NHL Rumors: Senators, Canucks, Flyers, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Ottawa Senators have extended Artem Zub to a contract extension. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to determine what their priority should be ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline.

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The Philadelphia Flyers have made James van Riemsdyk available and the Vancouver Canucks might have a few options when it comes to a landing spot for Bo Horvat.

Senators Agree to New Deal With Artem Zub

The Ottawa Senators have agreed to a new deal with Artem Zub. It’s a four-year deal worth $4.6 million per season and it’s an important deal for the Senators, one that insiders believed was close for some time.

GM Pierre Dorian said of the new contract:

“Artem’s transition to North American hockey has been remarkable. He has worked hard to establish himself as an excellent NHL player and a strong defender. He consistently helps make us a better defensive team while he’s on the ice. We’re pleased to reach agreement with him on an extension of this length.”

Prior to extending Zub, the Senators did not have any of their right-shot defensemen on contracts that went beyond this season. Travis Hamonic and Nick Holden are slated to be unrestricted free agents this summer, while Jacob Bernard-Docker is going to be an RFA looking for a new deal.

Myers Wants to Stay With Canucks, Horvat’s Most Likely Landing Spots

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, he noted during Insider Trading that the Canucks are hoping trade interest in their players will pick up in the New Year. There are a number of names on the block including Bo Horvat and Tyler Myers.

Tyler Myers Vancouver Canucks
Tyler Myers, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Dreger noted:

“When you’re talking about the primary pieces like Bo Horvat, and Brock Boeser, but there’s a secondary player that maybe is being overlooked here and that’s veteran defenceman, Tyler Myers. He wants to stay in Vancouver, but the belief is that there will be outside interest and thinking that a more structured NHL team – a playoff team – could actually help refresh Tyler Myers. So, not the first time we’ve speculated on Meyers, but action is supposed to heat up there.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala of Sportsnet suggested the Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins as four potential trade destinations for Bo Horvat. 

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They proposed the Canadiens send veteran defenseman David Savard, prospects Jayden Struble and Owen Beck, the 2023 first-rounder they received from the Florida Panthers, and a 2024 third-rounder. From the Hurricanes, the Canucks would get right-winger Seth Jarvis, left-winger Stefan Noesen, defenseman Scott Morrow, and a 2023 third. He figures the Red Wings might offer up goaltender Sebastian Cossa, defenseman Shai Buium, a 2023 1st and a 2023 2nd. Finally, he thought the Bruins might part with right-winger Fabian Lysell, center John Beecher, a 2023 first, and a 2023 sixth.

Flyers Getting Interest in James van Riemsdyk

On the latest 32 Thoughts podcast, Jeff Marek reported that James van Riemsdyk is available via trade. It doesn’t appear that deal will happen soon, however. This is more likely to be a trade deadline deal. “The Philadelphia Flyers have made him available,” Marek said. “The actual cash here is $5 million as $1 million has already been paid as a bonus last summer. The cap hit is $7 million but Philadelphia could eat some of that to make it more palatable for a team looking at van Riemsdyk.”

Related: Canadiens News & Rumours: Edmundson, Richard & More

Seattle’s name has been out there in the past, as there’s a link between JvR and head coach Dave Hakstol.

What is the Maple Leafs’ Trade Priority?

With news that Rasmus Sandin might be out for the Maple Leafs, the question asked in an article by Jonas Siegel of The Athletic might be easier to answer. He took a look at what the trade priority for the Maple Leafs should be and went back and forth on a defenseman or a forward.

Rasmus Sandin Toronto Maple Leafs
Rasmus Sandin, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He noted:

As it stands today, with [Jake] Muzzin unlikely to return this season, the Leafs feel like they could use one more guy who loves the slop of the muddy postseason; a nasty bodyguard a la Muzzin to hang around the blue paint, stop pesky intruders like Corey Perry and defend top talent.

source – ‘Maple Leafs’ biggest trade priority: Should it be defence or forward? Bo Horvat?’- jonas Siegel – The Athletic – 12/21/2022

Siegel argues that Mark Giordano can take on some of that role, but that it would be too much to ask him to do that every night. He believes that adding one more defender properly slots everyone and would limit Giordano’s exposure as well as that of Sandin and Timothy Liljegren, neither of whom played a role in last year’s playoffs. He suggests Vladislav Gavrikov of the Columbus Blue Jackets or Connor Murphy of the Chicago Blackhawks as possible fits for that role.

He also notes the Leafs are looking at adding another forward, and the debate is about whether they need a winger or a center. He notes the Leafs can bring in somewhere around $4 million in trades (with Muzzin on LTIR) — and if they send out salary or add to their LTIR, even more.