NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets, Rangers, Canadiens, Blackhawks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the NHL will kick back into trade talk gear right away and among the teams that are expected to be sellers, the Columbus Blue Jackets are likely to move a defenseman, while the Vegas Golden Knights are expected to move a goaltender.

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Finally, the staff at The Athletic made a number of predictions for the rest of this season and among them was a landing spot for Patrick Kane in a trade.

Blue Jackets Expected to Move Gavrikov

Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch writes that the Blue Jackets are expected to move pending UFA defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. Even the player is under the impression he might be traded. “It’s part of the business, so I’m ready for anything. You’ve got to stay a pro, right? And you’ve got to take what’s in front of you. … I have to not think about it so much. I’m just focused on my game and the team, so that’s it. There’s nothing I can change right now.”

Vladislav Gavrikov Columbus Blue Jackets
Vladislav Gavrikov, Columbus Blue Jackets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Hedger adds:

Gavrikov’s agent, Dan Milstein, and Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen have a good relationship and neither says much publicly about negotiations. The two are currently at a standstill, however, after discussions last summer about an extension ended without an agreement. It’s believed the Blue Jackets don’t want to commit to Gavrikov’s demands for salary and term, which likely exceeds $5 million annually for a long-term contract.

source – ‘Will Blue Jackets end Gavrikov’s time in Columbus with a trade?’ – Brian Hedger – Columbus Dispatch – 12/26/2022

Vegas Likely to Move a Goalie

Vegas Hockey Now’s Owen Krepps notes that the Golden Knights will likely trade a goaltender before the March 3 trade deadline. He notes that Logan Thompson isn’t going anywhere, thus either pending free agents Laurent Brossoit or Adin Hill could be moved. Krepps suggested the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers, and Vancouver Canucks as possible trade partners.

Canadiens Need to Make Decision on Joel Armia

Marc Dumont of Montreal Hockey Now looked at the situation for the Canadiens when it comes to forward Joel Armia. He is struggling but the team could have trouble moving his $3.4 million contract. Dumont suggests he could be tough to move even if the Canadiens retain 50% of his salary.

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The alternative could be to assign Armia to their AHL affiliate in Laval, freeing up $1.125 million in cap relief but still carrying $2.275 million of his remaining cap hit.

Rangers Still the Favorite to Land Patrick Kane

A few scribes from The Athletic made a few predictions for the remainder of this season. Among them were trophy winners, Stanley Cup predictions, and coaching changes. The one trade discussed was Patrick Kane departing from the Chicago Blackhawks and each predicted where he might land.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Hailey Salvian writes, “The Rangers — and a reunion with old pal Artemi Panarin — could make a lot of sense.” Sean Gentille writes, “The Rangers are on track to have more than $7 million in deadline-day cap space. Nobody is on long-term injured reserve, at the moment. If Chicago retains salary, the math checks out.”

The one writer who predicted a different team was Jesse Granger who wrote:

I voted for Colorado, mainly because it would be the most hilarious possible scenario. I’m not sure how the math works out, but with all the injuries the Avalanche have sustained, I don’t think it’s out of the question they could have the space at some point thanks to LTIR. Imagine that powerhouse squad with Kane thrown into the mix? Whew …

source – ‘NHL season predictions 3.0: A new Stanley Cup favorite for the new year, plus coaching hot seat and more’ – The Athletic Staff – 12/27/2022