NHL Rumors: Capitals, Canucks, Flyers, Sabres

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one NHL insider suggests it’s time for the Vancouver Canucks to formulate a long-term plan to build their franchise and that could lead to trades ahead of this year’s NHL Trade Deadline.

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120

The Philadelphia Flyers got bad news when it comes to Cam Atkinson and the Buffalo Sabres might be a team looking at John Klingberg. Finally, congratulations to Alex Ovechkin for passing Gordie Howe as the NHL’s all-time second-highest goal scorer in history.

Ovechkin Passes Howe

Alex Ovechkin has passed Gordie Howe for second place on the NHL’s all-time goals list with goal No. 802. It’s an incredible feat that got a huge response from the hometown crowd and a handshake line from the Winnipeg Jets who were Ovie’s opponent when he passed the major milestone. Ovechkin now stands alone at No. 2 all-time in career goals.

The closer Ovechkin gets to breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record, the more fans can expect that Washington will add pieces to their roster to help Ovechkin get there. As per ESPN, “If Ovechkin stays healthy and maintains his usual form, he’ll move into 1st about a quarter of the way through the 2024-25 season, when he’ll be 39 years old.”

No More Patch Jobs for Canucks

Ahead of a big win by the Canucks over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, Frank Seravalli touched on what the short and long-term plan for the Canucks organization might be. Saying there is no fan base that has earned the right to air their grievances more than Canucks fans, Seravalli notes it’s time the Canucks get on the right track.

Latest News & Highlights

He explains:

“Enough of these years that we’ve seen mostly for the last decade since they were really so competitive. To put together a plan that’s long-term, the long haul. No more patch jobs. It’s time to rip the bandaid off and really begin to come up with a core, a number of pieces that you determine, whatever that is. Whether it includes Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, or Thatcher Demko. You begin to have some difficult conversations about which one of those pieces, if any of them, decide they should be on the move.”

Cam Atkinson Done for the Season with the Flyers

Cam Atkinson underwent neck surgery on Dec. 21 and that will mean the end of his season with the Philadelphia Flyers. According to Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic, “I heard yesterday from a source outside the org that he was slated for season-ending surgery, but was unable to get second confirmation elsewhere.”

Cam Atkinson Philadelphia Flyers
Cam Atkinson, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Anthony Sanfilippo of Crossing Broad writes, “Originally cleared by team doctors on November 28th, Atkinson had been practicing and skating with the team, including physical contact.” He adds, “While declining to discuss what had kept him out of action for the first two months of the season, Atkinson did say he was trying to build up his conditioning to get back to play. However, the team placed him on injured reserve Friday night.”

Could Sabres Be Interested in John Klingberg?

According to Lyle Richardson of Bleacher Report, there are a few teams that could be interested in trading for John Klingberg ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. Among them are the Buffalo Sabres who have both the right roster for a player of Klingberg’s ilk and the money to make the deal work.

Richardson writes:

“Klingberg’s mobility and offensive skills could be a good fit with the Sabres’ potent scoring punch. It would also provide him with the opportunity to resurrect his game and help them end their 11-year postseason drought. The Sabres possess $26 million in cap space, so they have more than enough to absorb Klingberg’s contract. They could probably land him by offering one of their three second-round picks in the 2023 NHL draft.”

Richardson also mentions the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Maple Leafs as teams that might take a look.