NHL Rumors: Rangers, Penguins, Hurricanes, Oilers, Blackhawks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the New York Rangers trying to clear cap space to add Patrick Kane? And, has the forward made his decision yet on where he’s willing to go? Meanwhile, is there a difference of opinion in Pittsburgh when it comes to using assets to add Jakob Chychrun?

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The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the few teams in the Eastern Conference who haven’t made a big move yet, but one is expected. Finally, Edmonton Oilers’ GM Ken Holland says he’s working the phones and really wants to make a move.

Kane’s Production Catching the Attention of Multiple Teams

We mentioned yesterday that the Rangers are open to the idea of adding Patrick Kane. In that regard, the latest comes from Elliotte Friedman who reports, “I heard that Chris Drury was calling teams and asking if there was a way he could move about $1.6 million in cap room. And if he can’t do that in a trade, I think we all need to watch the waiver wire on Friday.”

Chris Drury New York Rangers
Chris Drury attends the 2019 NHL Draft, June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

But, it’s not just the Rangers who are prepping for the possibility of a Kane trade. Friedman notes that Kane’s upswing in offense has caught the attention of a few teams. “It’s not just Vegas and Dallas and the Rangers and Carolina. It’s a whole bunch of teams now, this week, reaching out and saying, ‘Look, does he want to come to us? Because if he does, we’ll see if we can find a way to make it work.” He added, “I think the list of interested teams actually grew.”

Patrick Kane Decision Could Come In the Next 24 Hours

According to NHL insider Chris Johnston, “We’re still a week from the NHL trade deadline, but word is that the Patrick Kane situation will come to a head well before then. Expect a resolution in the next 24 hours or so.” Obviously, if the Rangers are his team, it might take a bit longer than 24 hours to finalize a trade.

In a recent article for The Athletic, Pierre LeBrun added that the delay is the trouble Kane is having in making a decision to leave Chicago. His agent Pat Brisson says Kane has not given the Blackhawks his one team yet. LeBrun writes:

“Three teams that have interest and would make the most sense: the Rangers, Stars and Oilers. The betting money is on the Rangers; there’s mutual interest there if Kane decides he wants to move.”

Are the Penguins Interested In Chychrun?

According to Rob Rossi of The Athletic, and as discussed on Friday’s 32 Thoughts podcast, Penguins’ head coach Mike Sullivan wants his GM to trade for Jakob Chychrun but GM Ron Hextall doesn’t want to give up future first-round picks to make the trade work. Hextall is monitoring the trade market closely and could be interested if the price comes down, which it hasn’t to date.

Hextall said, “I do believe we can make the playoffs, yes. The prices are high [for trades], they always are this time of the year. Sometimes they come down. We will continue to monitor and try to make our team better.” He added, “We’re gonna do everything we can to improve the team, but we’re not looking to spend big assets on rentals. If we’re going to spend a big asset, it’s going to help us this year and years to come. That decision has been made.”

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That’s why Chychrun is attractive to the Penguins. He’s not a rental and he’s the type of player who can help the team now. They organization is exactly in an ideal position to rebuild, but Hextall isn’t going to meet the Coyotes’ asking price.

Hurricanes Still Looking to Make a Move

Friedman pegged the Carolina Hurricanes as a team that could potentially make sense as a destination for Nick Schmaltz of the Arizona Coyotes. His contract is attractive for teams as he’s a productive player with three more seasons on his deal at just over $5.8 million. For teams seeking a player with term (which is Carolina to a tee), he could be a very nice option.

Holland Working Phones For Oilers, Wants to Do Something

“I want to do something – I’d like to do something to make our team a little bit better. A little bit deeper. A little bit something.” Ken Holland said when interviewed on the Bob McCown podcast. Jim Matheson also quoted the GM in a piece for the Edmonton Journal where Holland noted:

“I am working the phones and we’ll see what happens. I’ve talked to lots of people, multiple times. Do I think anything’s imminent? No, I don’t. Would I trade a first-round pick? Yeah, if it makes sense.”

source – ‘MATHESON: Oilers GM Ken Holland says he’s working the phones’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Journal – 02/24/2023

One of the things Holland knows is that it’s really wide open in the Western Conference. While a number of teams in the East are making big moves, the West is anyone’s to win. This might be the season to try to improve your team and give an already solid club that little something extra to get them into the Stanley Cup Final.