Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 21, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 21, 2021

Analysis of the Canadian NHL teams before the trade deadline plus the latest on P.K. Subban, Conor Garland and Marcus Sorensen in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST ON THE CANADIAN NHL TEAMS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks have decided to hold off on becoming sellers now that they’ve climbed back into the Scotia North Division playoff race. They want to see how things play out and as a result has slowed things down in the trade market. The Columbus Blue Jackets are another club holding off after battling back into the postseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers aren’t buying into the Canucks’ recent improvement and believe they should remain sellers at the deadline. Still, management can’t be faulted for wanting to see if they can make a serious run for a postseason berth. If they falter over the next two weeks it won’t hurt their status as sellers, especially among other Canadian teams as none of their players would have to undergo quarantine if traded within Canada.

Chris Johnston believed it could be a quiet trade deadline for the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. GM Ken Holland may be reluctant to trade draft picks this year plus they have limited cap space. The Flames, meanwhile, would like to add some forward depth but may have made their big move by bringing back Darryl Sutter as head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Holland does make a move it’ll likely be a dollar-in, dollar-out trade. Given that constraint, he could find it difficult bringing in a player who significantly improves the Oilers’ depth. The Flames, meanwhile, are reportedly seeking a right-shot right-winger. They might have to consider an affordable rental like Detroit’s Bobby Ryan.

Johnston considers the Winnipeg Jets the wild card among Canadian teams heading toward the trade deadline. They’ve already acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois and are looking for a defenseman but they must consider if they want to put that player through a 14-day quarantine as Dubois had to endure before joining their roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff hasn’t ruled out taking another swing in the trade market. The Jets have been linked to Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm and Columbus’ David Savard.

The Athletic’s Murat Ates believes Cheveldayoff won’t wait until deadline day to make his move because they’re using long-term injury reserve space on Bryan Little. That $2.8 million in cap relief doesn’t prorate and won’t increase as the season goes on.

Friedman believes the amount of interest in the Ottawa Senators’ pending UFAs will determine how busy they are at the deadline. While Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has hinted he might not be busy in the trade market because of salary-cap constraints, Friedman points out he’s been unafraid to make big moves and not everyone is convinced he won’t do anything.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The notable Senators UFAs include defensemen Braydon Coburn, Erik Gudbranson and Mike Reilly.

What will Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas do at the 2021 Trade Deadline? (NHL.com)

Friedman pointed out Bergevin has tradeable assets. He has 11 picks in rounds two through five of this year’s draft. Players like Tomas Tatar, Artturi Lehkonen, Paul Byron, Joel Armia and Victor Mete have surfaced in trade speculation. If Bergevin or his fellow Canadian GMs make a move for a player on an American club it’ll likely happen within the next 10 days. The 14-day quarantine means a player acquired at the April 12 deadline won’t be available until April 27.

While Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is seeking a forward, Johnston doesn’t rule out the possibility he’ll acquire a defenseman. He acknowledged the Leafs have limited cap-space resources and he’s heard them linked to a couple of blueliners. Friedman notes there were questions if the Leafs will do anything in goal given how things are going with starter Frederik Andersen. However, he thinks they’ll stick with what they’ve got.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s tricky enough for the Leafs to add a forward. It could get more complicated trying to also bring in a defenseman or a goaltender. Given their cap constraints, it appears they can only suitably address one need unless Dubas and his capologist have a trick or two up their sleeves.

Blueliners believed to be available include Ekholm, Savard, Anaheim’s Josh Manson (currently sidelined), Buffalo’s Brandon Montour and Colin Miller, and Arizona’s Alex Goligoski and Niklas Hjalmarsson (who has a full no-movement clause).

As for goaltenders, rental options include Detroit’s Jonathan Bernier (currently sidelined), San Jose’s Devan Dubnyk and Arizona’s Antti Raanta. If Dubas feels the need to bring in a long-term replacement for Andersen (who’s a UFA this summer) I don’t see him addressing that need until the offseason.

SUBBAN, GARLAND AND SORENSEN AVAILABLE?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks points out P.K. Subban is having a pretty good season with the New Jersey Devils. Subban has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $9 million. Brooks suggests he’d be a good option for clubs seeking a right-side defenseman if the Devils agreed to pick up half of his cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That move could take place in the offseason if at all. Subban’s stock tumbled over the last couple of years. He’ll need another solid effort with the Devils to convince clubs he’d be worth pursuing. Besides, the Devils could be content to let him play out the final year of his contract and evaluate his value as a rental player next season.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports teams have shown an interest in Arizona Coyotes winger Conor Garland. He doesn’t believe it’s a move the Coyotes want to do but perhaps they’d consider it for the right price if it allows them to restock.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On one hand, it makes no sense for the offensively anemic Coyotes to trade their leading scorer. On the other, we don’t know what first-year GM Bill Armstrong has in store for his club so we can’t dismiss trading Garland at the deadline unless Armstrong shoots it down.

Chris Johnston reports San Jose Sharks forward Marcus Sorensen has drawn some interest from Canadian teams. He’s a UFA this summer with an affordable $1.5 million cap hit this season. Johnston believes he’ll be moved at the trade deadline.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – March 11, 2021

A look at some of the latest additions to TSN’s trade-bait list in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Frank Seravalli added Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell and Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk to his updated trade-bait list. Also included were Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller, Dallas Stars blueline Jamie Oleksiak and San Jose Sharks winger Marcus Sorensen

Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell (NHL Images).

Seravalli reports Ducks general manager Bob Murray is listening to calls about Rakell, who has 12 points in his last six games. Two sources claim Murray’s set a high asking price but didn’t elaborate. The 27-year-old winger has a year left on his contract with an affordable $3.79 million salary-cap hit.

Rakell could provide the best return for a club looking to jumpstart the rebuild process. Moving him would also provide more ice time for younger players and he’ll soon be due for a new contract with a pay raise.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently reported changes could be in store for the Ducks’ lineup leading up to the April 12 trade deadline. Murray said he’s been “openly talking and listening about lots of things.”

Stephen noted Murray had inquired or attempted to acquire forwards such as Pittsburgh’s Kasperi Kapanen, Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois and Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen. He’s also reportedly shopped Adam Henrique and Danton Heinen.

Murray isn’t interested in trading captain Ryan Getzlaf unless he asks to be moved to a contender before the deadline. Getzlaf is in the final season of his contract and has a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray could be seeking a first-round pick and either a top prospect or promising young NHL player as part of the return for Rakell. The winger’s streaky scoring could be a stumbling block but he should continue drawing interest from playoff contenders looking beyond this season.

Murray will find moving Henrique a tough sell because of his $5.825 million annual average value through 2023-24. Heinen ($2.8 million), a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights, would be more affordable but not as enticing as Rakell. His stock has tumbled since his career-best 47-point rookie campaign in 2017-18.

Seravalli reports teams are calling the Bruins about DeBrusk. He believes the return would also be high because he’s a proven playoff performer. DeBrusk was a healthy scratch earlier this week against the New York Islanders. The Bruins are hoping for a big response from him.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney acknowledged he may have to shake things up to bolster his club’s flagging secondary scoring. Bolstering the scoring has taken priority over the Bruins’ need for blueline reinforcements.

Shinzawa points out they have the cap space to make an addition but have a shortage of tradeable assets. He’d have to sell low on the struggling DeBrusk, he’s already traded away two of his last three first-round picks and there’s a shortage of prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The concern for Sweeney is selling low on DeBrusk only to see him turn into a reliable scorer with another club. How he performs when he returns to the lineup will determine if the Bruins GM has to go shopping for help before the trade deadline.

Sweeney could be among those general managers interested in Rakell. He has a recent trade history with the Ducks but his current lack of trade assets means he’ll likely be outbid by rival clubs. He might also have some interest in more affordable options on Seravalli’s list such as Detroit’s Bobby Ryan, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund or Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 12, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 12, 2020

Some suggestions to help the Sharks regain their playoff contender status and Travis Dermott’s future with the Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SUGGESTED MOVE TO IMPROVE THE SHARKS

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Kevin Kurz last week proposed a nine-step plan for turning the San Jose Sharks back into a playoff contender next season.

Among his suggestions was finding a suitable backup goaltender to pair with starter Martin Jones. Assuming Jones isn’t traded or bought out, Kurz doesn’t believe they should bring back Aaron Dell, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He advocates signing a free-agent goalie on a one- or two-year deal to allow time for Alexei Melnichuk’s development. Former Shark Thomas Greiss could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Greiss has solid numbers as a career backup and could be open to a return to San Jose. He could provide help offset Jones’ inconsistent streaks. 

Should the San Jose Sharks attempt to trade Brent Burns in the off-season? (Photo via NHL Images)

Kurz also recommends Sharks general manager Doug Wilson trade Brent Burns or Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Burns has a three-team trade list while Vlasic has a full no-movement clause. Kurz feels there’s reason to believe Vlasic would accept a trade to his native Montreal or perhaps Toronto, which could be in the market for a left-shot defenseman. Burns, however, could be the more likely trade candidate as his contract provides a little more trade flexibility and he’d have more value than Vlasic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading either guy isn’t impossible, but there remain several major stumbling blocks. Both are in their thirties (Burns is 35, Vlasic 33) and their best seasons are behind them. They also carry long-term contracts with hefty annual salary-cap hits ($8 million for Burns, $7 million for Vlasic) that will be difficult for most clubs (like Toronto) to absorb. As Kurz noted, if they won’t waive their trade clauses, Wilson’s hands will be tied. At this point, I don’t either guy agreeing to a trade.

Kurz also advocated Wilson trade two of Kevin Labanc, Marcus Sorensen, and Dylan Gambrell. With the freed-up salary cap space from this move and moving Burns or Vlasic, he suggested signing a forward who can score, such as Vancouver’s Tyler Toffoli, Nashville’s Craig Smith or Mikael Granlund, or Florida’s Evgenii Dadonov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Labanc is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights while Sorensen and Gambrell are signed through next season at a combined $2.2 million. Coming off a career-high 56-point performance, Labanc bet on himself and lost last summer by agreeing to a one-year, $1-million contract. With only 33 points in 70 games this season, arbitration still won’t provide him much leverage to land a lucrative long-term deal. He could become a trade candidate if the contract talks bog down.

If Wilson can trade Burns or Vlasic, he’ll free up cap space to sign a scoring forward. Considering the obstacles in trading either blueliner, it will be quite a challenge to pull that off.

DOES LEHTONEN’S SIGNING SPELL THE END OF DERMOTT AS A LEAF?

SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ recent signing of defenseman Mikko Lehtonen spells danger for Travis Dermott’s future as a Leaf.

Fox noted Leafs GM Kyle Dubas indicating the club needs to figure out where Lehtonen slots in on the blueline. He’s a left-shot rearguard who can play either side. While he likes playing on the right side, his strengths appear on the left.

While Dubas could trade Dermott, Fox feels the smart move is to re-sign him to a reasonable bridge deal. He’s coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Dermott will be an affordable re-signing and has a couple of NHL seasons under his belt. If Lehtonen struggles to adjust to the NHL pace, it’ll be worthwhile to have Dermott around.










NHL Most Important Players: San Jose Sharks

NHL Most Important Players: San Jose Sharks

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2019

Game recaps, stars of the week, bye week schedule released, Ducks trade Andrew Cogliano to the Stars, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Goaltender Frederik Andersen’s return from a groin injury couldn’t prevent the Toronto Maple Leafs from dropping a 6-3 decision to the Colorado Avalanche. Carl Soderberg led the way for the Avs with a hat trick. The Leafs have lost four of their last six. Defenseman Jake Gardiner was the target of unhappy Toronto boo-birds, prompting his teammates to come to his defense in post-game interviews.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner didn’t have a good game but that loss wasn’t solely his fault. The Leafs didn’t play well in this game and haven’t looked good in most of their last six contests. 

A four-point performance by Patrick Kane couldn’t prevent the Chicago Blackhawks from falling 8-5 to the New Jersey Devils. Kyle Palmieri and Blake Coleman each scored twice and Travis Zajac collected three points for the Devils, handing the Blackhawks their fourth straight loss. 

James van Riemsdyk’s hat trick carried the Philadelphia Flyers to a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images).

James van Riemsdyk tallied a hat trick as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Minnesota Wild 7-4. Wayne Simmonds and Nolan Patrick each scored twice for the Flyers. 

The St. Louis Blues got their first three-game win streak of the season by downing the Washington Capitals 4-1. Blues winger David Perron scored a goal to extend his points streak to 11 games. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin netted his league-leading 33rd goal while teammate Brooks Orpik played his 1,000th career NHL game. 

Jeff Petry potted the game-winner in overtime as the Montreal Canadiens edged the Boston Bruins 3-2. Canadiens goalie Carey Price kicked out 41 shots. 

Edmonton Oilers forwards Zach Kassian and Milan Lucic each scored twice in a 7-2 beatdown of the Buffalo Sabres. Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen made 41 stops. 

Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, and Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jake Guentzel are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 13. 

The NHL also released its bye week schedule

THE SCORE: Details have emerged over the incident that resulted in the Columbus Blue Jackets withholding goalie Sergei Bobrovsky from last Thursday’s game against Nashville. After being pulled during Tuesday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bobrovsky went straight to the dressing room, removed his equipment, showered and changed into street clothes rather than return to the bench. Following the game, several players pulled Bobrovsky aside and spoke with him before the team’s flight. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report indicates Jackets coach John Tortorella was furious with Bobrovsky, as his antics left the club without a backup for Joonas Korpisalo in case he had to exit the game. It’s been a frustrating season for Bobrovsky but that doesn’t excuse his actions. Following a team meeting on Friday, Bobrovsky apologized and claimed he and the team put the incident behind them. 

TSN: The Anaheim Ducks traded winger Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars for center Devin Shore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Ducks having dropped 11 straight games, general manager Bob Murray has decided to shake up his roster a bit rather than fire head coach Bob Murray. They’ve dealt away experience and durability in Cogliano for a younger, faster and less expensive forward in Shore, who has just 17 points in 42 games. The Stars will look to Cogliano to provide a boost to a leadership core that recently came under criticism from team CEO Jim Lites. 

NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed winger Marcus Sorensen to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $1.5 million.

SPORTSNET: The Nashville Predators and New York Rangers made a minor-league swap, with the Predators sending forward Connor Brickley to the Rangers for Cole Schneider. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former NHL defenseman Josh Gorges announced his retirement. He spent 13 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens, and Buffalo Sabres. He had 124 points in 783 regular season games and nine points in 68 postseason contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gorges spent over seven seasons with the Canadiens and became one of the league’s better defensive blueliners during that time. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2018

Game recaps, update on the Senators Uber incident and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Mark Stone’s five-point performance (two goals, three assists) carried the Ottawa Senators to a 7-3 thumping of the New Jersey Devils. Matt Duchene (three assists), Thomas Chabot (three points) and Colin White (two goals) also factored in the Senators victory.

Matt Duchene publicly apologized to assistant coach Martin Raymond following the Ottawa Senators 7-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. (Photo via NHL Images)

Duchene, Chabot, and White were among the seven Senators secretly filmed by an Uber driver in Phoenix recently mocking assistant coach Martin Raymond. The Senators revealed they knew about the video well before it made the rounds on social media and insist they’ve dealt with it internally.

The seven players involved yesterday issued a statement apologizing to Raymond and their teammates and Duchene profusely apologized to Raymond again during last night’s post-game press conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last night’s game suggests the Senators have put this incident behind them. Still, time will tell if this episode was really much ado about nothing or indicative of ongoing turmoil within the Senators’ dressing room. 

Frederik Andersen made 36 saves and Connor Brown had a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1. Vegas also lost forward Erik Haula, who was stretchered from the game in the third period after falling awkwardly following a clean hit by Leafs forward Patrick Marleau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: More information on Haula’s condition is expected later today but it appears he suffered a serious injury to his right knee. 

The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-1, handing Willie Desjardins his first victory as their new head coach. Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal and set up two others. It’s the Ducks’ eighth loss in their last nine games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle could be among the NHL coaches currently on the hot seat. 

Ryan O’Reilly had a hat trick as the St. Louis Blues beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a good start to this season the Hurricanes are struggling of late. This could provide more fuel to the speculation they’re interested in acquiring William Nylander from the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and set up another while Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 33 shots in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Neal Pionk’s end-to-end goal late in the third period proved to be the game winner as the New York Rangers overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 in a penalty-filled contest. Rangers center Kevin Hayes collected three assists while Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar scored twice.

The San Jose Sharks blew a two-goal lead but a third-period goal by Barclay Goodrow gave them a 4-3 win. Sharks forward Marcus Sorensen had a three-point night.

Jimmy Howard made 40 saves and Dylan Larkin scored the only goal in a shootout as the Detroit Red Wings edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Vancouver rookie center Elias Pettersson tallied his 10th goal of the season.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves backstopping the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers forward Derek Mackenzie is sidelined indefinitely following shoulder surgery.

SPORTSNET: Adam Oates has joined the Los Angeles Kings as a consultant.