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 – June 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 8, 2022

Could the Bruins trade David Pastrnak this summer? What’s the latest on the Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE BRUINS TRADE PASTRNAK?

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports a source close to David Pastrnak said there’s “no chance” he returns with the Boston Bruins with Don Sweeney as their general manager. The 26-year-old winger apparently wasn’t pleased with how Sweeney treated his two best friends, Torey Krug and David Krejci, during their contract years. Krug went on to sign with the St. Louis Blues in 2020 while Krejci returned to Czechia last summer to finish his playing career.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

Pastrnak is approaching the final season of his six-year, $40 million contract. It’s expected the Bruins will offer up a lucrative long-term extension. One agent suggested an eight-year, $68 million contract ($8.5 million annual average value) would be fair to both sides. However, the Bruins face uncertainty next season with Patrice Bergeron mulling retirement while Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy are among several players sidelined through the opening weeks of next season.

Shinzawa believes the Bruins must consider trading Pastrnak if there’s any indication he’s hesitant to sign a contract extension. They can’t afford to lose him to next summer’s free-agent market for nothing. The asking price could be a first-round pick, a second-round pick, a young NHL player and a high-end prospect.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports Sweeney intends to discuss a contract extension with the Pastrnak camp at the earliest opportunity. Murphy also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting his sources indicated the Bruins fully intend to sign the winger to an extension and have no plans to trade him. However, that could change if the feeling isn’t mutual and Pastrnak decides to play out the final season of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak’s contract status adds another level of intrigue to an already chaotic offseason for the Bruins. The earliest they can sign him to an extension is July 13, which is when, for contract purposes, the 2022-23 season begins.

Pastrnak could get much more than $8.5 million annually in next summer’s UFA market. He reached at least 34 goals and 70 points in five of the past six seasons (including two seasons with 40-or-more goals) and has 48 points in as many games in last season’s COVID-shortened campaign. While the salary cap next summer will only rise by $1 million, I can see Pastrnak getting up to $10 million annually on the open market.

As Shinzawa and Murphy observed, the Bruins have the advantage of offering up an eight-year term compared to the seven years he’d get in the UFA market. However, much will depend on the club’s direction not just next season but also in the coming years.

Bergeron could retire this summer. Marchand has three years left on his contract but the wear-and-tear of 13 years of physical play could start catching up with the 34-year-old winger. The club appears to be entering a period of transition and also lacks depth at center.

Pastrnak could stick with the Bruins if he feels the Bruins’ transition won’t take long. If he has lost confidence in Sweeney, however, it might not matter how many assurances the Bruins GM makes him. That will leave Sweeney no choice but to shop him to the highest bidder.

LATEST ON THE OILERS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Evander Kane hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll re-sign with Edmonton or hit the open market this summer. The 30-year-old winger signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Oilers in January following the termination of his contract by the San Jose Sharks. He meshed well skating alongside Oilers captain Connor McDavid.

Kane said he enjoyed playing for the Oilers and appreciated how well the club treated him. However, he indicated he has a number of variables to sort through. A new contract for Kane could be expensive and could force general manager Ken Holland to shed some salary to free up cap space to sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s teammates praised his performance and made the case for him to stay. Finding the cap space to do so, however, won’t be easy. The outcome of his ongoing contract termination grievance with the Sharks could also be a factor in what his next contract looks like, be it with the Oilers or another club.

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector suggested shopping Tyson Barrie and his $4.5 million cap hit, moving Zack Kassian and his $3.2 million AAV and perhaps having to choose between re-signing Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi. At least one of those players won’t be back if Holland gets Kane under contract before his UFA eligibility on July 13.

THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman reports Mike Smith appeared non-committal about completing his contract during his end-of-season interview yesterday. The 40-year-old goaltender has a year remaining on his deal.

Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation reported sources telling him Smith is contemplating retirement. When asked about it, Smith replied it was too early to tell if he’ll hang up his pads but Nugent-Bowman observed he also didn’t affirm if he’d be back with the Oilers.

If Smith retires, his $2.2 million cap hit for next season comes off the Oilers’ books. Those savings could be put toward finding a new starting goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland is expected to address the media today. We could get some clarity over his offseason plans but I doubt he’ll tip his hand too much as to his intentions.

I examined the Oilers’ limit cap space yesterday and how much a new contract for Kane will bite deeply into it. Smith’s potential retirement would help free up some space but that will have to go into finding a suitable replacement between the pipes. That will also prove costly.

Holland will likely have to trim some salary from his cap payroll to address those two needs. If it also comes down to a choice between Yamamoto and Puljujarvi it could be the latter who gets traded given the ongoing disappointment in his performance.










NHL Morning Coffee Headline – June 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headline – June 7, 2022

The Avalanche sweep the Oilers to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins fire coach Bruce Cassidy and Kyle Connor wins the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche are heading to the Stanley Cup Final after defeating the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Artturi Lehkonen scored in overtime as the Avs swept the Oilers, sending them to the Final for the first time since 2001.

2022 Western Conference Champion Colorado Avalanche (NHL.com).

The Avalanche opened the scoring but the Oilers took leads of 3-1 and 4-2 before the Avs regained the lead on third-period goals by Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Zack Kassian scored late in the third to tie the game at five and force the extra frame.

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar finished the night with a goal and four assists while Landeskog and Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist. Leon Draisaitl had four primary assists, Zach Hyman tallied twice and Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was the most exciting of this short series but it also had an air of inevitability about it. Despite the Oilers taking two 2-goal leads they simply lacked the goaltending and defensive depth to hold it.

The Avalanche are a much deeper club, enabling them to overcome those deficits and prevail in overtime. That included adjusting to the absence of center Nazem Kadri, who returned to Denver to repair a broken thumb suffered in Game 3. His return for the remainder of the postseason is questionable.

Injuries to some key players also hurt the Oilers in this series. Despite Draisaitl’s offensive heroics, he was pretty much playing on one leg after suffering an ankle injury during their first-round series with the Los Angeles Kings. Defenseman Darnell Nurse revealed he’d played the entire postseason with a torn hip flexor. Winger Kailer Yamamoto missed Game 4 with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 2.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins yesterday announced they fired head coach Bruce Cassidy. During Cassidy’s six-year tenure behind the bench, they reached the playoffs six times, including the Stanley Cup Final in 2019.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa cited front office unhappiness with Cassidy’s offensive tactics and approach to optimizing player performance (especially those of the younger players) as the reasons behind this move. However, he’s among the pundits who are critical of this move, suggesting the club’s Stanley Cup window is now closed. Some believe Cassidy is taking the fall for management’s missteps over the past six seasons.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Kyle Connor won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. He enjoyed a career-best performance (47 goals, 93 points) while collecting just four penalty minutes in 79 games. That was the fewest among the league’s top-100 scorers with at least 50 games played.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Connor for this well-deserved award. Like all the previous winners, he’s a fine example that this game can be played at a high level without resorting to questionable behavior or taking costly infractions.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning center Brayden Point remains sidelined by a lower-body injury and won’t suit up for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers.

NHL.COM: Rangers center Ryan Strome is expected to play against the Lightning tonight after leaving Game 3 on Sunday with a lower-body injury.

TSN: Speaking of the Rangers, prospect winger Vitali Kravtsov has rejected an extension to his KHL contract and appears to be eyeing a return to the NHL next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Time will tell if he’s back with the Rangers or another club. His falling-out with management over his playing time earlier this season prompted considerable trade speculation.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly said the lingering effect of COVID-19 took a toll on his performance this season. He had just five goals in 27 games before the Christmas break. His performance improved over the remainder of the campaign, finishing with 21 goals and 58 points, as well as seven goals and 12 points in 12 postseason games.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH’s Brian Hedger tweeted that Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine has fully recovered from the back injury that sidelined him from the final seven games of the season. There’s no update, however, on the status of the restricted free agent’s contract negotiations.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed defenseman Chris Wideman to a two-year, $1.525 million contract.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Long-time Blackhawks forward Eric Nesterenko passed away Monday at age 88. He spent 21 seasons in the NHL, starting in 1951-52 with the Toronto Maple Leafs before joining the Blackhawks in 1956-57, spending the remaining 16 seasons in Chicago and helping them win the Stanley Cup in 1961. He had 250 goals and 574 points in 1,219 games. Nesterenko appeared in the 1986 movie “Youngblood” and also served as a consultant on the film.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Nesterenko’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2022

The Avalanche takes a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, Darryl Sutter wins the Jack Adams Award plus updates on the Rangers, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals by blanking the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 in Game 2 on Thursday. Pavel Francouz turned in a 24-save shutout while Nazem Kadri collected three assists as the Avalanche blew the game open with three goals in a 2:04-minute span in the second period. Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist. The next two games are in Edmonton with Game 3 on Saturday.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are in big trouble as they head home for what will be the most crucial stretch of this series. After a sloppy 8-6 loss in Game 1, their offense was smothered by the Avalanche’s checking and Francouz’s goaltending in Game 2. They’re still having difficulty coping with the Avs’ speed, depth, and puck possession. If the Oilers don’t find solutions soon, this series will end in Edmonton by Game 4 on Monday.

THE DENVER POST: Speaking of Kadri, not only is he enjoying a postseason worthy of MVP recognition but he’s also turning Muslim kids in Denver into hockey fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri’s performance in this postseason has been outstanding thus far. If his efforts are inspiring kids who share his faith to take up the game, it’s a welcome boost to the sport’s popularity and diversity.

SPORTSNET: Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto left Game 2 with an upper-body injury. It may have been the result of an open-ice hit by Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet if he’ll miss the upcoming games in Edmonton.

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter is this year’s winner of the Jack Adams Award. In his first full season behind the Flames bench, he guided them to first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points. Sutter was a finalist for the award in 2004 during his first stint coaching the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Sutter took home the award. The Flames made significant improvement, entering this season considered at best a wild-card contender after missing the playoffs during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

NEW YORK POST: Filip Chytil’s performance in this postseason could address the Rangers’ concerns over their second-line center position following this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been speculation for months suggesting the Rangers could either overpay to re-sign pending UFA Ryan Strome or seek a replacement via this summer’s trade or free-agent markets. It will save them a lot of time and money if they feel Chytil’s improved effort in this postseason will carry forward into next season and beyond.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Injuries to several players are testing the Lightning’s depth. Center Brayden Point remains sidelined with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, Brandon Hagel remains hampered by a left-leg injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are probably other Lightning players’ nursing injuries considering their shot-blocking defensive style.

NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal intends to ride out the final season of his contract before deciding on his future. He’s signed through 2022-23 and becomes a UFA next summer.

ESPN.COM: Hurricanes winger Seth Jarvis suffered an apparent concussion following a hit by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba in Game 7 of their second-round series. He also faces dental work from a hit earlier in the series. Meanwhile, goalie Antti Raanta suffered a sprained MCL in that game that would’ve sidelined him six-to-eight weeks had the Hurricanes not been eliminated.

TSN: Jake Gardiner has received medical clearance to resume his playing career. The 31-year-old Hurricanes defenseman spent the entire season on long-term injury reserve following hip and back surgeries in September.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Alexander Radulov could be returning to the KHL next season. Ak Bars Kazan teased a possible Radulov signing with a video on Twitter featurning the 35-year-old forward. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Tempe City Council voted 5-2 to enter negotiations with the Arizona Coyotes and its developer on plans for a new arena and entertainment district.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke remotely at the public meeting, promising the new arena would host an All-Star Game and the NHL Draft if built. He also said the Coyotes would not be allowed to relocate for 30 years.

THE PROVINCE: Former NHL player Gino Odjick will be inducted on June 9 into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. He spent 12 seasons in the NHL, nearly eight of those with the Vancouver Canucks.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 30, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 30, 2022

How would a new contract for Filip Forsberg affect the Predators’ salary-cap payroll next season? Can the Oilers afford to sign Evander Kane? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked what it would mean for the Nashville Predators’ salary cap if they signed Filip Forsberg to a new contract in the range of $9 million per season. The increase of next season’s salary cap to $82.5 million would leave the Predators with $26.2 million in cap space.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Setting aside $9 million for Forsberg, Vingan believes they have enough to re-sign such players as Luke Kunin and Yakov Trenin to modest raises. It would also mean trimming payroll around the edges such as replacing backup goaltender David Rittich with Connor Ingram. He advised the Predators to spend wisely as Alexander Carrier, Dante Fabbro and Tanner Jeannot will need new contracts following 2022-23.

Asked if Ryan Johansen’s resurgence this season could make it possible for the Predators to trade him, Vingan pointed out he’ll soon turn 30 and has three more seasons left on his deal with an annual cap hit of $8 million. He doubted there will be many takers unless the Predators retain some salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg is 27 and likely seeking an eight-year deal worth between $8 million and $9 million per season. Predators general manager David Poile will obviously attempt to sign him at the low end of that asking price and perhaps seek a shorter-term close to five years.

I concur with Vingan regarding Johansen. Poile would have to retain some salary in a trade, something he’s never done.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins recently pondered how the Oilers can hang onto Evander Kane. He’s had a positive effect on the lineup since joining them two months ago as an unrestricted free agent after the San Jose Sharks bought out his contract.

Making that happen could require some hard decisions about younger players such as Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi, who will become restricted free agents this summer. Both have endured highs and lows this season, leaving Leavins to wonder whether they’ve shown enough to invest in for the long term or perhaps one or both receive short-term bridge deals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s future with the Oilers could also depend upon the outcome of the grievance he filed against the Sharks for terminating his contract. If an arbiter determines Kane should receive most or all of the remainder of his contract with the Sharks ($7 million AAV through 2024-25) while allowing him to remain a free agent, it shouldn’t cost much for the Oilers to retain him if he wants to stay.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2022

The Jets’ Kyle Connor scores twice as Richard Trophy race heats up, the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby reaches another milestone, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets tallied three unanswered goals to rally past the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Kyle Connor scored the winning and insurance goals and sits fifth in the Richard Trophy race with 32 goals. With 55 points, the Jets are six points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a tight race for the Richard Trophy. Toronto’s Auston Matthews leads with 37 goals, followed by Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (36), the New York Rangers Chris Kreider (34), Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (32) and Connor.

Third-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Malkin and Bryan Rust each finished the game with two points while Casey DeSmith made 32 saves for the win. Jack Roslovic had a goal and an assist for the Jacket. With the win, the Penguins (74 points) sit four points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division and three points ahead of the third-place New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby also moved past Mike Mondano into 25th place on the all-time points list with 1,375. He is the third active player among the top-25, joining Florida’s Joe Thornton (1,535) and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (1,383).

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they opened a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the Eastern Conference standings as they held on for a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Teuvo Teravainen scored and set up Sebastian Aho’s game-winner to extend his points streak to eight games while Frederik Anderson picked up the win with 29 saves. The loss puts the Oilers (61 points) behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card spot.

The Stars, meanwhile, moved ahead of the Oilers by doubling up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Michael Raffl tallied twice and Jake Oettinger kicked out 38 shots for the Stars (61 points), who hold a game in hand over the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer the Stars stay in playoff contention, the less likely they are to trade defenseman John Klingberg, who’s been the subject of trade rumors for nearly two months. It could take a significant pitch to pry him away from the Stars now.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington turned in a 30-save shutout to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. David Perron scored two goals for the Blues as they picked up their fourth straight victory. With 70 points, they hold a five-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 upset of the New York Rangers. Thatcher Demko made 31 saves while teammates J.T. Miller, Tyler Myers and Matthew Highmore each had two-point performances. The Canucks have 58 points and sit three back of the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller and teammates Brock Boeser and Conor Garland have featured prominently in recent NHL trade rumors. Management, however, could be reluctant to part with them as long as the club stays in the playoff chase.

A 34-save shutout by Ilya Sorokin gave the New York Islanders a 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Casey Cizikas had a goal and an assist. The loss leaves the Ducks (59 points) two points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

The San Jose Sharks kept their fading playoff hopes alive by dropping the Seattle Kraken 3-1, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. James Reimer got the win with 39 saves as the Sharks (54 points) are seven points out of a wild-card berth in the West.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The Sharks announced defenseman Mario Ferraro will be sidelined six-to-eight weeks following surgery yesterday to repair a fracture in his lower left fibula suffered during Saturday’s game against Boston.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a serious loss for the Sharks blue line. Ferraro logged big minutes skating alongside Brent Burns on the Sharks’ top defense pairing.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto missed yesterday’s game against the Hurricanes after blocking a shot on Saturday against the Florida Panthers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals have loaned goalie Vitek Vanecek to their AHL affiliate in Hershey for a conditioning stint. Vanecek had been sidelined by an upper-body injury since Feb. 1.

ARIZONA COYOTES PR: Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.