Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 21, 2018

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 21, 2018

Updates on Erik Karlsson, the Sedins, Evander Kane and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports he doesn’t expect the Ottawa Senators to trade defenseman Erik Karlsson. Though Senators general manager Pierre Dorion made an off-hand flippant remark last week over how if Wayne Gretzky could be traded anyone could, Johnston said Dorion isn’t listening to offers on Karlsson.

Nick Kypreos said teams that had conversations with Dorion regarding Karlsson don’t expect him to be moved at the trade deadline. A lot of clubs won’t give up a big portion of their futures without knowing what his contract demands might be. Karlsson’s future, however, could be a hot topic leading up to the NHL Draft weekend in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What some folks overlooked (a little too conveniently, perhaps) was Dorion’s earlier remarks stating quite clearly that his first priority was re-signing Karlsson. Instead, they seized on his “If Gretzky can be traded…” comment and ran with it. Sure, it’s possible somebody could make a huge offer for Karlsson that’s simply irresistible for Dorion, but that’s probably not going to happen leading up to the trade deadline.

The Pittsburgh Penguins could be among the clubs with interest in Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

As Kypreos noted, no one yet knows what Karlsson will be seeking on his next contract. Yes, I know, he’s indicated that he won’t take a hometown discount and will likely want top dollar, but actual term and salary cannot be discussed until July 1 at the earlier, one year prior to his eligibility for unrestricted free agent status.  By the draft weekend, which will be a week before July 1, we’ll have a better idea of whether Karlsson believes his long-term future remains in Ottawa. 

Johnston said one Senator worth keeping any eye on is center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He’s apparently drawn the most interest, including a trade offer which the Sens aren’t prepared at the moment to make. Ellliotte Friedman chimed in with his belief the Pittsburgh Penguins are among the clubs interested in Pageau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pageau’s an effective two-way forward who can play center or wing. Though he’s on pace for only 30 points this season, he’s just two years removed from a career-high 43-point effort in 2015-16. That could make him tempting for the Penguins, who still haven’t suitably replaced Nick Bonino, who departed last summer via free agency. 

Regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs’ recent struggles, Friedman noted this is the first real adversity the club has faced in a year and a half. With seven players due for new contracts next year and a hard-driving coach, there are conflicting agendas. He pointed out Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello, during the height of his powers with the New Jersey Devils, would ship people out if there were conflicting agendas. Some are wondering if he might do the same thing now with the Leafs.

Nick Kypreos reports there’s still uncertainty over Lamoriello with his contract expiration coming up, which might not be addressed until the end of the season. He suggests that could create an “interesting dynamic” at the upcoming trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have hit a rough patch of late, but I don’t think there’s going to be any panicky decisions here. The “conflicting agendas” appear to be that between some of the veteran Leafs and their rising young talent. It’s a long season and these things can be ironed out over time. Still, if the front office feels there’s a need for a bit of a shakeup, perhaps they might pursue a deal by the trade deadline. 

Chris Johnston said the Sedin Twins are interested in returning with the Vancouver Canucks. So far, there’s been no discussions regarding contact extensions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though no longer the Canucks’ dominant stars, the Sedins have settled in nicely as secondary talent, providing the rebuilding club with invaluable depth and experience. The 37-year-old twins are on track for respectable 50-point campaigns. If their asking price is right, I can see them getting one-year deals with Vancouver.


NBC SPORTS: Scott Billeck suggests the Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights as possible suitors for Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane. Of the sixteen teams currently holding playoff berths, the Sharks and Jackets are the lowest scoring. 

The Penguins are up against the cap and would have to shed salary, though it’s no secret defenseman Ian Cole is available. The Kings are struggling of late and could use a shot in the arm. The Golden Knights have cap room and Kane could boost their already-potent offense but they won’t overpay for the privilege. 

Billeck doubts anyone is going to pay GM Jason Botterill’s high asking price for Kane. It’s believed he wants as many as four assets, including an NHL player. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt some of the teams on Billeck’s list are interested in Kane, though I don’t think the Golden Knights will pursue him. Those clubs aren’t going to give up four assets to get him. I think Botterill knows this and will eventually move Kane for the best return he can get at the deadline. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2017

Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson might not return to action until November.

Updates on Erik Karlsson, the Sedins, Jack Eichel, Alex Galchenyuk & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

 OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson could be out of the lineup until November. The blueliner is recovering from offseason surgery to repair tendons in his left foot and is adamant he won’t return until he’s at least close to full health.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s absence will be keenly felt on the Senators blueline and will also affect their offense. How they adjust could also affect their start and their hopes of rebuilding upon last season’s improvement. 

Speaking of the Senators, goaltender Craig Anderson and general manager Pierre Dorion aren’t rushing into contract talks but neither side is concerned. Anderson, 36, is eligible for unrestricted free agency next July. Anderson said he’d like finish his career in Ottawa.

The Senators also signed forward Chris VandeVelde to a professional tryout offer.

SPORTSNET:Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak is focused upon the upcoming season, saying he’s had no contact extension talks. Like Anderson, he’s eligible for UFA status next July.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes it’s not a question of if the Leafs win the Stanley Cup, but when. Buoyed by rising stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, Simmons suggest the Leafs could become Cup contenders as early as 2018-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons excitement is understandable. The Leafs’ impressive improvement last season, led by Matthews, Marner and Nylander, is giving their long-suffering fans hope for the future. Time will tell, however, if they’ll fulfill that promise. 

THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE: The Sedin Twins insist they have no desire to leave the Vancouver Canucks to pursue a Stanley Cup championship elsewhere. They both consider Vancouver their home and intend to retire as Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Sedins want to nip in the bud any suggestion they should accept a trade in the final season of their contract. That might not sit well with some Canucks fans who could call upon the twins to allow the club to move them for a return that hastens their rebuilding process. However, the twins should be commended for their loyalty to the only NHL franchise they’ve ever played for. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill remains hopeful of re-signing center Jack Eichel to a contract extension in the near future. “We’re trying to get a deal done now. I think both parties are very optimistic a deal can be put in place…Jack won’t let this be a distraction.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s entering the final season of his entry-level contract. His new deal could cost up to $10 million per season on a long-term deal. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  The Canadiens intend to start Alex Galchenyuk on the wing when the seasons opens. GM Marc Bergevin said the club will try recently-acquired Jonathan Drouin as a center.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Damon Severson to a six-year, $25 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Severson’s new deal is worth just over $4.1 million per season. In actual salary, he’ll earn $2.5 million this season, $3 million next season, $4.68 million in both 2019-20 and 2020-21 and just over $5 million in 2021-22 and 2022-23.The 23-year-old is the Devils best puck-moving blueliner. Given their limited blueline depth, they had little choice but to ink Severson to a significant raise. 

THE ATHLETIC: The agent for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson said his client won’t attend training camp without a contract. The 23-year-old had 17 goals last season, his first full campaign in the NHL. There’s talk Anderson could skate with a team in Switzerland while awaiting a new deal with the Jackets.

THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo reports restricted free agent forward Marcus Foligno is very close to re-signing with the Minnesota Wild. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Petteri Lindbohm to a one-year, two-way contract.

NBC SPORTS: The Chicago Blackhawks have invited forwards John Mitchell and Drew Miller and defenseman Mark Stuart on professional tryout contracts. 

AZCENTRAL: Former Arizona Coyotes star Shane Doan was named Grand Marshal of the Fiesta Bowl Parade, slated for Dec. 30 in Central Phoenix. 


Sedins Could Face Pressure to Accept a Trade

Sedins Could Face Pressure to Accept a Trade

Entering the final season of their contracts, the Sedins could face calls from Vancouver Canucks fans to waive their no-movement clauses.

Long-time Vancouver Canucks stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin will be unrestricted free agents next summer. After spending their entire 16-season NHL careers in Vancouver, 2017-18 could be their final campaign with the Canucks.

The twins turn 37 on Sept. 26 and their best years are behind them. Daniel’s 44-point effort in 2016-17 was his lowest in a non-lockout year since tallying 31 points in 2002-03. Henrik’s 50 points matched his 2013-14 output under then-coach John Tortorella’ defense-first system and was his lowest since his 42-point campaign in 2003-04.

Approaching the twilight of their professional careers, the Sedins are the Canucks’ greatest players (with all due respect to Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden), though it will take some time for their harshest critics – many of them Canucks fans – to accept that fact. They’re the franchise leaders in most offensive categories.

Given their pending free-agent status and the Canucks’ current rebuilding process, it’s doubtful the Sedins factor into the club’s plans beyond this season. Management could simply part company with the twins next July. However, they could also attempt to trade one or both before the Feb. 26, 2018 trade deadline.

Daniel Sedin recently said he and his brother do not want to be traded. Indeed, they appear keen to retire as Canucks. General manager Jim Benning claims he has no intention of trading the duo unless they ask to be moved.

There’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of either side on that issue. However, if the Sedins have a decent season and the Canucks are out of playoff contention come February, a postseason contender could come calling with a package offer for one or both players that could speed up Vancouver’s rebuilding process.

That might persuade Benning to approach the twins and gauge their willingness to accept a trade to a possible Stanley Cup contender. Even if Benning stands by his pledge not to move the Sedins unless they approach him first, any report claiming he received a tantalizing offer will prompt many Vancouver fans and pundits to call upon the Canucks GM to convince the Sedins to accept a trade. 

There will be those who feel the Sedins should remain loyal to the Canucks and finish their careers with the only NHL team they’ve known. Others, however, will insist they “do the right thing” and “put the team first” by accepting a trade.

It’s the same scenario Hall of Fame center Mats Sundin, the Sedins’ fellow countryman and one-time teammate, faced during his final season with the Toronto Maple Leafs a decade ago.

Like the Sedins, Sundin was nearing both the end of his contract and NHL playing career, the bulk of which he’d spent with the Leafs.

As the Leafs floundered through a disappointing 2007-08 season, there were calls for Sundin to be shipped to a Cup contender for a package of draft picks and young talent. The Detroit Red Wings, then a league powerhouse that went on to win the Stanley Cup that year, were believed to be among the interested parties.

Sundin, however, wasn’t comfortable with being a rental player and refused to waive his no-trade clause. Rather than earn praise for his loyalty from Leafs fans, many were infuriated, accusing their captain and long-time franchise player of selfishness.

The Sedins can expect similar treatment if they follow Sundin’s example, especially if the Canucks are out of contention by the trade deadline. 

If the Sedins insist on finishing the season, and their careers, with the Canucks, they’ve earned that right. No one should fault them for using their no-movement clauses in their contracts to stay in Vancouver.

Linden and Benning didn’t sign the Sedins to those deals but they have obviously decided to honor them. Judging by their recent remarks, they feel the twins are still an important part of the team this season.

Perhaps if the Canucks were the dominant club they were earlier in this decade, there wouldn’t be any suggestion of the club trading their fading franchise players. 

If the Canucks exceed expectations in 2017-18 and contend for a playoff berth, there probably won’t be much pressure from the Vancouver faithful to shop the Sedins. But if the Canucks are out of contention by February, those calls will get louder.

Leafs fans eventually forgave Sundin, who is considered among the greatest players in franchise history. Canucks fans will also do the same for the Sedins if they also refused to waive their no-trade clauses. But in the short term, the potential end of the twins’ long career in Vancouver could become a rocky one. 


NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2017

Could the Ottawa Senators attempt to trade Dion Phaneuf?

Latest on Dion Phaneuf, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin, Derek Stepan,  the Sedins & Nino Niederreiter in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun examines the Ottawa Senators options on defense for the upcoming expansion draft. They could attempt to trade Dion Phaneuf, who reportedly declined to waive his no-movement clause and carries a modified no-trade clause with 12 teams he’d accept being dealt to. They could also trade Marc Methot, who would be easier to move, while Cody Ceci is their least likely trade option. They could also just leave Methot exposed in the draft.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan believes Phaneuf’s decision is forcing the Senators to trade him before the expansion draft. He speculates there has to be a couple of teams on the blueliner’s list of preferred trade destinations close to Stanley Cup contention that could benefit from Phaneuf’s experience.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf’s age (32) and $7 million cap hit through 2020-21 could make him difficult to move. Not impossible, of course, as we saw when the Senators acquired him from the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. But finding a suitable trade partner will be tough to do. I daresay interested clubs will squeeze the Sens to pick up part of his cap hit or toss in a draft pick or prospect. 

LeBrun also reports the Montreal Canadiens are listening to offers for restricted free agent winger Alex Galchenyuk but it doesn’t mean they will move him. Given Galchenyuk’s inconsistent performance this season, LeBrun cautions against moving him when he has a lower value. If they do trade him they must ensure the return is right.



SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire’s response speaks volumes:


My take: The Canadiens need a top-line center. The Lightning need a top-four defenseman. This rumor doesn’t address those needs. Sure, Galchenyuk could be traded this summer. So could Drouin. Maybe they could be dealt for each other, but I don’t see how this move helps either club. 

Regarding the Sedin twins, LeBrun doubts the Vancouver Canucks intend to approach them about a trade.

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is on the trade market. He notes Stepan no-trade clause for the next two seasons kicks in on July 1. He has $26 million remaining on his contract over the next four years. Citing a rumor linking Stepan to Canadiens winger Alex Galchenyk, McKenzie said that talk doesn’t mean the trade will happen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet from the New York media regarding Stepan’s status. I daresay we could learn more soon. Stepan’s name came up earlier this season in the rumor mill linking him to the St. Louis Blues, but that rumored deal had Kevin Shattenkirk going the other way.

The Blues need depth at center. The Rangers need a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot. Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko fit that description but they’re not going anywhere. If Stepan is dealt, it probably won’t be to St. Louis.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has discussed trades with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights but there’s no deal in the works. The Wild risk losing a good player in the upcoming expansion draft. Fletcher wouldn’t confirm if he’s asked winger Jason Pominville to waive his no-movement clause. Winger Nino Niederreiter has been mentioned in trade rumors. Niederreiter’s a restricted free agent but his agent said Wild management will wait until after the expansion draft to open contract discussions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed the Wild could lose a good young defenseman such as Jonas Brodin or Matt Dumba. They could attempt to trade one of them. Then again, perhaps they move a forward such as Niederreiter if they opt to go the eight-player protection route. We’ll find out soon enough what Fletcher has in mind. 


Updates on the Canucks & Flyers – May 8, 2017

Updates on the Canucks & Flyers – May 8, 2017

Don’t expect the Vancouver Canucks to trade the Sedin twins this summer.

Should the Vancouver Canucks shop the Sedin twins? Should the Philadelphia Flyers move Sean Couturier? Read on for the latest. 

THE PROVINCE: Jeff Paterson believes it makes no sense from any angle for the Vancouver Canucks to trade aging stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin. With this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs once again reminding us the postseason is a young man’s game, he doubts there’s any NHL general manager who thinks adding “a pair of soon to be 37-year-olds is what his team is missing to get it over the hump.”

Paterson doesn’t think there’s a GM willing to part with draft picks or prospects to acquire the duo. He also points out the twins hold no-movement clauses and say they want to remain with the Canucks for as long as the team wants them, while management stated they won’t move the duo unless they ask to be dealt. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I think there could be some interest in the Sedins by next year’s trade deadline, especially if they put up decent numbers, I doubt there’s a deal to be had. While they’re still effective forwards, their best seasons are now well behind them. Sure, never say never, but I expect the Sedins will play out the final season of their contracts with the Canucks. 

CSNNE.COM: Tom Dougherty, Jordan Hall, and Greg Paone agree the Philadelphia Flyers shouldn’t trade their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s NHL Draft. While they expect GM Ron Hextall could listen to offers, they don’t believe he’ll move that selection, believing he’ll use it to select Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. 

The trio also discussed the theory that having that second-overall pick could make center Sean Couturier expendable. While this scenario is an intriguing possibility, they feel Couturier isn’t going anywhere. Instead, he’ll likely start the season as the Flyers’ third-line center, where he seemed to thrive after the club acquired Valtteri Filppula at the trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couturier is also signed through 2021-22 at an annual cap hit of $4.33 million. That’s a lot of money to invest in a potential third-line center. Still, he provides invaluable two-way depth for the Flyers. If they select Patrick or Hischier,  either could blossom into a first- or second-line center. They could then keep Couturier on the third line.  


NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2017

The Sedin twins hope to finish their careers with the Vancouver Canucks.

Updates on the Canucks, Red Wings and Devils in your NHL rumor mill. 

SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston recently reported Henrik and Daniel Sedin don’t see themselves playing anywhere except the Vancouver Canucks. The twins turn 37 later this year. They each have one season remaining on their contracts and are coming off their least-productive season since the 2004 lockout.

Henrik suggested they might return for another year after next season if the Canucks still sees a future for them. Otherwise, he said he doesn’t think he and his brother are prepared to go anywhere else. Both have full no-movement clauses and the notion that they’ll waive them appears slim. “If we’re healthy and if management wants us to be a part of the future, we can see ourselves playing more years but for us, it’s Vancouver or nothing. We’re not going to go anywhere else to play,” said Daniel. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a trade rumor but I felt it worth noting here. The possibility of the Canucks asking the Sedins to waive their NMCs this summer surfaced a couple of times this season in the rumor mill, but it sounds as though the twins intend to finish their careers in Vancouver. If they don’t improve in 2017-18, it could be the final season of their careers. Both rejected the notion of finishing their careers in Sweden. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman recently reported the most important topic for Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is figuring out what happened this season to forwards Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist, defenseman Danny DeKeyser and goaltender Petr Mrazek. Holland believes those players are better than the way they performed this season and must figure out why they underachieved. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those four are supposedly part of the rebuilding Red Wings’ young core. Their lousy play was a big reason why the Wings missed the playoffs this season. One of them, perhaps Nyquist, could become a trade candidate this summer as Holland seeks to shore up his blueline. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross recently reported center Jacob Josefson faces an uncertain future with the New Jersey Devils. Injuries sidelined him for 28 games this season. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights completing a one-year, $1.1 million contract. He remains hopeful the Devils re-sign him.