NHL Rumor Mill – June 5, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – June 5, 2020

Should the Oilers re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? Which notable players should the Sabres retain? Check out the latest in today’s rumor mill.

SHOULD THE OILERS RE-SIGN NUGENT-HOPKINS ASAP?

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Allan Mitchell called upon the Edmonton Oilers to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins once this season is over. The 27-year-old forward is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Should the Edmonton Oilers attempt to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the off-season (Photo via NHL Images).

Mitchell cited Nugent-Hopkins’ improved offensive game skating on the wing alongside Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto. A big offensive performance next season could make re-signing him more difficult. He suggested inking Nugent-Hopkins to a six-year, $45-million extension, which would equate to an annual average value of $7.5 million.

Mitchell believes the idea of moving Nugent-Hopkins at next season’s trade deadline is noxious to Oilers’ fans. He feels the Oilers will never get full value back by moving him as a playoff rental. He thinks there’s no one in the Oilers’ system to adequately replace the versatile forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nugent-Hopkins frequently surfaced in trade rumors over the previous two seasons. His solid play this season and the Oilers’ improvement in the standings silenced that chatter for the most part. However, he could resurface in next season’s rumor mill he’s still unsigned as the trade deadline approaches.

As Mitchell observes, the salary cap will determine what the Oilers can afford to re-sign Nugent-Hopkins. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $48 million invested in nine players for 2021-22.

Some of that cap room will be taken up this year by re-signing or replacing such notables as Mike Smith, Ethan Bear, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Ennis, and Riley Sheahan. Yamamoto, Alex Chiasson, Adam Larsson, and Kris Russell will be among those due for new contracts in 2021.

Assuming the salary cap remains at $81.5 million for 2021-22, there should be enough to accommodate a $7.5 million AAV for Nugent-Hopkins. His performance next season will also be a determining factor.

LATEST ON THE SABRES

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski and Mike Harrington weighed in on which notable players the Sabres should retain.

They were split on Rasmus Ristolainen, as Lysowski pointed to the regression in the blueliner’s play. Moving him could fetch some scoring help and free up cap room to sign a free-agent rearguard like Winnipeg’s Dylan DeMelo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen often comes up as a Sabres’ trade candidate. However, general manager Jason Botterill and head coach Ralph Krueger indicated last week they still consider the 25-year-old defenseman among their core players. If so, that suggests Ristolainen won’t be shopped.

Both believe Brandon Montour should be traded. The 26-year-old defenseman is a restricted free agent and they feel there’s no room for his style of play in Krueger’s system. He could bring the Sabres a second- or third-line forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres have depth on the blueline but need more on their forward lines. If Ristolainen isn’t shopped, Montour could become the likely candidate. He’s a year away from UFA eligibility and has arbitration rights this year. Ristolainen, on the other hand, is under contract through 2021-22.

They also split on Jimmy Vesey, with Harrington believing he’s not the scoring winger he was projected to become.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m with Harrington on this one. A highly-touted college player, Vesey’s struggled in the NHL.

Both believe the Sabres should re-sign UFA winger Wayne Simmonds to a one-year deal, part ways with UFAs Zemgus Girgensons, Michael Frolik, and Vladimir Sobotka, and attempt to trade goalie Carter Hutton.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2019

The Canadiens and Flames rally for overtime victories plus the latest on Dustin Byfuglien, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAMES RECAPS

NHL.COM: Max Domi’s overtime goal gave the Montreal Canadiens a 5-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Habs overcame a 4-2 deficit on goals by Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher to force the extra frame. Domi and Tatar each had a goal and an assist. Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty collected an assist against his former club for his 500th career NHL point. Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi missed the game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a groin injury.

The Calgary Flames overcame 2-0, 4-1, and 5-4 deficits to burn the Nashville Predators 6-5 on a between-the-legs overtime goal by Matthew Tkachuk, who also tallied the game-tying goal. Tkachuk and Sean Monahan finished with three points apiece. Predators winger Auston Watson celebrated his new three-year, $4.5-million contract extension with a four-point performance. Teammate Calle Jarnkrok also tallied twice.

HEADLINES

TSN: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien could require up to four months to recover from recent ankle surgery. His agent is in discussions with the NHL Players Association as they review his case. it could have financial complications if it’s determined he injured his ankle playing hockey.

Dustin Byfuglien’s ankle surgery raises more questions over his future with the Winnipeg Jets (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byfuglien is on a leave of absence mulling his future and was suspended without pay for salary-cap purposes. He underwent this surgery in his home state of Minnesota without informing the team.

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff shed little light on the situation, raising speculation of a difference of opinion between the player and the organization over the status of his injured ankle. The silence from both sides only generates more questions over the future of Byfuglien’s playing career. For the time being, it seems increasingly likely he won’t be back with the Jets this season.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets got more bad news as center Mark Letestu has been sidelined by a heart virus (myocarditis) for six months. Winger Patrik Laine remains sidelined with a minor lower-body injury. Center Bryan Little left practice yesterday with an undisclosed injury and could miss tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Letestu is expected to make a full recovery but he’ll miss the remainder of the regular season.

THE SCORE: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has hired a lawyer to investigate how his name became associated with a Russian virtual reality start-up that reportedly lost millions of dollars. The report claimed Malkin invested $4 million into the company, which used his name to attract other investors. He denied investing in the company.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Speaking of the Penguins, they’ve assigned Sam Lafferty to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

CBS SPORTS: Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Buffalo Sabres winger Jimmy Vesey (lower body) has been upgraded from week-to-week to day-to-day. San Jose Sharks center Dylan Gambrell is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings forward Tyler Toffoli was a healthy scratch during Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli is an unrestricted free agent in July. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds to this move.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks have recalled defenseman Adam Boqvist.

The Charlotte Checkers have released Jamie McGinn from his professional tryout offer.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2019

Game recaps, the Penguins trade Erik Gudbranson to the Ducks, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals overcame a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 6-5 on a shootout goal by Nicklas Backstrom. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Michal Kempny each scored twice for the Capitals. Tim Schaller tallied two goals while Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat each collected two assists for the Canucks.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice to rally the Washington Capitals to a 6-5 win over the Vancouver Canucks (Photo via NHL Images).

​SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals gave the young Canucks an invaluable lesson. Never sit on a big lead against a talented veteran club.

Third-period goals by Barrett Hayton and Clayton Keller lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Jason Demers collected three assists while Nick Schmaltz and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who’ve won six of their last eight contests. Devils rookie Jack Hughes scored a goal and set up two others. Devils defenseman Will Butcher returned from injured reserve while Connor Carrick (upper body) was placed on IR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a shaky start the Coyotes are playing well of late. Their once-sputtering offense has significantly improved in recent games.

Speaking of surging teams, the New York Islanders picked up their sixth consecutive victory by doubling up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Nick Leddy scored twice, including on a penalty shot, and collected an assist. Tyler Ennis tallied twice for the Senators.

Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to 10 games with two assists in a 6-1 thumping of the Vegas Golden Knights. Former Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare collected three points while Nazem Kadri and Matt Calvert each scored twice for the Avs. Golden Knights starter Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after giving up four goals on 26 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t Fleury’s fault. He had little defensive support in this contest.

Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark posted a 41-save performance to shut out the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. Sam Reinhart and Jake McCabe were the goal scorers. The Wings have dropped seven straight games. Sabres winger Jimmy Vesey and defenseman Marco Scandella were ruled out for this game. Both will be evaluated when the club returns to Buffalo. Wings forward Luke Glendening (upper body) will be sidelined two-to-four weeks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the San Jose Sharks 4-1, spoiling former Leafs winger Patrick Marleau’s return to Toronto. Mitch Marner and Ilya Mikheyev each collected two points while Marleau was held scoreless.

HEADLINES

TRIBLIVE.COM/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Anaheim Ducks for minor-league forward Andreas Martinsen and a seventh-round pick in 2021. The Penguins also placed blueliner Zach Trotman on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gudbranson was linked to the Ducks in the rumor mill following their failed attempt last month to acquire Justin Faulk. He’ll bring size, toughness and a much-needed right-handed shot to the Ducks blueline. The move is not linked to Josh Manson’s recent injury.

The Penguins, meanwhile, free up invaluable salary-cap space by shedding Gudbranson’s $4 million cap hit. They’ll need that room when sidelined forwards Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, and Bryan Rust return to the lineup.

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) will miss the club’s next two games. Winger Sammy Blais is listed as day-to-day with an injured thumb.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk returned to practice yesterday showing no ill-efect from a collision in his crease during Tuesday’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers. Dubnyk was shaken up and forced to leave the game. 

TSN: Former Carolina Hurricanes winger Justin Williams has quietly resumed skating but still hasn’t reached a decision regarding his playing career. An unrestricted free agent, Williams is taking some time away from the game to consider his future.

CBS SPORTS: Calgary Flames forward Austin Czarnik is sidelined with a lower-body injury.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets forward Mason Appleton is listed as week-to-week after breaking his foot in a pickup football game

YARDBARKER: Former Washington Capitals playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly could be signing with KHL team Kunlun Red Star.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov is returning to the KHL.










List of NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2019

List of NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2019

Check out the listing of today’s notable NHL free-agent signings. This will be updated throughout the day as signings become official.

The Chicago Blackhawks signed goaltender Robin Lehner to a one-year, $5-million contract. 

The New York Islanders sign left wing Anders Lee to a seven-year, $49-million contract. The Isles also signed goaltender Semyon Varlamov to a four-year contract worth $5 million per season. 

The Carolina Hurricanes sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to a two-year, $6.5-million contract. 

The Montreal Canadiens have tendered an offer sheet to Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho. The proposed contract is for five years, with an average annual value of $8.454 million. 

 

New York Rangers sign left winger Artemi Panarin to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract. The annual average value is $11.6 million.

Florida Panthers signed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year, $70 million deal. They also signed winger Brett Connolly to a four-year, $13-million contract, defenseman Anton Stralman to a three-year, $16.5 million contract and forward Noel Acciari to a three-year, $5-million contract. 

Artemi Panarin signs a seven-year contract with the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

The Nashville Predators sign center Matt Duchene to a seven-year, $56-million contract.

Dallas Stars sign center/winger Joe Pavelski to a three-year, $21-million contract. The Stars also signed winger Corey Perry on a one-year, bonus-laden contract worth up to $3.25 million. They also signed defenseman Andrej Sekera to a one-year contract with a $1.5 million base salary and $500K in bonuses.

Minnesota Wild sign winger Mats Zuccarello to a five-year, $30-million contract. The Wild also sign forward Ryan Hartman to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.9 million.

Vancouver Canucks sign defenseman Tyler Myers to a five-year, $30-million contract. The Canucks also signed blueliner Jordie Benn to a two-year, $4-million contract and rearguard Oscar Fantenberg to a one-year, $850K deal. 

Pittsburgh Penguins sign forward Brandon Tanev to a six-year contract with an AAV of $3.5 million. 

Columbus Blue Jackets sign forward Gustav Nyquist to a four-year, $22-million contract. 

Washington Capitals sign forward Richard Panik to a four-year, $10-million contract and forward Garnet Hathaway to a four-year, $6-million deal. 

Colorado Avalanche sign winger Joonas Donskoi to a three-year contract estimated at around $3.5 million per season. They also sign winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a two-year, $3.6-million contract

Chicago Blackhawks sign center Ryan Carpenter to a three-year, $3-million contract. 

Detroit Red Wings sign center Valtteri Filppula to a two-year, $6-million contract. They also signed defenseman Patrik Nemeth to a two-year deal. 

St. Louis Blues sign forward Nathan Walker to a two-year, $1.4-million contract. 

New Jersey Devils sign winger Wayne Simmonds to a one-year, $5-million contract. 

Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Mike Smith to a one-year, $2-million contract and sign forward Markus Granlund to a one-year, $1.3-million contract. They also re-signed winger Alex Chiasson to a two-year deal worth $2.15-million per season. 

Ottawa Senators sign Ron Hainsey to a one-year, $3.5-million contract and winger Tyler Ennis to a one-year, $800K contract. 

Toronto Maple Leafs sign center Jason Spezza to a one-year, $700K contract.  

Calgary Flames sign goaltender Cam Talbot to sign a one-year. $2.75-million contract.

Montreal Canadiens sign goaltender Keith Kinkaid to a one-year, $1.75-million contract. 

Tampa Bay Lightning sign goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a two-year, $2.6-million contract. They also signed defenseman Luke Schenn to a one-year, $700K contract. 

Buffalo Sabres sign forward Curtis Lazar,  goaltender Andrew Hammond, and defenseman John Gilmour to one-year contracts each worth $700K.  The Sabres also acquire forward Jimmy Vesey from the New York Rangers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

Winnipeg Jets sign defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

Trade Alert: The New York Rangers trade Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.










NHL Afternoon Rumor Mill – June 20, 2019

NHL Afternoon Rumor Mill – June 20, 2019

Some tidbits on Corey Perry, Artemi Panarin, and Sergei Bobrovsky plus the latest on the Leafs and Hurricanes in this afternoon’s NHL rumor update.

COULD PERRY JOIN THE KINGS?

MAYOR’S MANOR: Los Angeles Kings insider John Hoven appeared on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 discussing the club’s plans heading into the 2019 NHL Draft weekend. During the discussion, Hoven “dropped a little nugget” linking the Kings for Corey Perry. The 34-year-old right winger was recently bought out by the Anaheim Ducks and is seeking a new home via free agency.

Could Corey Perry sign with the Los Angeles Kings? (Photo via NHL Images)

Hoven said we shouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bit of chatter in the coming days regarding Perry and the Kings. He believes there’s a fit there, suggesting the Kings could bring him in on an affordable, bonus-laden winger to mentor their younger players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Hoven isn’t saying this is a done deal. Nevertheless,  Perry joining the Kings would provide an additional measure of intrigue into the longstanding rivalry between the two clubs.

As Hoven points out, Perry’s spent his entire 14-year NHL career in Anaheim. Perhaps he’d be willing to accept a deal that keeps him in Southern California. Keep an eye on this situation in the coming days. 

LEAFS LISTENING ON KAPANEN AND KADRI

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are telling teams they’re willing to entertain offers for forwards Nazem Kadri and Kasperi Kapanen. He believes the Leafs would need a defenseman back for Kapanen and a center for Kadri. He also claims there’s a “strong sense” Connor Brown could be moved as well.

Dreger adds Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas will meet with Mitch Marner’s agent in Vancouver during the upcoming draft weekend. It’s unknown if Dubas will formally table a contract offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Kadri carries an annual average value of $4.5 million through 2021-22. He also has a 10-team no-trade list. Brown has a year left on his contract with a $2.1 million salary-cap hit and lacks no-trade protection. Like Marner, Kapanen is a restricted free agent on July 1.

Dubas is also attempting to honor defenseman Nikita Zaitsev’s trade request and move winger Patrick Marleau to a club close to San Jose. His willingness to listen on Kadri and Kapanen suggests he’s having difficulty moving the other two. Dubas must free up cap space to re-sign Marner. If he’s looking for a defenseman or a center, he can’t take back too much salary. 

 

 

 










NHL Rumor Mill – June 19, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – June 19, 2019

Latest on Nikolaj Ehlers, Nikita Zaitsev, Patrick Marleau, Rasmus Ristolainen, Cody Ceci, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

ZAITSEV, EHLERS RISE ON TSN TRADE BAIT LIST

TSN: With Jacob Trouba traded to the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel in limbo, Frank Seravalli updated his trade-bait list. Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev tops the list. Despite the five years at $4.5 million remaining on Zaitsev’s contract, Seravalli claims there’s no shortage of teams expressing interest in the 27-year-old blueliner. “Cost certainty is a valuable commodity in the salary cap world,” he said. The Vancouver Canucks are among the clubs linked to Zaitsev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cost certainty is a valuable commodity only if you’re getting your money’s worth out of that player. Zaitsev’s decline over the past two seasons could turn his contract into a potential salary-cap headache. 

Could the Winnipeg Jets ship Nikolaj Ehlers to the Carolina Hurricanes? (Photo via NHL Images)

Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers moves up to No. 5 on Seravalli’s list. It’s believed the Jets offered the 23-year-old to the Carolina Hurricanes for one of their right-shot defensemen. Ehlers is a three-time 20-goal scorer. However, he’s “coming off a down year and entering the second season of a seven-year, $42 million deal.”

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said his priority is adding a top-nine forward. Alexander wonders if it could be Ehlers.  Alexander also reports Waddell wants to re-sign pending UFA goaltenders Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek. However, that’s becoming problematic with the start of the UFA period (July 1) fast approaching.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes’ right-shot blueliners are Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, and Trevor van Riemsdyk. All but van Riemsdyk surfaced in this season’s trade-rumor mill. To land Ehlers, they’ll likely have to part with either Faulk, Hamilton, or Pesce. Cap Friendly indicates Faulk has a modified no-trade while Hamilton and Pesce lack no-trade protection. The Hurricanes, however, could be reluctant to break up their blueline.

LIGHTNING, CANUCKS INTERESTED IN RISTOLAINEN?

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun believes Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois could be interested in Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. He’s only 24 and has three years remaining on his contract with a $5.4-million annual salary-cap hit. “If I’m the Sabres, I don’t get into a serious discussion with Tampa unless Mikhail Sergachev is on the table,” said LeBrun

SN650 VANCOUVER’s Rick Dhaliwal took to Twitter reporting a source claims the Vancouver Canucks “seem to be talking with Buffalo about a defenseman. He’s not sure if it’s Ristolainen or Zach Bogosian. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen’s name frequently popped up in Sabres trade chatter earlier this spring. Should they decide to move him they could seek a top-six forward in return. I don’t believe the Bolts are willing to move Sergachev. Besides, they must shed salary to re-sign restricted free agent center Braydon Point. 

If the Canucks are interested in a Sabres defenseman it’s got to be Ristolainen. The oft-injured Bogosian won’t help their blueline. 

RANGERS NOT DONE DEALING?

LeBrun cited TSN colleague Darren Dreger saying the New York Rangers might not be done dealing after acquiring Jacob Trouba earlier this week. They could be willing to part with a forward like Chris Kreider, Vladislav Namestnikov, Pavel Buchnevich, and Jimmy Vesey. Kreider is a year away from UFA status. He’s also got a modified no-trade clause and his agent has submitted his 11-team no-trade list. LeBrun said the Sabres have been linked to Vesey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t be surprised if Kreider is shopped by this weekend if a contract extension isn’t worked out with the Rangers by then. As for Vesey, he rejected the Sabres when he signed with the Rangers as a UFA in 2016. He’ll be a UFA next summer and might not be worth the risk for the Sabres. 

MARLEAU WANTS TO RETURN TO THE SHARKS

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: cites Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claiming Toronto Maple Leafs winger Patrick Marleau wants to return to the San Jose Sharks. However, a reunion won’t be so simple as the Sharks would be reluctant to take on his $6.25 million salary-cap hit next season. Kypreos suggests a third team might have to get involved, one that must reach the salary-cap minimum. They could then buy out Marleau’s contract and he could sign a lesser deal with the Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau probably doesn’t fit into the Sharks plans. Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton are UFAs while restricted free agents Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc are due for pay raises. Cap Friendly indicates they’ve got over $66 million invested in 15 players. That’s not enough cap space to re-sign those guys and leave room for Marleau. 

SENATORS SHOPPING CECI?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion has held contract extension talks with RFA defenseman Cody Ceci. However, Dorion is also seriously exploring Ceci’s value in the trade market leading up to this weekend’s NHL Draft. Garrioch notes the return the Pittsburgh Penguins received (Dominik Kahun, fifth-round pick) from Chicago in exchange for blueliner Olli Maatta. If Ceci could fetch something comparable he could be changing clubs this weekend.