NHL Rumors: Hall, Kovalchuk, Canucks, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on Taylor Hall as he wasn’t in the lineup on Friday versus the Colorado Avalanche, reports that the Los Angeles Kings are washing their hands of ilya Kovalchuk and did the Vancouver Canucks put a former first-round draft pick officially on the trade block?

Hall Held Out Of Friday’s Game

A pretty clear sign that things are progressing in trade talks is when a player is held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons. That’s exactly what happened to Taylor Hall as his New Jersey Devils took on the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

New Jersey Devils Taylor Hall
New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

As was reported on Friday night, the seemingly soon-to-be-traded forward was scratched from the game. Hall took part in warm-ups but TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported there was traction in trade talks between the Devils and a couple of teams; so much so, that it wasn’t worth the risk of him getting hurt.

There were reports earlier this week that the Avalanche were leading the way and that they’d like to get a deal done before the Christmas break on Dec 19th. If true, it stands to reason they didn’t want him playing against them on Friday either.

That said, don’t be surprised if it isn’t Colorado that’s actually leading the way. John Shannon reports, “While there appears to be interest from multiple teams for Taylor Hall…keep hearing St Louis and Arizona at the top of the list.” LeBrun also said, “Hearing that the Florida Panthers have inquired on Taylor Hall. About 5-6 teams in the mix including Arizona and Colorado among others…”

Related: Flames Have Tough Week to Keep Streak Alive

Kings to Terminate Kovalchuk’s Contract

A report from Igor Eronko of Sport-Express suggests that immediately following the bonus payment the Los Angeles Kings will pay Ilya Kovalchuk on December 15th, the rest of Kovalchuk’s contract could be terminated.

Eronko also reports that despite a lucrative offer from the KHL, Kovalchuk would like to stay in the NHL and is hoping a team will pick him up.

The Kings removed Kovalchuk from their lineup a month ago but the thought was they’d try to trade him after giving him his bonus. If the Kings couldn’t find, or don’t believe they will find a trade partner, it must be because of the remaining time on his deal (it runs through the 2020-21 season) and the more than $4.25 million left on it.

Despite terminating his contract, the Kings will be stuck with his cap hit of $6.25 million because the contract being signed after he was 35.

Related: 5 Takeaways as Maple Leafs Steal Kings’ Crown

Sven Baertschi on the Trade Block

According to a report from Vancouver Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal of TSN, the Vancouver Canucks have put Canucks forward Sven Baertschi on the trade block. Some are suggesting this move is at the request of the player.

Sven Baertschi Canucks
Sven Baertschi, Vancouver Canucks, Nov. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

‘We would like to get traded, I am in contact with Jim Benning, he knows that,’ said Baertschi’s agent Andre Rufener. He added:

“I am not happy with the way this season has gone for Sven, he played well when he was in the NHL, in my opinion he did not get the opportunity he needed,” said Rufener.

Baertschi has played in just six NHL games this season but has recorded four goals and 18 assists for a combined 22 points over his 15 AHL games in the 2019 – 2020 season.

Related: NHL Rumors: Sabres, Canucks, Coaches, More

Oilers Looking for Backup Goaltender?

With the recent decline in play by Mike Smith, the Edmonton Oilers are likely to give Mikko Koskinen and longer look as a starter and some are even wondering if the Oilers might be keeping an eye on the marketplace for a backup?

Edmonton Oilers Mikko Koskinen
Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Don’t expect that to happen. There are a number of teams looking for backups and there isn’t a ton of great options out there. The Oilers won’t overpay for someone like Tristan Jarry out of Pittsburgh who is available, but just a few months ago nobody seemed to want.

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