NHL Rumor Mill – April 30, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 30, 2022

A look at the potential off-season plans for the Senators and Red Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE SENATORS?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch looked at some potential offseason moves for the Senators. They need to determine Matt Murray’s status as the oft-injured goaltender was sidelined for the final 30 games of the season with a neck/head injury. He’s appeared in just 47 games over the last two seasons with the Senators and has two more years remaining on his contract.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (NHL Images).

The 27-year-old Murray will have to earn his job back if he returns next season. Anton Forsberg was their best goaltender this season and signed a three-year contract extension in March. Filip Gustavsson had a strong finish and is signed to a one-way deal for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch recently spoke with colleague Wayne Scanlan and the Senators’ French play-by-play man Nicolas St-Pierre to get their thoughts on Murray’s situation. Both suggested buying out the veteran netminder but Garrioch doesn’t see that happening because the Senators aren’t likely to be a cap team.

The only other option the trio sees is Murray returning healthy and battling for his job this fall. There was speculation about placing him on long-term injury reserve but they have no reason to believe Murray won’t play again.

Murray’s injury history makes a trade unlikely. His $6.25 million annual average value through 2023-24 and 10-team no-trade list also complicates things. It doesn’t mean Murray can’t be shopped if the Senators were to pick up a healthy chunk of his cap hit but concerns over his health should keep him in Ottawa for the foreseeable future.

The Senators will have to make a decision regarding Colin White, who missed most of this season due to shoulder surgery and was inconsistent on his return. It’s believed the Montreal Canadiens had an interest in the 25-year-old center before the trade deadline. Perhaps that deal is revisited if the two sides can work something out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether the Canadiens revisit their rumored interest in White will depend on how they go about addressing their needs during the offseason. They’ve got 14 picks in this year’s draft, with 10 of those in the first four rounds. They must determine whether Carey Price and Shea Weber will be returning next season and if they can find a suitable trade partner for defenseman Jeff Petry. They could find better options than White through this summer’s trade and free-agent markets.

Unrestricted free agents Chris Tierney, Tyler Ennis and Scott Sabourin likely won’t be back. Restricted free-agent defenseman Victor Mete requested a trade in March and probably won’t get a qualifying offer. Blueliner Michael Del Zotto has a year remaining on his contract and could be shopped this summer.

Garrioch also reports Senators fans will be keeping a close eye on Florida Panthers center Claude Giroux. There’s a belief the 34-year-old Ottawa native might be intrigued and interested in the possibility of playing for the Senators if he wins a Stanley Cup with the Panthers. He could play a big role in helping Ottawa’s young roster take the next step.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not dismissing the possibility of Giroux signing with Ottawa if he wins a Cup this spring in Florida. However, I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high if I’m a Senators fan. A lot could depend on whoever replaces late owner Eugene Melnyk and what type of contract Giroux would seek to come home to play.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE RED WINGS?

THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman offered up his thoughts on possible off-season moves by the Detroit Red Wings.

Making a decision behind the bench is the priority for general manager Steve Yzerman as head coach Jeff Blashill’s contract expires at the end of this season. While the rebuilding club showed improvement in the first half of the season, things went really sideways for them from late February onward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blashill’s been the Wings head coach for seven seasons. He couldn’t be faulted for the club’s struggles through most of his tenure as management tore down and rebuilt the roster. However, they were expected to make significant strides this season. It may be time for Yzerman to find a new bench boss who can turn this roster into a legitimate playoff contender.

Yzerman could decide to bring in some veteran help via free agency and trades like the Los Angeles Kings did last summer. They have over $30 million in salary-cap space to make those investments if they wish to sign second-tier free agent talent (such as Carolina’s Vincent Trocheck or the Rangers’ Andrew Copp) to medium-term contracts. The Wings GM could also bide his time and wait for more prospects to arrive, or he could opt to sacrifice some of his current core players for more promising talent in order to build a playoff window for three or four years from now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bultman has observed that Yzerman likes to add players who are proven winners, such as Oskar Sundqvist from the St. Louis Blues and Jakub Vrana from the Washington Capitals. Copp, Tampa Bay’s Ondrej Palat and Colorado’s Andre Burakovsky were among his suggested free-agent targets.

Bultman suggests remaking the defense, bolstering their scoring punch, re-signing captain Dylan Larkin and deciding what to do with winger Tyler Bertuzzi should also be on Yzerman’s offseason to-do list. Larkin and Bertuzzi both have a year remaining on their current contracts and will be eligible next summer for UFA status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman has been patiently rebuilding with youth while adding several veterans to provide some experienced depth and leadership. However, I think the time has come to make a bold move or two to get this club over the hump. I’m not saying he should blow all his cap space on an expensive addition but he can certainly bring in some secondary talent that won’t break the bank and provide some real improvement to the roster.

It’ll be interesting to see what Yzerman does with Bertuzzi and Larkin. Bertuzzi was the subject of trade speculation in the weeks before the trade deadline. It wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up getting shopped this summer. Larkin could also hit the trade block if he’s grown weary of the rebuild and decides to move on to a playoff contender next summer.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 23, 2022

In today’s NHL rumor mill, the Jets could face offseason changes following the disappointing outcome of this season plus a look at some potential decisions facing the Red Wings.

CHANGES COULD BE COMING THIS SUMMER FOR THE JETS

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe believes the Winnipeg Jets must begin the process of repairing a winning culture that’s been in decline in recent years starting with their remaining games in this season. He feels the franchise’s foundation is showing cracks in need of repair.

The Jets have plenty of offensive skill but they’re not scoring on a consistent basis. They’re giving up too many quality scoring chances, they don’t defend well enough around their net while their special teams have struggled.

Wiebe feels some of those issues were papered over by goaltender Connor Hellebuyck’s play in recent years. However, they were exposed when he wasn’t playing at a Vezina-caliber level this season as the volume of shots and scoring chances against him increased.

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck shares Wiebe’s concern that there are cracks in the Jets’ foundation. He pointed out that players such as Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Paul Stastny and Josh Morrissey have publicly admitted the team’s performance is not up to snuff, with Connor also admitting a culture change is needed.

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (NHL.com).

Billeck believes that will be up to general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff or his replacement if ownership decides a change is needed in the front office. It could also have an effect on contract talks with center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre believes it’s time for the Jets to conduct a full examination to address the malaise gripping the club. He wonders if that will be conducted by Cheveldayoff or his boss, Mark Chipman. The Jets owner has to be seeing the effects on the ice and in the stands, where the Jets are averaging 1,500 – 2,000 empty seats per game.

McIntyre also pondered the possibility of the Jets bringing in an experienced and sharp hockey mind from outside the organization as other clubs have done in recent years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The focus of these pieces center on whether there will be changes in the front office after this season. Cheveldayoff’s been in the job since 2011. While he built them up into a Western Conference finalist in 2018, they’ve been steadily declining since then. Perhaps a change in management is necessary.

Whoever is the Jets general manager this summer must decide if a roster shakeup is required or if the problem could be addressed with a coaching change. Long-time bench boss Paul Maurice stepped down in December claiming the team needed a “new voice” to reach the next level. Assistant coach Dave Lowry took over on an interim basis but was no more successful than his predecessor.

Some roster changes could still be in order if the Jets replace Cheveldayoff and hire a new head coach. McIntyre has suggested moving out a couple of expensive veterans to clear roster and cap space for promising young defensemen such as Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola.

Center Mark Scheifele recently surfaced in the rumor mill as an offseason trade candidate. Some Jets fans would like to see captain Blake Wheeler replaced but his age (35), $8.25 million cap hit through 2023-24 and full no-movement clause makes that option difficult to achieve.

LATEST RED WINGS SPECULATION

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen and Bob Duff recently addressed some questions about the Red Wings’ future plans. They don’t see Jeff Blashill returning as head coach, with Allen saying he’s heard GM Steve Yzerman could look at some tough, demanding coaching candidates if he replaces Blashill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blashill’s been the Wings’ head coach for the past seven seasons. He couldn’t be faulted for most of the club’s struggles during the earlier years of its rebuild. However, they were expected to make significant improvement this season, perhaps even contend for a wild-card spot. Their second-half collapse amid ongoing concerns over their defensive play suggests it’s time for a fresh perspective behind the bench.

Allen and Duff both believe Yzerman’s roster priority is to bring in a second-line center. They also expect he’ll seek an experienced second-pairing defenseman. Possible forward options could include the New York Rangers’ Andrew Copp and the Carolina Hurricanes’ Vincent Trocheck via free agency. Duff’s also hearing Yzerman could target Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg if he hits the open market.

They also suggest Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Zadina as trade candidates if the Wings don’t see them as part of their long-term plans. Bertuzzi is a year away from UFA status while Zadina is a restricted free agent this summer. They could retain the latter as they appreciate how hard he’s working to become a better player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman’s shown a willingness to make bold moves, first by shipping Anthony Mantha to Washington for Jakub Vrana at last year’s trade deadline and acquiring goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from Carolina last summer. I wouldn’t be shocked if he peddles Bertuzzi and/or Zadina to land that second-line center or second-pairing blueliner this summer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2022

A record-setting night for Filip Forsberg, the Bruins attempt to sign recently-acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm, Tyler Bertuzzi speaks out about trade rumors, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg tallied his franchise-record 211th career goal (and tied his single-season personal best of 33 goals) in a 6-3 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Predators captain Roman Josi collected three assists to become the first NHL defenseman since Paul Coffey and Al MacInnis in 1990-91 to reach 75 points in 60 games. Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored twice and teammate Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist in his return from a two-game suspension. With 76 points, the Predators hold a four-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the first Western Conference wild-card berth while the Leafs (83 points) remain one point behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs winger Ondrej Kase left the game in the second period after taking an elbow to the head by Predators forward Matt Duchene. He has a history of head injuries and there was no immediate update about his condition.

Speaking of the Lightning, they dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Rangers when Mika Zibanejad snapped a 1-1 tie with just 16 seconds remaining in the game. Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves for the win as the Rangers completed a sweep of their season series against the Lightning. The Blueshirts sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 83 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby enjoyed his 87th career multi-point game with two goals to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored to extend his points streak to eight games. The Penguins sit two points ahead of the Rangers for second place in the Metro Division and are three points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, got a 38-save performance by goaltender Logan Thompson (19 of them in the third period) in a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist for Vegas (72 points) as they opened a three-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card berth. The Kings sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 76 points.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 6-3. The Oilers tallied four unanswered third-period goals to overcome a 3-2 deficit and pick up their fifth straight win, sitting two points behind the Kings in third place. Evander Kane scored twice for the Oilers while Jesper Bratt netted two goals for the Devils.

The Calgary Flames dealt a blow to the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff hopes by beating the latter 5-2. Matthew Tkachuk led the way with a goal and two assists for the Flames, who sit atop the Pacific Division with 84 points. The Canucks sit five points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 67 points.

Late goals by Ryan Hartman and Jordan Greenway lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Cam Talbot made 21 saves for the win as the Wild have victories in four of their last six contests. They sit one point behind the St. Louis Blues in the Central Division with 76 points.

The Columbus Blue Jackets got two-point performances from Patrik Laine, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Gustav Nyquist and Emil Bemstrom to hold off the Blues 5-4. David Perron had a hat trick for St. Louis.

New York Islanders center Brock Nelson tallied a hat trick as his club doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Isles, who’ve gone 5-0-1 in their last six games. The Stars are three points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 29 saves for his first win since Nov. 27 in a 5-1 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. Jake Evans had a goal and an assist while Cole Caufield extended his goal streak to four games.

A four-goal outburst in the third period carried the Seattle Kraken over the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Yanni Gourde tallied twice for the Kraken.

HEADLINES

TSN: The Boston Bruins are reportedly attempting to sign Hampus Lindholm after acquiring him yesterday from the Anaheim Ducks. Pierre LeBrun reports it’s believed to be an eight-year contract extension that could be completed Sunday. Chris Johnston followed up indicating the annual average value is $6.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be a reasonable cap hit for Lindholm. His current annual average value is over $5.2 million. He might’ve received more on the open market this summer.

The contract term was a sticking point in Lindholm’s contract talks with the Ducks and led to his trade to Boston. Signing an extension with the Bruins gives him an extra year on his contract he otherwise wouldn’t have received in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The full details of Claude Giroux’s trade to the Florida Panthers sees the Flyers receive winger Owen Tippett, a conditional 2024 first-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick. The Panthers also received minor-league forwards Connor Bunneman and German Rubtsov and a 2024 fifth-round pick. The Flyers retained 50 percent of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The details of the trade tended to dribble out during the course of the evening. You can read my reaction to the trade at this link.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi dismissed recent trade rumors, making it clear he’s committed to the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi is replying to a recent rumor claiming he’d welcome a move to another club. General manager Steve Yzerman has made no comment about Bertuzzi or any of his other players as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter received a one-game suspension for slashing Washington Capitals Axel Jonsson-Fjallby on Friday.










NHL Rumor Mill (Part One) – March 19, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill (Part One) – March 19, 2022

Check out the latest on Claude Giroux, Hampus Lindholm, Mark Giordano and Tyler Bertuzzi in the first part of today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON GIROUX, LINDHOLM, GIORDANO AND BERTUZZI

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi reports the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche remain the front-runners for Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. However, a source said the Flyers aren’t close to a deal with the Panthers, adding he expects talks will pick up on Sunday as teams position themselves.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

It’s believed Panthers forward Owen Tippett was discussed but he wouldn’t be worth it as the centerpiece of the deal for the Flyers. Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports the Avalanche have offered up prospect Justin Barron and their 2023 first-round pick.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty cited a rumor claiming Giroux has rejected offers to join the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word if there could be a third team Giroux is willing to join or one stepping up to make a bid. It appears he’ll either be heading to the Panthers or Avalanche.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens reports contract term remains a sticking point in negotiations between the Anaheim Ducks and pending free agent defenseman Hampus Lindholm. General manager Pat Verbeek would prefer a deal that doesn’t stretch in the blueliner’s mid-30s.

Verbeek’s asking price for Lindholm in the trade market is expected to be three assets, with what the Montreal Canadiens got in the Ben Chiarot deal (first-rounder, fourth-rounder, prospect) shaping the ask. The St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers could be among the suitors.

Stephens also weighed in on Rickard Rakell, indicting the pending UFA winger’s recent upper-body injury isn’t considered serious. He’s said to be on the Rangers’ radar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks sat out Lindholm from last night’s game against the Florida Panthers. While it’s still possible he could sign a contract extension, it appears more likely he’ll be moved by Monday’s trade deadline. I also anticipate Rakell will be traded before the deadline.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Geoff Baker reports teams seeking a top-four defenseman like the Kraken’s Mark Giordano include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues. What could be holding up a potential trade is the Kraken seeking a first-round pick as part of the return. Some clubs, like the Leafs, aren’t willing to part with a first-rounder for a rental player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of them might part with a first-round pick. However, if no one’s willing to do so, Kraken GM Ron Francis could be forced to lower his price come deadline day.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting he believed Tyler Bertuzzi has let Red Wings management know he’s open to moving on. Seravalli doesn’t think Bertuzzi made a trade request but thinks the winger would be okay with a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi lacks no-trade protection so he really has no say in any dealings that could involve him.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 18, 2022

Check out the latest on Claude Giroux, Mark Giordano, Hampus Lindholm and Jordan Binnington plus updates on the Bruins, Coyotes and Red Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON GIROUX, GIORDANO, LINDHOLM & BINNINGTON

TSN: Pierre LeBrun expects trade talks to escalate today for Claude Giroux after he played his 1,000th career game with the Philadelphia Flyers last night. The Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers continue to show interest. LeBrun doesn’t see any sign that a third team is getting into the bidding though that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater reports it’s his understanding the Avalanche have made an offer for Giroux and haven’t been told they’re out of the running. He also indicated Avs management isn’t sweating whether they’ll get the Flyers forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs and Panthers are among the handful of this season’s Stanley Cup contenders. Both already made significant moves to bolster their respective defense corps and are now looking at boosting their forward lines. Whoever loses out in this bidding could set their sights on more affordable rental options before Monday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano (NHL Images).

TSN: Chris Johnston reports Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano is among the Toronto Maple Leafs’ trade targets. The Kraken seek a first-round pick, something Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said he wouldn’t part with for a rental player. San Jose Sharks blueliner Jacob Middleton is also on the Leafs’ list but they don’t like the Sharks’ asking price.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the Leafs are Giordano’s preference. He wondered if the Kraken might accept a second-round pick from the Leafs. Giordano has a 12-team no-trade list so he has some control over this situation.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues could be options for Giordano. Like the Leafs, however, Blues GM Doug Armstrong doesn’t want to part with his first-rounder for a rental. For Giordano to land with the Leafs, LeBrun believes it’ll have to be a second-rounder and a prospect. He also said Giordano wouldn’t stand in the way of a deal to a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t blame the Kraken for seeking a first-round pick for Giordano. They could get it but might have to accept a second-rounder and a prospect or young NHL-ready player if they can’t find a bidder willing to part with a first-rounder for the 38-year-old defenseman.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports of little progress in contract extension talks between the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Hampus Lindholm. Ducks GM Pat Verbeek isn’t willing to offer up a seven- or eight-year contract, something Lindholm’s camp believes they can get elsewhere. Verbeek is gauging the trade market but Seravalli doesn’t rule out the Ducks GM circling back to Lindholm before deadline day. The asking price is said to be a first-rounder, a top prospect plus another asset.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun suggests Lindholm could be a fit with the Bruins or St. Louis Blues but it’ll take a high price to pry him away from the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm also lacks no-trade protection so Verbeek could have a wide range of potential suitors. Those could include non-playoff clubs willing to acquire the 28-year-old defenseman if he’ll agree to a contract extension. Something to keep in mind if the Ducks don’t get any suitable offers from postseason clubs.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong has contacted clubs in the market for goaltending help and pitched Jordan Binnington as a solution to their woes. However, there’s not much interest in the 29-year-old netminder due to his declining performance and his contract, which includes a $6 million annual cap hit through 2026-27 and a full no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t blame Armstrong for trying but Binnington’s contract alone makes him almost impossible to move at the trade deadline.

BRUINS PURSUING CHYCRUN BUT WILL THEY GET HIM?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Boston Bruins showed interest in Josh Manson before he was traded to the Avalanche and in Ben Chiarot before he was shipped to the Panthers. They’ve shown interest in Jakob Chychrun but it’s not clear if the Arizona Coyotes will move him based on the current offers. LeBrun also reported acquiring Chychrun in a “hockey trade” remains the Bruins’ priority.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss reports the Coyotes’ asking price for Chychrun could include a first-round pick and a top prospect among other assets. The Bruins, however, don’t have a lot of premium trade assets.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports whatever the Bruins are offering is unlikely to outdo other clubs interested in the 23-year-old Chychrun. He believes the Bruins would have to part with a top prospect such as Mason Lohrei or Fabian Lysell as part of a package to entice the Coyotes. The Los Angeles Kings are also making a pitch for Chychrun and their prospect pool is much deeper than the Bruins.

Shinzawa also reports Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk’s trade request still stands. His agent hopes a deal can be found by the trade deadline. Shinzawa also dismissed the possibility of a Bruins reunion with Zdeno Chara at the trade deadline, suggesting Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Calvin de Haan would be a more suitable rental option.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli included the Bruins among the clubs with interest in de Haan and the Kraken’s Mark Giordano.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bally Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland doesn’t rule out the Coyotes’ moving Chychrun by the trade deadline. However, he said it’s looking increasingly likely that it won’t happen. If it does, I don’t see the Bruins winning a bidding war with the Kings. The latter has far too many assets to draw upon as trade bait compared to the Bruins.

COYOTES COULD BE AMONG CLUBS WILLING TO ACQUIRE SALARY

TSN: Chris Johnston reports the Arizona Coyotes have informed other clubs they’re willing to act as a third-party broker in deals involving high-salaried players and are receiving plenty of interest from other clubs. The Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Seattle Kraken could do the same.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Coyotes have an interest in acquiring the remainder of Shea Weber’s contract. The Montreal Canadiens defenseman is on long-term injury reserve amid speculation injuries have ended his career. They could use Weber’s $7.57 million cap hit to reach the cap floor next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes could ask for a second-round draft pick or a prospect to be included as part of the price as a third-party broker or to acquire a permanent LTIR contract.

LATEST RED WINGS SPECULATION

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff weighs in on recent speculation suggesting the Red Wings could peddle winger Tyler Bertuzzi. He believes the 26-year-old winger’s anti-vaccination stance didn’t sit well with GM Steve Yzerman, who could be willing to entertain offers for Bertuzzi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi is in the first year of a two-year contract. If Yzerman intends to trade the winger, he can wait until the offseason if he doesn’t receive any suitable offers before the trade deadline.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Red Wings held defenseman Nick Leddy out of the lineup for Thursday’s 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. That appears a clear indication Leddy could be moved before Monday’s trade deadline.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 16, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 16, 2022

Are the Avs setting the table for a big move? Could Tyler Bertuzzi or Sean Monahan be moved before the trade deadline? What’s the latest on Ben Chiarot and Andrew Copp? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

AVALANCHE COULD HAVE A BIGGER DEAL IN STORE

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers speculates Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic could be preparing for a bigger move after making two trades in as many days. On Monday, he shipped a draft pick and prospect to the Anaheim Ducks for Josh Manson. Yesterday, he sent Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild for the more affordable Nico Sturm.

Chambers believes Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl could be most enticing to the Avalanche if they can find sufficient salary-cap space to acquire them. Swapping Jost for Sturm gives them almost $3 million in projected trade deadline cap space. They could also garner additional flexibility by placing sidelined winger Gabriel Landeskog ($7 million annual cap hit) and defenseman Samuel Girard ($5 million) on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic isn’t done dealing. I believe he’s in “go-for-it” mode this season with his club riding high in the standings, especially after they came up short in last year’s playoffs. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make a major move before Monday’s trade deadline.

BERTUZZI, MONAHAN LATEST DAILY FACEOFF TRADE TARGETS

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli added Detroit Red Wings winger Tyler Bertuzzi and Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan to his growing list of NHL trade targets as the March 21 deadline approaches. Bertuzzi debuts at No. 13 and Monahan at 15.

Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (NHL Images).

Seravalli said Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has told teams he’s “open for business”. Just about everyone other than rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond is believed to be available.

The Flames, meanwhile, would prefer not to move Monahan now while his trade value is at its lowest. However, there are teams said to be interested to see if the 27-year-old center can reboot his career with another club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi is signed through next season with a $4.75 million annual cap hit and lacks no-trade protection. Monahan, meanwhile, carries a $6.375 million cap hit through next season and has a 10-team no-trade list.

The Wings and Flames don’t have to move either guy at the trade deadline but it doesn’t hurt to gauge the market. They could wait until the offseason when they’re likely to find more suitors with available cap space willing to make deals.

The Flames, however, could be under greater pressure to move Monahan. As Seravalli observes, they can’t afford to carry Monahan’s contract if they intend to sign Johnny Gaudreau to a long-term contract extension. Maybe they can find a suitable offer before Monday.

LATEST ON CHIAROT, COPP, AND MIDDLETON

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports interest has intensified in Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot since the Avalanche acquired Josh Manson. The Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues are among the potential suitors. The Canadiens are interested in Calgary prospect Jakob Pelletier but LeBrun isn’t sure if the Flames will move him. The Hurricanes lack a first-round pick but maybe they can entice the Habs with a prospect or two while the Blues don’t want to pay the asking price of a first-round pick.

Darren Dreger said the Minnesota Wild also has an interest in Chiarot but they also don’t want to part with a first-rounder. Meanwhile, there’s discussions between the two clubs about prospect center Jack McBain, who has told the Wild he doesn’t intend to sign with them. The asking price is a second-round pick, which doesn’t worry the Canadiens provided they can get him signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are also rumored to be interested in the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov. It will take significant offers to acquire either guy, much more than what it could cost to land Chiarot. Maybe they can tempt the Canadiens with a couple of quality prospects if no other club meets the Habs’ asking price.

Dreger also believes the Winnipeg Jets will soon have to reach a decision whether they’ll retain or trade pending UFA forward Andrew Copp. He said the Avalanche, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are among those interested in the 27-year-old Jet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an interesting situation for Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. He risks losing Copp for nothing to free agent in July, but trading him now would signal to his roster that he’s giving up on reaching the playoffs. They’ve won four of their last five, by the way, and are just two points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

LeBrun also reports Jacob Middleton is garnering interest in the trade market. The 26-year-old San Jose Sharks defenseman is seeing top-four minutes alongside Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns and carries an affordable $725K cap hit. The asking price is a second-round pick plus another pick or prospect. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins have been linked to the physical left-side blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As LeBrun indicates, Middleton’s a great story this season, going from signing an AHL contract with the Sharks to seeing significant minutes on their blueline. However, what’s working for him in San Jose might not work for him with another club. Interested teams should tread carefully here.

UPDATE ON THE LEAFS

TSN: Chris Johnston reports his sources indicated the Maple Leafs are looking for help in goal, on defense and on their forward lines. They’ll have to trade someone off their roster to make the dollars fit if they intend to make multiple additions before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NYI Hockey Now’s Stefen Rosner cites a source claiming New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov is on the Leafs’ shortlist. Whether they’re on Varlamov’s list of preferred trade destinations, however, is another matter.