Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 6, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 6, 2022

Check out the latest on the Canadiens plus updates on Claude Giroux, Tomas Hertl, Hampus Lindholm and more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Montreal Canadiens are trying to move Shea Weber’s contract. The 36-year-old defenseman has been sidelined this season amid speculation his playing career may be over because of injuries. He has four years remaining on his deal worth an annual average value of nearly $7.9 million but only $6 million in total actual cash. They could attempt to move him to a cap-strapped team seeking long-term injury room or a club hoping to reach the cap floor that doesn’t want to spend very much over the next couple of seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vegas Golden Knights could be a club that could be interested in Weber’s LTIR space. They have $82.3 million already committed to next season’s payroll. Teams that could use Weber’s contract to reach the cap floor after next season could include the Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cites a well-placed NHL source claiming the Canadiens and Dallas Stars are engaged in trade discussions. The Stars have been linked to Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry in the rumor mill. They’re believed to be exploring trade options for pending free-agent blueliner John Klingberg as well as how to replace the right-shot rearguard.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still don’t see the Stars shipping out Klingberg while they’re still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase. That could change if they slide out of contention over the next week or two. If they’re reportedly unwilling to invest over $7 million annually on the 29-year-old Klingberg on a long-term deal over concerns his performance will decline, it’s puzzling why they would consider adding a 34-year-old blueliner carrying $6.26 million annually for three more seasons.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher and his staff were scouting their AHL farm team’s recent game against the Charlotte Checkers, who are the farm team of the Florida Panthers. Marek mentioned speculation linking Flyers captain Claude Giroux to the Panthers, suggesting the Flyers staff were scouting winger Owen Tippett.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers general manager Bill Zito was believed seeking a top-four defenseman. Perhaps he’d consider instead adding a versatile two-way forward like Giroux if efforts to land a quality blueliner don’t pan out. I expect he’ll make a significant move before March 21.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the San Jose Sharks are taking a real run at trying to sign Tomas Hertl to a contract extension…The Anaheim Ducks are leery on term for Hampus Lindholm…Things are quieter regarding Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg and Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau…The Vancouver Canucks have been testing the trade market on some of their notable players. They’re also evaluating what it could cost to re-sign those due for new contracts. What could be the tipping point is if the Canucks can get a young defenseman out of this.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lindholm cap could seek a seven or eight-year deal while the Ducks could be considering something around five years. Term is also said to be important to Hertl.

Predators GM David Poile recently denied a report claiming he was shopping Forsberg, insisting he’s trying to sign him before the March 21 trade deadline. Assuming the Flames and Gaudreau haven’t reached an agreement by the trade deadline, I don’t see them trading him. He’s been invaluable to their improvement this season.

The Athletic’s Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal recently reported the Canucks priority is to carve out salary-cap space to improve their roster this offseason and beyond. They’re also seeking draft picks, prospects and younger players between 20-25 at multiple positions.

They indicated the Canucks inquired about Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun but didn’t call back once they heard what the asking price would be. There’s also speculation linking them to Colorado Avalanche blueliner Bowen Byram.

Drance and Dhaliwal also reported winger Nils Hoglander was garnering interest around the league, with the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild said to be interested. However, the team sees the 21-year-old Hoglander as the type of young player they need more of going forward.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports Ducks winger Maxime Comtois is starting to be heard in the rumor mill. He’s been hampered this season by injury and COVID-19. Comtois was the Ducks’ leading scorer last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe Ducks GM Pat Verbeek packages Comtois with one of his pending UFAs by the deadline in hope of landing a bigger return including a promising young player or a high draft pick?

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 30, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 30, 2022

Are the Canucks shopping Conor Garland? Are the Leafs trying to move Petr Mrazek? What’s the latest on Josh Manson and Owen Tippett? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford is getting down to business talking about potential trades with the rest of the league after getting his management team in place last week. While there’s been a lot of rumors about J.T. Miller, Friedman believes they have a number of forwards (excluding Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat) that they’re willing to discuss with other teams. Winger Conor Garland could be among them.

Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland (NHL Images).

Teams linked to the Canucks in the rumor mill include the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. Friedman believes the New Jersey Devils could be in there as well with an interest in players with term remaining on their contracts.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston weighed in on Friedman’s report, suggesting the Devils have a pair of defensemen in Ty Smith and Damon Severson who might interest the Canucks. He noted Rutherford has made it clear he’s going to be making changes, and earlier this month said he was looking for younger players and draft picks. The Canucks president is also looking for more salary-cap flexibility.

THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal observed it’s not unusual for trade talk to pick up when a new regime takes over a club that is eager to make changes. He believes it makes sense for the Canucks to shop some of their wingers but he’s not sure Garland would be on his list as he’s still fairly young and on a good contract. However, he wondered if Rutherford would rate the 25-year-old winger as highly as the previous management.

Dayal believes trading Garland would also cast the club’s offseason blockbuster move with Arizona in a harsh light. Garland won’t fetch the top-10 pick the Canucks gave up in that deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on the Canucks leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. Rutherford and his staff are going to listen to offers but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make a series of trades before deadline day. They could move Garland, Miller or other wingers if they get solid offers but they could also hang onto them and perhaps see what the offseason market looks like.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek said there’s been speculation around the league over the future of Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek given the Vezina-type season being enjoyed by starter Jack Campbell. The Leafs haven’t initiated any discussion about Mrazek but there have been teams interested in him. Any decisions about their goaltenders will be summer decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Leafs management is waiting to see how contract negotiations go with Campbell, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is due for a significant pay raise. Mrazek, meanwhile, is signed through 2023-24 with an affordable $3.8 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade list.

Elliotte Friedman said it’ll be interesting to see how long Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson will be sidelined. He’s a UFA this summer and the Leafs are believed among the clubs with an interest in the 28-year-old Ducks blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Manson’s fate also depends on where the Ducks are in the standings as the March 21 trade deadline approaches. They’re currently second in the Pacific Division and I don’t see them becoming sellers if they’re still in that position on deadline day.

Marek also reports there are a lot of trade rumors surrounding Florida Panthers forward Owen Tippett. With the Panthers in go-for-it mode this season, the 22-year-old winger is reportedly available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are believed in the market for a top-four defenseman. They’ve been linked to the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg. A promising young player like Tippett would have to be part of the package to land either guy.

NHL Rumor Mill – May 19, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 19, 2020

Check out the latest on the Leafs and Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: During a recent mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked what a contract extension for Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen might look like, and if the Leafs should attempt to acquire Matt Murray. He believes they could push Andersen’s extension to 2021 and dismissed the notion of acquiring Murray.

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs dump Frederik Andersen in favor of Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray? (Photo via NHL Images)

Despite Murray’s two Stanley Cup rings, Fox is not convinced that the Pittsburgh Penguins netminder is better than Andersen, pointing out the latter has more wins over the past four seasons and a better career save percentage. Murray is also a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about the comparisons of Andersen’s and Murray’s career stats, the Leafs can’t afford the latter even if they wanted to acquire him. As per Cap Friendly, they have almost $77 million invested in 16 players for 2020-21, with $6.65 million going to Andersen and Jack Campbell. Unless they intend on trading Andersen (and I don’t believe they do), there’s no room to take on Murray. 

Fox was asked if the Leafs should trade Mitch Marner to the Dallas Stars for Miro Heiskanen. He doesn’t see the Stars parting with their 20-year-old stud defenseman. He also cites Stars beat reporter Sean Shapiro declaring Heiskanen untouchable but speculates they could be willing to part with blueliner John Klingberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, Marner for Klingberg, Leafs fans? Discuss! 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins cited a New York source claiming there was “renewed smoke” over the possibility of a trade that would see the Oilers ship winger Jesse Puljujarvi to the New York Rangers for center Lias Andersson. However, word out of New York is Oilers general manager Ken Holland would also demand a first-round pick from the Rangers, with the Oilers including another mid-level prospect in a two-for-two swap. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Under that scenario, I envision it ending with Rangers GM Jeff Gorton rolling his eyes skyward, politely thanking Holland for his offer, and hanging up the phone. 

Jim Matheson doesn’t expect to see the Oilers trading Puljujarvi to the Florida Panthers for center Henrik Borgstrom. The Panthers currently value centers over wingers, especially after trading away Vincent Trocheck. The Panthers also don’t need Puljujarvi when they’ve got Owen Tippett and Grigori Denisenko in their pipeline. Speaking of Tippett, sources consider swapping him for Puljujarvi a non-starter.

Regarding a recent suggestion of the Oilers shopping Puljujarvi to the Ottawa Senators for their third first-round pick in the 2020 draft, Matheson said sources indicate the Senators are lukewarm on the Oilers winger because they’re deep in farm forwards ready to make the jump to the NHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson also indicates Holland won’t be talking to other GMs about Puljujarvi’s rights until hockey resumes. In other words, the aforementioned rumors are probably just media spitballing.