NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2022

Check out which clubs aren’t expected to pursue Evander Kane, plus an update on John Klingberg and the Red Wings approach to this year’s trade deadline in today’s NHL rumor mill.


Former San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

THE ATHLETIC’s Joe Smith tweeted yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning considered signing Evander Kane but decided on Tuesday to pull out of the running. In his latest Lightning column, Smith reported general manager Julien BriseBois didn’t elaborate but said in general it’s a club’s job to conduct due diligence on a player to determine if he’s the right fit.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports we shouldn’t expect to sign Kane suiting up with the Bruins anytime soon. Sources say at most the club made an inquiry but Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said general manager Don Sweeney hasn’t consulted him about signing the former San Jose Sharks winger.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos believes the Edmonton Oilers’ interest in Kane is a sign of GM Ken Holland’s desperation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning are riding high in the standings with very strong roster chemistry among their players. The Bruins are surging of late and also possess a solid roster core. Neither club has a dire need for a power forward, especially one with Kane’s well-documented issues.

Meanwhile, the Oilers are free-falling in the standings leaving Holland willing to consider any option that might reverse that skid. I don’t know if he’s feeling any heat from his bosses. However, the bloom is definitely off the rose for Oilers fans upset over his stewardship of their club over the past couple of seasons.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently examined whether Evander Kane or Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg would be good fits with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He rules out the former Sharks winger given the Leafs’ limited salary-cap space and the possibility of Kane disrupting a tightly-bonded dressing room.

Klingberg, on the other hand, is a more intriguing possibility. Should the Stars shop him, it might be worth the Leafs’ while if they can accrue sufficient cap space by the trade deadline. He pointed out GM Kyle Dubas’ willingness to spend big and get creative to secure a trade target.

Fox suspects the Stars asking price could be a first-round pick plus much more. He envisions the Leafs pursuing a more affordable stay-at-home option for their blueline.

Rory Boylen, meanwhile, examined what it could cost a club to acquire Klingberg and the cost of a contract extension. He suggested a first-round pick and a top prospect plus more if Klingberg’s agent can work out a contract extension with an acquiring team. Boylen pointed out the Klingberg camp seeks an eight-year extension with the Stars worth an annual average value of $7.875 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think we can rule out the Leafs as a destination for Klingberg. Cap Friendly indicates they’re already pressed for cap space and they might not be able to come up with enough accrued cap space by the trade deadline to take on his current contract. With a projected $76 million invested in 15 players for 2022-23 and Jack Campbell and Rasmus Sandin among their notable free agents, they can’t afford to sign Klingberg.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said he doesn’t see his club being aggressive in the trade market leading up to the March 21 trade deadline or in this summer’s free-agent market. His decisions regarding the trade deadline will depend on where his club sits in the standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings improved play this season has sparked some conjecture over whether Yzerman will attempt to shore up his roster at the trade deadline to help them secure a playoff spot. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility if they’re holding a postseason berth by March 21. Yzerman has also shown he’s unafraid to make bold trades, shipping Anthony Mantha to Washington at last year’s deadline and acquiring Alex Nedeljkovic last summer from Carolina.

What Next For The Detroit Red Wings?

What Next For The Detroit Red Wings?


Red Wings Will Be Better, But Still Far From Good

Red Wings Will Be Better, But Still Far From Good


NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2020

An update on Patrik Laine plus recent Blackhawks and Red Wings speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe prefaced his latest mailbag segment by wondering if the Winnipeg Jets could attempt to trade Patrik Laine to the Seattle Kraken if unable to sign him to a new contract. The 22-year-old winger becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.

Could Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine end up with the Seattle Kraken next summer? (NHL Images)

Wiebe believes few teams could afford to pay Laine a hefty long-term salary or the type of return the Jets would seek. The Kraken, however, enter the league next summer unencumbered by the salary-cap constraints faced by the other clubs. Laine could prove a tempting star to build around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wiebe is merely kicking around a theory here. We don’t know what the Jets will do with Laine or what Kraken GM Ron Francis might do if the winger hit the trade block next offseason. Nevertheless, it could be something worth monitoring as next summer’s expansion draft draws near.

Wiebe goes on to suggest there could be some unresolved issues between Laine and the Jets. However, there’s no concrete evidence suggesting the two sides have reached the point of no return and a trade becomes inevitable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those issues are likely Laine’s rumored unhappiness over his role with the Jets. His agent suggested weeks ago his client might be better off playing for a club that would provide him first-line minutes.

It’s believed the Jets brought back Paul Stastny to address that issue. However, that will depend upon whether those two can rekindle their offensive chemistry from Stastny’s brief appearance with the club in 2018.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: In a recent mailbag segment, Charlie Roumeliotis was asked how the Blackhawks will address a surplus of players on their roster if everyone is healthy to start the season.

If Dylan Strome is re-signed and Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith are medically cleared to play, the Blackhawks will have 15 forwards and only 12 spots available. A healthy Brent Seabrook will also result in a crowded blue line with prospects like Ian Mitchell and Wyatt Kalynuk hoping to crack the roster.

As of now, the Blackhawks intend to let training camp sort itself out. If a player gets squeezed out, that’s when a trade could be explored.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shaw (head) and Smith (back) appear headed for LTIR. Seabrook claims he’s fully recovered from shoulder and hip surgeries and intends to play. The Hawks have the option of demoting one or two lower-salaried players if they have a fully healthy roster. If they go the trade route they could seek a draft pick or prospect.

NHL.COM: Nicholas J. Cotsonika reports Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman will continue trying to find ways to improve his roster for 2020-21. He acknowledged his club’s restrictions in trying to improve each season, pointing out it’s not as simple as swinging trades for a bunch of good players and signing a bunch of free agents.

Yzerman, however, didn’t rule out making moves before the start of the season. He’s aiming to improve in the short term while maintaining flexibility for long-term growth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman proved last season he’s willing to use the trade market to bolster his rebuilding club. One of those moves netted Robby Fabbri, who become one of the few brights spots for the Wings amid an otherwise miserable season.

Cap Friendly indicates the Wings have over $9 million in cap space for 2020-21. If the right opportunity presents itself, Yzerman could use some of that cap room to perhaps add a player who could address some of their short and long-term needs.

The Latest On The Flames and Red Wings in NHL Rumor Roundup

The Latest On The Flames and Red Wings in NHL Rumor Roundup


NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2020

An update on Jake DeBrusk plus the latest on the Rangers and Red Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty speculates Jake DeBrusk’s next contract with the Bruins could be between what Ryan Strome signed with the New York Rangers and what Jake Virtanen and Denis Gurianov signed with their respective clubs.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

Strome, 27, signed a two-year, $9 million contract this week, with an annual average value of $4.5 million. Virtanen agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal ($2.55 million AAV) with the Vancouver Canucks. Gurianov inked a deal similar to Virtanen’s with the Dallas Stars.

Haggerty suggested DeBrusk could get a two-year bridge deal worth between $3.5 million and $4 million annually. That will put him in line to seek a more lucrative deal in two years’ time when he’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk was the subject of some trade speculation in recent weeks. However, I doubt the Bruins part ways with him. While his production can be streaky, he still provides meaningful secondary scoring to the Bruins. They also hold the hammer in contract negotiations and will ink him to an affordable bridge deal.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers completed their offseason business after signing Brendan Lemieux on Friday to a two-year contract. While they made no significant acquisitions via trades or free agency, they shed some salary by trading Marc Staal to Detroit and buying out the final season of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract. The Blueshirts also avoided arbitration with Lemieux, Ryan Strome, Tony DeAngelo and Alexandar Georgiev.

Brooks believes any roster restructuring will have to wait. He noted there was a limited trade market, if any, for DeAngelo, Strome, and Pavel Buchnevich. They have sufficient cap space to promote from within.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the trade market for DeAngelo, Strome or Buchnevich improves over the course of 2020-21. That depends on how they perform and the Rangers’ roster needs. I feel Strome is more valuable to the Rangers right now given his terrific chemistry with Hart Trophy finalist Artemi Panarin. That could leave DeAngelo or Buchnevich as the more likely trade candidates.


THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has sufficient cap space ($9.5 million) to add talent if he chooses. Yzerman acknowledged this during a recent interview, pointing out a number of players remain available in the free-agent market. He said he would consider adding talent as the start of the regular season draws nearer.

Yzerman also indicated he’d be open to adding via trade. However, he said the market is quiet right now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Defensive depth was a big weakness last season for the Wings. Yzerman’s already made moves to address that problem by acquiring Marc Staal, Troy Stecher and Jon Merrill. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t surprise me if he brought in one more experienced blueliner on a one-year deal. He could also look at adding an experienced checking-line winger.