NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 12, 2021

The Trade Deadline is at 3 pm ET today. Check out the latest on Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell. Mike Hoffman, Jaden Schwartz, Sam Bennett and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Responding to a reader’s question yesterday, Eric Stephens believes the Anaheim Ducks will set a higher asking price for defenseman Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell because they each have a year remaining on their respective contracts. He feels the Ducks should seek a first-round pick and a top prospect for each player. Stephens doesn’t know if general manager Bob Murray is shopping Manson and Rakell but he’s getting a lot of calls.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With so many of the top rental players off the market perhaps there will be more interest in Manson and Rakell before the deadline.

STLTODAY.COM: Tom Timmermann reports the Blues’ recent surge back into playoff contention muddies the waters regarding their trade plans. Pending free agent winger Mike Hoffman seemed the most likely trade candidate but that may have changed due to an injury to forward Robert Thomas.

St. Louis Blues winger Mike Hoffman (NHL Images).

It would take a significant offer and pessimism on the part of Blues’ management over contract talks to pry winger Jaden Schwartz loose. Like Hoffman, he’s a UFA this summer. So is center Tyler Bozak, who might be enticing to clubs seeking depth at center. Vince Dunn is a restricted free agent and could be appealing as an offensive defenseman.

Timmermann believes the Blues would seek draft picks to restock their prospect pipeline.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers need a left-winger, a second-pairing defenseman and a third-line center. GM Ken Holland, however, doesn’t want to part with a first-round pick or a Grade-A prospect for a rental player. He’s also hampered by limited salary-cap space. Matheson speculates Holland could wait and see if the price drops for pending UFAs such as the Blues’ Mike Hoffman or the Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Laughton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland could pursue a player or two with term on their contracts. That will require some salary-cap creativity as we saw in the Savard and Foligno trades over the weekend in which a third-team used their cap space to broker a deal.

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson believes Sam Bennett is the Flames’ most valuable trade chip approaching the deadline. However, the fact he’s still in Calgary over two months following his agent’s public trade request suggests any offers have been underwhelming.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bennett’s a restricted free agent this summer so Flames GM Brad Treliving doesn’t have to move him at the deadline. He could wait for a better offer during the offseason before the Seattle expansion draft.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell recently mentioned a right-shot defenseman and an extra forward as trade deadline possibilities. He speculated Waddell may have had discussions with the Ducks about Josh Manson or the Los Angeles Kings about Sean Walker. Both are right-shot defenders with term remaining on their contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We know the asking price for Manson could be expensive. The Kings could be reluctant to part with Walker as he’s in the first season of a four-year deal with a $2.65 million annual average value.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports the Penguins could be attempting to acquire physical winger Nicolas Deslauriers from the Anaheim Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was reported yesterday the Penguins had acquired Deslauriers but that was subsequently walked back. Perhaps it was because they were in the process of acquiring Jeff Carter from the Kings. We’ll find out later today if they revisit a Deslauriers deal.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks expects a quiet trade deadline for the Rangers. He believes GM Jeff Gorton would listen if he received offers for Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchnevich or Mika Zibanejad to perhaps lay the groundwork for offseason deals. However, they haven’t gotten any such inquires.

Brooks also believes the Rangers could buy out the final season of banished defenseman Tony DeAngelo’s contract this summer if he’s not traded at the deadline or selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus report a Chicago Blackhawks source said management is resigned to getting less than expected for forwards Mattias Janmark and Carl Soderberg after seeing the Detroit Red Wings receive only a fifth-round pick from the Montreal Canadiens for Jon Merrill.

The Blackhawks’ cap space remains their hottest commodity for cap-strapped clubs seeking a third-party broker to facilitate a trade. They could also listen to offers for pending RFA defenseman Nikita Zadorov but they aren’t actively shopping him.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall lists Scott Laughton, Michael Raffl and Erik Gustafsson as likely Flyers trade candidates because of their UFA eligibility this summer.

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is a fixture in the rumor mill but his $4.5 million annual cap hit over the next two years makes him difficult to move. Hall also doesn’t rule out the possibility of young forward Nolan Patrick as a trade option for a second-round pick.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mark McIntyre reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff won’t mortgage his club’s future for a rental player to bolster his blueline. He does have draft picks to use as trade bait and can add a salary with Bryan Little on long-term injury reserve.

McIntyre believes a rental player is a likely route. He suggested defense targets as New Jersey’s Dmitry Kulikov, Ryan Murray Sami Vatanen, or Ottawa’s rugged Erik Gudbranson. Others include Dallas’ Jamie Oleksiak or Detroit’s Marc Staal.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 11, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 11, 2021

With the trade deadline a day away, here’s the latest on Taylor Hall, Nick Foligno, Mike Hoffman, Jaden Schwartz, Ryan Getzlaf and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

THE LATEST ON TAYLOR HALL

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports the New York Islanders could still be interested in acquiring Taylor Hall. The Isles were close to making a deal for the 29-year-old Buffalo Sabres winger before acquiring Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.

Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

Johnston feels the Islanders could still be interested in getting Hall out of Buffalo but there are other clubs also lurking. Some teams feel if Hall is still on the Sabres as tomorrow’s 3 pm ET deadline draws near perhaps the Sabres’ asking price will come down. He wondered if the Edmonton Oilers could be among the suitors in that circumstance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can’t rule anything out when you’re talking about Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello. His club still has over $3 million in long-term injury reserve space to draw upon. It’ll take some salary-cap creativity but it’s possible, as we saw in yesterday’s three-team deal that sent David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Tampa Bay Lightning through the Detroit Red Wings.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Sportsnet NHL insiders Mike Futa and Kris Versteeg suggesting Hall should be at the top of the Edmonton Oilers’ wish list. They feel the Sabres winger can provide the Oilers with the scoring depth they need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think their biggest need is a skilled checking-line center who can win faceoffs. Regardless, Oilers GM Ken Holland said he’s not parting with assets for rental players, preferring those with term on their contracts. If he maintains that stance, forget about Hall coming to Edmonton at the deadline.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks ponders the possibility of the Pittsburgh Penguins taking a shot at Hall. He wonders if playing for a contender and skating alongside Sidney Crosby might snap the winger out of his scoring funk. Brooks also mused about the Calgary Flames’ Sam Bennett or New Jersey’s Miles Wood being better suited for Pittsburgh.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins are reportedly seeking more toughness up front. That’s not something Hall provides. Bennett would be a good checking-line addition if he goes into his usual beast mode in the postseason.

Brooks mentioned Wood as he suggests this might be the best time to trade him for maximum value if Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald harbors any doubts about re-signing him. Wood has a year remaining on his contract. That, however, might be a move best made in the offseason, when contract discussions can formally begin.

WILD BELIEVED TO BE INTERESTED IN NICK FOLIGNO

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Columbus Blue Jackets would want a first-round pick for forward Nick Foligno. The Minnesota Wild are believed among the interested parties. That move would reunite Nick with brother Marcus in Minnesota.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo also weighed in on Friedman’s report, saying he’s long suspected the Wild intend to pursue Nick Foligno in the offseason if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. However, Russo doubts Wild GM Bill Guerin will part with a first-rounder for the Jackets captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Jackets lower their asking price we’ll have to wait until this summer for a possible Foligno family reunion.

WILL THE BLUES MOVE SCHWARTZ OR HOFFMAN?

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the St. Louis Blues will set a high asking price for pending UFA winger Jaden Schwartz, making it difficult for other clubs to acquire him. He notes the Montreal Canadiens had some interest in winger Mike Hoffman before he signed with St. Louis in the offseason. He wonders if the Habs might consider Hoffman to bolster their sagging offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues won’t move Schwartz, especially when they’re battling for a playoff spot. Hoffman, however, hasn’t been a good fit with them. Despite scoring two goals last night after being a healthy scratch from the last two games, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s traded. I still think the Canadiens need to shore up their left-side defense but their scoring has suffered since Brendan Gallagher fractured his thumb.

UPDATE ON THE JETS, OILERS AND FLAMES

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston believes the Winnipeg Jets intend to acquire a defenseman before tomorrow’s trade deadline. However, he doesn’t see them parting with any of their top prospects.

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck reports the Jets were believed among the clubs with an interest in David Savard before he was shipped to Tampa Bay yesterday.

Other blueline trade targets could include Josh Manson of the Anaheim Ducks, Colin Miller of the Buffalo Sabres, Jamie Oleksiak of the Dallas Stars, Sami Vatanen of the New Jersey Devils, Mike Reilly of the Ottawa Senators, Michael Del Zotto of the Columbus Blue Jackets or Michael Stone of the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Manson’s the best of the bunch but he has a year remaining on his contract and the Ducks reportedly seek a first-round pick and a top prospect. The rest are pending UFAs and wouldn’t cost the Jets a top prospect or a first-rounder.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston believes the Edmonton Oilers intend to be bargain shoppers rather than big-game hunters at the trade deadline. He feels they’re looking for a defenseman and had an interest in Patrik Nemeth before he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. Columbus’ Michael Del Zotto could make sense.

Elliotte Friedman thinks the Calgary Flames will have a quiet trade deadline because they lack notable UFAs. Derek Ryan might draw interest from teams seeking a center while David Rittich could be enticing to teams looking for a backup goalie.

OTHER NEWS AND SPECULATION OF NOTE

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf has been linked to the Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens in recent rumors. However, there’s no indication he intends to waive his no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf could change his mind between now and tomorrow’s deadline but don’t be shocked if he’s still the captain of the Ducks after 3 pm ET on Monday.

Johnston also noted the Chicago Blackhawks held forward Mattias Janmark out of the lineup yesterday. He pointed out Janmark has played well in the past alongside skilled linemates, speculating the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs could be a fit as he’d be an affordable acquisition.

The Florida Panthers are the front-runner for unrestricted free agent forward Nikita Gusev after he cleared unconditional waivers yesterday.

After trading Devan Dubnyk yesterday to the Avalanche the San Jose Sharks might not be done shopping their UFAs. Marcus Sorensen and Kurtis Gabriel could be moved. Patrick Marleau, however, could finish the season as a Shark.

Elliotte Friedman reports the Sabres have made it a priority to re-sign pending UFA goaltender Linus Ullmark.

Contract talks continue between the Philadelphia Flyers and pending UFA center Scott Laughton. The same goes for the Los Angeles Kings and forward Alex Iafallo.

The San Jose Sharks may be getting some calls on rugged right-winger Kurtis Gabriel.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks speculates the Rangers might listen if a club offers up a third-round pick for winger Colin Blackwell. So far, no such interest has been expressed.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 9, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 9, 2021

The latest on Taylor Hall, Jaden Schwartz, and Alex Iafallo, the Panthers could be up to something following a cost-cutting trade, plus updates on the Coyotes, Blackhawks and Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON TAYLOR HALL

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is having discussions with multiple teams regarding Taylor Hall. General managers are talking to the 29-year-old left winger’s agent wondering what a contract extension would look like.

Interest is growing in Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

The New York Islanders had an interest in Hall prior to their recent acquisition of winger Kyle Palmieri. Some wonder if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello might circle back before the trade deadline.

Frank Seravalli reports the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t in the mix for Hall, though they’ll continue to monitor what the price could be for the winger leading up to Monday’s deadline. They had an interest in Palmieri and in Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund but it could be a quiet trade deadline for the Leafs.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun believes it could take a three-team deal or the Sabres taking on a contract or two to make a Hall trade work. That’s because few buyers have sufficient cap space to take on the winger’s contract. A team executive speculates a team could get Hall for a second- or third-round pick plus send the Sabres a contract to make it work if the winger’s still on the market by Monday.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reported Hall is willing to consider signing a contract extension with an acquiring club. The St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins are said to be in the mix.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because Hall is willing to consider an extension doesn’t mean he’ll sign one. He was willing to consider an extension with the Coyotes and then signed a one-year deal with the Sabres. As for the Isles, they only have around $3 million in long-term injury reserve cap dollars available. Lamoriello would have to get creative to pull that off.

PANTHERS PLANNING ANOTHER TRADE?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Florida Panthers could make another deal or two after shedding salary yesterday in a five-time trade that sent veteran winger Brett Connolly to the Chicago Blackhawks. He feels GM Bill Zito is keeping an eye on the future but also wants to reward his club for the way they’re playing.

Zito could set his sights on potentially a top-four defenseman and a top-six winger. It’s believed he “kicked the tires” on Kyle Palmieri before he was shipped to the Islanders. Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard could be a target given Zito’s previous job as the Jacket’s assistant GM.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin also thinks Zito could be active in the trade market before Monday. He could pursue a forward like Hall or a defenseman like Savard or Josh Manson of the Anaheim Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zito’s been busy as he also recently shipping Vinnie Hinostroza to Chicago in another cost-cutting deal with the Blackhawks. I’ll be surprised if the deadline passes and he hasn’t made a significant acquisition.

COULD SCHWARTZ OR IAFALLO BECOME AVAILABLE?

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports St. Louis Blues winger Jaden Schwartz has popped up on his radar over the past day or so. Blues GM Doug Armstrong might be willing to move him but only for a significant return. Schwartz has a 15-team no-trade list. Pending UFAs Mike Hoffman and Tyler Bozak are believed to be available.

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake is starting to take calls on winger Alex Iafallo. Blake and Iafallo’s representatives are still attempting to negotiate a contract extension but this could go down to the wire. Seravalli speculates the 27-year-old winger could be moved if he’s not signed before Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman or Bozak are more likely to be moved by the Blues than Schwartz unless somebody’s willing to overpay for the latter. As for Iafallo, it sounds like things could go either way. His situation will be worth monitoring over the next couple of days.

LATEST ON THE COYOTES

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun speculates this could be a quiet trade deadline for the Arizona Coyotes. They’re carrying nine pending UFAs, including such notables as Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Derick Brassard and Antti Raanta. With the Coyotes in playoff contention, however, it seems unlikely they’ll move them unless someone comes up with a meaningful offer for one of them.

AZ COYOTES INSIDER: In a recent interview with Craig Morgan, Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said the trade rumors regarding winger Conor Garland were the result of another club calling about him. Armstrong said it leaked out but didn’t come from him. He spoke with Garland about the other club’s interest in the winger. He praised Garland as one of his core players, saying he was impressed with his play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ recent surge into the fourth and final playoff spot in the Honda West probably takes them off the trade-deadline sellers’ list. I don’t see Armstrong shopping Garland. The 25-year-old winger is his club’s leading scorer and a restricted free agent this summer so there’s no pressure to move him at the trade deadline.

UPDATES ON THE BLACKHAWKS, DEVILS AND WINGS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman remains willing to leverage his salary cap space if cap-strapped teams need help making a trade. He’s spoken to the Leafs about that several times in recent weeks as they could use a third-party broker to get a trade done. The San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings are willing to do the same.

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan reports the New Jersey Devils might not be done dealing after shipping Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the Islanders on Wednesday. They could also shop pending UFAs Ryan Murray, Dmitry Kulikov, Sami Vatanen and Nikita Gusev.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan thinks there could be a market for lower-salaried, pending UFAs such as Bobby Ryan, Sam Gagner and Jon Merrill while higher-salaried free agents such as Marc Staal, Darren Helm, Patrik Nemeth and Jonathan Bernier could be more difficult to move. Injuries to Ryan, Bernier, Nemeth and Gagner will also be a factor.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2021

The Penguins down the Capitals, the Golden Knights edge the Avalanche, plus the latest injury and COVID protocol list updates in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Bryan Rust scored two goals and collected an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals 6-3. Jake Guentzel also had a three-point performance (one goal, two assists) while Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist.

PIttsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby also set a new milestone, surpassing Hall of Famer Al MacInnis for the most points (1,275) by a Nova Scotia-born NHL player.

Marc-Andre Fleury turned in a 30-save shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. Max Pacioretty tallied the game’s only goal. It was the Avalanche’s first game since their schedule was postponed on Feb. 4 for COVID-19 protocols.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury now has 473 career victories, sitting just 11 behind Ed Belfour for fourth on the all-time list. His 63 shutouts place him one back of Henrik Lundqvist for 16th all-time.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos came off the NHL’s COVID protocol list yesterday after it was determined his first test was a false positive. He remains sidelined with a lower-body injury.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin came off the protocol list yesterday. Krueger, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, joined the Sabres on the ice for a few minutes during yesterday’s practice. He isn’t sure if he’ll be behind the bench for their game today against the New York Islanders. The Sabres haven’t played since Jan. 31 due to COVID protocols.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers still have seven players on the protocol list. Travis Sanheim came off the list yesterday but winger Travis Konecny was added to it. The Flyers’ next scheduled game is Thursday against the New York Rangers, after which they’re slated to fly to Lake Tahoe for an outdoor game against the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

TORONTO STAR: Joe Thornton returns to the Maple Leafs lineup tonight against the Ottawa Senators after missing 10 games with a rib injury.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (lower-body injury) will miss tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Jaden Schwartz is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He joins Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder surgery), Tyler Bozak (upper body, likely concussion), Robert Thomas (broken hand) and Sammy Blais (undisclosed) on the sidelines.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Radim Simek (upper body) on injured reserve.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 25, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – November 25, 2020

Recent Avalanche and Blues speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NHL.COM: Brett Amadon wondered whether the Colorado Avalanche can re-sign pending free agents such as captain Gabriel Landeskog, Brandon Saad, Cale Makar and Philipp Grubauer before next season.

Can the Colorado Avalanche afford to re-sign Brandon Saad? (NHL Images)

Landeskog, Saad and Grubauer are due to become unrestricted free agents next summer. Makar becomes a restricted free agent without arbitration rights. General manager Joe Sakic said he’s started a dialogue with his captain. Amadon notes the Avs have leverage with Makar, but the futures of Saad and Grubauer are less clear.

Regarding Grubauer, Amadon pointed to injuries and inconsistency affecting the 29-year-old goaltender’s performance since his acquisition from the Washington Capitals in 2018. He was also outplayed last season by rookie Pavel Francouz.

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz recently wondered if there’s a way the Avalanche can re-sign Saad or if he is merely a one-year rental player. He considers the 28-year-old winger a reliable two-way top-six forward who’ll net 20 goals and around 50 points each season.

With five other players (Landeskog, Grubauer, Ian Cole, Matt Calvert and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) also due to become UFAs, Gretz notes the Avs’ salary-cap space will disappear quickly. He speculates it could cost between $5 million and $5.5 million annually to keep Saad, especially if they let some other players go. However, Landeskog and the goaltending situation will likely be the Avs’ priority heading into next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Avalanche have $55.1 million invested in 12 players for 2021-22. Landeskog could cost around $7 million annually. Makar could get a bridge deal but he’ll still be in line for a significant raise, perhaps up to $5 million annually if Sakic decides to play hardball. The 35-year-old Bellemare probably won’t be back. Cole and Calvert could be affordable re-signings though the Avs could consider younger, cost-effective options.

There could be room to keep Saad if he proves a good fit. He’s earning $6 million annually on his current deal and could be reluctant to accept less than that approaching UFA eligibility for the first time. His status will become clearer once the regular season ends.

Grubauer’s situation could be interesting. Sakic said he’s happy with his current goalie tandem so I doubt he intends to make any changes there heading into this season. However, if Grubauer’s outplayed by Francouz again, Sakic could anoint him as his full-time starter by the season’s end. He could then seek an experienced backup next summer who’ll fit more easily within the Avalanche’s ’21-’22 budget.

NBC SPORTS: Gretz also believes the St. Louis Blues have some big decisions to make regarding winger Jaden Schwartz and goaltender Jordan Binnington. Both players are eligible for UFA status next summer.

Gretz suggests the Blues know what it could cost to re-sign Schwartz because they have an identical player in center Brayden Schenn, who they signed to an eight-year, $52 million extension. The decision, however, could come down to whether they want to invest that much in another player closing in on his 30th birthday.

Binnington could be a big question mark. He’s had a series of highs (winning the Stanley Cup in 2019), lows (the 2020 playoffs) and a little bit of in-between (the 2019-20 regular season). Nevertheless, Gretz considers him a solid starting NHL goalie.

The Blues have $55 million invested in their payroll for ’21-’22, but that will shrink once RFA defenseman Vince Dunn is signed before the start of this season. If it costs $6.5 million annually to sign Schwartz and if Dunn costs $3 million, they’ll have $16 million left for seven spots. That includes Binnington, who could get a deal comparable to what Matt Murray and Jacob Markstrom received ($6 million to $6.5 million annually) this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suspect the Blues will do all they can to re-sign Schwartz. It could take $6.5 million annually to keep him but the length of the deal could be a sticking point. He could seek seven years while management could prefer four or five.

Unless Binnington’s performance goes downhill this season I doubt they’ll let him walk. Having traded Jake Allen, with no suitable replacements within their system and perhaps a lack of suitable options via next summer’s UFA market, they could have little choice but to sign him for perhaps around $6 million annually.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2020

A look at next year’s unrestricted free agent class in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary recently previewed the NHL’s 2021 unrestricted free agent class.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

The notable forwards include Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, St. Louis Blues winger Jaden Schwartz, Montreal Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar, Boston Bruins center David Krejci, and Avalanche winger Brandon Saad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin’s already signaled his intent to re-sign with the Capitals. Unless Getzlaf feels he’d like one more shot at a Stanley Cup run, I can see him staying with the Ducks on a short-term deal. The Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins are discussing a long-term contract extension. I doubt the Avalanche part ways with Landeskog and I don’t see the Blues letting Schwartz depart after losing Alex Pietrangelo to free agency this year.

Hall could stay with the Sabres if he develops strong chemistry with Jack Eichel and the club significantly improves. Otherwise, he’ll test the market again. Tatar’s inconsistency means the coming season is likely his last in Montreal. The Bruins could let Krejci go unless he accepts a significant pay cut. Saad could be a one-year rental unless the Avs fail to re-sign Landeskog.

Noteworthy defensemen on O’Leary’s list include the Carolina Hurricanes’ Dougie Hamilton, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ David Savard, the Oilers’ Adam Larsson, and the Vegas Golden Knights’ Alec Martinez.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All four could end up hitting the market next summer. Cap constraints could make it difficult for Hamilton, Larsson and Martinez to remain with their current clubs. Savard will turn 31 next October and the Jackets could be reluctant to invest too much in him for too long.

The Bruins’ Tuukka Rask, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Frederik Andersen, the Blues’ Jordan Binnington, and the Avalanche’s Philipp Grubauer are among next year’s best UFA goaltenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the Bruins re-signing Rask to a short-term deal provided he doesn’t opt for retirement at the end of 2020-21. Andersen is likely a goner after next season.

The Blues parted ways with Jake Allen this year by trading him to the Montreal Canadiens. Things will really have to go sideways for them to let Binnington walk next summer. Grubauer’s future in Colorado could depend upon his performance in the coming season, especially during the playoffs.