Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 20, 2022
Could the Blue Jackets be a destination for Bo Horvat? Are the Canucks trying to move Tyler Myers to the Senators What’s the latest on Erik Karlsson? Will the Coyotes consider moving more than Jakob Chychrun? Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
THE LATEST CANUCKS SPECULATION
THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports the Vancouver Canucks won’t lack for trade candidates if management can find teams willing to deal with them. They could opt to make another coaching change but Johnston suggests a trade might be the next option to shake things up.
President of hockey operations Jim Rutherford has indicated his club might have to consider moving one or two players they otherwise wouldn’t have moved in the offseason. He’d seek a return that would enable them to remain the same as they are now and get a couple of younger assets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman weighed in on the Canucks during a recent “32 Thoughts” podcast episode. He felt Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are their only untouchables and they could listen on everyone else.
I would add goaltender Thatcher Demko to that list given the difficulty they’ll encounter in finding a suitable replacement. Demko’s had his struggles this season but that’s due in part to the Canucks’ horrible defense. They could regret trading him if he goes on to regain his form with another club.
Horvat, 26, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He’s scoring plenty of goals this season and carries an affordable $5.5 million cap hit. Johnston assumes the Canucks will trade their captain if he’s not re-signed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman said he’s heard some rumors linking Horvat to the Columbus Blue Jackets given their need for a center. However, I think the Jackets would want assurances that Horvat will sign with them before parting with valuable assets to acquire him.
Regarding Myers, Johnston writes the 32-year-old is at best a depth defenseman now. He doesn’t see teams giving up younger blueliners to get him, especially if the Canucks aren’t willing to retain any portion of his $6 million average annual value through next season. Johnston noted reports linking Myers to the Toronto Maple Leafs but cited league sources claiming that the Leafs interest was lukewarm.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman reported on Saturday night that the Canucks talked to the Ottawa Senators about a possible swap of Myers for Nikita Zaitsev, who recently cleared waivers and was demoted to the Senators’ AHL affiliate. He’s not sure where things stand on that possible deal but said it had been discussed.
Johnston cited sources saying Garland, who is building a home near Boston, would be amenable to a move closer to home. He’s on a five-year deal with an AAV of $4.95 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garland’s hardworking style should draw interest if the Canucks dangle him in the trade market. His annual cap hit isn’t bad but could be difficult to absorb for some cap-strapped clubs.
AN UPDATE ON ERIK KARLSSON
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports he doesn’t believe San Jose Sharks management has approached Erik Karlsson yet about waiving his no-movement clause. He also thinks the Sharks are trying to determine what teams are willing to do regarding the 32-year-old defenseman’s contract. He’s signed through 2026-27 with an AAV of $11.5 million.
Friedman also addressed the possibility of Karlsson returning to the Ottawa Senators. It considers it “very unlikely” the Sens will be able to pull it off.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s NMC and cap hit are major sticking points. His list of preferred trade destinations could be quite small. His cap hit will be very difficult for most clubs to take on. The Sharks will probably be asked to retain a portion of it up to 50 percent.
COULD THE COYOTES LOOK AT MOVING MORE THAN CHYCHRUN?
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman notes that defenseman Jakub Chychrun will make his long-awaited return to the Arizona Coyotes lineup on Monday. He also suggested keeping an eye on Coyotes blueliner Conor Timmins, who is currently in the AHL on a conditioning stint. Timmins has been hampered by injuries and Friedman wonders if he could also end up on the move.
Jeff Marek also mentioned Shayne Gostisbehere could be another rearguard the Coyotes could move. He believes that would be more of a trade deadline deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of that trio of Coyotes defensemen, Gostisbehere might be the easiest to move. The Coyotes won’t seek an expensive asking price for him as they are for Chychrun plus he doesn’t have the history of injuries that have plagued Chychrun and Timmins.
The 27-year-old Gostisbehere has rejuvenated his career with the rebuilding Coyotes and is slated to become a UFA next summer. He had 51 points last season in 82 games and has 10 points in 16 contests this season. “Ghost Bear” could be enticing as a rental player for postseason contenders seeking offense from the blueline.