NHL Rumor Mill – August 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 12, 2022

How will the Golden Knights replace sidelined goalie Robin Lehner? What’s the latest on Coyotes’ defenseman Jakob Chychrun? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

EXAMINING THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS’ OPTIONS TO REPLACE LEHNER

THE ATHLETIC: With Robin Lehner sidelined for the upcoming season by hip surgery, Jesse Granger examined the Vegas Golden Knights’ options to replace the 31-year-old goaltender. If Lehner goes on long-term injury reserve, they’ll have roughly $7 million in usable cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights are already above the $82.5 million salary cap for 2022-23 by over $5.7 million with Shea Weber on long-term injury reserve. Most of Lehner’s $5 million cap hit is expected to be used to sign their remaining restricted free agents.

The Golden Knights could promote promising Logan Thompson as their starter backed up by Laurent Brossoit or Michael Hutchinson. That would provide them with the cap space to add a free agent such as Paul Stastny, Sonny Milano or Phil Kessel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They would have to be careful in how much of that cap wiggle room they invest in other players. Spend too much and they won’t have enough room to address their goaltending if Thompson, Brossoit and Hutchinson can’t get the job done.

If they decide to seek a replacement for Lehner outside the organization the pickings are slim. Braden Holtby remains unsigned but his career may be over due to injuries. Granger noted Cory Schneider is still available. He spent the past two years in the AHL.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about free agency. Holtby’s done and Schneider’s last decent NHL season was 2017-18.

Granger suggested New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov as a trade option.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps included Varlamov among his list of suggested trade options. He also mentioned the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo, the San Jose Sharks James Reimer, and the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello reportedly prefers to keep his goalie tandem intact for the coming season. As Krepps pointed out, however, there are rumors that he’s looking to clear cap space to sign free agent center Nazem Kadri officially. Lamoriello could change his mind provided the Golden Knights aren’t on Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade list.

The Blue Jackets signed Korpisalo to a one-year deal where he’ll be serving as Elvis Merzlikins’ backup so he’s probably unavailable. There is talk the Sharks could trade Reimer for the “right price”. Earlier this summer, Gibson denied rumors claiming he’d welcome a trade out of Anaheim. He carries a 10-team no-trade list.

What hurts the Golden Knights is their lack of trade capital. Since 2018, they’ve mortgaged their future by acquiring stars such as Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Jack Eichel. Investing big money in those players (plus free agent signings like Alex Pietrangelo) also forced them to make cost-cutting deals such as practically giving away Pacioretty last month to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Perhaps they could get Varlamov if the Isles are only looking to shed salary but I don’t think Lamoriello wants to move him. The Sharks will want something decent for Reimer while the Ducks’ asking price for Gibson could start with a first-round pick. Given he’s carrying a $6.4 million annual cap hit through 2026-27, they probably can’t afford him over the long term.

Granger also mentioned the possibility of signing Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger to an offer sheet. He points out that the Golden Knights lack their own second-round pick in 2023. That means an offer sheet would have to be between $4.2 million and $6.3 million to meet the compensation requirement of a first and third-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget it. The Stars have $10.3 million in cap space. I estimate it’ll take between $6.5 million and $8 million to sign Oettinger to an unmatchable offer sheet. The compensation there is a first, a second and a third-round pick. As Granger observed, they lack their own second-rounder next year.

Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recommends the Golden Knights avoid over-reacting, especially when the trade and free-agent markets won’t be kind. He suggests seeing how things play out with Thompson as their starter before exploring other options. I daresay that’s how management will handle this for now.

COULD THE COYOTES MOVE CHYCHRUN BEFORE TRAINING CAMP?

TSN’s Shawn Simpson recently took to Twitter reporting the feeling around the league is the Arizona Coyotes could trade Jakob Chychrun before training camp opens next month. He said the Ottawa Senators were among the teams in the mix but the Coyotes’ asking price for the 24-year-old defenseman is “ridiculously high”. He credits Senators GM Pierre Dorion for being patient.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes beat writer Craig Morgan of GOPHNX.com expects Chychrun will be in Arizona’s lineup when the season begins in October. He’s acknowledged that could change but feels the next best opportunity to trade the blueliner could be the 2023 trade deadline.

Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong tried moving Chychrun last season and during last month’s NHL draft. There’s plenty of interest in the blueliner but little in meeting Armstrong’s price, which is believed to be heavy on futures, including a first-round pick, a top prospect and a promising NHL-ready player.

It’s possible Chychrun gets moved before training camp or before the regular season begins. Unless Armstrong lowers his price, however, I wouldn’t hold my breath, especially with the rearguard under contract through 2024-25.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 11, 2022

The Leafs and Senators are discussing a trade regarding Matt Murray. Are there better options available to the Leafs? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LEAFS AND SENATORS DISCUSSING A MATT MURRAY TRADE

YAHOO! SPORTS: cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Sunday that trade talks between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators over goaltender Matt Murray have intensified.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (NHL Images).

The Leafs could be in need of a starting goalie if Jack Campbell heads to free agency on July 13 while the Senators are trying to clear a logjam in their crease by moving Murray. The 28-year-old netminder struggled through two injury-shortened seasons with the Senators and has been overtaken on their depth chart by Anton Forsberg and Filip Gustavsson.

Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas knows Murray well as the goalie played for him when he was GM of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe was also the Greyhounds coach at that time.

Last week, Murray rejected a trade to the Buffalo Sabres. However, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports he’s open to moving to Edmonton or Toronto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This shows the level of desperation Dubas must be feeling right now. Dreger reported the Leafs GM met with Campbell on Saturday but no progress was made toward a new contract. Having shipped Petr Mrazek to Chicago last Thursday in a cost-cutting move, Dubas is scrambling to find a suitable starting goaltender for the upcoming season.

Dubas’ interest in Murray suggests he can’t afford to pursue Darcy Kuemper, whose tenure with the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche ended last week with their acquisition of Alexandar Georgiev. It’s believed the 32-year-old Kuemper seeks a long-term deal worth close to $6 million per season.

In his prime, Murray backstopped the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017. Injuries, however, hampered his performance and were part of the reason the Penguins traded him to the Senators in 2020.

Murray’s abysmal stats with the Senators are due in part to having a lousy defense in front of him. Nevertheless, his frequent absences from the lineup haven’t helped his play. Even with a better team in front of him, there’s no certainty the oft-injured Murray can provide that club with the type of goaltending necessary to at least win a playoff round.

He also carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit for two more seasons. The Senators are reportedly reluctant to retain any portion of it, though that could change if they’re determined to trade him.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have also held discussions about Murray with the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reported one rumor making the rounds Sunday had the Leafs contacting the Montreal Canadiens about Jake Allen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico reports the Oilers, Capitals and Buffalo Sabres have also expressed interest in Allen. However, Canadiens GM Kent Hughes has stated Allen’s not going anywhere as long as uncertainty remains about Carey Price’s status next season. Until there’s more clarity on Price’s ongoing rehab from last summer’s knee surgery, forget about Allen being on the move this summer.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz cites a league source speculating the New York Islanders might not fully close the door on trading Semyon Varlamov given the need for starting goalies in this summer’s trade and free-agent markets. That source thinks Isles GM Lou Lamoriello could be receptive if a rival club becomes desperate enough to overpay for the 32-year-old netminder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Complicating that scenario is Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade clause. The teams looking for goalies could be on that list.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons points out that Dubas must also find a decent backup goaltender once he lands a starter. “Dubas is kidding himself if he believes that one of Erik Kallgren or Joseph Woll will be his backup this coming season,” writes Simmons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas should have an easier time finding a backup than a starter. Then again, that’s no certainty given his apparent blind spot in evaluating NHL goaltenders.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 9, 2022

Duncan Keith’s retirement and its effect on the Oilers and Blackhawks, an update on Kirill Kaprizov, the latest on Johnny Gaudreau’s contract talks, the Kings re-sign Adrian Kempe, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported Duncan Keith will retire after 17 NHL seasons. The 38-year-old Edmonton Oilers defenseman has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.54 million.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keith played all but one of his 17 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, becoming the greatest defenseman in franchise history. Joining the Blackhawks when they were among the league doormats in 2005-06, he went on to anchor their blueline as they rose to become one of the league’s most dominant teams.

Keith enjoyed a career worthy of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He helped the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups in six seasons from 2009-10 to 2014-15, took home the Norris Trophy twice as the league’s top defenseman, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2015 and was a two-time First Team All-Star. He is second all-time among Blackhawks skaters with 1,192 games played, sixth in total assists (520) and 10th in points with 625. Keith also helped Canada win two gold medals (2010, 2014) in men’s hockey at the Winter Olympics.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Keith’s retirement provides a boost to the Oilers’ salary-cap space for 2022-23, removing $5.5 million from their books. Having traded Zack Kassian ($3.2 million) to Arizona on Thursday and with goaltender Mike Smith ($2.2 million) and defenseman Oscar Klefbom ($4.1 million) expected to spend next season on long-term injury reserve, the Oilers could have $22 million to work with this summer.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Because Keith was on a 13-year contract signed before term limits were imposed on contracts, the Blackhawks faced a $5.5 million salary-cap recapture penalty for 2022-23 and $1.9 million in 2023-24. The club wasn’t planning on spending to the $82.5 million cap, but it does hamper their efforts to weaponize their cap space by taking on bad contracts from rival clubs with sweeteners such as draft picks and prospects attached.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The financial effects of Keith’s retirement for the Oilers and Blackhawks is newsworthy, but it seemed to overshadow the fact that a future Hall-of-Famer was hanging up his skates after a long and productive career.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports sources claim Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov was twice denied entry into the United States and has returned to his native Russia, likely because he currently lacks a work visa. The 25-year-old winger was previously accused of buying a fake military ID in 2017 to avoid service in the Russian military. Russo reports Kaprizov’s father said his son was a student which allowed him to avoid service. However, that exemption expired on June 30.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has raised concerns over whether Kaprizov will be allowed to return to North America given the tensions between the United States and Russia over the latter’s ongoing war with Ukraine. Russo reports the Wild are working with the NHL behind the scenes to sort this out.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving said there is a genuine desire by his team and Johnny Gaudreau to get a new contract done before the free-agent market opens on July 13. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been reported the Flames offered Gaudreau an eight-year deal worth $9.5 million annually. While there’s talk the club has the flexibility to go higher in salary, there’s also a belief that he wants to gauge other offers before reaching a decision.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings reached an agreement with winger Adrian Kempe on a four-year, $22-million contract with an official announcement expected on Saturday. Kempe, 25, was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He’s coming off a career-best 35-goal performance.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: $5.5 million per season is a good contract for a 30-goal winger, especially if he continues that level of production over the course of his new deal.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: More details emerged on the Philadelphia Flyers’ acquisition of Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. The Flyers sent the Canes a second-round pick in 2024, a third-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-rounder in the 2022 draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The original report indicated the Hurricanes were receiving second, third and fourth rounds picks.

The Flyers acquired DeAngelo because they need insurance in case Ryan Ellis remains sidelined next season by his recovery from a multilayered injury in his pelvis region. Nevertheless, the deal is facing criticism by Flyers followers citing DeAngelo’s checkered history and his average defensive game.

RDS.CA: cites Pierre LeBrun reports it appears Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat is heading to the free-agent market on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun didn’t rule things changing but this would be a big loss to the Lightning if Palat departs as a free agent. The 32-year-old winger is a reliable two-way player who’s also a clutch playoff performer, sitting third among active players with 12 game-winning playoff goals.

NEW YORK POST: Forget the rumors of the Islanders trading Semyon Varlamov. GM Lou Lamoriello said he’ll be maintaining his goaltending tandem of Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin for next season.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche are reportedly closing in on a new contract for Valeri Nichushkin.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said it doesn’t appear he’ll be receiving a contract buyout. He’s excited about returning under new GM Mike Grier (who he played with earlier in his career) and the new coaching staff.

THE TENNESSEAN: Speaking of the Sharks, they acquire forward Luke Kunin on Friday from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2023 third-rounder and forward John Leonard.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 18, 2022

What’s the latest on Filip Forsberg and Jeff Petry? Could the Devils attempt to move Jesper Bratt? What will the Capitals do about their goaltending? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WILL FORSBERG RE-SIGN WITH THE PREDATORS?

TSN: Chris Johnston reports the Nashville Predators would like to bring back Filip Forsberg. However, it’s not clear at this point if they’ll be able to do that. He said there hasn’t been much progress in contract extension talks since March and both sides seem entrenched in their current positions.

THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan recently examined three options for the Predators to replace Forsberg if he hits the open market on July 13. The bold move could be attempting a major trade to acquire David Pastrnak if he’s reluctant to sign a contract extension with the Boston Bruins.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

They could attempt to sign Valeri Nichushkin if the Colorado Avalanche winger becomes an unrestricted free agent next month. Another option is acquiring Jesse Puljujarvi from the Edmonton Oilers as a reclamation project.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plenty of time remains for Forsberg and the Predators to work out a deal. However, if there hasn’t been any progress in talks when the calendar flips to July, the more likely it’ll be that the 27-year-old left winger goes to market.

I don’t anticipate the Bruins shopping Pastrnak as both sides seem open to working out a contract extension starting on July 13. Sure, it’s possible talks could stall and the Bruins could start listening to offers but I’d say the odds of that happening are low right now.

Nichushkin won’t replace Forsberg’s offense or star power. Nevertheless, he’d be a more affordable option and his two-way game could be a good fit in the Predators’ system.

Puljujarvi’s trade value is low right now and he could be available given the Oilers’ limited cap space. It shouldn’t cost very much to acquire him if the Predators are interested.

CANADIENS WORKING ON PETRY TRADE

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens are working on trading Jeff Petry though there’s no guarantee a deal will take place. Five or six teams have expressed an interest in the 34-year-old defenseman.

The Dallas Stars are among those clubs, especially if they lose blueliner John Klingberg to free agency next month. LeBrun said it appears Klingberg could test the UFA market as there have been no contract talks of late with the Stars. The Detroit Red Wings are another potential destination.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Petry-to-Dallas speculation has been around since March when there was talk the Stars looked into acquiring him before the trade deadline. As for the Wings, they have plenty of salary-cap space to absorb the Michigan native’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 and are in need of experienced blueline depth.

A LOOK AT DAILY FACEOFF’S UPDATED TRADE TARGETS LIST

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli added five new names to his NHL offseason trade targets list.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt is the notable new name, checking in at No. 10. Seravalli noted Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald recently said the 23-year-old winger is a big part of the club’s future. However, sources said Bratt was available at the trade deadline and there’s been no contract extension talks to this point. He also noted Fitzgerald’s pursuit of “hard skill” this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bratt completed a career-best 73-point season and is coming off his second NHL contract. Fitzgerald can take his time negotiating with him though Bratt does have arbitration rights and is in line for a big raise.

I’m skeptical that Bratt will get traded but I don’t rule it out. It will depend on what type of skill player Fitzgerald is pursuing this summer and if Bratt would be a trade chip necessary to acquire that type of player.

Speaking of the Devils, Seravalli has Mackenzie Blackwood at No. 20. There’s a sense they’re losing faith in the 25-year-old goaltender after two seasons of injury and inconsistent play. He could be a bounce-back candidate in tandem with a veteran on a deeper club with limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Improving the goaltending depth is a must for Fitzgerald this summer. He could shop Blackwood but could also keep him as a backup to be mentored by whoever he brings in as a starter.

New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen were also added to the list. Beauvillier came in at No. 15, Martinez at 14 and Kapanen at 18.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These three have previously surfaced in trade speculation mostly as cost-cutting candidates.

LATEST CAPITALS SPECULATION

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Andrew Gillis recently examined possible goaltending candidates for the Capitals if they part ways with Ilya Samsonov or Vitek Vanecek this summer. He suggested monitoring the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov and Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick.

Both have a year remaining on their respective contracts. He also doesn’t anticipate they’ll be among the bidders for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jack Campbell if he tests the open market in July.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber recently cited Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claiming the Florida Panthers are shopping starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky hard, so much so they’re willing to retain as much as 50 percent of his $10 million annual cap hit.

Silber wondered if the Capitals would be interested. She also suggested the Capitals could prefer keeping their options open with Campbell, Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper and St. Louis’ Ville Husso possibly available via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Varlamov might approve a trade back to where his career began but I don’t see the Capitals investing in him unless they can get him signed to a contract extension. The Kings could stick with Quick for his final season before passing the full-time goalie duties to Cal Petersen.

Bobrovsky’s contract expires in 2026. Even at $5 million annually, that’s a lengthy investment in a 33-year-old goaltender who struggles at times with consistency. I think the Capitals will test their luck in the UFA market and make a cost-cutting deal if necessary to add a goalie.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cites a report out of Russia claiming Alex Ovechkin called Evander Kane earlier this season to encourage him to sign with the Capitals following his contract termination by the San Jose Sharks. Kane ultimately signed with the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m including this one just for fun. And no, I don’t see Kane signing with the Capitals. They already have a first-line left winger (hello there, Ovechkin) and they’ll likely invest their limited cap space in improving their goaltending and perhaps their blueline depth.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2022

A look at Daily Faceoff’s top offseason trade targets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Alex DeBrincat tops Frank Seravalli’s list of this summer’s top-25 trade targets. He considers it a question of “when”, not “if” the Chicago Blackhawks trade the 24-year-old left winger. Seravalli believes he’d be their best trade chip to stockpile futures for their rebuilding process. It will also cost them $9 million to qualify his rights at the end of next season.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis believes Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson could seek a return comparable to the two first-round picks and two NHL players he got from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Brandon Hagel. A high first-round pick and/or an A-level prospect would have to be a priority. He suggested the New Jersey Devils could be worth watching as they’re willing to part with their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft.

Whoever pursues DeBrincat must be prepared to pony up big bucks to re-sign him after next season. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller and the Devils’ second-overall draft pick sit Nos. 2 through 5 on Seravalli’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fiala, Chychrun and Miller have been fixtures in this year’s rumor mill. Seravalli thinks Fiala could be a good fit with the Devils alongside Swiss countryman Nico Hischier. The Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders have also been linked to Fiala.

The Coyotes’ expensive asking price for Chychrun remains a sticking point. The Canucks are expected to try and sign Miller to a contract extension this summer but could end up shopping him if that’s not possible.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo, Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie, Devils forward Pavel Zacha and Nashville Predators defenseman Philippe Myers come in at Nos. 6 through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo enjoyed a bounce-back performance this season but the Hurricanes might end up shopping him if they can’t re-sign him. Seravalli said Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek quietly floated Gibson’s name before the trade deadline. However, his contract could be difficult to move. He carries a $6.4 million annual salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a 10-team no-trade clause.

Barrie could be shopped by the Oilers to free up cap room for other moves. Seravalli suggests Zacha, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, could be used as a trade chip by the Devils to bring in help elsewhere in their lineup. He also thinks Myers could be useful for a cap-strapped team to acquire and buy out because of the way his deal is backloaded.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner John Marino, Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Vegas Golden Knights winger Evgenii Dadonov and either Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto come in at Nos. 11 to 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap-strapped Canadiens tried to fulfill Petry’s trade request before the trade deadline and could shop him this summer to free up cap room. Seravalli suggested he could be a solid backup plan for the Penguins if Kris Letang departs via free agency. He’s also been linked to the Dallas Stars. However, the three years left on his deal at $6.25 million could be a stumbling block.

Marino, Varlamov and Dadonov would also be cost-cutting trade candidates. There’s speculation the Canucks could be interested in Marino. Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade clause could complicate attempts to move him. The Golden Knights unsuccessfully attempted to move Dadonov before the trade deadline. They will likely try again this summer.

Seravalli believes the Oilers’ limited cap space could force GM Ken Holland to choose between Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. Both are restricted free agents with arbitration rights.

Florida Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist, Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy, Canucks forwards Tanner Pearson and Jason Dickinson, Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina, and the contracts of Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom and Canadiens blueliner Shea Weber are shoehorned into Nos. 16 through 21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers need to free up cap space and Hornqvist has only a year left on his contract. Seravalli believes GM Bill Zito will be able to find a taker for the veteran forward as he did with Anton Stralman and Brett Connolly last season.

Seravalli doesn’t see any push by the Kraken to move Soucy but could listen to offers if they won’t re-sign him after next season. Pearson and Dickinson would be salary-dumping moves by the Canucks. Zadina might need a fresh start after struggling with the Red Wings.

Klefbom and Weber are on permanent long-term injury reserve. Seravalli points out that the Oilers and Canadiens would like to move those contracts as having them on LTIR prevents them from accruing cap space during the season.

There’s an assumption the Canadiens will try again to peddle Weber’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes after a rumored deal fell apart before the trade deadline. He carries a $7.857 million annual cap hit for four more seasons but will be paid just $6 million total in actual salary over that period.

Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico explains that would allow the Coyotes’ ownership to save millions in payroll, especially as they’ll be playing in a tiny university arena over the next three or four years while awaiting construction of their new arena. However, they could insist on draft picks in the 2023 and 2025 drafts be included in the deal if they’re still willing to take on Weber’s contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl, Hurricanes blueliner Ethan Bear, Canadiens winger Josh Anderson and Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele round up the remainder of the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like so many on this list, Holl would be moved in an effort to trim payroll. Bear, meanwhile, fell out of favor in Carolina and was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. I don’t see the Canadiens shopping Anderson though it wouldn’t hurt the rebuilding club to at least listen to trade offers.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff last week indicated he expected Scheifele to be back next season. Seravalli acknowledged moving him probably isn’t high on Cheveldayoff’s list and considers it difficult for the Jets to get equal value in return.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 7, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 7, 2022

The Devils are open to trading their 2022 first-round pick plus a look at the Sabres’ roster needs in the NHL rumor mill.

DEVILS COULD PEDDLE THEIR 2022 FIRST ROUNDER

THE SCORE: Kayla Douglas cited New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald indicating his willingness to put his 2022 first-round pick into play in this summer’s trade market. The Devils currently hold the fifth-best odds (8.5%) of winning the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday.

Fitzgerald said he’d be open to using that pick to acquire a player “that we know and feel will help impact the results that we are looking for.” The Devils GM believes it is time for his young team to start contending for the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fitzgerald’s comments have already prompted some observers to muse over what type of player the Devils would want in exchange for that pick. Vancouver Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson recently examined the pros and cons of the Canucks’ offering up J.T. Miller if they’re unable to sign him to a contract extension.

Simpson is merely spitballing here as there’s no indication Miller is on the trade block. Nevertheless, you get the idea of the type of player it could take to pry that first-rounder away from the Devils, especially if they win the draft lottery. Fitzgerald would probably prefer someone with more than a year of term remaining on their contract.

New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha (NHL Images)

Speaking of the Devils, THE ATHLETIC’s Shayna Goldman believes Pavel Zacha is the most likely of their current roster to be traded in the offseason. The 25-year-old spent most of this season on the wing but prefers playing center. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who isn’t worth much more than his current $2.25 million annual average value.

Goldman also believes the Devils face a big decision regarding Mackenzie Blackwood. Injuries have hampered his development as a starting goaltender over the past two seasons. They must determine if there’s still room for improvement or if he’d be better off with a fresh start elsewhere. She suggested it could depend if a UFA goaltender like St. Louis’ Ville Husso or Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper is willing to sign with them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha’s name popped up around midseason linking him to the Canucks. Its’ believed they’ll be seeking affordable talent in the early-to-mid twenties. We’ll find out at some point this summer if there’s a potential fit for him in Vancouver.

Goaltending was the Devils’ undoing this season. Blackwood cannot be faulted for his injury history and his struggles attempting to regain his form upon his return to action. Nevertheless, this franchise needs an upgrade between the pipes to have a fighting chance of becoming a playoff contention next season. It’s up to Fitzgerald to address that issue, be it shipping out Blackwood or putting him in a backup role to an established starter.

WHAT ARE THE SABRES’ OFFSEASON NEEDS?

THE ATHLETIC: John Vogl recently examined what roster issues the Buffalo Sabres should address during the offseason.

Goaltending is their most pressing need. Craig Anderson, 40, will take a month or two to decide if he wants to return or retire. Sabres GM Kevyn Adams will look at all his options. Vogl speculated they could sign a second-tier unrestricted free agent such as Braden Holtby, Casey DeSmith or Martin Jones.

They could also acquire a goalie with a year left on his contract to serve as a bridge to young netminders such as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Devon Levi and Erik Portillo. Options could include the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Antti Raanta, Minnesota Wild’s Cam Talbot or Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick.

Adams must also improve his defense corps. Vogl believes they should add a right-handed shot to their heavy left-shot blueline but Adams stressed the importance of finding the right fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adams might have better luck signing one of those second-tier UFA goalies. The Sabres could be part of Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade list, Raanta has a long injury history, the Wild could stick with Talbot ($3.666 million) if they’re unable to re-sign Marc-Andre Fleury and the Kings’ could allow the 36-year-old Quick to finish his career in Los Angeles.