NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2023

Erik Karlsson meets with the media following his trade to the Penguins plus the latest on Logan Couture, Tom Wilson, J.T. Miller and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW/SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Erik Karlsson met with the Pittsburgh media yesterday for the first time since being traded to the Penguins by the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

Karlsson said he didn’t give the Sharks a list of preferred trade destinations but he wanted to go to a winner. He became interested when he learned the Penguins were looking into acquiring him. The 33-year-old defenseman said he’s excited to be playing alongside Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

Karlsson and Letang are both right-shot, right-side defensemen. However, he doesn’t believe he’ll have any difficulty co-existing with the long-time Penguins blueliner. He also denied a report from earlier this summer claiming there was tension between himself and former Sharks teammate Brent Burns. “We’re actually pretty good friends, personally,” he said.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Sharks, team captain Logan Couture remains committed to the retooling club despite the departure of Karlsson. The 34-year-old center has spent his entire 14-season NHL career with the Sharks. He praised the management and coaching staff, adding that he wants to help reverse the club’s fortunes. “I want to turn this thing around here in San Jose,” said Couture.

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couture is signed through 2026-27 with an average annual value of $8 million. The article also noted that he and his family have stability in the Bay Area so he currently has no interest in seeking a trade to a Stanley Cup contender.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Armed with a seven-year contract extension, Capitals winger Tom Wilson is enjoying a healthy summer after rehabbing a torn ACL last year. He admitted he felt “behind the eight-ball” when he returned to action midway through last season after missing training camp last fall.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY INSIDER: Canucks center J.T. Miller remains determined to avoid social media and the sometimes toxic atmosphere that sometimes comes with it.

Appearing on the “Cam and Strick” podcast, Miller also admitted he couldn’t stand a portion of the local media base, noting two or three incidents that he claimed were misinterpreted by them as well as the spreading of unsubstantiated rumors.

Not all of them, I just can’t stand some of them, and to be honest, I think they know that I feel that way. So it’s not really something to hide,” said Miller.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed goaltender Martin Jones to a one-year contract worth $875K. However, he will have to pass through waivers to be sent to their AHL affiliate and there’s a risk he could be claimed by another NHL club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jones is likely to slot in as the Leafs’ No. 3 goaltender provided he doesn’t get plucked off the waiver wire at some point.

NJ HOCKEY NOW: The Devils signed defenseman Cal Foote to a one-year, two-way contract worth $800K at the NHL level.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The late Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz was remembered by family, friends, current and former Blackhawks and the club’s fans during two memorial services yesterday in Chicago. Wirtz died suddenly on July 25 at age 70.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2023

The Capitals sign Tom Wilson to a contract extension, Penguins winger Jake Guentzel suffers an ankle injury, an update on Ducks center Trevor Zegras and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals announced Friday they reached an agreement with Tom Wilson on a seven-year contract extension for Tom Wilson worth an average annual value of $6.5 million.

Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson (NHL Images).

Wilson, 29, is entering the final season of a five-year deal worth an AAV of $5.16 million. As per Cap Friendly, his new contract is comprised of a total of $23 million in signing bonuses and $22.5 million in base salaries. He also has a 15-team no-trade list through the first four seasons, dropping to a 10-team NTC in the final three years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson’s new contract has generated a mixed reaction among observers.

Some believe it will benefit the Capitals over the long term given Wilson’s rise from a fourth-line grinder to a versatile top-six power forward and team leader. Others believe this contract won’t age well given his age, his recent injury history and the projected decline of his performance over the term of the contract.

If Capitals winger T.J. Oshie’s response is anything to go by, Wilson’s teammates are not only thrilled about his new contract but also consider it well-deserved.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair his injured right ankle. He will be re-evaluated in 12 weeks. There was no immediate word as to the severity of the injury and when it occurred.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a serious setback for the Penguins. Their best left winger, Guentzel could miss at least the start of their season. This news could affect whether management uses its current 48-hour contract buyout window to shed the contract of forward Mikael Granlund. It could also affect the Penguins’ reported interest in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson.

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras is hopeful of getting a new contract signed soon. Linemate Troy Terry inked a seven-year, $49 million contract earlier this week. Zegras, 22, completed his entry-level contract last season, leading the Ducks with 65 points.

Hopefully, we get something done soon,” said Zegras. He acknowledged that this situation is up to his representatives to sort this out with Ducks management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks have over $20 million in cap space for 2023-24 with Zegras and defenseman Jamie Drysdale left to sign. It’s not unusual for players coming off ELCs to have their negotiations drag out through the summer. There’s still plenty of time for both players to sign new deals before training camp opens next month.

Some assume Terry’s new contract could act as a cap for someone like Zegras. Terry, who turns 26 next month, is nearly four years older than his young linemate, who has considerably more upside. What will be interesting is whether Zegras gets a long-term contract worth $1-$2 million more per season than Terry or a shorter one for around the same cap hit in order to cash in on a much higher salary cap within the next three or four years.

CAP FRIENDLY: Speaking of Zegras and Drysdale, they’re among the 14 unsigned restricted free agents still remaining in the market. Other notables include New York Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard and Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: According to a study conducted by US Betting Report, the Toronto Maple Leafs led the NHL last season in Fan Cost Index (FCI), that is the metric that calculates the total cost for a family of four to attend a sporting event. The Leafs topped the list at $697.75.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some fans will point at the Leafs’ high salary-cap payroll as the reason why their FCI is so high. However, it’s the market that determines the cost of attending a Leafs game, not the players’ salaries.

TSN: Former NHL defenseman and Winnipeg Jets coach Bob Murdoch passed away at age 76. He played 757 games over 12 seasons (1970-71 to 1981-82) with the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, and the Atlanta/Calgary Flames, netting 60 goals and 278 points as well as winning two Stanley Cups with the Canadiens in 1971 and 1973.

Murdoch was also head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1987-88 and the original Winnipeg Jets from 1989 to 1991, winning the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 1989-90. He also spent six seasons coaching in Germany.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Murdoch’s family, friends, former teammates and players who played for him.

NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2023

What next for the Bruins following the Taylor Hall trade? What’s the latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois, Mark Scheifele, Erik Karlsson, Alex DeBrincat and Tom Wilson? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss explained the motivation behind the Bruins trading Taylor Hall to the Chicago Blackhawks was to free up salary-cap space. The move clears Hall’s $6 million average annual value from the Bruins’ books for the next two seasons. They now have over $10 million in cap room for 2023-24.

Goss believes the Bruins’ priority now is re-signing Tyler Bertuzzi, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The 28-year-old winger could command between $5.5 million and $7.5 million annually on his next contract.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source claiming the Bruins aren’t done shedding salary. The source believes general manager Don Sweeney is going to move a defenseman. He also claims the trade rumors surrounding goaltender Linus Ullmark are true. Murphy speculates Matt Grzelcyk could be the defenseman on the move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winner of the 2022-23 Vezina Trophy, Ullmark earns an AAV of $5 million through 2024-25. He has a full no-movement clause until July 1, when it drops to a 16-team no-trade list.

Unless Ullmark agrees to waive his clause before then, the Bruins will have to wait until Saturday to trade him, assuming he’s the goalie they intend to move. They could decide to peddle restricted free agent netminder Jeremy Swayman.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Montreal Canadiens appeared to be out of the bidding in trade talks for Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Jets don’t want to go into rebuild mode while the Canadiens don’t want to give up good playing assets off their existing roster.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

The Canadiens have re-engaged discussions with the Jets. However, Dreger believes the Los Angeles Kings remain the front-runners for Dubois.

Dreger also indicated things were “simmering” regarding trade talks on Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck and center Mark Scheifele.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported that rumors claiming the Kings had permission to discuss a contract extension with Dubois weren’t true. Nevertheless, Friedman wondered if Dubois would sign an eight-year extension or a one-year deal to bring him up to UFA eligibility next summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck reported the Kings were willing to offer up forwards Gabe Vilardi and Alex Iafallo for Dubois. He believes the Canadiens won’t have much else to sway Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff if they’re not willing to part with young center Kirby Dach.

Speaking of Scheifele, Billeck wondered if he might be on the Bruins’ radar following their cost-cutting move of Taylor Hall to Chicago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Kings drop out I think they’re the most likely destination for Dubois. The rebuilding Canadiens are understandably intrigued about Dubois. However, the cost of giving up a good young player such as Dach as well as paying over $9 million annually to sign Dubois to a long-term deal is probably something they’re not comfortable doing right now.

As for Scheifele going to Boston, most of that freed-up cap space could go to re-signing Tyler Bertuzzi. Unless the Bruins shed more salary, I don’t see the Jets center landing in Beantown this summer.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch acknowledged San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson’s recent comments about his willingness to accept a trade back to the Senators. However, such a move would mean clearing Thomas Chabot’s $8 million AAV through 2027-28 to create sufficient cap space for Karlsson’s contract even if the Sharks retained part of his $11.5 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be a nice story, Karlsson returning to a rising young Senators club five years after he was traded away. As Garrioch pointed out, however, this is a different team than the one he left, built around a good young core of talent. While anything’s possible, I don’t see Karlsson returning to the Senators as a player.

Turning to Alex DeBrincat, Garrioch cited league executives expressing their belief that the Detroit Red Wings are high on the 25-year-old RFA winger’s list of preferred trade destinations. However, dealing with Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman isn’t easy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also cited Yzerman’s reputation as a tough negotiator as well as his reluctance to sign players to long-term contracts with Dylan Larkin as the sole exception.

Garrioch also noted that DeBrincat has been linked to the Nashville Predators. That’s prompted speculation whether Nashville goalie Juuse Saros would head the other way but there’s mixed feelings over whether the Predators want to part with Saros.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stranger things have happened but I’m still not convinced that Predators GM Barry Trotz will part with Saros. He’s been talking as though he’s retooling rather than rebuilding his roster. In that case, it makes sense to hang onto Saros.

The Senators could also have some interest in Calgary Flames winger Tyler Toffoli, who would make sense on a short-term contract. Toffoli has indicated he would be open to a trade. He has a year remaining on his current deal.

There was a rumor claiming the Washington Capitals would like to make a deal to send Tom Wilson to the Senators. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told TSN there was no truth to the rumor and he’s not trading the power forward.

NHL Rumor Mill – June 17, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – June 17, 2023

Check out the latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois, Noah Hanifin, Tom Wilson and Ross Colton plus the latest Oilers speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens examined the recent trade speculation tying Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings in a possible sign-and-trade deal. The 24-year-old Dubois is a restricted free agent who’s a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

Payroll could prevent this deal from taking place. The Kings have $7.3 million in projected cap space with 17 active roster players under contract for 2023-24.

Dubois is coming off a one-year, $6 million contract and his agent is reportedly seeking a long-term deal averaging out to $9 million per season. Acquiring him would mean having to shed some salary to make room for his new contract.

Stephens also worried about compatibility, citing Dubois’ trade request from Winnipeg and from Columbus before that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stephens also pointed out that Dubois is not a first-line center nor is he a franchise player. Spending $9 million annually on a long-term deal would be an expensive investment that could prove costly in more ways than one for the Kings or anyone else.

Landing a goaltender should be the Kings’ priority after trading away Cal Petersen and with Joonas Korpisalo slated to become a UFA on July 1. Stephens wonders if the cost of acquiring Dubois in trade assets and the contract might be better invested in Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports all signs pointing to defenseman Noah Hanifin not signing a contract extension with the Calgary Flames. He believes this situation is likely headed for a trade. Hanifin carries an average annual value of $4.95 million for 2023-24.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Randy Sportak believes Hanifin would draw plenty of interest in the trade market. The 26-year-old blueliner is entering his playing prime and is capable of putting up 50-point seasons in a top-four role. He could fetch a quality return for the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportak points out the lack of quality defenseman in this summer’s free-agent market could work to the Flames’ favor if they decide to peddle Hanifin. Perhaps that move takes place leading up to the opening round of the draft on June 28.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber cited a report by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicating the Washington Capitals have no intention of trading Tom Wilson.

This news comes on the heels of reports claiming the Los Angeles Kings “kicked tires” on Wilson, who is slated to become a UFA next summer. Friedman said he was told the Capitals intend to keep the power forward as they see him as a big part of their future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson and Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan have previously stated their mutual interest in getting a contract extension done at some point before next summer. Unless those negotiations go off the rails by next season’s trade deadline, I wouldn’t put much stock in the Wilson trade rumors.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes an offer sheet for Evan Bouchard could put the Oilers in a salary-cap bind. The 23-year-old is a restricted free agent who could become a 50-60 point player next season.

Oilers GM Ken Holland is aware of the possibility of Bouchard getting an offer sheet. However, he appeared unconcerned as he anticipated that his club would be able to match. Matheson also wondered if Bouchard would be willing to sign an offer sheet. Most of the teams that can afford to send him one are rebuilding.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Playing for a cap-strapped club, Bouchard is a tempting offer-sheet target. However, most playoff contenders have less than $15 million in cap space for next season. Those with more have a large number of players to re-sign or they don’t need a puck-moving blueliner like Bouchard. Never say never but I think the odds of Bouchard signing an offer sheet are low.

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector cited colleague Elliotte Friedman reporting teams are interested in Edmonton Oilers winger Warren Foegele. The big, speedy winger isn’t untouchable but the Oilers were pleased with his performance this season. Moving him would leave a big hole to fill.

There’s some talk of the Oilers signing former Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews as a fourth-line center. Spector expects the 35-year-old would be a one-year, $1 million signing. Toews’ former teammate Duncan Keith, now the Oilers’ scout and advisor, has been put in charge of monitoring this situation.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to free up salary-cap space. They could be open to moving Ross Colton. The 26-year-old restricted free agent could prove too expensive if he files for arbitration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With LTIR cap space, the Lightning have $7.3 million in cap room for next season with 17 active roster players under contract. Colton is completing a two-year contract worth $2.25 million. He could seek over $3 million annually which could price him out of Tampa Bay.

NHL Rumor Mill – June 13, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – June 13, 2023

Potential trade destinations for Jets center Pierre Dubois and Ducks goalie John Gibson plus updates on Capitals winger Tom Wilson and Sabres winger Victor Olofsson in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin listed the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild as possible trade destinations for Pierre-Luc Dubois.

The 24-year-old Winnipeg Jets center is expected to be shopped after his agent informed them that he’s not interested in signing a new contract. He’s a restricted free agent on July 1 who is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larkin points out that Dubois could help those four clubs address their need for depth at center among their top two lines. However, he points out that his contract is a sticking point.

Larkin also noted that the Hurricanes have much to figure out long-term for their roster this summer, the Avalanche might lack sufficient assets to acquire Dubois, the Canadiens could be reluctant to deviate from their rebuilding process while the Wild lack the cap space to take him on.

The Montreal Gazette’s Jack Todd also took note of the advantages Dubois could bring to the Canadiens. The downside would be the cost in cap room, dollars and picks to acquire him as well as concerns over the baggage he might bring from the toxic Jets locker room.

Larkin also doesn’t expect the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings or New York Rangers to have a serious chance of landing Dubois.

He pointed out that the Bruins have bonuses overages to pay to Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci and lack young, high-end assets to offer up as trade bait. Meanwhile, the Wings, Kings and Rangers already have established first-line centers and spent a lot investing in No. 2 centers over the past couple of seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss agrees with Larkin, citing many of the downsides that Todd listed. He also brought up the fact that Dubois forced a trade out of Columbus and appears to be doing the same in Winnipeg.

As for the Kings, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday said that there are some teams that believe the Kings could take a run at acquiring Dubois.

That would mean demoting Phillip Danault to the third line and promising Quinton Byfield to the fourth. They could play Dubois on the wing but that would create a log jam with Kevin Fiala, Viktor Arvidsson, Adrian Kempe and Alex Iafallo currently filling those roles among their top two lines.


THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman looked at seven potential trade destinations for Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson.

He has four more years with an average annual value of $6.4 million remaining on his contract with the rebuilding Ducks along with a 10-team no-trade clause. Gibson will be 30 when the 2023-24 season begins so the clock is ticking on him playing as a true No. 1 netminder with a competitive team.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, and Los Angeles Kings were Goldman’s suggested targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins, Hurricanes, Devils, Senators and Sabres all have the cap space to absorb Gibson’s contract. As a Pittsburgh native, he might be receptive to joining the Pens but we don’t know if new team president Kyle Dubas would be interested in picking up his contract.

The Hurricanes have indicated a willingness to bring back Frederik Andersen and/or Antti Raanta for next season. The Devils’ cap space could shrink considerably if they re-sign pending RFA forwards Jesper Bratt and Timo Meier, potentially pricing them out of the bidding.

Gibson could be reluctant to join rebuilding clubs in Ottawa, Detroit and Buffalo, though the latter appears on the cusp of contender status with the right goaltender. The Ducks could be unwilling to peddle Gibson to a close rival like the Kings.

Goldman also mentioned many of these factors.

I’m not saying Gibson is untradeable this summer, just pointing out the potential stumbling blocks for those seven teams. Maybe one of them will find a way to overcome those obstacles or perhaps another club we haven’t considered could make a pitch.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber reported Sirius XM’s John Hoven and The Fourth Period’s Dennis Bernstein reported on “King Of The Podcast” that a reliable source claimed the Los Angeles Kings “kicked tires” on Tom Wilson.

The 29-year-old Washington Capitals winger will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Hoven acknowledged that he wasn’t sure how that trade would work.

Silber cited the mutual interest between Wilson and the Capitals to sign an extension that allows the big winger to finish his career in Washington.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt that the Kings may have inquired into Wilson’s availability. However, I think the Capitals intend to re-sign him so I don’t expect to see him traded. Perhaps Wilson gets shopped at next year’s trade deadline if the Caps are out of playoff contention and contract talks end up stalled by that point.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski reports Victor Olofsson and his agent expect a trade from the Sabres. However, it could take some time to pull it off.

Olofsson, 27, carries a salary-cap hit of $4.75 million for next season and is slated to become a UFA next July. Lysowski cited sources saying Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is “very active” in trade talks on multiple fronts. However, those sources declined to say if Olofsson is part of those discussions yet.

The rise of young Sabres wingers Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka made Olofsson expendable toward the end of last season. They also have promising prospect Jiri Kulich knocking on the door. With a number of notable wingers potentially available in the trade and free-agent markets, the Sabres may have to be patient in finding Olofsson a new home.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lysowski also suggested the Sabres could start 2023-24 with Olofsson in the lineup and attempt to move him during the season.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 21, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 21, 2023

Could the Sabres pursue a trade for Connor Hellebuyck? Would the Capitals trade Tom Wilson or attempt to acquire Alex DeBrincat? Could the Kings shop Viktor Arvidsson? Check out the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup to find out.


THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn recently noted that colleagues Michael Russo and Eric Duhatschek had reported hearing that the Buffalo Sabres could be interested in Connor Hellebuyck. The 29-year-old Winnipeg Jets goaltender is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (NHL Images).

Russo and Duhatschek stated that the Sabres believe acquiring a genuine No. 1 goaltender will be the final piece that turns them into contenders. It would also enable them to hold off on passing the reins to promising Devon Levi until he’s NHL-ready.

Fairburn believes Hellebuyck would be the best option compared to who’s available in this summer’s free-agent market and potentially in the trade market. He thinks they should be monitoring the situation but shouldn’t give up top prospects like Matthew Savoie or Jiri Kulich given Hellebuyck’s contract status. If the Jets goalie can be had for less than that, Fairburn thinks he’d be worth it.

THE BUFFALO NEWS’ Lance Lysowki also weighed in on the Sabres’ rumored interest in Hellebuyck. He thinks general manager Kevyn Adams will look into the netminder’s availability. However, he anticipates a high asking cost combined with Hellebuyck being essentially a rental player for next season would make this an unlikely move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t be surprised if Adams reached out to the Jets about Hellebuyck. The Sabres GM is in a good position to acquire the 2019 Vezina Trophy winner (who’s also a finalist this season) with the cap space to absorb his $6.1 million cap hit and the depth in promising young assets to offer up as trade bait.

The only way I think this works for the Sabres is if Hellebuyck is willing to sign a contract extension. Otherwise, it’s a waste of assets for a player who’ll be heading out the door next summer. I understand the impatience to reach the playoffs after 12 seasons but it’s not worth sacrificing too much of their future on just one season.

Adams must also determine what he’s got in promising goalies like Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and how close they could be to handling the full-time starter duties. He could prefer bringing in an affordable veteran on a short-term deal until one of those youngsters is good to go.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber dismissed any talk of the retooling Washington Capitals shopping winger Tom Wilson. The 29-year-old power forward can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Wilson said he has no intention of leaving the Capitals and won’t play hardball with them when it comes to his next contract. The feeling is mutual with management as GM Brian MacLellan indicated in April that the plan is to sign him to a contract extension.

Silber also examined whether the Capitals could afford to make a pitch for Alex DeBrincat if he proves reluctant to sign a long-term deal with the Ottawa Senators. They could offer up Evgeny Kuznetsov or Anthony Mantha but both forwards are coming off disappointing performances this season.

DeBrincat would be a good fit with a Capitals roster that’s hoping for a quick turnaround. However, it seems unlikely they can acquire him given the expense of doing so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuznetsov and Mantha will be very difficult to move this summer given the number of teams (22) with less than $15 million in cap space. Their performances this season did nothing to improve their trade value. I don’t see the Senators having any interest in them if they put DeBrincat on the trade block.


SPORTSNET: On Friday’s episode of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said the Los Angeles Kings are looking to clear some cap space. He’s hearing winger Viktor Arvidsson could be available.

Co-host Jeff Marek suggested moving Arvidsson could clear room for a goaltender. Friedman also speculated it could be done to re-sign defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arvidsson, 30, is earning $4.25 million per season through 2023-24 and will be eligible for UFA status next summer. He’s played a role in the Kings’ return to playoff contender, scoring 26 goals and 59 points this season.

The Kings, however, need to sort out their goaltending situation. They also thought highly of Gavrikov, who fit in well on their blueline as a trade-deadline acquisition. Arvidsson’s contract status and his lack of no-trade protection could make him a trade candidate.