NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2022

The Canadiens rally to beat the Blues, the Oilers win the latest chapter of “The Battle of Alberta”, the Stars lose Jake Oettinger to injury, and Flyers center Sean Couturier is sidelined for months by back surgery. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens overcame a 3-1 deficit to upset the St. Louis Blues 7-4. Christian Dvorak had a hat trick while Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield each collected three points for the Canadiens (5-4-0). Jordan Kyrou scored twice for the Blues, whose record falls to 3-4-0. Pavel Buchnevich returned to the Blues lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury.

Montreal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the most surprising outcome of the evening. A big comeback win against the Blues for the Canadiens, who would’ve folded like a cheap lawnchair at this point last season had they fallen behind 3-1 to the Blues or any other club. Habs rookie Juraj Slafkovsky tallied his first-ever NHL power-play goal in this contest while fellow rookie Jordan Harris collected two assists.

Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists and Zach Hyman scored twice to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames in the latest chapter of “The Battle of Alberta”. Stuart Skinner kicked out 40 shots to pick up the win for the Oilers, who improved to 6-3-0. Mikael Backlund and Brett Ritchie replied for the Flames (5-2-0).

The Florida Panthers got three-point performances from Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe and Brandon Montour as they dropped the Ottawa Senators 5-3. Verhaeghe tallied twice as the Panthers improved to 5-3-1. Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg made 53 saves as his club’s record fell to 4-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flattered the Senators, who would’ve lost by a more lopsided margin if not for Forsberg, who deserved better from his teammates as they wasted his performance in this one. He kept them in this game despite facing 47(!) shots through the first two periods. Yes, the Sens were playing without one of their top-four defensemen in Artem Zub, but they still should’ve put forth a better defensive effort.

Four straight third-period goals (two within 17 seconds by Scott Mayfield and Anthony Beauvillier) lifted the New York Islanders from a 3-1 deficit to hold off the Colorado Avalanche 5-4. The Isles were down 3-0 at one point in the second period until Noah Dobson got them on the scoreboard. Their record now sits at 5-4-0. Evan Rodrigues scored twice for the Avalanche as the defending champions fall to 4-4-1.

Three goals in a 2:07 span in the third period lifted the New York Rangers over the Dallas Stars 6-3 to snap a four-game winless skid. Vincent Trocheck scored twice and collected an assist while Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists for the Rangers (4-3-2). The Stars dropped to 5-3-1 but also lost starting goalie Jake Oettinger to a lower-body injury midway through the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oettinger will be reevaluated today. The Stars will be hoping his injury isn’t serious. He’s the league leader in goals-against average (1.40) while his .952 save percentage is second overall.

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist and Anze Kopitar picked up two helpers as the Los Angeles Kings doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. John Tavares and Pierre Engvall scored for the slumping Leafs (4-4-1), who have lost three straight games. The Kings improved their record to 5-5-0.

A late goal by Nikita Kucherov carried the Tampa Bay Lightning over the San Jose Sharks 4-3. Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel each had two assists while Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (5-4-0). Erik Karlsson tallied twice for the Sharks but their record now stands at 3-8-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s been among the few bright spots in an otherwise horrible start for the Sharks. He leads all NHL defensemen with six goals and 11 points.

An overtime goal by Brent Burns gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist in his 1,100th career game as his club improves to 5-2-1. Wade Allison and Nicolas Deslauriers each had a goal and an assist for the 5-2-1 Flyers. Hurricanes center Derek Stepan left this game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers also announced Sean Couturier will be sidelined for three-four months due to back surgery while winger James van Riemsdyk will miss six weeks recovering from surgery to repair a broken finger. Couturier has now undergone two procedures on his back since February, raising concerns that his condition could prematurely end his career.

Washington Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots to shut out the Nashville Predators 3-0. Alex Ovechkin tallied the Capitals’ third goal. It was a costly win for the Capitals (5-4-0) as T.J. Oshie and John Carlson left the game with lower-body injuries in the first period. The Predators dropped to 3-5-1.

Three unanswered goals by Jordan Eberle, Morgan Geekie and Jaden Schwartz gave the Seattle Kraken a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, extending the latter’s losing streak to four games. Jake Guentzel and Jason Zucker returned to the lineup with Guentzel tallying the only goal for the Penguins, who fall to 4-4-1 while the Kraken improve to 4-4-2.

The Buffalo Sabres got two goals each from Tage Thompson and Victor Olofsson as they overcame a 3-1 deficit to nip the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime. Olofsson opened and closed the scoring for the Sabres, who improve to 5-3-0. Blackhawks goalie Arvid Soderblom made 41 saves for the Blackhawks as their record sits at 4-3-1.

Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond scored his first two goals of the season and Ville Husso made 30 saves in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. Kirill Kaprizov tallied for the Wild (3-4-1) while the Wings improve to 4-2-2.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed winger Ondrej Palat on injured reserve with a lower-body injury retroactive to Oct. 24.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks are awaiting test results on Jamie Drysdale, who suffered an upper-body injury in Friday’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. Drysdale was hurt following a hit by Golden Knights’ forward William Carrier.

TSN: Devan Dubnyk yesterday officially announced his NHL retirement after 12 seasons and 542 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. He won 253 games with a career 2.61 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and 33 shutouts. In 2014-15, he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy and was named to the Second All-Star Team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubnyk spent nearly six seasons with the Wild, where he played his best hockey. He’s now working as an analyst for NHL Network. Best wishes to him in his post-playing career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2022

Recaps of Tuesday’s games including the Golden Knight’s Phil Kessel setting the league’s Ironman record and the Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury reaching a goaltending milestone, plus the latest on the Canadiens’ Carey Price and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Phil Kessel set the NHL’s Ironman record by playing his 990th consecutive game and scored his 400th career goal as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist while Adin Hill made 29 saves for the win as the Golden Knights improved their record to 6-2-0 while the Sharks drop to 2-7-0.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Kessel on setting a league record for consecutive games and reaching the 400-goal milestone.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves to backstop the Minnesota Wild over the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. It was Fleury’s 944th career game, moving him past Curtis Joseph into sixth place on the all-time games-played list for NHL goaltenders. Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice for the Wild as their record improves to 2-3-1 while the Canadiens fall to 3-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Habs winger Cole Caufield tallied his fifth goal in seven games.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt scored twice and collected an assist as his club defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-2, handing the latter their first regulation loss of the season. Jack Hughes, Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves each had two points for the Devils (4-3-0) while Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik replied for the Red Wings (3-1-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils winger Ondrej Palat missed this game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 44 shots against his former club in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Mikko Rantanen and Evan Rodrigues scored in the shootout as the Avs record moves up to 4-2-1. Adam Fox scored for the Rangers (3-2-2) in the third period to send the game into overtime and the shootout.

The Boston Bruins got goals from David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall and Patrice Bergeron to down the Dallas Stars 3-1. Linus Ullmark made 30 saves as the Bruins improve to 6-1-0 while the Stars fall to 4-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo returned to action after missing four games with a concussion.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri scored twice and added an assist while Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Flames (5-1-0) while Evgeni Malkin replied for the Penguins (4-2-1).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury while Jason Zucker is with a suspected right-hip injury suffered during their loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 24.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves while Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 to improve their record to 4-4-0. The Lightning (3-4-0) got goals from Nikita Kucherov and Brandon Hagel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning appear to be feeling the effects of a long 2021-22 season and a shortened offseason after their third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Patrick Kane tallied his first goal of the season and added an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks upset the Florida Panthers 4-2. Alex Stalock stopped 29 shots for the 4-2-0 Blackhawks. Matthew Tkachuk was one of the goal scorers for the Panthers (4-2-1).

The Seattle Kraken improved their record to 3-3-2 by downing the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. Daniel Sprong had a goal and two assists while Martin Jones made 15 saves for the win. The Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin saw his record-setting, season-opening goal streak for defenseman end at five games while his club’s record drops to 4-2-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer missed this game as he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Three-point performances by Shayne Gostibehere (two goals, one assist) and Clayton Keller (three assists) powered the Arizona Coyotes (2-4-0) over the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3, dropping the latter’s record to 3-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine was held scoreless as he returned from injured reserve. Earlier in the day, the Jackets announced forward Justin Danforth will be sidelined for six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.

HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price revealed his battle with alcoholism pushed him to seek help through the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program last fall.

The 35-year-old said it was the combination of coming so close to his goal of winning the Stanley Cup in 2021, followed by knee surgery and the realization that he’s in the latter stages of his career. “I was not a happy person, I wasn’t being a good father. I was drinking a lot,” he said.

Price also admitted the pressure to perform game in and game out was not easy to handle and became a weight on his mind.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t ready to retire and continues to explore treatment for his injured knee. What’s most important is his life and health beyond the rink. He recognized he had a problem and sought treatment voluntarily. Best wishes to Price in his ongoing sobriety.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve due to a neck injury. It provides the Leafs with an additional $5.625 million of cap relief.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know how long Muzzin will be sidelined. If he’s out for the season they could use it to bolster their roster. If he’s not, they’ll have to ensure they’re cap compliant when he returns to action.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a fractured finger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break (no pun intended) for van Riemsdyk, who was off to a good start with five points in his first six games of this season.

THE ATHLETIC: The St. Louis Blues placed forward Pavel Buchnevich on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2022

Recaps of Sunday’s games plus the latest on Gabriel Landeskog, Tyler Seguin, Phil Kessel and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings extended their season-opening points streak to five games (3-0-2) by downing the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Dominik Kubalik had a goal and two assists while Ville Husso made 32 saves for the win. Trevor Zegras scored the Ducks’ only goal as they finished their road trip 0-4-1.

Detroit Red Wings forward Dominik Kubalik (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Tyler Johnson and Jason Dickinson lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Johnson scored twice while Patrick Kane and Seth Jones each had two assists for the Blackhawks (3-2-0) as they staged their third straight comeback win. Jared McCann had a goal and an assist for the Kraken (2-3-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek missed this game with a groin strain and was placed on injured reserve.

A third-period goal by Ryan Lomberg enabled the Florida Panthers to hold off the New York Islanders 3-2. Anton Lundell and Eetu Luostarinen also scored for the Panthers (4-1-1) while Anders Lee tallied twice for the Islanders, who drop to 2-4-0.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Daniil Tarasov made 30 saves for his first NHL win as he backstopped his club to a 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Jakub Voracek, Jack Roslovic and Liam Foudy each collected two assists for the Jackets (3-4-0). Artemi Panarin scored to extend his season-opening points streak to six games as the Rangers are 3-2-1 over the stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers center Filip Chytil left the game in the first period about being elbowed in the head by Blue Jackets forward Cole Sillinger. He’s listed as day-to-day.

San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer turned in a 30-save shutout to blank the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. Erik Karlsson scored what proved to be the game-winner for the Sharks (2-6-0) while Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk left the game in the first period with an injured hand after blocking a shot. The Flyers are 4-2-0 under head coach John Tortorella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella wasn’t pleased with the performance of his leading scorers Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny in this contest. He sent a message by benching them for the entire third period.

HEADLINES

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche will be without team captain Gabriel Landeskog for the next three months as he recovers from knee surgery. They’re turning to leadership by committee to fill the void left by Landeskog’s absence.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin admitted he thought about retirement in January 2021 as he was recovering from hip surgery. “I looked over at my friend and said, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to play anymore,’” he told Mike Zeisberger. He added that he didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin would return to play three games late in the 2020-21 season and skated in 81 last season. The 30-year-old current has five points in as many games this season and shows no lingering ill effects from his surgery.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel is set to tie the NHL’s Ironman record for consecutive games played (989) held by Keith Yandle when he skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. The 35-year-old Kessel can break the record on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s fitting that Kessel will tie the record against the Leafs in Toronto, where he played six seasons from 2009-10 to 2014-15.

CBS SPORTS: The Los Angeles Kings placed forward Alex Iafallo (lower-body injury) on long-term injury reserve.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger (undisclosed injury) was placed on LTIR retroactive to Oct. 11.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki is resting at home and suffered no major injuries after crashing awkwardly into the boards during Saturday’s game against the Flyers. Borowiecki was stretchered from the ice and sent to a hospital for observation.

WGR 550: With defensemen Mattias Samuelsson and Henri Jokiharju sidelined, the Buffalo Sabres have called up Kale Clague.

Former NHL defenseman Michal Kempny has signed with Czechia club HC Sparta for the next two seasons. His contract with the Seattle Kraken was terminated by mutual agreement after he cleared unconditional waivers last week.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 13, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 13, 2022

Which Flyers could become trade candidates this season? Is Jonathan Drouin on the outs in Montreal? What’s the latest on the Avalanche, Kings and Flames? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WHICH FLYERS COULD BECOME TRADE CANDIDATES?

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Who becomes trade bait is among the 15 things Gustav Elvin will watch regarding the Flyers this season. There’s a real chance this turns into a rebuilding year for the club which could lead to a roster shakeup.

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images).

Winger James van Riemsdyk is likely to be moved by the March 3 trade deadline. Winger Travis Konecny and defensemen Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim have also surfaced in trade speculation. Trading Sanheim seems far more unlikely but (like van Riemsdyk) he’s in the final year of his contract.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: San Carchidi also believed van Riemsdyk will be shopped by the deadline. He also believes defenseman Justin Braun will be a trade candidate by then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is shaping up to be a difficult year for the Flyers unless they surprise the experts and thrive under new head coach John Tortorella. Pending UFAs like van Riemsdyk, Braun and perhaps Sanheim could hit the trade block if they’re out of playoff contention heading into next March.

Provorov and Konecny are both signed through 2024-25 so they could have roles to play in a potential rebuild. However, that could change if general manager Chuck Fletcher (or his successor) decides to tear it all down in a full-fledged roster rebuild. They could also be useful as trade chips as teams could prefer acquiring good players in their mid-twenties with term still remaining on their contracts.

IS DROUIN ON THE OUTS IN MONTREAL?

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan took note of Jonathan Drouin being a healthy scratch for the Canadiens’ home-opening win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. The 27-year-old forward is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and carries a $5.5 million cap hit this season.

Drouin has struggled in Montreal and dealt with numerous injuries. Cowan believes it’s obvious he doesn’t have a future with the Canadiens beyond this season and expects GM Kent Hughes will likely look to trade him if he can.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Drouin as part of the Canadiens after this season. However, they’ll have to play him if they hope to boost his stock in this season’s trade market. His cap hit and three-team no-trade list will also be sticking points in any attempt to move him.

LATEST ON THE AVALANCHE, KINGS AND FLAMES

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun believes the Colorado Avalanche will be the most aggressive team at the March 3 trade deadline. He thinks they’ll leave no stone unturned in trying to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

LeBrun also believes the Los Angeles Kings will trade one of their right-handed defensemen but not anytime soon. They’re stacked with right-shot blueliners but management could prefer to be patient and see how the season unfolds before moving one of them.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane reports the Flames are still seeking a forward for their third line. Sonny Milano and Cody Eakin weren’t successful in their training camp tryouts so it’s unlikely the Flames will circle back to them.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2022

The opening day of the 2022 NHL Draft saw several established players change teams. Could there be more on the move during Day 2? Read on to find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE BLUES

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reported a source said Vladimir Tarasenko hadn’t rescinded his trade request from last summer despite his career-best performance in 2021-22 with the St. Louis Blues. This comes despite Blues general manager Doug Armstrong downplaying the notion of moving the 30-year-old winger earlier this spring.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reported yesterday he’d heard that Tarasenko has drawn some interest in the trade market. Rutherford listed the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers as possible trade partners. He believes the Blues will want a defenseman as part of the return.

Rutherford also cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting they were gauging Torey Krug’s value in the trade market. He said a source close to Krug said on Wednesday that the club hasn’t approached the 31-year-old defenseman about waiving his no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko has an annual cap hit of $7.5 million but his actual salary for 2022-23 is $5.5 million, making him more affordable in that department compared to last summer. However, he has a full no-trade clause giving him control over where he could go. Like last year, Armstrong will set a high asking price and is in no hurry to move Tarasenko until someone meets it. He could retain the winger as an “own rental” for next season if he doesn’t get what he wants.

Krug could be harder to move because of his $6.5 million AAV through 2026-27 along with that full no-trade clause. His actual salary jumps to $8 million which will be another sticking point.

NHL GOALIE MARKET COULD HEAT UP

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Edmonton Oilers could be the most interested in Darcy Kuemper when the 32-year-old Colorado Avalanche goaltender hits the free-agent market on July 13. The Avalanche signaled their intent to cut ties with Kuemper by acquiring Alexandar Georgiev yesterday from the New York Rangers. He could seek a multiyear deal in the range of $6 million annually.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports the Toronto Maple Leafs could also be among Kuemper’s suitors if they fail to sign Jack Campbell before next Wednesday. The Leafs freed up $3.8 million per season for the next two years by shipping Petr Mrazek to the Chicago Blackhawks during the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft on Thursday.

Koshan speculated they could still attempt to re-sign Campbell but he expects the 30-year-old netminder will look to double or triple his $1.6 million annual cap hit from his previous contract on a longer-term. The Ottawa Senators’ Matt Murray would be a long shot unless the Senators retain part of his $6.25 million AAV over the remaining two years of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All eyes will be on the Oilers and Leafs regarding how they’ll address their respective goalie situations in the coming days. The Oilers have also been linked to Campbell if he becomes available but could put more of a focus on Kuemper. St. Louis Blues netminder Ville Husso could also be an option for either club.

UPDATES ON THE AVALANCHE, FLYERS, SENATORS AND BLACKHAWKS

THE DENVER POST: With the Colorado Avalanche parting company with Darcy Kuemper, Mark Kiszla believes Nazem Kadri will be next out of town. He believes they would be crazy to pay top dollar for a 31-year-old center coming off an outlier of a career-best performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Joe Sakic didn’t become general manager of the year because he’s fond of overpaying for talent. He’s a tough negotiator who has no problem shipping out players who could be expensive to retain or those due for free agency who prove too costly to sign. Kadri’s a goner unless he accepts a hometown discount.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: With Alex DeBrincat no longer on the market, Sam Carchidi wonders if the Philadelphia Flyers will set their sights on Johnny Gaudreau if the 28-year-old Calgary Flames winger becomes a UFA on July 13. They’ll need to free up cap space to do so. Carchidi indicated they intend to try and move winger James van Riemsdyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could cost over $9.5 million annually on a seven-year deal for the Flyers to sign Gaudreau, who grew up a Flyers fan. Moving van Riemsdyk would clear $7 million from their books. The 33-year-old winger has a year left on his contract and lacks no-trade protection. His actual salary is $4 million after the Flyers paid his signing bonus on July 1.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have kicked tires on Florida Panthers defenseman (and Ottawa native) MacKenzie Weegar. They also haven’t ruled out pursuing Panthers forward Claude Giroux if he becomes available via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Careful there, Senators GM Pierre Dorion. If the Panthers are entertaining offers for Weegar and his $3.25 million cap hit for next season, it’s probably because they’re trying to shed salary to re-sign Giroux.

 










NHL Rumor Mill – June 21, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 21, 2022

Could Devils winger Jesper Bratt become an offer-sheet target? Could the Canucks sign P.K. Subban? What’s the latest on James van Riemsdyk and Ethan Bear? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON BRATT AND SUBBAN

NHL WATCHER: recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussing the contract negotiations between the New Jersey Devils and restricted free agent winger Jesper Bratt. His talks on his last contract were “really tough” and both sides are gearing up for another difficult round of negotiations.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt (NHL Images).

Marek raised the possibility of Bratt being targeted by a rival club with an offer sheet. Friedman doubted that will happen, pointing to the Devils carrying $25 million in cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky has reported both sides are engaged in ongoing contract talks. Bratt has arbitration rights this summer giving him the leverage he didn’t have in his previous negotiations.

The Devils could listen to trade offers for Bratt if those talks stall or appear headed to arbitration to resolve. I don’t doubt recent reports claiming there are several teams interested in the 23-year-old winger following his career-high 73 points this season. Nevertheless, I think both sides want to get a deal done here.

Friedman’s right when he said an offer sheet wouldn’t make any sense here. The Devils can easily match, making it a pointless exercise. Since the salary-cap era began in 2005, only 10 players have signed offer sheets. Of those, only two (Dustin Penner and Jesperi Kotkaniemi) were successfully signed away.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson addressed the notion raised by some Canucks fans of New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban signing with the club as an unrestricted free agent next month.

Simpson noted Subban is a skilled right-handed shot who could be motivated with a new club and could be had at an extreme discount. However, he doubted the Canucks will be interested, pointing out the decline in the 33-year-old’s performance. His acquisition would also go against management’s intention of building up a youthful core of talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how free agency unfolds for Subban. He’s not expected to be re-signed by the Devils and could find his market options limited because of his declining skills. I think a team in need of some experienced blueline depth will sign him to an affordable one-year contract.

WILL THE FLYERS MOVE VAN RIEMSDYK?

NHL WATCHER: recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussing potential moves by the Philadelphia Flyers. Friedman believes they could shop winger James van Riemsdyk to free up salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk has a year left on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million but an actual salary of $5 million. The 6’3”, 217-pound winger also lacks no-trade protection, giving the Flyers a wide range of potential trade partners.

Now 33, van Riemsdyk is in decline. Nevertheless, he still managed to score 24 goals on the offensively anemic Flyers, marking the seventh time in his 13 NHL seasons he’s reached or exceeded the 20-goal plateau.

A playoff contender could be interested in a big veteran scorer such as van Riemsdyk. However, that contract could be difficult to move given his age and cap hit. The Flyers might have to retain salary, include a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect, or take back a comparable contract.

HURRICANES GIVE BEAR PERMISSION TO SPEAK TO OTHER CLUBS

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted on Monday that the Carolina Hurricanes have given Ethan Bear permission to speak to other clubs. They still wish to sign the restricted free agent defenseman but they’re not close to an agreement. Friedman also noted nothing can take place before July 13 with the Hurricanes’ permission.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear struggled this season with the Hurricanes and seemed to fall out of favor with head coach Rod Brind’Amour. He was a healthy scratch during the Canes’ playoff run. The 24-year-old is completing a two-year, $4 million contract and has arbitration rights.