NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2021

With the expansion draft over, here’s the latest on the Kraken, Oilers, Islanders, Canadiens, Capitals, Senators, Kings and Sharks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TIME TO GET KRAKEN IN THE TRADE AND UFA MARKETS?

RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon reports the Seattle Kraken’s inaugural roster is thin on scoring punch. However, that could change once the expansion draft roster freeze lifts at 1 pm ET Thursday.

Francis has approximately $29 million in salary-cap space to put toward adding players to help his club over the short and long term. The Kraken GM could target cap-strapped clubs looking to shed salary. He could also try his luck in the free-agent market when it opens on July 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trades involving the Kraken could be announced as early as today following the lifting of the roster freeze. It will be interesting to see how Francis navigates the trade and free-agent markets this summer. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t land one or two quality players before the puck drops in October.

LATEST OILERS RUMORS

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports Zach Hyman was in Edmonton yesterday discussing a possible long-term contract that could be announced as early as Thursday. The 29-year-old winger’s preference is to remain with the Leafs but his asking price of eight years at $5 million annually could be too much for the cap-strapped Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman (NHL Images).

If Hyman agrees to terms with the Oilers, his rights could be traded to Edmonton before the free-agent market opens on July 28. It’s believed the Leafs would want draft picks in return. The winger has drawn interest around the league, with one offer (not from the Oilers) said to be as high as $7 million annually. Hyman is only interested in playing for a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason for the sign-and-trade is for the Oilers to get an extra year on the contract. Teams can re-sign players to a maximum of eight years. Unrestricted free agents from other teams can be signed for no more than seven years.

Whoever the general manager is that’s offering Hyman $7 million should be fired at once. The winger’s a good player but he’s not worth $7 million per season. With some GMs apparently succumbing to auction fever already, Hyman’s going to make a lot of money on his next contract.

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports the Oilers are trying to figure out how to replace Adam Larsson following his signing with the Seattle Kraken yesterday. General manager Ken Holland will look at bringing back Tyson Barrie but they still need a shutdown defenseman on the right side. If Barrie is signed, Ethan Bear could become a trade candidate.

Should Holland pass on Barrie, his options in the free-agent market include Tampa Bay’s David Savard or Vancouver’s Travis Hamonic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports yesterday indicated the Oilers were circling back to Barrie. He seeks a long-term deal that could prove more expensive than the four-year, $16 million contract Larsson signed with the Kraken. Savard could cost less than Barrie but perhaps a little more than Larsson.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE ISLANDERS?

THE ATHLETIC: With Jordan Eberle gone, Arthur Staple wondered what the New York Islanders will do with the cap space they’ve freed up. Eberle’s selection by the Kraken in the expansion draft plus the recent trades of Nick Leddy to Detroit and Andrew Ladd to Arizona give the Isles over $17.6 million in cap room.

Restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Ilya Sorokin need new contracts. Pending UFA Casey Cizikas could also return. It’s believed former Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise is on the Isles radar plus they must find a left-side defenseman to replace Leddy.

The Islanders have also been linked to St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Colorado Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog. Adding one or the other could involve making a cost-cutting move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple also noted the Islanders can put the permanently sidelined Johnny Boychuk ($6 million annual cap hit) on long-term injury reserve if necessary to free up additional cap room. They could go that route depending on what it takes to re-sign those RFAs and Cizikas. Landeskog will cost a fortune as a free agent so I don’t see a fit there. Tarasenko is a possibility in the trade market but making the dollars work will be difficult.

CANADIENS LINKED TO BEAUVILLIER, DVORAK

TVA SPORTS: reports the Montreal Canadiens were linked to New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier and Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak. The Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Vegas Golden Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins are also said to be interested in Dvorak. The 25-year-old forward carries a $4.45 million annual cap hit through 2024-25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ rumored pursuit of both players could depend on what the future holds for Shea Weber and Jonathan Drouin. They have over $14 million in cap space but could get more wiggle room if necessary should Weber ($7.85 million) and/or Drouin ($5.5 million) end up on long-term injury reserve.

The Canadiens’ supposed interest in Beauvillier is tied to the small number of Quebec-born players on their roster. Drouin and Phillip Danault were the only two in the lineup this season and Danault is expected to depart via free agency next week. I think Beauvillier will be staying on Long Island. The Coyotes, meanwhile, are rebuilding their roster and believed to be listening to offers for Dvorak.

CAPITALS MUST SHED SALARY

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: J.J. Regan reports the Seattle Kraken’s selection of goaltender Vitek Vanecek leaves the Capitals facing a salary-cap crunch. They have just $8.9 million in cap space with captain Alex Ovechkin and goalie Ilya Samsonov to re-sign. They also have to find a replacement for Vanecek.

With eight defensemen under contract, the Capitals could end up moving one of Dmitry Orlov ($5.1 million cap hit), Brenden Dillon ($3.9 million), Justin Schultz ($4 million) or Nick Jensen ($2.5 million). Depending on the cost of re-signing Ovechkin and Samsonov, that still might not be enough. A bolder move could be trying to trade center Evgeny Kuznetsov and his $7.8 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A salary dump or two is in the cards for the Capitals this summer. Kuznetsov’s been a fixture in the rumor mill for weeks but his cap hit and personal baggage could be difficult to move without tossing in a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect.

UPDATES ON THE SENATORS, KINGS AND SHARKS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Chris Tierney may have played his final game with the Senators. He and forward Evgenii Dadonov and defenseman Josh Brown were exposed in the expansion draft.

Garrioch also reports the Los Angeles Kings are willing to move their first-round pick (eighth overall) in this year’s draft.

THE ATHLETIC’s Kevin Kurz reports the San Jose Sharks are seeking a veteran goaltender to pair with recently acquired Adin Hill. That means Martin Jones has played his final game with the Sharks.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2020

In today’s NHL morning coffee headlines: The Senators avoid arbitration with Chris Tierney, the latest on the Penguins and Coyotes, and long-time Edmonton sports icon Joey Moss passes away.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators avoided salary arbitration with Chris Tierney as the two sides agreed to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.5 million. The 26-year-old center’s arbitration hearing was slated for Nov. 8.

Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another affordable move by the Senators to keep a key veteran in the folk. Acquired from the San Jose Sharks in the Erik Karlsson trade in 2018, Tierney’s become an invaluable two-way center for the Sens, netting 37 points in 71 games last season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins fired assistant general manager Jason Karmanos yesterday. No reason was given for the move. He’d been in the position since 2014, hired a week after Jim Rutherford was named general manager. Karmanos also served as GM of the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Penguins also announced Trevor Daley was hired as a hockey operations advisor. Daley, 37, has retired as an NHL defenseman after 16 seasons spent with the Penguins, Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. He won two Stanley Cups with the Pens in 2016 and 2017, finishing his career with 89 goals and 309 points in 1,058 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Daley in his future endeavors.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes are facing criticism for selecting Mitchell Miller in this year’s draft after it was revealed the defenseman admitted to repeatedly bullying, hitting and racially taunting an African-American classmate with developmental disabilities four years ago. The club and GM Bill Armstrong responded with statements pointing out Miller sent a letter to all 31 NHL teams acknowledging his behavior and expressing remorse, but the mother of the victim said he has never personally apologized. Armstrong had not officially taken over as GM when Miller was selected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Coyotes are under fire for their selection, The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell points out there were many others in the hockey world willing to have Miller on their team despite his checkered past. Campbell raises legitimate questions over Miller’s character, if he’s truly remorseful for his actions, and if he’s deserving of a chance to play in the NHL.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Coyotes, they’re reportedly in discussions with Shane Doan regarding the possible return of their former captain to the organization.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Joey Moss, the long-time dressing-room attendant for the Oilers and the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, passed away at 57 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and recent hip surgery. Moss, who had Down syndrome, was hired by the Oilers in 1984 and the Eskimos in 1986 on the recommendation of Wayne Gretzky. He quickly endeared himself with both clubs, becoming a popular, well-recognized part of the Edmonton community. In 2015, he was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moss was an inspiration as well as a beloved icon of the Oilers and Eskimos. My condolences to his family, friends and the Oilers’ and Eskimos’ organizations.










Five NHL Salary Arbitration Hearings Worth Watching

Five NHL Salary Arbitration Hearings Worth Watching

 










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Ottawa Senators

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Ottawa Senators

 










What Are Pierre Dorion’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The Ottawa Senators?

What Are Pierre Dorion’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The Ottawa Senators?

 










NHL Rumor Mill – September 22, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – September 22, 2019

An update on Torey Krug and the latest on the Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

KRUG HOPING FOR CONTRACT EXTENSION

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney expects to have contract extension talks with Torey Krug. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Krug has said there have been no contract talks yet but indicated he’s willing to take a hometown discount to stay in Boston.

Torey Krug hopes to start contract extension talks with the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images).

Krug told Haggerty he assumed the reason why there have been no contract discussions was that the Bruins were focused on re-signing young blueliners Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. He said he’s eagerly looking forward to those talks.

Haggerty suggests Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon as a reasonable comparison. The Wild recently re-signed Spurgeon to a seven-year, $53.025-million contract with an annual average value of $7.575 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Bruins hoping for another run at the Stanley Cup this season, don’t expect them to shop Krug if unable to reach an agreement on a new contract. Sweeney could take a wait-and-see approach this season before opening contract talks. How much of a hometown discount Krug’s willing to take will also be a factor.

Cap Friendly indicates the Bruins have over $56 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. Of their pending free agents, Krug would be the most expensive to re-sign. If he’s willing to accept under $7 million per season on a five-year deal, Sweeney could go for it. Things could get dicey, however, if the rearguard seeks much more than that for seven or eight years.

OILERS NEED A THIRD-LINE CENTER

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers still haven’t found a suitable third-line center. “Riley Sheahan could get the 3C but really he’s a solid No. 4. Same as Colby Cave, with good camp but hasn’t shown much puck creativity.”

Kurt Leavins notes the Oilers had a scout in attendance at Saturday’s game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens and wondered if he was looking for a third-line center. Senators centers Chris Tierney and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are slated to become UFAs next July. A dip in the latter’s production last season could lower the asking price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are rebuilding with youth. Tierney, 25, has a career-high 48 points last season. Pageau missed over half of last season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Tierney’s cap hit is just over $2.9 million while Pageau’s is $3.1 million.

One or both could hit the trade block at some point this season, especially if the Sens are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline. However, it remains to be seen if they’re willing to move either guy right now.