Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 24, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 24, 2019

Check out the latest on the Rangers, Leafs, and Oilers in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE RANGERS?

ESPN.COM: With the New York Rangers officially eliminated from playoff contention, Emily Kaplan and Chris Peters looked at the club’s potential offseason plans. While they have plenty of salary-cap space to pursue a big-name unrestricted free agent like Columbus’ Artemi Panarin, Kaplan and Peters believe they must be disciplined in their spending. Going the quick-fix route could cause more harm than good. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Rangers have over $61.9 million invested in 17 players for 2019-20, with Pavel Buchnevich, Neal Pionk, Brendan Lemieux, and Anthony Deangelo as their notable free agents. All will be affordable re-signings, leaving enough room to pursue a quality player via free agency. However, that player must be a good fit within their rebuilding roster. The last thing they need is an aging star coming there solely for the money and the experience of living in New York.

They’ve been linked to Panarin, Erik Karlsson, Jeff Skinner, and Matt Duchene. It’s believed Panarin could be their primary focus, but he could cost over $10 million annually. While he puts up good numbers, I don’t think he’s got the leadership qualities the rebuilding Rangers need. Karlsson might be a better fit in that regard, but his recent injury history could be cause for concern plus he might not be keen to join a team in transition. 

Can the Toronto Maple Leafs find a way to move Patrick Marleau this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

MARLEAU’S CONTRACT COULD HURT THE LEAFS

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes Patrick Marleau’s contract will be a problem for the Maple Leafs this summer. While the 39-year-old winger is beloved by his teammates and his declining play hasn’t hurt the Leafs’ overall performance this season, his $6.25-million salary-cap hit will make it difficult for management to find enough cap room to re-sign younger, better players.

Marleau’s on a “35-plus” contract, meaning he was over 35-year-old when he signed the deal, thus his cap hit still counts against the Leafs cap payroll if he retires or is bought out. He also holds a full no-movement clause. If he’s unwilling to waive it, the Leafs could be forced to move another player to free up cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have over $74.2 million tied up in 17 players. They’ll get $5.3 million in cap relief by placing all-but-retired Nathan Horton on long-term injury reserve, but that will quickly evaporate when Mitch Marner signs his new contract. Even if it’s under $10 million per season (and I doubt it will be), it’ll push the Leafs’ payroll to around $78 million, with RFAs like Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson to be re-signed and UFAs like Jake Gardiner and Ron Hainsey to re-sign or replace. Assuming the cap reaches the projected $83 million, that won’t leave enough for the Leafs to address those needs.

Someone under contract for next season will be moved. That could mean a good player like Nazem Kadri, or GM Kyle Dubas going back on his word and trading Wiliam Nylander or finding a sucker, er, I mean, a taker for Nikita Zaitsev’s contract.

Some have suggested Marleau might accept a trade back to the San Jose Sharks, who have over $57.5 million committed to 14 players. Assuming they don’t re-sign Erik Karlsson, they’ll have plenty of room to re-sign UFAs like Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, as well as perhaps Gustav Nyquist and Joonas Donskoi, plus pay the hefty raises for RFAs Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier. Beyond that, they probably won’t have enough room for Marleau even if they wanted to bring him back.  And if they do re-sign Karlsson, they certainly won’t have enough room for Marleau. 

CAN THE OILERS SHED SOME BIG CONTRACTS? 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Allan Mitchell recently examined some ways the Edmonton Oilers could trim their salary-cap fat and put the savings toward adding speed, skill, and goaltending depth. Noting how noxious a buyout of Milan Lucic’s contract would be, he suggests packaging a prospect plus picking up part of Lucic’s salary in exchange for a depth draft pick.

Mitchell suggests buying out the final two years of Andrej Sekera’s contract, saving $3 million in each of the next two seasons. He also advocates trading defenseman Kris Russell ($4 million annually through 2020-21). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those three, the contracts of Sekera and Russell will be easier to shed than Lucic’s. Even by picking up half of his $6-million annual cap hit, his performance has deteriorated so much that I don’t see any takers for the remaining four years of his deal.

While trading Sekera would be a better option, buying him out makes sense. Trading Russell might require retaining some of his salary, but there could be some interest in him as a third-pairing shot-blocking rearguard. 










NHL Rumor Mill – March 20, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – March 20, 2019

Check out the latest Oilers, Kings, and Coyotes speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

WHAT SHOULD THE OILERS DO THIS SUMMER?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples disagrees with Sportnet’s Brian Burke over how the Oilers should rebuild their roster. Burke recently suggested the Oilers should bundle young winger Jesse Puljujarvi with either Andrej Sekera or Kris Russell to free up some salary-cap space to pursue a No.2 defenseman. He also advocated finding a scoring winger and a character bottom-six forward.

Should the Edmonton Oilers package Jesse Puljujarvi with another player to free up salary-cap space? (Photo via NHL Images)

Staples, however, doesn’t believe the Oilers should try to build via free agency, pointing out they have a rather spotty history of free-agent signings. He also doesn’t see Edmonton as a prime destination for this summer’s top free-agent talent.

Staples doesn’t reject the notion of moving players (except for Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl) if the return improves the Oilers. Still, he recommends the club should build “by properly identifying young talent, drafting it and grooming it”, pointing out they’ve already made improvement in that area. He also encourages being patient with Puljujarvi, citing his age (20), upside and current limited trade value. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Staples’ take. There’s no easy way for the next Oilers general manager to dig his club out of the hole dug by previous management. Building with youth and exploring a savvy trade or two seems the best route at this point.

With over $71 million invested in 16 players, they should still try to shed some salary, preferably those of underachievers. Easier said than done, of course, but they should at least look into it. 

If they can find a way to shed Lucic’s $6-million cap hit, even if it means absorbing part of it or packaging him with a draft pick or a prospect, it should be done. They could go the buyout route but, as Cap Friendly indicates, they won’t get much in the way of cap savings in the first four years, though it’ll drop significantly to $625K per season over the final four years. 

SHOULD THE KINGS MOVE QUICK AND KOVALCHUK?

ESPN.COM: Finding a new head coach, trading goaltender Jonathan Quick, and determining Ilya Kovalchuk’s future are among Greg Wyshynski’s offseason keys for the Los Angeles Kings.

He doesn’t expect interim bench boss Willie Desjardins will return as their full-time coach. Trading Quick won’t be easy because of his age, injury history and $5.8-million cap hit, but he lacks no-trade protection and the Kings could use the younger assets he might fetch in a trade. He wonders if Kovalchuk is willing to stay or if the Kings believe he might improve under a new head coach. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick could be the best trade chip the Kings have this summer, or at least, the best one they’re willing to part with. I think a younger player like Tyler Toffoli would attract more interest but the Kings want to keep him as part of their rebuild. The Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, and Colorado Avalanche could be among the clubs with interest in Quick this summer.

As for Kovalchuk, he turns 36 next month and his best seasons are well behind him. If a team show interest and he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause they should trade him, even if it means picking up part of his $6.25-million cap hit.

COYOTES NOT PURSUING YAKUPOV

TSN: A report out of Russia yesterday claimed the Arizona Coyotes were one of three Western Conference clubs with interest in former NHL winger Nail Yakupov, who’s playing for KHL club St. Petersburg. However, The Athletic’s Craig Morgan cited a league source calling that rumor “completely inaccurate.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, who are the other two Western clubs supposedly interested in Yakupov? Who do you think they might be? Feel free to make your best guess in the comments section below. 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2019

The 2019 NHL trade deadline is 3 pm ET today. Check out the latest on Mark Stone, Wayne Simmonds, Artemi Panarin, Jason Zucker, Jimmy Howard, and many more in the NHL rumor mill. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No comments from me today as I’m busy writing other pieces on today’s deadline activity for Featurd and My NHL Trade Rumors. I’ll have a brief analysis of today’s noteworthy trades in the Soapbox following the deadline.

The trade tracker is also up and will be frequently updated as the deals go down. 

MARK STONE

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the waiting game between the Senators and right wing Mark Stone could go down to today’s 3 pm ET trade deadline. Barring a last-minute contract agreement, Stone is expected to be traded today. As many as eight contenders, including the Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, and Nashville Predators, are said to have varying degrees of interest. Senators winger Mikkel Boedker and defenseman Cody Ceci are also rumored to be available. 

THE ATHLETIC: (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun lists the Jets, Bruins, Flames, Predators among the Stone suitors, along (to a lesser degree) with the Golden Knights and New York Islanders. A source told LeBrun the Senators haven’t given any club permission to speak directly with Stone’s representatives. 

Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds could be on the move today (Photo via NHL Images)

WAYNE SIMMONDS

NBC SPORTS: John Boruk reports every indication suggests the Philadelphia Flyers will trading pending free agent winger Wayne Simmonds today. He’s been linked to the Predators, Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Boruk also doesn’t rule out the Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and Colorado Avalanche looking into Simmonds’ availability. Other Flyers who’ve also surfaced in trade rumors include defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and winger Michael Raffl. 

TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher engaged in trade talks regarding Simmonds yesterday. He was waiting until the last minute to give his club time to claw their way back into the playoff race. Pierre LeBrun reports the Predators, Jets, and Lightning are among the possibilities. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: speculates the Bruins could also be among the clubs looking at Simmonds. 

ARTEMI PANARIN

NHL.COM: Tom Gulitti reports Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen confirmed he’s received plenty of interest in pending UFA left wing Artemi Panarin but is downplaying the notion of trading him. Kekalainen insists Panarin remains a key part of their team.  “And as I’ve said, it would take a lot not only in the long term but in the short term as well to make that kind of trade. We’re not trading Artemi Panarin for draft picks.”

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH’s Michael Arace reports he believes the Blue Jackets are still shopping for a defenseman. He thinks a Panarin trade is “more likely than not”. He also thinks the Jackets could be interested in Florida Panthers center Derick Brassard. 

GRANLUND AND ZUCKER

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild might not be done dealing. Having already traded Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle, Russo thinks it’s possible Mikael Granlund or Jason Zucker could be moved. League sources claim Wild GM Paul Fenton has shopped both players heavily to gauge their market value. The Nashville Predators, Fenton’s old team), is said to be very interested in Granlund. Russo wonders if a swap involving Predators winger Kevin Fiala as part of the return might be possible. 

ILYA KOVALCHUK

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Curtis Zupke reports Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk hasn’t definitively answered if he’ll waive his no-movement clause. He said he told Kings GM Rob Blake to do whatever was best for the team. He said he and his family love living in Los Angeles. Blake, meanwhile, isn’t commenting until after today’s deadline has passed. 

JIMMY HOWARD

MLIVE.COM: Unless the Detroit Red Wings are willing to accept a second-round pick for goaltender Jimmy Howard, Ansar Khan doesn’t expect he’ll be moved today. The Wings asking price is said to be a first-rounder, which seems unlikely given the weak goalie market. 

MICHEAL FERLAND

NEWSOBSERVER.COM:  Chip Alexander reports the Carolina Hurricanes must decide if they’ll trade or retain pending UFA winger Micheal Ferland. He insists he wants to stay but is open for anything today. The Hurricanes remain non-committal and team owner Tom Dundon said all options remain on the table. 

OILERS

EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson believes the Oilers are likely to retain winger Alex Chiasson and attempt to re-sign him. GM Keith Gretzky is said to have “no stomach for taking a draft pick or another team’s B or C prospect for his top-six winger.” The Oilers would be willing to eat part of the salary-cap hit for winger Tobias Rieder or defenseman Alex Petrovic for draft picks. There’s also been some interest in winger Zack Kassian. 

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports it doesn’t sound like the Oilers have had any discussions with defenseman Kris Russell about waiving his no-movement clause. 

LEAFS

TORONTO SUN: Barring an eleventh-hour deal, Terry Koshan believes the Maple Leafs roster is likely set. They’ve been linked to Wayne Simmonds, Micheal Ferland, Chris Kreider, and Adam McQuaid, but GM Kyle Dubas has little appetite to move a roster player. If he does make a move, it could be for a lesser light such as Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening. 

CANADIENS

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Jean-Francois Chaumont reports Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has no intention of sacrificing his top prospects or his first-round pick for a rental player. 

BLUES

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Jeremy Rutherford reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong finds the cost of the returns for the remaining rental players on the trade market to be too expensive. He also cited a source claiming the Blues aren’t among the suitors for New Jersey Devils winger Marcus Johansson. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2019

Game recaps, waiver updates, latest NHL CBA speculation, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot kicked out 39 shots and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected two assists in a 4-0 blanking of the Anaheim Ducks, handing the latter their eighth straight defeat.

Oilers captain Connor McDavid avoided serious injury after being hit from behind by Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm and crashing into the boards in full view of the referee, who made no call on the play. McDavid was able to continue the game.  The Oilers also welcomed back defenseman Kris Russell, returning from a groin injury that sidelined him since Dec. 11. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm isn’t a dirty player and I doubt he intended to drill McDavid into the boards like that, but why the hit didn’t get whistled for at least a minor penalty is beyond me. And no, I’m not saying that because it’s McDavid. The NHL is supposed to be cracking down on dangerous hits like that. 

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane had three assists in a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images).

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane collected three assists to lead his club to a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping the latter’s eight-game win streak. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t look now but the Blackhawks are showing signs of life, winning six of their last 10 games. With 39 points, they’re six points out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference. 

The Ottawa Senators suffered their eighth straight loss, falling 5-4 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Justin Williams broke a 4-4 tie in the third period while teammates Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, and Justin Faulk each had two-point performances. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators in his first game since injuring his Achilles tendon in training camp. 

Max Pacioretty tallied the game-winning goal as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the New Jersey Devils 3-2 to pick up their sixth straight win. Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban made 36 saves. Speaking of the Golden Knights, they’re being well-represented by their fans in road games, in part because of high ticket prices at their home games. 

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper had a 23-save shutout effort in a 5-0 victory over the New York Rangers. Teammate Conor Garland scored twice. The Rangers played without center Kevin Hayes, who’s day-to-day suffering the nagging effects of an undisclosed injury suffered in practice on Dec. 14. 

The Winnipeg Jets scored five unanswered goals to down the Dallas Stars 5-1. Bryan Little and Josh Morrissey each had a goal and an assist for the Jets. 

Third-period goals by Travis Boyd and Michal Kempny lifted the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. 

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reported on Saturday the NHL and NHLPA could discuss the collective bargaining agreement when they meet this week in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. He said the PA is likely to make an offer to the league within the next couple of weeks to extend the current agreement. Getting some relief from escrow claw-backs from their salaries is a priority for the players. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This month could prove crucial in determining if the league or the PA opt out of the current agreement in September. That would bring the current CBA to an end in September 2020, which is also when the league apparently intends to stage the next World Cup of Hockey.

The NHL reportedly needs to know by the end of this month if the PA is willing to agree to participate in the tournament. If they do, it could signal that a new CBA could be implemented before then or that both sides won’t take the early exit from the current deal. 

Los Angeles Kings forward Nikita Scherbak, Florida Panthers defenseman Chris Wideman, and St. Louis Blues defenseman Jordan Schmaltz were placed on waivers yesterday. 

The San Jose Sharks re-signed forward Lukas Radil to a one-year contract. Cap Friendly indicates it’s a one-way deal worth $700K.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2017

The New Jersey Devils select Nico Hischier as the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Results of opening round of the 2017 draft, latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils selected Halifax Mooseheads center Nico Hischier with first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick was taken second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, while the Dallas Stars selected HIFK defenseman Miro Heiskanen third overall.

With the 29th overall selection, host team Chicago Blackhawks picked Portland Winterhawks blueliner Henri Jokiharju.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the full list and analysis of all the opening-round picks at the link above. Unlike recent drafts, there were no obvious can’t-miss NHL superstars such as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews in this round. However, some of these kids could go on to NHL stardom in their own right. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC:  The Washington Capitals re-signed right wing T.J. Oshie to an eight-year, $46-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised that the Capitals retained Oshie. Since coming to Washington in a trade from St. Louis in 2015, he quickly become an invaluable part of their roster core. His new annual cap hit of $5.75 million is a reasonable rate, as he likely could’ve received more on the open market. However, handing a winger who turns 31 in December an eight-year deal is a gamble. His game will inevitably decline over that period. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed left wing Patrick Eaves to a three-year, $9.45-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a $3.15 million annual average salary for the 33-year-old Eaves, up from $1 million last season. He’s coming off a career-best 32-goal, 51-point campaign split between the Ducks and the Dallas Stars, with 11 of those goals and 14 of those points coming in Anaheim.

Eaves proved to be a good addition after joining the Ducks before last season’s trade deadline. At this stage in his career it remains to be seen if he’ll come close to those numbers again. Still, it’s a justifiable term and salary for the Ducks. 

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers yesterday re-signed defenseman Kris Russell to a four-year, $16-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Analytics followers will hate Russell’s deal. Those who believe in human intangibles feel he’s worth retaining, though perhaps not for four years. What’s notable about the 30-year-old blueliner is he’s among the NHL’s best shot blockers. Oilers management obviously liked what he brought to their defense core. I’m sure his value to the Oilers will be debated by their fans for the next four years. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings yesterday officially bought out the final season of defenseman Matt Greene’s contract. He was slated to earn $2.5 million. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan believes the Coyotes are unlikely to re-sign restricted free agent center Alex Burmistrov. 

 











NHL Draft Day Rumor Mill – June 23, 2017

NHL Draft Day Rumor Mill – June 23, 2017

Will the New York Islanders move Travis Hamonic this weekend?

Latest on Travis Hamonic, Jason Pominville, Sami Vatanen, Alex Radulov & more in your NHL Draft Day rumor mill. 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan appear to be the most attractive trade targets for other teams. He said there was “strong chatter” on Thursday that Hamonic could be on the move ” possibly for a young forward and a draft pick.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie yesterday reported of speculation the Isles could seek two first-round picks for Hamonic. They’ve obviously set a high price for him, but I doubt they’ll get two first-rounders. If they’re serious about moving Hamonic they could end up accepting a young player or first-round pick. We’ll find out soon enough.

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports Flames GM Brad Treliving is working the phones in search of a defenseman. One option is Islanders blueliner Travis Hamonic. Another could be Vegas Golden Knights rearguard Marc Methot. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher continues to ponder the possibility of moving one of his defensemen during the upcoming NHL draft. There’s been strong interest in Jonas Brodin all month. Marco Scandella has also attracted interest, especially from his hometown Montreal Canadiens, but by Thursday talks seemed to cool. It’s believed Fletcher has had lots of discussions with the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning. Fletcher is open to receiving “an immediate player” in return but he could also accept draft picks and prospects, allowing him salary-cap flexibility to re-sign key players.

 It’s also believed Fletcher tried to move right wing Jason Pominville and his $5.6 million annual cap hit. He has a 10-team no-trade list which rises to 20 teams by July 1. It’s thought Fletcher recently spoke to the Boston Bruins regarding Pominville. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds as though Fletcher might prefer moving Scandella over Brodin. No indication if he’s had any discussions regarding Matt Dumba. Of the three, Scandella could be most likely to go.

As for the 34-year-old Pominville, his production has declined over the past couple of years. Unless Fletcher is willing to pick up a good chunk of the winger’s cap hit or take back a toxic contract, I don’t think he’ll find many takers. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington suggests Wild blueliners Jonas Brodin or Marco Scandella could be good fits on the Sabres blueline. He wonders if offering up Evander Kane would land one of those d-men, though he probably wouldn’t be a good fit under their salary cap. Harrington cautions that trading Kane would leave the Sabres searching for a scoring forward. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Curtis Zupke reports there is still believed to be heavy interest in Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen in the trade market. There’s also speculation Ducks GM Bob Murray could try to move veteran Kevin Bieksa despite his no-move clause. 

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have been linked to Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller and are also among the clubs that pursued Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, However, the Ducks gave up defenseman Shea Theodore to Vegas to protect Vatanen and Josh Manson in the expansion draft and could either keep both or set a high price for them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t fully rule out a Vatanen trade, especially if the Ducks get an offer of a good scoring winger. However, the departure of Clayton Stone and Shea Theodore via the expansion draft could make Murray reluctant to move Vatanen now. 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports hearing Montreal Canadiens right wing Alexander Radulov seeks a six-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $7 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that’s what Radulov truly wants, he can forget about re-signing with the Canadiens. And good luck finding any takers elsewhere in the NHL for that price.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is in the market for a top-nine winger and a defenseman, Yzerman isn’t fussy if the winger is a right- or left-handed shot. He also said he’s had some talks with teams regarding a blueliner. Smith observes the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild are getting offers for blueliners. If the Colorado Avalanche trade Matt Duchene for a defenseman, Tyson Barrie could be available. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall could be in the market for a goaltender. His tandem for next season consists of Michal Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz. “Hextall may make a deal at the draft or he might pursue the goalie free-agent market July 1. Among the prospective free-agent goalies besides Steve Mason: Jonathan Bernier, Brian Elliott, Anders Nilsson, Keith Kinkaid, and Ryan Miller.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not many suitable options available for Hextall via the trade market or free agency. I expect he’ll do something via one option or another but finding a quality starter in his playing prime seems unlikely. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly close to re-signing defenseman Kris Russell to a four-year deal worth around $4 million annually. The deal could be in place by today.