NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2023

How will the impending sale of the Senators affect their offseason plans? What’s the latest on the Canadiens? Could the Predators explore this summer’s trade market? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports speculation began over what changes Michael Andlauer could make to the Senators following news of his agreement in principle to purchase the club. Whatever he has in store must wait until the sale is officially completed, which could take several weeks or months.

Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

That won’t affect the offseason plans of general manager Pierre Dorion and his staff as they prepare for the upcoming draft in Nashville (June 28-29) and the start of the free-agent period on July 1. Dorion must also consider possible trade options for restricted free-agent winger Alex DeBrincat.

DeBrincat lacks a no-trade clause but he and his agent provided the Senators with a list of preferred trade destinations. Garrioch reports the list includes his hometown Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars. He pointed out that the Panthers and Golden Knights lack the salary-cap space to make a deal for DeBrincat so there would have to be some major juggling to do that.

Garrioch also indicated that DeBrincat will receive his $9 million qualifying offer from the Senators on June 25. Dorion will have until 5 pm Monday to determine if he’ll elect arbitration in the hope of getting a 15 percent discount on that qualifying offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s anticipated that the Senators will attempt to move DeBrincat prior to the first round (June 28) of this year’s draft. As Garrioch noted, this is the time to strike when the iron’s hot while general managers have the cap space and the willingness to spend in the trade market.

The Red Wings have plenty of cap space and need additional scoring. However, they could be seeking more of a power forward than a finesse player.

I doubt the Golden Knights and Panthers will get into the bidding. Nevertheless, their respective general managers have well-earned reputations for making significant moves.

Like the Golden Knights and Panthers, the Stars lack sufficient cap room. GM Jim Nill could be in the market for more affordable depth. Encouraged by the play of promising young players like Wyatt Johnston, he could also promote a youngster such as Mavrik Bourque.


THE ATHLETIC: Arpon Basu confirmed a Radio-Canada report claiming the Montreal Canadiens are attempting to move up in the 2023 first-round draft order. Currently holding the fifth-overall pick, they’ve attempted to swap picks with the fourth-overall San Jose Sharks and have contacted the Anaheim Ducks about the second-overall selection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Basu observed that the cost of jumping to second overall would be astronomical but worth it to land a highly-touted prospect like Adam Fantilli. If this wasn’t Connor Bedard’s draft year, Fantilli would be the favorite to go first overall.

I don’t see the Habs prying that pick away from the Ducks but it doesn’t hurt to ask. The same goes for trying to get the Sharks’ pick.

Basu also reports the Canadiens will not buy out winger Mike Hoffman. The first contract buyout window for NHL teams opens today and runs until 5 pm ET on June 30. They are willing to retain half of Hoffman’s $4.5 million cap hit in a trade but that seems unlikely to happen given he didn’t produce enough to justify the cost.

The Canadiens won’t be tendering a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Denis Gurianov. However, they haven’t ruled out signing him as an unrestricted free agent to a one-year deal at a reduced rate.

They’re also interested in signing pending UFA center Sean Monahan to an affordable one-year deal to give him a chance to prove he can stay healthy and improve his value in next summer’s free-agent market.


NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Michael Gallagher reports Predators general manager Barry Trotz intends to go shopping for offensive-minded players in this summer’s trade market. He’s willing to spend as much of the club’s $15.5 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 as possible to achieve that aim.

Trotz doesn’t anticipate he’ll be a big player in this summer’s UFA market, describing it as “a little bit lean.” He also wants to add players “that fit our culture.” He’s pitched trade offers to clubs that are looking to shed salary.

Gallagher observed there are three teams (Montreal, Tampa Bay and Vancouver) with less than $1 million in cap space. He also noted there will be several others looking to move a player with a sizable cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens will garner $10.5 million in cap relief by placing all-but-retired sidelined goalie Carey Price on long-term injury reserve. Still, they’ll be open to moving out a veteran forward like Mike Hoffman to free up cap room.

Meanwhile, the Lightning will garner over $6.8 million in LTIR cap relief due to permanently sidelined defenseman Brent Seabrook.

It’s been well-documented the Canucks are actively trying to shed salary. They’re believed to be shopping Conor Garland but Trotz might have his eye on scoring winger Brock Boeser.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 31, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 31, 2023

Leafs to hire Brad Treliving as general manager, Predators fire John Hynes and hire Andrew Brunette as head coach, the Capitals hire Spencer Carbery as their new head coach, the latest Stanley Cup Final news and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TSN: Darren Dreger broke the news that the Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to hire Brad Treliving as their new general manager. Treliving spent nine seasons as GM of the Calgary Flames before stepping down last month.

Former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving. (NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs were reportedly seeking someone with management experience to replace former GM Kyle Dubas. Treliving certainly has that but whether he can succeed where Dubas failed in terms of ending the Leafs’ 57-year Stanley Cup drought remains to be seen.

Under Treliving, the Flames reached the playoffs five times and finished atop the Pacific Division in 2018-19 and 2021-22. During his tenure, he drafted Matthew Tkachuk, Adam Fox, Sam Bennett, Andrew Mangiapane, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Dillon Dube. Treliving also traded for Dougie Hamilton, Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Tyler Toffoli, Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Milan Lucic and Travis Hamonic.

However, the Flames also missed the playoffs four times and only reached the second round twice while Treliving was their general manager. He’s also had his share of failures, such as losing Johnny Gaudreau to free agency while the jury remains out on his swap of Tkachuk for Huberdeau and Weegar.

Treliving faces some significant issues with the Leafs. Topping the list is signing Auston Matthews to a contract extension. He must also determine the futures of Leafs stars John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander and the fate of head coach Sheldon Keefe.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators fired head coach John Hynes on Tuesday, replacing him with Andrew Brunette. An assistant coach this season with the New Jersey Devils, Brunette was a 2021-22 finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year after guiding the Florida Panthers to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators incoming general manager Barry Trotz is facing some criticism for leaving Hynes twisting in the wind while he sought new head-coaching candidates given his own history as a long-time NHL head coach.

Nevertheless, Trotz has signaled that change will be afoot for the Predators. He obviously wanted his own man behind the bench and was going to take his time to find him. Now that he has his new bench boss, his focus could shift toward making some roster changes this summer.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals have hired Spencer Carbery as their new head coach. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs leading their power play. Before that, he spent three seasons as head coach of the Capitals’ AHL affiliate in Hershey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carbery will be under pressure to quickly reverse the aging Capitals’ fortunes after they missed the postseason for the first time since 2013-14. He’ll be reunited with defenseman Rasmus Sandin, who played under Carbery in Toronto until acquired by the Capitals before the March trade deadline. Meanwhile, Capitals assistant coaches Scott Allen and Bryan Murray will be returning next season

TSN: The Calgary Flames reached out to former New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant, who is interested in their vacant head-coaching job.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights’ ongoing success is attributable in part to two former Florida Panthers. The Golden Knights selected Jonathan Marchessault in the 2017 expansion draft when the Panthers left him unprotected. Around the same time, they acquired Reilly Smith in a trade with the Panthers.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Patric Hornqvist has been sidelined since December by a concussion but he remains a valuable member of the Panthers. He’s been on the ice in a non-contact jersey during practices, peppering goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with shots while providing guidance and encouragement to other teammates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hornqvist remains out for the season and the future of his playing career is murky right now. For the time being, he’s like another assistant coach for the Panthers.

TWINCITIES.COM: After spending several seasons with the Minnesota Wild as an assistant coach, Brett McLean is taking over as head coach of their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said he has no interest in joining their front office. Inducted on Sunday into the IIHF Hall of Fame, Zetterberg is spending his days as an unofficial consultant with the Wings as well as with his former Swedish club (Timra) and the Swedish national team. His only active hockey work is helping out with his son’s practices as he puts his focus on his family and a life outside of hockey.

NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – April 25, 2023

Jason Zucker hopes to remain with the Penguins, Predators new GM Barry Trotz outlines his offseason plans, and the latest on the Canucks in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Seth Rorabaugh reports Jason Zucker wants to remain with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 31-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s completing a five-year contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker (NHL Images).

Healthy for the first time since 2018-19, Zucker scored 27 goals and 48 points this season and led the Penguins with 195 hits. He said he wants to come back but that’s out of his hands right now as the club searches for a new general manager.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nick Horwat also took note of Zucker’s performance this season. While he thinks the Penguins would like to keep him, Horwat believes the winger has priced himself out of Pittsburgh. His age could also make him too old for the direction the club could want to go.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Penguins have over $20 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 with 14 roster players under contract. They have the space to re-sign Zucker but it’ll likely depend on how much he’s seeking and for how long. He might have to accept a slight pay cut on a short-term deal to remain with the Penguins. Otherwise, they probably can’t afford to keep him unless they shed some salary to make room for a raise.


NHL.COM: Emma Lingan recently reported on Barry Trotz outlining his vision for the Nashville Predators since taking over as general manager. He hopes to build on the club’s blend of experience, youth and goaltending.

Trotz called Juuse Saros an elite goaltender. He believes the roster needs some improvement, calling on his top veteran players to be at the level expected of them. He’s also pleased by the emergence this season of promising young players such as Tommy Novak and Luke Evangelista.

The new Predators GM will look at making some additions during the offseason. “I’m looking to get faster,” he said. “I want to add some size at key positions, and I want to add a little scoring.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators have almost $18 million in cap space for next season with 14 roster regulars under contract. They’ve also got 12 picks in the first five rounds of this year’s draft, including two first-rounders. Perhaps one or two of those picks will be used as trade bait to address some of the needs Trotz hopes to address.


SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre examined the Vancouver Canucks’ offseason priorities.

Topping the list is getting Elias Pettersson signed to a contract extension. He’s a year away from becoming a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll also be a year away from UFA eligibility. He just completed a career-best 102-point season. MacIntyre speculated that Canucks GM Patrik Allvin may be more willing than most think to let the matter slide into (or after) the final season of Pettersson’s current contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will be a mistake in my opinion. Pettersson’s going to cost a lot to re-sign after his emergence as a superstar this season. Another 100-point performance will only push the cost of signing him even higher. If there’s a deal to be done with Pettersson this summer, make it so.

MacIntyre believes Allvin will go shopping this summer for a third-line center via trade or free agency. Landing a 20-something free agent like Max Domi, Pius Suter or Ivan Barbashev for that role won’t be cheap. He also believes they need to add another second-pairing defenseman.

The Canucks are already exceeding next season’s cap ceiling with $85.2 million in commitments, including injured players. They’ll have to shed salary in order to make additions. Moving the contracts of Oliver Ekman-Larsson or Tyler Myers could prove difficult. MacIntyre speculates it could come down to trading Brock Boeser, Conor Garland or both.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s $7.26 million cap hit through 2026-27 and his declining performance makes him almost impossible to trade. Myers has only a year left on his deal and could be easier to move once his $5 million signing bonus is paid on Sept. 15. However, that could complicate the timing of a trade. So could his 10-team no-trade clause.

Boeser and Garland would have much more value in the trade market given they’re in their late 20s. There’s also speculation they could listen to offers for J.T. Miller before his no-trade clause kicks in on his new contract on July 1. It could take one heck of an offer, however, to convince them to part with him.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2023

Recaps of Sunday’s games, Barry Trotz to replace David Poile as Predators GM, Tanner Jeannot to the Lightning, Ivan Barbashev to the Golden Knights, Evgenii Dadonov to the Stars, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov tallied a hat trick (including the game-winner in overtime) to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. The win propelled the Wild (33-21-6) into second place in the Central Division with 72 points, one point up on the Colorado Avalanche. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 41 shots as the Blues Jackets fell to 19-35-6 on the season.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

A five-goal second period lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin each had a goal and an assist as the Penguins as they improved to 29-21-9 and hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 67 points. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point also had a goal and an assist each for the 37-18-4 Lightning as they’ve dropped four of their last six and sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 78 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov reached 700 career points and sits fourth all-time among Lightning scorers with 701.

The Buffalo Sabres dumped the Washington Capitals 7-4 as Dylan Cozens tallied his first NHL hat trick while Tage Thompson netted his 40th goal of the season. The Sabres (31-23-4) sit one point back of the Penguins. Dylan Strome collected two points and Alex Ovechin scored his 33rd of the season for the Capitals as they’ve slipped to 29-27-6 and sit three points behind the Penguins and two points behind the Sabres.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Bo Horvat, Alexander Romanov, Brock Nelson and Adam Pelech were the goal scorers as the Islanders rose to 31-25-7 and hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 69 points. The Jets (35-24-1) have dropped four straight games and fell into the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 71 points.

The New York Rangers got two goals and an assist from Vincent Trocheck in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Igor Shesterkin turned aside 26 shots as the Rangers (34-17-9) snapped a four-game losing skid and sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points. Phillip Danault collected two assists for the Kings as they fell to 33-20-8 and remain in second place in the Pacific Division with 74 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller was ejected in the first period for spitting on Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Miller reached out to Doughty following the game claiming it wasn’t on purpose and he felt bad about it.

The Rangers also sat Ryan Carpenter and Braden Schneider for salary-cap purposes as they continue to work toward an expected trade for Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored two goals to defeat the Seattle Kraken 5-1. Mitch Marner had three assists while Ilya Samsonov kicked out 26 shots as the Leafs improved to 37-15-8 as they moved to within one point of the third overall New Jersey Devils with 82 points. Vince Dunn scored the only goal for the Kraken (32-21-6) as they dropped into the final Western wild-card berth with 70 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken were jockeying for first place in the Pacific Division not too long ago. They’ve dropped seven of their last 10 games which could prompt general manager Ron Francis into making a move before the March 3 trade deadline to bolster his roster.

The Nashville Predators got two goals by Roman Josi in a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Josi finished with three points as did Matt Duchene and Tommy Novak as the Predators (29-22-6) sit six points behind the Kraken with 64 points. The Coyotes are 20-30-9 on the season.


THE TENNESSEAN: A source said Nashville Predators general manager David Poile intends to retire at the end of this season. He’s been their GM since the club’s inception in 1997 and sits third all-time in wins (1,519) among NHL general managers. His replacement is expected to be Barry Trotz, who was the club’s first head coach during its first 15 seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be the end of an era for the Predators. Poile’s tenure was mostly a successful one, qualifying for the playoffs 15 times since their inaugural season in 1998-99. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 and won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2018. Since then, however, the Predators have been in a slow but steady decline. They risk missing the playoffs this season for the first time since 2014.

THE TENNESSEAN/TAMPA BAY TIMES: Speaking of the Predators, they traded forward Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a first-round pick in 2025, a second-round pick in 2024, a third, fourth and fifth-rounder in 2023 and defenseman Cal Foote.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s one helluva haul for Jeannot, a middle-six power forward who had 24 goals and 41 points as a rookie last season but slumped to five goals and 14 points in 56 games this season. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent this summer.

The Lightning appear to have overpaid for Jeannot. However, Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin points out that they could see something awesome in him just like they did with Brandon Hagel, Nick Paul, Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow at previous trade deadlines. If he helps the Lightning return to the Stanley Cup Final it will be considered a wise investment, especially if they re-sign him to an affordable extension.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW/STLTODAY.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights acquired winger Ivan Barbashev from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospect Zach Dean.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A versatile forward who can play center or wing, Barbashev should provide a boost to the Golden Knights’ middle-six lines. Dean, 20, is a 2021 first-round pick who was ranked third among Vegas’ top prospects in The Athletic’s midseason prospect pool rankings.

The Golden Knights might not be done dealing as they still have over $7 million in projected deadline cap space. However, their lack of sufficient draft and prospect capital to use as trade bait could hamper efforts to acquire a more notable talent.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS/MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Stars traded winger Denis Gurianov to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for winger Evgenii Dadonov. The Canadiens also retain half of Dadonov’s $5 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gurianov is a former 20-goal scorer who struggled over the last two seasons with the Stars. If he regains his form in Montreal, the rebuilding Canadiens could re-sign him or use him as a trade chip in the offseason.

Dadonov has only 18 points in 50 games but enjoyed a 20-goal, 43-point performance last season with Vegas. He could rediscover his scoring touch with the playoff-bound Stars.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks traded defenseman Jack Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche for blueliner Andreas Englund. Johnson played for the Avalanche last season and helped them win the Stanley Cup.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is sidelined indefinitely with an injured kneecap.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks placed defenseman Ethan Bear (upper body) on injured reserve.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 5, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 5, 2022

Could the Flames re-sign Milan Lucic? Will the Oilers trade a forward to make room for Dylan Holloway? What coaches are available if some teams consider making changes behind the bench? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane recently mused over whether the Flames will re-sign Milan Lucic. The 34-year-old power forward is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s been one of their steadiest players this season and is skating on the second line with Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli.

Calgary Flames winger Milan Lucic (NHL Images).

In addition to Lucic’s improved play, he’s also become a leader in the dressing room. Macfarlane believes there’s little doubt he wants to stay in Calgary and would cost a lot less than the $6 million average annual value he’s earning split between the Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have limited cap space ($1.7 million) for 2023-24. Fortunately, all their core players are under contract and Lucic is their most noteworthy pending free agent.

They might have to create some additional cap room even if Lucic’s next contract is a short-term one at a far more affordable rate than his current one. Still, I think the two sides can work something out if he wants to stay and management feels he can still contribute.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell examined the Edmonton Oilers’ options to get promising winger Dylan Holloway more playing time this season. The easiest choice would be to send him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield and then recall the 21-year-old if he does well there after a few games.

Another would be finding a way to create room on the roster for Holloway to skate among the top-six forwards. That could come down to making a decision on moving Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele.

Mitchell believes Yamamoto will stay put, in part because he’s signed through next season. Puljujarvi has frequently surfaced in media trade rumors but Mitchell believes the big winger helps the team even when he’s not scoring.

That leaves Foegele as potentially vulnerable. He‘s a left-shot winger filling the position Holloway is best suited to play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foegele hasn’t popped up as much as Puljujarvi in the rumor mill but he has been mentioned before as a trade candidate. However, general manager Ken Holland has found ways to balance his roster thus far without resorting to a trade. I think Holloway’s destined spend some time in Bakersfield.


DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin looked at the notable former NHL coaches currently available for any team that might be considering a shakeup behind the bench this season.

Topping the list, of course, is Barry Trotz followed by Rick Tocchet. Other familiar names include Alain Vigneault, Dave Tippett, Andrew Brunette, Travis Green and Jeff Blashill.

Larkin also listed “up-and-comers” such as Ryan Warsofsky, Jay Leach and Ian Laperriere. He also noted former NHL coaches Mike Babcock and Joel Quenneville are available but suggests both carry too much baggage to return to the league’s coaching ranks.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2022

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: the latest Patrick Kane speculation, updates on the Canucks and Wild, and Barry Trotz hints he might be interested someday in coaching an Original Six franchise.


SPORTSNET: ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski appeared on the Jeff Marek show last week where the future of Patrick Kane was among the topics of discussion.

Marek speculated the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames could come calling if the long-time Chicago Blackhawks winger becomes available in this season’s trade market. He and Wyshynski ruled out the Florida Panthers given their lack of draft capital to use as trade bait.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Kane could attract interest from some or all of those clubs if he’s willing to be moved before the March 3 trade deadline. The problem, of course, is salary-cap space. Leaving aside Kane’s full no-movement clause, his $10.5 million cap hit would be difficult to move even in a year when teams had plenty of salary-cap room.

According to Cap Friendly, the Lightning will have $3.5 million in trade deadline cap space. The Panthers will have $5.27 million, the Hurricanes $6.8 million, the Avalanche $1.4 million, and the Flames $6.05 million. That’s assuming they don’t have to dip into their respective cap space between now and deadline day to replace key players sidelined by injuries or use it to address other roster needs.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, have no projected deadline cap space so I don’t them getting involved in any bidding for Kane. Those other teams, meanwhile, must either clear significant cap room (which they can’t afford to do without weakening their roster depth) or convince the Blackhawks to retain up to half of Kane’s cap hit. Even then, that won’t free up enough for some of them to acquire him.

Those clubs can try to include a third team in the deal to spread Kane’s cap hit around and make it more affordable. Doing that, however, means having to sweeten the deal for the Blackhawks and the third team to make it worth their while.

I’m not suggesting it can’t be done. Nevertheless, such a move could seriously deplete a club’s depth in draft picks and prospects to add an expensive playoff rental player.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports that the Vancouver Canucks aren’t about to hit the panic button over their poor start this season. However, he feels they’re getting “dangerously close to having to put everything on the table.”

One option would be a “hefty renovation” involving shipping out key players for draft picks. Another is a short-term fix involving a trade but there’s no guarantee the right player will be available in a timely fashion. The third could be replacing Bruce Boudreau as head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I touched on this subject yesterday. What usually happens this early in the season is the coaching change. It’s the easiest move to make and sometimes it can quickly reverse a struggling team’s fortunes. Canucks management could surprise us and go with the other two options but I think replacing Boudreau is their likely choice.

Pierre LeBrun cited remarks made by Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin in a recent interview with The Athletic’s Michael Russo regarding his club’s slow start. Guerin had said, “We’re not going to trade our way out of this,” putting the onus on his players to improve. The Wild GM stuck by his remarks when LeBrun contacted him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have since shown signs of improvement by going 2-0-1 after losing their first three games.


NHL.COM: During an appearance on the “Cam and Strick” podcast on Tuesday, former NHL head coach Barry Trotz said he’d be intrigued by the notion of coaching an Orignal Six franchise if the opportunity presented itself.

For now, Trotz said he’s not quite ready yet to return to the NHL coaching ranks. He was fired by the New York Islanders on May 9. He spent 23 seasons with the Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals and the Islanders, winning the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018 and guiding the Isles to consecutive conference finals appearances in 2020 and 2021.