Why didn’t the Flyers trade James van Riemsdyk on deadline day? Were the Predators willing to move Roman Josi and Juuse Saros? What went on with the Hurricanes, Capitals and Sharks? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHY DIDN’T THE FLYERS TRADE VAN RIEMSDYK ON DEADLINE DAY?
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said he spoke with other clubs for three weeks leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. He was willing to take on a player with an expiring contract, one with a one-way contract in the minors and was also willing to retain salary but couldn’t find a buyer.
Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images).
Fletcher said he didn’t get an offer for James van Riemsdyk until 1:40 pm ET on deadline day. He said it was a conditional offer that required the interested club to move one of its forwards to another team in order to finalize the deal for van Riemsdyk.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi cited reports claiming the Flyers had a deal with the Detroit Red Wings for van Riemsdyk but it fell through. Fletcher said he tried to move the winger to a playoff contender and hope to get a draft pick in return. The Seattle Kraken were rumored to be interested but nothing came of it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher was pilloried by Flyers fans on social media following the deadline. He said he’s not worried about his job but he and the front office have faced increasing heat since last summer from fans and pundits over the club’s questionable moves and an apparent lack of direction.
The Flyers finally admitted earlier this week that they weren’t going to make the playoffs and would be sellers at the deadline. They could finally admit to themselves that a much-needed roster rebuild is required. Whether Fletcher and his front-office staff will be part of it remains to be seen.
PREDATORS CONSIDERED JOSI AND SAROS AS UNTOUCHABLE
THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile said defenseman Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros were considered off-limits during trade discussions leading up to Friday’s deadline. He indicated that his club was making changes that he hoped were short-term “to make our long-term future very bright.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi’s name didn’t come up in trade rumors but a few pundits mentioned Saros as a possible trade candidate. Poile’s recent moves (shipping out Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, Mattias Ekholm and Tanner Jeannot for draft picks and prospects) indicate his successor Barry Trotz will be rebuilding around Josi and Saros.
LATEST ON THE HURRICANES, CAPITALS AND SHARKS
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell indicated there was one major trade his club was in on but couldn’t pull off. He said that trade discussions often started with his club giving up a first-round pick or one of their younger players, which he was unwilling to do.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell limited himself to acquiring winger Jesse Puljujarvi from Edmonton and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from Arizona. He said the front office believes the team is good enough to compete for the Stanley Cup led by head coach Rob Brind’Amour.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber reports the Capitals received trade offers for winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk leading up to the deadline. GM Brian MacLellan opted to retain them because he sees the pending free agents as players his club could retain after this season.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller reports Sharks goaltender James Reimer was disappointed not to be traded to a playoff contender before the deadline. Sharks GM Mike Grier reported a trade was never close for the 34-year-old netminder. Once Jonathan Quick and Joonas Korpisalo got traded, Grier said there wasn’t a big market for goalies.
ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan reported a lot of teams have an interest in Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser. However, a lot of them have balked at his $6.65 million average annual value through 2024-25. The Canucks are open to retaining part of the 25-year-old winger’s cap hit if it helps them net a good return. They’ve even spoken of including draft capital in the deal.
Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).
CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reported yesterday that a Boeser trade is not close. He’s expected to play tonight against the Minnesota Wild. Two teams are calling about the winger but his contract is difficult to move and Dhaliwal doubts the Canucks have much of an appetite to retain much salary. They’re also not about to give him away. Dhaliwal considers Boeser easier to move in the offseason when teams have more cap space to work with.
THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports Boeser acknowledged hearing his name in trade rumors before but this year it feels more real. Some of that is because the Canucks have authorized his agent to speak with other clubs about trading for him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve been saying the same thing about Boeser since he first surfaced in the rumor mill this season. If the Canucks want to move his entire cap hit from their books, the summer is the best time to do it. However, they’ll have to work quickly. Once the free-agent market opens on July 1, the number of teams with the cap space to take on his cap hit will quickly dwindle.
COULD TYLER BERTUZZI BE THE NEXT RED WING TO BE TRADED?
**UPDATE** The Red Wings traded Bertuzzi this morning to the Boston Bruins for a conditional first-round pick in 2024 (top-10 protected) and a 2025 fourth-rounder. The Wings have retained 50 percent of Bertuzzi’s $4.75 million cap hit for this season.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff reports growing speculation regarding Tyler Betuzzi’s future with the Red Wings following the club’s trade of Filip Hronek to Vancouver yesterday. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan considers Bertuzzi the Wings’ best trade chip heading toward Friday’s deadline. They can’t risk losing him this summer to free agency. Bertuzzi could fetch a decent return.
Wings general manager Steve Yzerman would also like to move struggling winger Jakub Vrana. However, he has a year remaining on his contract at $5.25 million and the Wings might have to retain some of his salary to move him. Winger Filip Zadina could also be available but his lack of production and the two years remaining on his contract at $1.825 million annually could hurt his trade value.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi should generate interest from playoff contenders or perhaps clubs seeking a top-six winger willing to attempt to sign him to a contract extension. The Leafs, Stars and Oilers all lack sufficient cap space to acquire him. The Hurricanes still have some wiggle room with $2.6 million in projected cap space after acquiring defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere yesterday.
LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION
TSN: Darren Dreger yesterday reported the Philadelphia Flyers are taking calls on Ivan Provorov. The 26-year-old defenseman carries an AAV of $6.25 million for two more seasons. Dreger believes it would take a significant offer to convince the Flyers to move him.
ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan reported the Flyers are trying to move Provorov but a deal hasn’t emerged yet. Meanwhile, she believes there’s a limited market this week for forward Kevin Hayes even if the Flyers retained part of his $7.1 million cap hit. Pending UFA winger James van Riemsdyk remains the most likely to be moved by Friday’s deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers could surprise by shipping out Provorov and/or Hayes, which would certainly provide some excitement for what’s shaping up to be a quiet deadline day. However, I agree with Kaplan that van Riemsdyk is the most likely to be traded, and I can see the Flyers retaining part of his $7 million AAV for the right return.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski tweeted that Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he’s communicated with Quick and his agent. He said he has the utmost respect for the goaltender and his career and will “try to do the right thing” for him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick’s performance really declined this season which is why the Kings decided to trade him for Joonas Korpisalo. The rebuilding Jackets will probably retain half of his $5.8 million cap hit for a suitable offer. Perhaps a playoff contender looking for an experienced backup will take a chance on him.
LATEST ON COLTON PARAYKO
THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports a source claims the St. Louis Blues want to move a defenseman. Colton Parayko seemed the likely candidate due to his poor performance this season and the Blues desire to free up salary-cap space.
Despite the 29-year-old Parayko’s struggles, there is interest in him around the league. However, a source close to the blueliner, who was born in St. Albert, Alberta, claimed he would only waive his no-trade clause to go to Edmonton.
Rutherford believes this situation could carry over into the offseason if Blues GM Doug Armstrong can’t find a suitable deal by the trade deadline. Of course, it will depend on whether Parayko will agree to be moved.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parayko is signed through 2029-30 with an AAV of $6.5 million. Given his on-ice difficulties this season, that contract could prove difficult to move if the Blues don’t retain part of his salary, which I doubt they want to do. It could come down to swapping him for a comparable contract. If Parayko remains adamant about only going to Edmonton, he’ll be with the Blues for a long time.
The Trade Deadline is March 3, 2023. Check out the latest on J.T. Miller, Jakob Chychrun and Colton Parayko plus updates on the Flyers, Red Wings, Hurricanes, Leafs, Oilers and Wild in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (NHL Images).
One source said those talks have reached an impasse but could be revisited before Friday’s trade deadline. It’s not known what the Penguins discussed sending to the Canucks for Miller, whose new seven-year contract with an average annual value of $8 million kicks in on July 1. Vensel noted that Pittsburgh general manager Ron Hextall last week said he wouldn’t part with future assets unless it was for an impact player signed beyond this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vancouver Hockey Insider’s Rob Simpson believes it would have to be “a pretty damn nice package” to tempt the Canucks into parting with Miller. He also noted Canucks star Elias Pettersson likes having Miller around.
Miller’s current contract carries a cap hit of $5.25 million and lacks no-trade protection. The Canucks could retain half of that for the remainder of this season to facilitate a deal as it would clear his upcoming contract completely off their books. I’m not sure if the Penguins have the assets to tempt the Canucks but perhaps the latter is desperate to move Miller.
(UPDATE: Cap Friendly confirms whatever the Canucks retain on the remainder of Miller’s current contract would also have to be retained on his new contract as well)
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still think Chychrun could be moved by the deadline. It certainly won’t be a good look for the Coyotes to sit him out for over two weeks and not trade him. However, I don’t think that’s something that concerns Armstrong. If Chychrun isn’t moved, he’ll just shrug and say he’s not budging off his asking price. I can understand Armstrong’s insistence on getting a quality return for Chychrun but he risks hurting the blueliner’s value by not being a little more flexible in trade talks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parayko’s contract makes him difficult to move during the season. He’s signed through 2029-30 with an AAV of $6.5 million and full no-trade protection. Maybe he would’ve waived it to join the Oilers but the Blues aren’t going to just give him away.
LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Philadelphia Flyers are getting more calls about winger James van Riemsdyk. The Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames have looked into acquiring him. LeBrun believes the Flyers could seek a second and a third-round pick.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher is willing to listen to offers on all his players if it makes sense for his team. He added that he wants his roster to get younger.
The Flyers GM didn’t rule out moving 30-year-old forward Kevin Hayes for the right offer. Hayes has said he’d prefer to remain with the Flyers than get traded to a contender. He has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $7.1 million and a 12-team no-trade clause.
Fletcher said he’d be looking for draft picks and prospects in the trade market. He’s also open to retaining salary to facilitate a trade, which Carchidi felt was in reference to James van Riemsdyk and his $7 million cap hit on his expiring contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk seems the most likely Flyer to get moved before Friday’s trade deadline. Moving Hayes won’t be easy unless Fletcher is willing to retain some salary or take back a comparable contract.
RED WINGS TO BECOME SELLERS?
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Detroit Red Wings could become sellers as they’re recognizing the arms race in the Eastern Conference is too rich. He feels they can’t risk letting winger Tyler Bertuzzi depart for nothing as a free agent this summer. They’re also looking at moving winger Jakub Vrana and perhaps winger Filip Zadina.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Back-to-back lopsided losses this week to the Ottawa Senators stalled the Red Wings’ momentum. They’re still within striking distance of a wild-card berth but general manager Steve Yzerman could decide his roster needs a little more tinkering before they’re finally ready for playoff contention.
Waddell said he’s not giving up the young players on his roster. LeBrun believes he’s referring to Seth Jarvis and Martin Necas. Prospect defenseman Alexander Nikishin is also off-limits. The Hurricanes still have around $7 million in deadline cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell will likely make another addition before the deadline. It might not be as impressive compared to the moves made by his Eastern rivals in recent weeks. Still, just because he won’t move his best young talent doesn’t mean he can’t get a good player if the trade market is anything to go by. He could be waiting to see if prices drop as the deadline draws near.
LEAFS, OILERS, AND WILD NOT DONE DEALING?
TSN: Chris Johnston doesn’t rule out the Toronto Maple Leafs making another move before Friday’s deadline. He pointed out that the 2023 first-round pick they received from Washington could be used as potential trade ammo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I made a similar observation during my evaluation of yesterday’s Leafs-Capitals trade. I also noted that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is loading up because he knows his job is on the line. He could use that first-rounder to add another player who could help them get over the playoff hump.
Darren Dreger doesn’t rule out the Edmonton Oilers making another move. He said they’re looking at a forward such as Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi or Arizona’s Nick Bjugstad.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes held Bjugstad out of last night’s game for “trade-related reasons”. He’ll likely be on the move between now and Friday’s deadline, perhaps heading to Edmonton.
THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin could still make another move or two before the trade deadline. He noted that they still have $7.4 million in trade deadline cap space after acquiring Marcus Johansson and Gustav Nyquist on Tuesday.
Smith wondered if Guerin might pursue someone like the Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi. He also noted there’s “still some smoke” around James van Riemsdyk and the Flyers. Smith also wouldn’t be surprised if winger Jordan Greenway gets moved if there’s enough interest by Friday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be surprising if Guerin doesn’t use that cap space to his advantage. He has enough draft picks and prospect depth to make a significant addition if he chooses.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen faces the challenge of a glut of defensemen in this year’s trade market. There’s also a dwindling number of teams shopping for blueliners.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets were reportedly seeking a first and a third-round pick for Gavrikov. That price is likely to drop as the deadline gets nearer, especially if the number of teams in the market for blueline depth keeps dropping.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins, Lightning and Leafs are playoff clubs while the Wings are jockeying with several other clubs for a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. It doesn’t hurt to listen to offers for Bertuzzi if they feel they can’t make it but recent reports claimed he was off the table because they were going to go for it with their current group. Maybe general manager Steve Yzerman has changed his mind or maybe he’s just listening. We’ll find out soon enough.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators will have to retain half of Ekholm’s $6.25 million cap hit (through 2025-26) for the cap-strapped Oilers to afford him or else the Oilers will have to shed a comparable salary. Edmundson is more affordable ($3.5 million through 2023-24) but there are concerns about a nagging back injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ rumored asking price is two first-round picks and a high-end prospect. However, the Panthers have no first-round picks in this year’s draft or the next two.
LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRIER: Gustav Elvin cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting the market is heating up on Kevin Hayes. The Flyers are apparently willing to retain some of his $7.1 million cap hit to facilitate a trade. The 30-year-old forward has three more years remaining on his contract.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also wondered about the future of Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo. He claimed there’s been some interest in DeAngelo, prompting Friedman to wonder if the Hurricanes might reacquire him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only way I see the Flyers moving Hayes is by retaining half of his annual cap hit. If there is any way for them to move DeAngelo they should do it simply to shed the remaining year of his contract with its $5 million cap hit. Management acquired him in the mistaken belief they could turn things around quickly and become a playoff contender this season. They were wrong and they must acknowledge it.
The Athletic’s Michael Russo reported the Wild had a growing interest in van Riemsdyk, who lives in Minnesota during the offseason. However, they aren’t interested in parting with a significant asset to get him. Russo’s associate Charlie O’Connor wondered if the Flyers could swap van Riemsdyk for Wild winger Jordan Greenway.
Laraque believes Matheson could fetch a first-round pick and a good prospect. Cowan considers it unlikely that the 29-year-old defenseman will be moved, citing his love of playing in his hometown and his deep connection with GM Kent Hughes, who is Matheson’s former agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt there’s much interest in Drouin and Hoffman. However, I said the same thing about Evgenii Dadonov and Hughes sent him to Dallas for Denis Gurianov. So who knows?
I concur with Cowan’s take on Matheson. Hughes could be willing to listen to an offer but it’ll take one heck of an offer to convince him to part with Matheson after acquiring him last summer from Pittsburgh.
Baugh noted the Avalanche could use long-term injury reserve (LTIR) to garner some salary-cap flexibility. That will depend on whether captain Gabriel Landeskog ($7 million AAV) or Erik Johnson ($6 million) miss the remainder of the regular season with injuries.
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports the Maple Leafs might not be done dealing after acquiring Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty yesterday from the Blackhawks. GM Kyle Dubas said they’ll remain busy and active to see if there’s any way they can improve the roster before Friday’s trade deadline.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner reports goaltender Semyon Varlamov wants to remain with the Islanders. He has no interest in getting traded and hopes to re-sign with the Isles when his current contract expires this summer.
The Blackhawks and Rangers are believed working on a Patrick Kane deal, the latest on Timo Meier, what’s next for the Jets and Predators, the Flyers are shopping James van Riemsdyk, plus the latest on the Oilers, Blue Jackets, Senators and Leafs in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
BLACKHAWKS & RANGERS WORKING ON PATRICK KANE TRADE
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).
He believes the earliest the Rangers could acquire Kane would be Tuesday when they would’ve accrued sufficient cap space. However, that could become as early as Sunday if Ryan Lindgren ends up on long-term injury reserve after he was injured during Saturday’s game against Washington.
TSN: Chris Johnston reported Kane would not play in Saturday’s game against the San Jose Sharks as he returned home to Chicago. His agent said the decision was a collective one based on the situation.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers general manager Chris Drury still has to find a third team to broker this deal and spread around Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit after the Blackhawks retain half of it. Brooks feels this deal could be inevitable with Kane perhaps joining the Rangers lineup by Wednesday.
THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus report Drury remains stuck to his position of not parting with a first-round pick in June’s draft or any upcoming year or surrendering prime prospect Brennan Othmann. They also suspect the Rangers GM could be unwilling to part with prospects Matthew Robertson, Will Cuylle, Dylan Garand or perhaps even Adam Sykora.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t sound like the Blackhawks will get much of a return for the Rangers for Kane. At this stage, a second-round pick and defenseman Zac Jones could be the main pieces of a return based on recent speculations.
LATEST ON TIMO MEIER
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the leading contenders for Timo Meier (New Jersey, Carolina, Vegas) want to get an answer from the San Jose Sharks. As of Saturday, the Devils remain the lead contenders while the Hurricanes don’t sound as likely though Friedman cautioned that could always change. Some teams wanted to make a contract extension for Meier as part of the deal but that doesn’t sound as likely now.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported things seemed to be heating up on the Meier trade front. The list of suitors is shrinking as the Sharks zero in on what they want to do.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited a source claiming the Golden Knights are “in hard for Meier.” Peng remains doubtful they can win a bidding war citing the lack of depth in Grade-A prospects within their system. One option could be for the Golden Knights to become a middle-man team that re-routes Meier to another club. There is the possibility of Vegas offering up their 2023 first-rounder plus a future unprotected first-rounder in a package offer.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock reports the Hurricanes have the cap space to spare, the prospects to dangle and could perhaps part with their 2023 first-rounder for a roster upgrade. Meier would make sense as the pending restricted free agent would be a “sort-of” rental but the asking price would be expensive. DeCock believes the Hurricanes would be willing to move a prospect such as Jack Drury or Scott Morrow but not both while Alexander Nikishin is untouchable.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds like Meier could be moved well before Friday’s 3 PM ET deadline. The Devils remain the favorite but I don’t rule out the Hurricanes. The St. Louis Blues are reportedly willing to offer up two of their three first-rounders in this year’s draft but not their own pick, which could be a deal-breaker for the Sharks. I don’t see the Golden Knights having a realistic chance unless the Devils, Hurricanes and Blues drop out.
PREDATORS ARE SELLERS
THE TENNESSEAN: Paul Skrbina reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile confirms his club is a seller after shipping winger Nino Niederreiter to the Winnipeg Jets. Poile isn’t going to forecast anything and won’t just make a trade for the sake of doing so. However, he adds that most teams know he’s willing to listen to offers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jeannot might be drawing interest from contenders but he might not be available. Poile opened contract extension talks recently with his agent. Unless those discussions have gone south, Jeannot could also be untouchable.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE JETS
SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe expects the Winnipeg Jets will have a busy week leading up to deadline day after acquiring Nino Niederreiter on Saturday. They could have up to $5.5 million in accrued cap space by Friday to add one or two more players, though Timo Meier isn’t expected to be one of them given the Sharks’ high asking price and the difficulty of working out a contract extension. A middle-six forward like St. Louis’ Ivan Barbashev or Arizona’s Nick Bjugstad could make sense.
THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates also believes the Jets aren’t done shopping before Friday’s deadline. He also sees them looking at rental players like Barbashev, Bjugstad or Vancouver’s Luke Schenn. James van Riemsdyk would be worthwhile if the Flyers agree to retain half of his $7 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Jets are done here. They’ve got sufficient cap space and wouldn’t have to give up a lot to land that middle-six forward.
COULD THE OILERS AND BLUE JACKETS BECOME TRADE PARTNERS?
THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman believes the Edmonton Oilers must do something to improve their defense after watching their dispiriting 6-5 loss on Saturday to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He feels they can’t just stand pat or pick around the edges at the trade deadline.
Aaron Portzline, meanwhile, wondered if the Oilers could become a destination for Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov now that the deal with the Boston Bruins has fallen by the wayside. He wondered if packaging Gavrikov with goaltender Joonas Korpisalo might convince Oilers GM Ken Holland to part with his 2023 first-round pick along with picks and prospects. The Jackets would also have to acquire winger Jesse Puljujarvi and his $3 million cap hit to make the dollars work for the cap-strapped Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers clearly have to do something to improve their defense. I don’t see how Karlsson is possible given his expensive contract and the high asking price that the Sharks would set for him. The Coyotes remain steadfast in their demand for two first-rounders plus a top prospect for Chychrun.
Gavrikov could help the Oilers. He has his critics but I don’t believe he could do any worse than what they’ve already got playing left-side defense on their second pairing. They can’t afford Korpisalo what with Jack Campbell and his $5 million cap hit already on their books.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Ottawa Senators are in the market for a right-side defenseman. He believes they have a little bit of flexibility to add a blueliner with some term remaining on his contract.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are committed to seeing what the trade market is for defensemen. There’s a surplus of blueliners in the market right now and cap-strapped teams like the Leafs could be hoping the prices come down as sellers get squeezed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel and James Mirtle believe the Leafs must shore up their defense for a matchup with the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs. They indicated that Canucks blueliner (and former Leafs) Luke Schenn is among their targets. Another enticing option would be Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm if the Predators are willing to move him and retain some salary.
Which teams could be destinations for Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk? What next for the Wild and Blues before the trade deadline? Could the Capitals move Dmitry Orlov? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images).
Carchidi noted that van Riemsdyk lives in Minnesota during the offseason so the Wild seems like a good fit. He speculates the Flyers could get a second-round pick in return. He’s in the final season of a five-year deal with an average annual value of $7 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Giana Han believes the Flyers will probably have to retain part of van Riemsdyk’s cap hit to facilitate a trade. They also believe he could fetch a second-round pick or perhaps a combination of lower picks. Olivia Reiner believes the return for van Riemsdyk will depend on how much of his cap hit the Flyers are willing to retain.
As for the Wild, they have the cap space to acquire van Riemsdyk. Whether they will or not remains to be determined.
LATEST ON THE WILD
TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani noted that Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin weaponized his salary-cap space by brokering the three-team trade that sent Ryan O’Reilly from the St. Louis Blues to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blues retain half of O’Reilly’s $7.5 million cap hit with the Wild and Leafs splitting the other half. In return, the Wild received a 2025 fourth-round pick.
It’s unclear if Guerin intends to use his remaining cap space to acquire a big name or continue being a third-party broker for other clubs. Mizutani believes that will become clearer over the next two weeks with the March 3 trade deadline approaching.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Wild still has over $12 million in projected trade deadline cap space. Guerin’s decision could be based on his club’s performance over the next two weeks as they continue to jockey for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
BLUES IVAN BARBASHEV LINKED TO THE BRUINS
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty recently cited St. Louis Blues insider Andy Strickland reporting the Boston Bruins are among the clubs interested in Ivan Barbashev. The 27-year-old winger is due to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He wants to play for a postseason contender and isn’t interested in signing a contract extension before the March trade deadline.
Haggerty said the Bruins appear more interested in landing a defenseman before the trade deadline. However, he doesn’t dismiss the possibility of them adding a forward even with sidelined winger Jake DeBrusk due to return soon to the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Bruins have $3.25 million in trade deadline cap space but that’s going to vanish once DeBrusk returns to action. They’ll have to get creative to find a way to free up sufficient cap room to acquire Barbashev ($2.25 million cap hit) or a defenseman.
CAPITALS ARE NOT CLOSE TO RE-SIGNING ORLOV
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cited The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reporting the Capitals have had contract extension discussions with Dmitry Orlov. The 31-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
LeBrun reported the two sides aren’t close to reaching an agreement on a new contract but Orlov’s name hasn’t come up in trade talks. He believes the Capitals intend to be buyers at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Orlov won’t be going anywhere with the Capitals jockeying for a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.