. LeBrun said interested clubs are concerned about the $4.4 million qualifying offer it would take to retain his rights after this season. He speculates perhaps an agreement on an extension at a cheaper price might send everyone home happy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk’s performance has improved in recent games after being moved up to the club’s top line in what was considered an attempt by management to showcase him for a trade. That may have improved his trade value but could also make him valuable to the Bruins as they push to secure a playoff berth. They could decide to retain him if they don’t get any suitable offers now and then try to trade him in the offseason.

LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux has yet to tell management he’s ready to waive his no-movement clause. LeBrun believes things could pick up next week. He indicated the Flyers have told teams Giroux could arguably be the most impactful player at this year’s trade deadline. That means it could be expensive to acquire him, perhaps a first-round, a young player, and a prospect or two assets of higher quality.

Darren Dreger reports Rasmus Ristolainen’s fate could be decided as early as this week. There will be contract talks between his agent and Flyers management but he could be shopped if the contract doesn’t make sense for the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers can set that high price for Giroux and they might get it. However, the closer we get to the deadline the more they risk driving interested parties toward other cheaper options. Whatever return the Flyers get isn’t going to make their fans happy. It’ll be a big win if they can get a first-rounder, a quality prospect and a promising young player.

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

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the San Jose Sharks are “taking its run at keeping Tomas Hertl.

Friedman sees Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg landing with the Seattle Kraken either at the trade deadline or as a free agent this summer.

Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari could be an under-the-radar name to watch as the trade deadline approaches.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 1, 2022

The latest on the Ducks’ efforts to re-sign three key free agents plus updates on the Canucks and Flyers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WILL THE DUCKS TRADE OR SIGN LINDHOLM, MANSON & RAKELL?

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Anaheim Ducks new general manager Pat Verbeek intends to sign Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell to new contracts or he will move them before the March 21 trade deadline.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (NHL Images).

At the end of the day, there’s no guarantee I can get those three free agents back,” said Verbeek. “I’m going to attempt to sign them, if it doesn’t happen, I can’t just let them walk out the door free.”

Verbeek has reportedly started contract talks with Lindholm last week. There’s no word of discussions yet with Manson or Rakell.

LeBrun’s colleague Eric Stephens considers Lindholm a player the Ducks would prefer not to move but might have to if they can’t get him signed to an extension. He believes they’re willing to listen on Manson and Rakell. Stephens also suggested Max Comtois might benefit from a change of scenery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Lindholm would draw the most interest in the trade market. Former GM Bob Murray listened to offers on Rakell last season but ultimately retained him. Manson remains week-to-week with an injured finger and might not be back before the trade deadline.

UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS

CHEK TV: Appearing on the “Donnie and Dhali” show on Monday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Vancouver Canucks have thrown almost every player’s name out there except for Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Thatcher Demko to gauge their worth if they became available. However, they’re still in the playoff chase and don’t have to make any decisions by the trade deadline with players like J.T. Miller under contract for next season and Brock Boeser a restricted free agent this summer.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers got a good look at Miller during their 5-2 loss to the Canucks on Sunday with Miller setting up the Canucks’ first two goals. Brooks believes he’d be a great fit on the Rangers but the asking price and the lack of pressure on the Canucks to trade him would make Miller an expensive acquisition for the Blueshirts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks management could be more willing to entertain offers for players such as Miller if they tumble out of contention over the next three weeks leading up to March 21. Nevertheless, they can afford to wait until the offseason if they don’t get any offers to their liking.

COULD THE FLYERS SHOP RISTOLAINEN OR BRASSARD?

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating Rasmus Ristolainen could get moved. The 27-year-old Philadelphia Flyers defenseman has never played in the postseason in his NHL career and Friedman thinks his physical style is best-suited to playoff hockey. Murphy wonders if Ristolainen would be a good fit with the Bruins, citing rumors claiming general manager Don Sweeney was interested in the blueliner before he was traded to the Flyers by the Buffalo Sabres.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Olivia Reiner reports oft-injured Flyers forward Derick Brassard could become a trade chip if he can stay healthy leading up to the trade deadline.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2022

Updates on the Filip Forsberg trade speculation plus the latest on the Canadiens, Kraken, Devils, Leafs and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON FORSBERG

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the position of the Nashville Predators is to sign leading goal scorer Filip Forsberg to a long-term contract extension. The 27-year-old left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Talks between the Predators and the Forsberg camp remain in the preliminary stage, sparking speculation with the March 21 trade deadline less than a month away. Considering teammates Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene are each earning $8 million annually, Dreger believes Forsberg’s cap hit on a new deal would be north of $8 million.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes if Forsberg wants to stay in Nashville he’ll have to accept an annual average value below captain Roman Josi’s $9.059 million. He feels there’s enough time and will on both sides to get a deal done but doesn’t discount general manager David Poile trade Forsberg if a deal isn’t reached by March 21.

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Rexrode reports Poile told him he’s not looking to trade Forsberg and doesn’t personally know Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland, who tweeted out that the Predators were “actively shopping” the winger. Poile said the goal is to re-sign Forsberg and negotiations will continue.

Strickland said he stands by his sources but admits the wording of his text might not have been the best choice, suggesting “due diligence” would be a better phrase.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Rexrode pointed out, Strickland has a good record of credible reporting. I don’t doubt Poile is keeping his options open by gauging the market for Forsberg if a deal cannot be reached on a contract extension by March 21. I also believe both sides sincerely want to get this sorted out in the coming weeks.

We must remember that Poile reportedly tested last season’s trade market on defenseman Mattias Ekholm, prompting considerable speculation the long-time Predators blueliner would be moved by the trade deadline. Instead, Ekholm was retained and eventually signed to a new deal.

The difference between Ekholm and Forsberg is the former still had a year remaining on his contract. There’s more urgency to sort out the latter’s contract situation given his UFA status this summer.

I don’t expect Forsberg to be traded today, this weekend or within the next couple of weeks. However, we can’t dismiss the possibility of a trade in the days leading up to March 21.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS, KRAKEN AND DEVILS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman can see the Philadelphia Flyers getting in on Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry. “It makes a lot of sense for them.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I disagree. While Petry would provide experienced right-side depth, he’s 34 and carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25. They’re already paying sidelined right-side blueliner Ryan Ellis, 31, the same amount through 2026-27.

The Flyers also have over $67 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23. Unless they’re clearing an equivalent salary, Petry is a luxury they cannot afford.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens’ new management intends to be “pretty aggressive” in this summer’s free-agent market, which opens on July 13. They still intend to get younger in some parts of their roster but hope to lure a star or two to Montreal as part of their roster transformation. The Canadiens have had difficulty signing UFA stars, but LeBrun suggests that could change if Martin St. Louis stays on as head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Salary-cap space will be an issue for the Canadiens. Cap Friendly shows them with over $79 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23.

They’ll be able to exceed the cap by the equivalent of all-but-retired Shea Weber’s $7.857 million by placing him on long-term injury reserve again next season. Nevertheless, they’ll have to shed a lot more to free up room to add a free agent star or two this summer. Forgive my skepticism, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

LeBrun also reports Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano looks like he’ll definitely be changing addresses by the trade deadline. The 38-year-old defenseman has already spoken with Kraken GM Ron Francis and both agreed the club should test the trade market for their captain.

Elliotte Friedman, meanwhile, wonders what the future holds for forward Jared McCann. The Kraken forward is the club’s leading scorer and a year away from UFA eligibility. He also suggested the Kraken’s versatile forward Calle Jarnkrok could be a good fit with the Washington Capitals

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis’ priority will be on finding a suitable destination and return for Giordano. Still, I can see him keeping his ears open for any decent offers on McCann and Jarnkrok.

LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils are aggressively shopping for a goaltender for the remainder of the season. It’s uncertain when Devils starter Mackenzie Blackwood will return from a heel injury that’s sidelined him since late January. LeBrun suggests that might interest the Edmonton Oilers, who are exploring goalie options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason why the Oilers would be interested is they could try to peddle Mikko Koskinen or Mike Smith to the Devils to free up room to pursue a more reliable goalie in the trade market. The best options could be Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury or the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, but both carried limited no-trade clauses that could include the Oilers on their no-go lists.

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

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have talked to the Vancouver Canucks about J.T. Miller. However, he thinks they’re not done tinkering with their blueline and could be considering goalie options. They had conversations with the Dallas Stars about defenseman John Klingberg and could revisit those talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs can exceed the salary cap by the equivalent of sidelined blueliner Jake Muzzin’s $5.625 million cap hit after placing him on long-term injury reserve. However, they must become cap compliant if he returns to action before the end of the regular season. Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has a history of salary-cap acrobatics to bolster his roster so it’ll be interesting to see what he does here.

Friedman doesn’t get the sense that anything’s imminent regarding a trade of Flyers captain Claude Giroux. He does expect Giroux’s teammate, Rasmus Ristolainen, could be moved.

The Los Angeles Kings contacted the Canucks in search of scoring. GM Rob Blake would prefer paying less than the second and third-rounder he parted with for Viktor Arvidsson.

Friedman believes the New York Rangers looked at Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson. However, he’s a restricted free agent and Friedman doubts they can afford to re-sign him.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2022

Milestone performances for Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tallied his 500th career NHL goal while teammate Kris Letang scored in overtime in a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Crosby joins Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin as the second active player to reach the 500-goal plateau and the second in Penguins history. Crosby and Letang finished the night with a goal and an assist as the Penguins move into second place in the Eastern Conference with 70 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The next active player in reach of 500 goals is Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos with 462.

Speaking of Ovechkin, he scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators to reach the 30-goal mark for the 16th time in his career, sitting second to Hall-of-Famer Mike Gartner (17 seasons). Capitals coach Peter Laviolette picked up his 700th career win as the Capitals (63 points) opened a five-point lead over the Boston Bruins for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. With 60 points, the Predators dropped to the first Western Conference wild-card berth.

Meanwhile, the Bruins dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Rangers as K’Andre Miller netted the winner in the ninth round of the shootout. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves in regulation and overtime as his club sits third in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points.

The Tampa Bay Lightning scored five straight goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit and down the New Jersey Devils 6-3. Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Pat Maroon and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who take over first place in the Eastern Conference with 70 points due to a game in hand over the Penguins. Devils rookie Dawson Mercer had a goal and two assists.

Joe Pavelski scored twice and set up two others to lead the Dallas Stars over the Colorado Avalanche 4-1, snapping the latter’s 19-game points streak. Teammate Tyler Seguin had a goal and two assists as the Stars (54 points) moved within one point of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Avalanche, meanwhile, remains atop the overall standings with 72 points.

Speaking of that wild-card berth, the Los Angeles Kings dropped into that spot after falling 5-2 to the Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid and Evander Kane each had a goal and an assist while teammate Kailer Yamamoto netted the winning goal by snapping a 2-2 tie. Both teams have 55 points but the Oilers moved into third place in the Pacific Division with a game in hand. The Oilers have won three straight under new head coach Jay Woodcroft.

Tyler Toffoli scored in his first game with the Calgary Flames in a 6-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flames acquired Toffoli on Monday. Elias Lindholm had a goal and an assist as Calgary has won seven straight to take over first place in the Pacific Division with 60 points.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and collected an assist to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Robert Thomas had a goal and two assists while Pavel Buchnevich picked up three assists. The Blues hold third place in the Central Division with 61 points.

The Buffalo Sabres got two goals by Victor Olofsson in a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders. Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs each had two points for the Sabres. Kyle Palmieri scored twice for the Islanders.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

THE SCORE: Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot missed Tuesday’s game against the Blues as he remains sore from a hit by Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson on Sunday.

TSN: The Nashville Predators signed defenseman Mark Borowiecki to a one-year, $900K contract extension.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks will return to full capacity at Rogers Arena on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks as provincial indoor restrictions are eased this week.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 12, 2022

What’s the latest on Jakob Chychrun, Claude Giroux, Marc-Andre Fleury and other top NHL trade candidates? Check out my analysis of TSN’s latest trade bait list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, Montreal Canadiens blueliner Ben Chiarot and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury fill the top-three positions in TSN’s Feb. 11 trade bait list. Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux and Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg round out the top five.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve written at length regarding Chychrun, Fleury and Giroux for The Hockey News over the past week. I don’t dismiss the possibility of Chychrun moving by the March 21 trade deadline but the Coyotes’ high asking price suggests this could be an offseason move.

The Colorado Avalanche reportedly has interest in Fleury and Giroux but their limited cap space means they can’t afford both. In either case, they’ll have to get the losing club to retain salary and could still need a third team to get involved in order to broker the deal by spreading out the remaining cap hit. The Avs could also be forced to part with some promising prospects.

Chiarot’s been at or near the top of most trade bait lists since December. It’s assumed the Canadiens could get a first-round pick for him. There were reports last month indicating the Stars were trying to move Klingberg but there’s been nothing of note since then. Much could depend on where the Stars are in the standings in a month’s time.

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl, Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi, Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller and the Coyotes salary cap space fill spots six through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No certainty Hertl will be traded following a report this week indicating the Sharks are talking contract extension with his agent. It could depend on how much cap space they’ll have following the outcome of Evander Kane’s grievance over his contract termination.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Kraken GM Ron Francis is expected to sit down with Giordano soon to discuss the possibility of a trade. He mentioned the Florida Panthers as a possible destination. The well-traveled Domi recently surfaced in trade rumors but there’s no indication which teams might be interested in him.

Miller’s been a hot topic for trade chatter since November. However, recent trade rumors regarding teammate Conor Garland have led some observers to suggest the Canucks prefer not only retaining Miller but perhaps signing him to a contract extension this summer if they can find sufficient salary-cap flexibility.

The Coyotes carry plenty of cap space to help other clubs looking to offload salary or perhaps broker a three-team deal by the deadline. They’re already retaining salary on two contracts (Darcy Kuemper and Oliver Ekman-Larsson) and can only take on one more as the CBA allows just three retained salaries per season.

Coyotes winger Phil Kessel, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk, Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Leddy and Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp sit at positions 11 through 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel isn’t the scorer of his youth but could still be a worthwhile addition to a team seeking a winger with playoff experience. With 28 points in 44 games, the versatile Copp will draw interest if the Jets got into sell mode in March. Pysyk, de Haan and Leddy could be affordable options for contenders seeking blueline depth.

Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk, Sabres defenseman Colin Miller, Stars goalie Anton Khudobin and Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen are at 16 through 20.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s garnered lots of recent trade rumor buzz but his contract ($6.25 million cap hit through 2024-25, 15 team no-trade clause) and declining production this season makes the 34-year-old difficult to move at a time when a large number of teams have little salary-cap wiggle room.

DeBrusk made a trade request in late November but there’s no indication the Bruins are close to moving him or receiving much interest from other clubs. Miller is midway through an expected six-week absence due to surgery for an undisclosed ailment. The Stars placed Khudobin on waivers in December but couldn’t find any takers. Ristolainen might garner some interest but he’s dogged by a reputation for sloppy defensive play.

New York Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov, Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney, Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal, Kraken forward Calle Jarnkrok and Coyotes center Johan Larsson round out the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kravtsov is playing in the KHL and cannot return to the NHL until their season is over. Tierney and Jarnkrok could be affordable depth forward additions. There’s talk the Wings could bring back Staal on another one-year deal as they value his leadership and experience. Larsson underwent sports hernia surgery and isn’t expected to return to action until early April.