from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- Clearly, the Canucks have identified their core — Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Miller, Andrei Kuzmenko. Things can change if someone gives them reason to pivot, but actions speak and these are the key Canucks. (There are conversations about extending Ethan Bear.) Other than that, they’re listening on a few interesting things.
Let’s see how things play out when goaltender Thatcher Demko returns. The fact he’s signed with a bit of term makes him attractive, and teams will want to get a feel for what Vancouver is thinking. Buffalo, Columbus, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh all make sense. The Sabres and Blue Jackets can afford to be patient — they are thinking long-term — but others would need to know he can make a spring 2023 impact, particularly with the price to be paid. Will there be enough runway before March 3 to convince buyers Demko is ready?
There are repeated rumblings linking Brock Boeser and Minnesota, but the math doesn’t make sense as things stand. I do think there are teams who like Tyler Myers’ nastiness, but in a tight cap world, that might wait until the summer.
- Carolina wasn’t adding Horvat without the possibility of an extension. Depending on how roles shake out on Long Island, would the Hurricanes pivot to Pageau? Certainly feels like a Rod Brind’Amour-esque player.
- I wouldn’t say New Jersey is the team to beat on Timo Meier, but it’s clear teams know the Devils are very much in it. The biggest balancing act for them might be their salary structure. It sounds like they prefer to have no forwards above Jack Hughes’ $8-million AAV — or at least not blowing that out of the water. That’s not only a consideration for Meier, but also Jesper Bratt.
- The biggest challenge for the Golden Knights is mental. They went through this last year, seemingly safe in January, only to get riddled with injuries and cap pressures, completely submarining their season — missing the playoffs. Calgary is five back with a game in hand, Nashville eight with three in hand for the wild card. It’s not DEFCON 1, but four points in their last eight games brings back the bad memories, the jitters, the doubts, “Are we doing this again?” You’ve got to block out the negative. Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll had a great saying: You don’t have to be extraordinary. You just have to do the ordinary things extraordinary well.
Create an Account
In order to leave a comment, please create an account.