Notable NHL Moves For July 1, 2023

Notable NHL Moves For July 1, 2023

Check in regularly for today’s notable player moves during the opening day of the NHL’s annual free-agent market.

New York Islander sign goaltender Semyon Varlamov to a four-year, $11 million contract. 

Detroit Red Wings sign center J.T. Compher to a five-year, $25.5 million contract.

New York Islanders sign Scott Mayfield to a seven-year, $24.5 million contract. 

Seattle Kraken signed Brian Dumoulin to a two-year, $6.3 million contract.

Colorado Avalanche signs Jonathan Drouin to a one-year, $825K contract.

Pittsburgh Penguins sign Lars Eller to a two-year, $4.9 million contract.

New York Islanders sign Pierre Engvall to a seven-year, $21 million contract. 

Colorado Avalanche sign winger Miles Wood to a six-year, $15 million contract. 

Pittsburgh Penguins sign defenseman Ryan Graves to a six-year, $27 million contract. 

Pittsburgh Penguins bring back goaltender Tristan Jarry on a five-year, $28.875 million contract.

Anaheim Ducks sign Alex Killorn to a four-year, $25 million contract. 

Arizona Coyotes sign Jason Zucker to a one-year, $5.3 million contract. 

Detroit Red Wings sign Daniel Sprong to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Dallas Stars sign Matt Duchene to a one-year, $3 million contract

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Conor Sheary to a three-year $6 million contract. 

Boston Bruins sign defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

Nashville Predators sign forward Gustav Nyquist to a two-year, $6.37 million contract. 

Detroit Red Wings sign defenseman Justin Holl to a three-year, $10.20 million contract. 

Washington Capitals sign Max Pacioretty to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Vancouver Canucks sign Carson Soucy to a three-year, $9.75 million contract. 

Nashville Predators sign Ryan O’Reilly to a four-year, $18 million contract. 

Carolina Hurricanes sign defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a two-year. $7.75 million contract. 

Carolina Hurricanes bring back goaltender Frederik Andersen on a two-year, $6.8 million contract. 

Ottawa Senators sign goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to a five-year, $20 million contract.

Buffalo Sabres sign defenseman Erik Johnson to a one-year, $3.25 million contract. 

Edmonton Oilers sign winger Connor Brown to a one-year, $4 million contract. 

Anaheim Ducks sign defenseman Radko Gudas to a three-year, $12 million contract. 

San Jose Sharks sign goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to a two-year $4.7 million contract. 

New York Rangers sign right wing Blake Wheeler to a one-year, $800K salary plus $300K max bonuses.

Boston Bruins sign left wing James van Riemsdyk to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

Boston Bruins sign winger Milan Lucic to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

Los Angeles Kings sign Cam Talbot to a one-year, $1 million contract.

Montreal Canadiens traded defenseman Joel Edmundson to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick and a seventh-rounder in the 2024 NHL draft.  The Canadiens are retaining 50 percent of his cap hit.

Nashville Predator sign Luke Schenn to a three-year contract with an AAV of $2.75 million

Florida Panthers sign defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a one-year, $2.25 million contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign forward Ryan Reaves to a three-year contract with an AAV of $1.3 million.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2023

Is Erik Karlsson playing his final games with the San Jose Sharks? What’s the latest on the Capitals? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

IS THIS ERIK KARLSSON’S FINAL SEASON WITH THE SHARKS?

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka wonders if Erik Karlsson’s home game on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers will be his last with the San Jose Sharks. Eliminated from postseason contention, the Sharks wrap up their season with a three-game road trip ending in Edmonton on Thursday.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Karlsson, 33, has said multiple times that he wants to play for a contender. However, the Sharks have missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season and are years away from Stanley Cup contention.

Once this season is over, Karlsson said he’ll meet with management to evaluate where they go from here. Sharks general manager Mike Grier said last fall that he was willing to listen to offers for the two-time Norris Trophy winner. There was speculation prior to the March 3 trade deadline of discussions between the Sharks and the Oilers but Grier said nothing came to fruition.

Karlsson carries an $11.5 million salary cap hit through 2026-27 and also has a full no-movement clause. Nevertheless, the list of possible suitors could grow this summer, especially if the salary cap rises by more than the projected $1 million for next season. Even so, Pashelka believes the Sharks would still have to retain part of Karlsson’s salary to facilitate a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s age, cap hit and the remaining years on his contract are significant obstacles in the path toward a trade. Nevertheless, he’s enjoying a career-best performance that could see him become the first defensemen in 31 years to reach 100 points in a season. He’s also the favorite to win the Norris Trophy for the third time in his career.

Karlsson will remain a hot topic for trade conjecture once the playoffs end in June. The most likely window for a move is the last half of June when teams have more salary-cap space and willingness to invest in big-name talent. The more the Sharks are willing to retain in salary, the more interest they’ll get.

LATEST ON THE CAPITALS

THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir recently looked at which members of the Washington Capitals will be staying and those that will be going during the upcoming offseason.

He feels the Capitals might be willing to listen on Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha. Kuznetsov was recently the subject of a rumor out of Russia claiming he requested a trade. He shot it down but his situation could bear watching this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted before, this isn’t the first time Kuznetsov has popped up in the rumor mill but he rebounded from a disappointing 2020-21 season to put up solid numbers last season. With two years remaining on his contract at an annual average value of $7.8 million, he’s probably not going anywhere unless the Capitals retain some salary in the deal.

Mantha’s disappointing performance could see his future linked to that of head coach Peter Laviolette. El-Bashir doesn’t see a contract buyout happening.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mantha’s stock has likely plummeted in the trade market. Signed through next season at a cap hit of $5.7 million, he’ll be tough to move unless there’s salary retention involved on the Capitals’ part.

As for Laviolette, it felt like he would get a contract extension. However, the situation feels much more tenuous now after two no-show losses to the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think a coaching change is coming. On the one hand, the Capitals were walloped by injuries to key players this season. Laviolette can’t be faulted for that. On the other hand, if he was going to get a contract extension, it probably would’ve happened by now.

Conor Sheary is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. It’s hard to know whether he has a future in Washington. At this stage, it seems like he’ll be playing elsewhere next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: El-Bashir’s colleague Eric Duhatschek believes the Capitals will look to retool this summer rather than rebuild. He expects the four extra draft picks they received in their trade deadline deals (two third-rounders in 2024 and two second-rounders in 2025) will be used as trade chips this summer.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2023

Check out the latest on the Capitals and Sharks in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber recently cited Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan telling a local radio show that one of his off-season goals will be to bring in a top-six winger.

Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan (NHL.com).

Silber noted that Alex Ovechkin is the only Capital to reach the 20-goal plateau with a team-leading 36. T.J. Oshie is second with 16 goals. MacLellan intends to use some of the draft picks acquired before the trade deadline to potentially make some moves in the offseason. Free agency could also provide some options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Capitals have over $10 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 with 15 roster players under contract. All of their core players are under contract but adding a top-six winger could eat up a big chunk of that cap space. MacLellan could include a salaried player in a trade packaged with a draft pick to bring in that scoring winger.

Silber also reported that Conor Sheary was relieved that he wasn’t moved at last Friday’s trade deadline. An unrestricted free agent on July 1, Sheary hopes to re-sign with the Capitals but said there hasn’t been much progress on a deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sheary is completing a two-year deal with an AAV of $1.5 million. He should be an affordable re-signing but that could depend on how much cap space the Capitals have if they find that aforementioned top-six winger.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently indicated that an unnamed team made a “real, legit offer” for Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro. Despite struggling at times this season, the 24-year-old remains a talented and competitive blueliner. Sharks GM Mike Grier is said to have set a high asking price for Ferraro.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ferraro is also in the first season of a four-year contract with a cost-effective $3.25 million AAV. He would be a valuable trade chip if the Sharks intend to engage in a complete roster rebuild. Then again, Grier could see him as a valuable part of a rebuilding roster.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – March 4, 2023

Why didn’t the Flyers trade James van Riemsdyk on deadline day? Were the Predators willing to move Roman Josi and Juuse Saros? What went on with the Hurricanes, Capitals and Sharks? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHY DIDN’T THE FLYERS TRADE VAN RIEMSDYK ON DEADLINE DAY?

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said he spoke with other clubs for three weeks leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. He was willing to take on a player with an expiring contract, one with a one-way contract in the minors and was also willing to retain salary but couldn’t find a buyer.

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images).

Fletcher said he didn’t get an offer for James van Riemsdyk until 1:40 pm ET on deadline day. He said it was a conditional offer that required the interested club to move one of its forwards to another team in order to finalize the deal for van Riemsdyk.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi cited reports claiming the Flyers had a deal with the Detroit Red Wings for van Riemsdyk but it fell through. Fletcher said he tried to move the winger to a playoff contender and hope to get a draft pick in return. The Seattle Kraken were rumored to be interested but nothing came of it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher was pilloried by Flyers fans on social media following the deadline. He said he’s not worried about his job but he and the front office have faced increasing heat since last summer from fans and pundits over the club’s questionable moves and an apparent lack of direction.

The Flyers finally admitted earlier this week that they weren’t going to make the playoffs and would be sellers at the deadline. They could finally admit to themselves that a much-needed roster rebuild is required. Whether Fletcher and his front-office staff will be part of it remains to be seen.

PREDATORS CONSIDERED JOSI AND SAROS AS UNTOUCHABLE

THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile said defenseman Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros were considered off-limits during trade discussions leading up to Friday’s deadline. He indicated that his club was making changes that he hoped were short-term “to make our long-term future very bright.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi’s name didn’t come up in trade rumors but a few pundits mentioned Saros as a possible trade candidate. Poile’s recent moves (shipping out Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, Mattias Ekholm and Tanner Jeannot for draft picks and prospects) indicate his successor Barry Trotz will be rebuilding around Josi and Saros.

LATEST ON THE HURRICANES, CAPITALS AND SHARKS

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell indicated there was one major trade his club was in on but couldn’t pull off. He said that trade discussions often started with his club giving up a first-round pick or one of their younger players, which he was unwilling to do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell limited himself to acquiring winger Jesse Puljujarvi from Edmonton and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from Arizona. He said the front office believes the team is good enough to compete for the Stanley Cup led by head coach Rob Brind’Amour.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reports the Capitals received trade offers for winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk leading up to the deadline. GM Brian MacLellan opted to retain them because he sees the pending free agents as players his club could retain after this season.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller reports Sharks goaltender James Reimer was disappointed not to be traded to a playoff contender before the deadline. Sharks GM Mike Grier reported a trade was never close for the 34-year-old netminder. Once Jonathan Quick and Joonas Korpisalo got traded, Grier said there wasn’t a big market for goalies.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 25, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 25, 2022

Speculation is growing suggesting the Canucks could trade J.T. Miller. Could the Capitals or Penguins be among the suitors? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston cited CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reporting the Vancouver Canucks are once again listening to trade offers. He added he checked with the 29-year-old center’s representatives, who weren’t surprised by the news.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Miller is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. He’s coming off a career-best 99-point performance this season. He carries a $5.25 million cap hit on his current contract and is in line for a big pay raise.

Johnston spoke with Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford, who indicated the club would like to keep Miller, However, he warned that it might not make sense for both sides. “We’d like to do it but we’ve got to be careful,” said Rutherford.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller was a fixture in this season’s rumor mill leading up to the March trade deadline. The Canucks retained him in part because they were still jockeying for a playoff berth.

It doesn’t hurt to gauge Miller’s value in the trade market but it doesn’t mean he’s certain to be moved. Nevertheless, if the cost of re-signing him proves too high or if he’d prefer to test next summer’s trade market, it’s best to move him this summer (preferably before free agency opens on July 13) when teams have the cap space and the willingness to make deals for players like him.

Better to move Miller for the best possible return now than have his eventual departure hang over the Canucks next season. It would be an unnecessary and unwelcome distraction for him and the team.

There’s no guarantee hanging onto Miller for the trade deadline will result in a better return. If he gets injured, his value plummets. If it’s a season-ending injury, they’ll at worst lose him for nothing to free agency next July or at best get a conditional draft pick if they shop his rights before the free-agent market opens.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling Dhaliwal that the Washington Capitals have been linked to Miller and Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri. The Capitals are searching for a suitable replacement for Nicklas Backstrom, whose future is in doubt after undergoing potential career-ending hip resurfacing surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller would be the better choice for the Capitals. He’s locked in for one more season at $5.25 million. Kadri is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 and in line for a big raise over his current $4.5 million annual average value.

Whether the Capitals can afford the Canucks’ asking price is another matter. I suspect they’ll want a first-round pick or a top prospect plus a young, promising NHL player in return.

Replacing Backstrom isn’t the only issue facing the Capitals this summer. Silber points out they need a proven starting goaltender, a scoring winger and blueline depth.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reports the New Jersey Devils have been mentioned as a suitor for Miller. They’re willing to part with their 2022 first-round pick (second overall) for the right price. He also mentioned the Pittsburgh Penguins could be interested if Evgeni Malkin departs via free agency next month.

Simpson suggested Capitals winger Conor Sheary might be enticing to the Canucks brass, as they remember him well from their days with the Penguins. The Caps also have a right-shot prospect defenseman in Coquitlam native Vincent Iorio who could interest them.

Penguins defenseman John Marino could be an attractive option for the Canucks. Winger Kasperi Kapanen could be another option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller can play wing or center, which could work for the Devils in their quest for an impact player to play alongside their young forwards. However, they might prefer assurances they can re-sign Miller before parting with that second-overall pick. Otherwise, they risk losing him for nothing next summer.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m skeptical that the Capitals have enough to offer up to the Canucks for Miller. Rutherford and GM Patrik Allvin know the Penguins’ depth pretty well from their tenures there. Whether a deal can be made there, however, is another matter.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2021

Marc-Andre Fleury reaches a career wins milestone, J.T. Miller expresses concern about the Canucks returning to action on Friday, Jack Eichel done for the season, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 485th career victory as he backstopped the Vegas Golden Knights over the Los Angeles Kings 6-2. Fleury moved into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time NHL wins list. Max Pacioretty and Tomas Nosek each had a goal and two assists for the Golden Knights, who remain in second place in the Honda West Division with 60 points.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images)

Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves in his debut with the Colorado Avalanche as they held off the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Colorado winger Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist while Blues winger Mike Hoffman tallied twice. The Avalanche sit atop the West Division with 64 points while the Blues (44 points) remain in fourth place. They played without goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who tested positive for COVID-19 and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The recent acquisition of Dubnyk proved timely for the Avs. With Grubauer on the shelf and regular backup Pavel Francouz out of the season, they would’ve been in big trouble without an experienced netminder to fill the void. Dubnyk’s no longer in his playing prime but should provide some short-term stability between the pipes.

The Arizona Coyotes missed an opportunity to overtake the Blues by dropping a 5-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild. The Coyotes have lost five straight and remain one point back of the Blues. Mats Zuccarello scored two goals for the Wild as they sit in third place with 53 points.

A 27-save performance by Anthony Stolarz carried the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have lost four of their last five and sit four points back of the Blues.

The Calgary Flames kept their playoff hopes alive in the Scotia North Division by beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves as the Flames (41 points) picked up their third straight win to sit just four points behind the Canadiens, who’ve dropped four of their last five contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames’ postseason hopes seemed all but dashed a week ago. They were mired in a lengthy losing skid while the Canadiens were playing .500 hockey and seem assured of clinching a playoff spot. The odds still favor the inconsistent Habs as they hold three games in hand over the Flames with several key games coming up between those two teams.

Laurent Brossoit stopped 27 shots as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2. With 55 points, the Jets opened a three-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers for second place in the North Division.

HEADLINES

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller spoke out yesterday against his club’s scheduled return to action on Friday after he and his teammates were sidelined for nearly three weeks by a recent COVID-19 outbreak. He believes the Canucks haven’t had sufficient time to recover and return to play, especially with eight players still on the COVID-19 protocol list. He feels he and his teammates would be at greater risk of injury, adding they’re also concerned over the health of their family members who also contracted the coronavirus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Province’s Patrick Johnston reported the Canucks players met with the NHLPA. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported the PA, NHL and Canucks medical met to determine if the club is healthy enough to play on Friday. A decision is expected later today.

None of the Canucks want to opt-out of completing the season, but they have justifiable concerns about their health and safety right now. It could take at least another week for enough of them to be healthy enough to safely return to action.

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of COVID-19, Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson was placed on the NHL’s protocol list as a precautionary measure after the AHL postponed three Toronto Marlies games. Robertson recently played with the Marlies before skating in the Leafs’ last two games.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel will not return this season because of a herniated disk in his neck. He’s expected to be recovered and healthy for 2021-22. The Sabres also announced Jason Karmanos has been hired as associate general manager.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s been sidelined since March 7 so I don’t think anyone’s surprised by this announcement. It’s just another blow in a seemingly unending series of them this season for the sad-sack Sabres.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars announced goaltender Ben Bishop (knee surgery) and winger Alexander Radulov (core muscle injury) will miss the remainder of the season. The Stars also signed defenseman Joel Hanley to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $750K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop underwent surgery last fall. He was on track to return in two weeks’ time but his condition reportedly worsened and they decided to shut him down for the season. Tyler Seguin is still expected to return soon from offseason hip surgery.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger Conor Sheary signed a two-year, $3 million contract extension yesterday. The annual average value is $1.5 million.

SPORTSNET: The plans to construct a new arena for the Calgary Flames have been put on hold over budget concerns. The parties involved in the construction are pausing to review and resolve the issues.