NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2020

Which players could the Devils pursue in the off-season? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak was asked if he saw the New Jersey Devils signing any big-name free agents or try to pull off any offer sheets in the off-season. He doesn’t see them going the offer-sheet route because they don’t have their second-round pick in 2021.

Masisak doesn’t rule out anything regarding free agent signings because we don’t know what the market will look like. If prices remain the same for a typical year, he doesn’t expect the Devils to be a factor with stars like St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo, Boston’s Torey Krug, Washington’s Braden Holtby, or Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom. He also doesn’t see them bringing back winger Taylor Hall.

Could the New Jersey Devils pursue Florida Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov via free agency? (Photo via NHL Images)

Regarding their potential UFAs in 2021, Masisak expects they’ll try to re-sign Kyle Palmieri, Nikita Gusev, and Travis Zajac.

NJ.COM: Randy Miller cites Devils TV analyst Steve Cangialosi suggesting Florida Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov could be a fit. He’s averaged 27 goals and 61 points over the past three seasons and would be reunited with former KHL teammate Nikita Gusev. Dadonov won’t be cheap, as Miller speculates Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes (seven years, $50 million) could be comparable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanging over all of this is the uncertainty over who will be the Devils general manager when the off-season finally begins. They could remove the interim label from Tom Fitzgerald, or hire a more experienced replacement.

Whoever is sitting in the GM’s chair probably won’t pursue any big-ticket talent regardless of the market. Those players cited by Masisak could prefer signing with playoff contenders. The Devils would have to overpay for their services.

That doesn’t mean the Devils won’t be active in the UFA market. With $55.2 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), they have room to re-sign RFAs like Mackenzie Blackwood and Jesper Bratt and sign a UFA or two, but I expect they’ll seek affordable second-tier talent.

Masisak also recently examined the risky trade options to improve the Devils’ defense. They included Anaheim’s Cam Fowler, Boston’s Brandon Carlo, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, and Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Masisak has also looked at solid blueline targets for the Devils, including Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Calgary’s T.J. Brodie, Columbus’ David Savard, Tampa Bay’s Mikhail Sergachev, and St. Louis’ Vince Dunn.

Considering the difficulty the Devils could face landing one of those rearguards, they could be forced to consider riskier options. I doubt Fowler or Carlo will be available, and Ristolainen no longer seems a trade candidate for the Sabres. Zadorov is a possibility, though it wouldn’t surprise me if the Avs decide to keep him.

That’s not to say the Devils can’t acquire any one of those players. However, the asking prices could be more than they’re willing to spend.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2020

The latest on the Canadiens and an update on Tyson Barrie in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST CANADIENS SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked what he thought Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was doing in Colorado before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic dismissed the speculation at the time, pointing out Bergevin’s daughter attends Colorado University, but Engels indicated that didn’t explain why Canadiens’ assistant GM Scott Mellanby accompanied him on that trip.

Montreal Canadiens center Max Domi (Photo via NHL Images).

Engels believes something was brewing between the two clubs before the deadline, though he’s not certain what might’ve been discussed. “What I would say, however, is that some seeds were likely planted and we could see something materialize between these teams at some point this off-season,” he said. “There are multiple scenarios that make them good trading partners.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin’s visit to Colorado sparked plenty of wild speculation before the trade deadline. Canadiens like Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault, Jeff Petry, Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, and even Carey Price were bandied about in the rumor mill, while Philipp Grubauer, Tyson Jost, Samuel Girard, Ryan Graves, and Nikita Zadorov were mentioned as potential Avs trade candidates.

Maybe the Canadiens and Avalanche will hammer out a major deal before next season, or maybe their rumored trade talks in February will come to nothing. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Asked about the possibility of the Canadiens bringing back Mikhail Sergachev by signing the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman to an offer sheet, Engels thinks it would be too expensive, perhaps costing around $8 million annually plus the loss of a first, a second, and a third-round pick as compensation if the Bolts didn’t match. Instead, the Habs could keep an eye on which players the Lightning might shop in a cost-cutting deal to free up the cap room to re-sign Sergachev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sergachev would have to be receptive to signing an offer sheet in the first place. If he isn’t, it’s a waste of time pursuing that plan. As Engels points out, the Habs could instead look at acquiring someone like Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde, or Tyler Johnson if the Bolts put one of them on the trade block. Those four, however, have no-trade protection, meaning one of them would have to agree to be traded to Montreal.

Engels was asked about the long-term futures of Domi and Tatar in Montreal. He feels if Domi, a restricted free agent, was trending toward a one-year deal before the season was paused, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll get a longer-term offer now. Tatar, a UFA next summer, may have been on his way to pricing himself out of Montreal, but a flat cap beyond next season could make it difficult for him to get that type of deal. Engels likes the chances of both staying in Montreal next season.

BARRIE FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE

THE SCORE: Matt Teague reports Tyson Barrie admitted he’s facing uncertainty following this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, but the current pause of the schedule means it’s yet to be determined when he’ll be heading to market. “It’s a weird time to be heading into free agency,” Barrie said, adding his current focus is on helping the Leafs make a playoff run whenever this season resumes.

Regarding possible destinations as a free agent, Barrie indicated he’ll be seeking a team looking for a defenseman with his skills. “A good team headed in the right direction and a good organization,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of right organizations that tick those boxes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vancouver Canucks could be one of those clubs. Barrie was born in Victoria, BC, and makes his off-season home there. He was linked to the Canucks before the trade deadline.  He could be a fit as a right-side defenseman if they part ways with Chris Tanev or Troy Stecher in the off-season.

 

 










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2019

Connor McDavid has a career night plus the latest on T.J. Brodie, Sidney Crosby, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid collected a career-high six points in one game to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Colorado Avalanche 6-2. McDavid also tallied his second hat trick in three games while linemate Leon Draisaitl had five assists. It was the Oilers’ third win in their last four games. The Avalanche received some good news earlier in the day, as defenseman Nikita Zadorov (broken jaw) will rejoin them in Vancouver for Saturday’s game against the Canucks.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid netted six points in a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ dynamic duo feasted on the Avalanche’s inexperienced goaltending, chasing Adam Werner after he gave up five goals on 18 shots. That doesn’t detract from their remarkable performance in this game. McDavid and Draisaitl are the best one-two offensive punch in the NHL today. Draisaitl sits atop the league scoring race with 41 points while McDavid is second with 37. Draisaitl is on pace for 160 points, McDavid 145.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored a goal and added three assists in a 9-3 thumping of the New York Rangers. Five of the Lightning’s goals came on the power play. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Alex Killorn each had three-point performances. Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko missed the game with the flu.

The Carolina Hurricanes blew 3-1 and 4-3 leads before downing the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on an overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton. Hurricanes wingers Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and two assists. The Sabres are winless in six games (0-4-2). Earlier in the day, they learned winger Marcus Johansson will miss three games with an upper-body injury,.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres’ recent performance is drawing comparisons to the same time last season when they started strong in October and faltered in November. They would eventually collapse and tumble out of playoff contention. Avoiding a repeat will be Ralph Krueger’s first big test since taking over as Sabres’ head coach earlier this year.

The Dallas Stars extended their points streak to seven by doubling up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Tyler Seguin, Joe Pavelski, and Miro Heiskanen led the way with two points each. The Canucks have dropped five of their last six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Sabres, the Canucks also face trying to avoid a repeat of last November’s season-killing slump following a hot October.

Tomas Hertl’s two-goal performance in the San Jose Sharks 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks was overshadowed by his departure in the third period with a suspected leg injury. The Sharks extended their win streak to a season-high five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Hertl for a significant period would be a big loss for the Sharks’ offense. He’s their leading scorer with 21 points in 20 games.

Mark Scheifee and Patrik Laine each had three points as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Florida Panthers 4-3. Vincent Trocheck scored twice for the Panthers.

Minnesota Wild winger Jordan Greenway snapped a 2-2 third-period tie to give his club a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Zach Parise had a goal and an assist for the Wild.

Alex Iafallo’s overtime goal lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Tyler Bertuzzi scored both Wings’ goals.

HEADLINES

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman TJ Brodie was discharged from hospital last night after being stretched off the ice from practice earlier in the day. Brodie suddenly collapsed and went into convulsions during a routine drill. He was immediately treated by the team medical staff and rushed to a hospital, where he was described as alert and responsive. The club will provide a further update later today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping this wasn’t anything serious and he makes a full recovery.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is sidelined for six weeks following successful sports-hernia surgery. Alternate captain Evgeni Malkin acknowledged his readiness to step up in Crosby’s absence.

TORONTO SUN: The charge of disorderly conduct against Auston Matthews was dismissed after the Maple Leafs center settled with the female security guard who filed a complaint against him in Arizona.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks won’t receive salary-cap recapture relief with Roberto Luongo joing the Florida Panthers as a special advisor. Luongo retired this summer, leaving the Canucks carrying over $3 million annually in cap recapture penalties through 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s nothing in the current collective bargaining agreement to address this issue. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a topic of interest in the ongoing CBA talks.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders placed winger Andrew Ladd on waivers to assign him to their AHL affiliate. If he clears as expected on Friday, Ladd will be re-assigned to the AHL affiliate and remain on LTIR following a voluntary five-game conditioning stint. The club feels he needs more time strengthening his surgically repaired knee in the minors before he’s NHL-ready.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bobby Orr came to the defense of friend and former coach Don Cherry, calling his firing from Hockey Night in Canada disgraceful. “I have known him a long time and I know he is not a bigot or a racist. He is the most honest and generous guy there is. He’s very good to the veterans, the police, the firefighters, minor hockey players, and fans.”










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2019

Sidney Crosby and Mitch Marner fall to injuries, Lightning sweep their two-game Global Series with the Sabres, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COMThe Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout but lost captain Sidney Crosby to a lower-body injury in the third period. The Penguins overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime and the shootout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet as to the severity of Crosby’s injury. We could learn more later today.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner suffered an ankle injury during his club’s 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers blew a 2-0 lead but went on to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on a shootout goal by Sean Couturier. Leafs forward Mitch Marner left the game early in the second period with an ankle injury and didn’t return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs coach Mike Babcock was uncertain over the status of Marner’s injury. An update could come today or tomorrow.

Patrick Maroon tallied two goals and Curtis McElhinney kicked out 40 shots as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 to sweep their two-game Global Series. The Sabres have dropped five straight games.

Nicklas Backstrom scored twice as the league-leading Washington Capitals picked up their sixth consecutive win by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2.  John Carlson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Jakub Vrana each collected two points for Washington. Capitals winger Carl Hagelin missed the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

The St. Louis Blues picked up their seventh straight victory by downing the Calgary Flames 3-2 on an overtime goal by David Perron. Ryan O’Reilly and Alex Pietrangelo each had two-point nights for the Blues. Flames forward Elias Lindholm had his points streak end at nine games.

Cale Makar scored twice and Pavel Francouz made 39 stops as the Colorado Avalanche doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. The Jackets have dropped six of their last seven games. Team captain Nick Foligno was tossed from the game for an elbow to the head of Avs’ forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who left the game and didn’t return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on how long Bellemare could be sidelined. The Avs are already missing Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Philipp Grubauer, and Colin Wilson. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov was the latest to join their ranks, listed as week-to-week following surgery to mend a broken jaw.

The New York Islanders extended their points streak to 12 games by edging the Florida Panthers 2-1. They’ve picked up wins in 11 of those contests. Thomas Greiss made 37 saves while Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist. Winger Jordan Eberle returned to the lineup and prevented a Panthers’ goal with a game-turning goal-line save.

Ottawa Senators forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Jean-Gabriel Pageau set a franchise record with second-period goals within four seconds of each other to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. The Hurricanes have dropped four straight contests. They also revealed center Erik Haula (knee injury) could be sidelined longer than anticipated.

Shea Weber scored two first-period goals and Carey Price made 31 saves as the Montreal Canadiens held on for a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Canadiens have won five of their last seven games. Kings forward Trevor Lewis missed the game with a lower-body injury and will be reassessed on Monday.

The Minnesota Wild tallied three unanswered goals to squeak past the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. Kevin Fiala, Ryan Suter, and Jared Spurgeon had two points each. This was the fourth consecutive time the Coyotes blew a lead and went down to defeat.

Timo Meier scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. Tomas Hertl scored the game-tying goal for the Sharks. Filip Forsberg tallied for the Predators.

SPORTSNET: New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will be sidelined at least two weeks following surgery to address an infection in his ankle.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2019

The Lightning edged the Sabres in the first game of the 2019 Global Series, 2020 Global Series sites and teams revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in the first of their two-game NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, and Yanni Gourde scored for the Bolts while Sam Reinhart tallied both Sabres’ goals. Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka left the game following a low-bridge hit by Kucherov, who could face supplemental discipline.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov was among the scorers in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at the 2020 NHL Global Series in Stockholm (Photo via NHL Images).

Robby Fabbri scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings upset the Boston Bruins 4-2. It was Fabbri’s first game with the Wings since they acquired him in a trade with the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Anthony Mantha also tallied a goal and an assist for the Wings. Bruins winger David Pastrnak picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 14 games.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen turned in a 29-save shutout performance in a 4-0 blanking of the New Jersey Devils. Leon Draisaitl scored to extend his points streak to eight games while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson had two points each. Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen left the game in the first period after being elbowed in the head by Chiasson.

The Winnipeg Jets extended their points streak to four games with a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves while Kyle Connor scored and collected an assist. Earlier in the day, the Jets reassigned defenceman Ville Heinola from the Manitoba Moose to Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Liiga.

HEADLINES

The NHL announced it will stage regular-season games next season in the Czech Republic and Finland in the 2020 NHL Global Series and preseason contests in Germany and Switzerland as part of the 2020 Global Series challenge. The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators will take part in the Global Series Challenge while the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will face off in the Global Series.

THE SCORE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remains resistant to his league’s participation in the Winter Olympics. “I don’t want to sound like a broken record on the subject, but I think going to the Olympics is a challenge for us,” Bettman said during a press conference Friday at the Global Games in Sweden. He feels the Olympic break is very disruptive to the NHL season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Artem Anisimov was placed on injured reserve with a nagging groin injury. There’s no timetable for his return.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov is sidelined indefinitely after taking a puck to the face during Thursday’s win over the Nashville Predators. He joins sidelined Avs Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Colin Wilson, and Philipp Grubauer.

CBS SPORTS: Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno (lower body) is questionable for tonight’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes.

NJ.COM: A New Jersey Devils spectator struck by a puck during a 2017 game filed a lawsuit against the club.