Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The 2022-23 regular season has begun and players will be evaluated. Now, with free agency moves mostly done, rumors are still around.
Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. Some teams are having difficulty creating enough cap space to make moves. Others are experiencing severe injuries to star players. Trade rumors/signings are still prevalent. In this Wednesday edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Montreal Canadiens – Kent Hughes
Rumor: Per Marco D’Amico – montrealhockeynow.com. GM Kent Hughes is very active, has his eyes on 2023 draft.
During an interview with TVA Sports’ Anthony Martineau, Hughes stated he has been taking calls for potential deals in hopes to add to his treasure chest of two first-round picks next year.
“I’ve had conversations in the car today. We’re are at the quarter-mark of the season, after all,“ said Hughes about how active he remains on the trade front. “All the clubs are starting to make calls to inform themselves on the availability of certain players.”
Hughes wants to take advantage of what is predicted to be one of the best drafts in a long time. He expects to acquire players to be competitive on a consistent basis. With players like Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli and Matvei Michkov expected to be the cream of the draft crop, Hughes is hoping to land enough draft picks to get the job done. If he can be successful and add players like Cole Caufield or Nick Suzuki, he will be on his way to putting the Habs back into Cup contention.
San Jose Sharks – Timo Meier
Rumor: Per Shen Peng – sanjosehockeynow.com. Contract negotiations have stalled for the gifted forward.
“I think there’s nothing significant,” Meier reported of contract negotiations between his camp and Sharks GM Mike Grier. His agent Claude Lemieux told San Jose Hockey Now before the season: “We have not received any offers yet, and don’t expect anything until the end of the season.”
Of course, there is always the option of trading Meier before the March 3 trade deadline, and Meier tries to not get too caught up in it. He started the 2022-23 season without scoring a goal for nine games. Since then, he has been on a tear with 12 goals & seven assists in his last 13 games. He realizes the team isn’t winning many games, yet he is always attempting to improve his game to help the team win more games.
Obviously, the Sharks won’t have any cap space this season to re-sign Meier. Much could depend on what happens to Erik Karlsson and his $11.5 million contract. There have been rumors of Karlsson being moved. His huge contract may inhibit any such occurrence, but Grier needs to plan for it if it does go down.
Considering Meier outscored Tomas Hertl last season with 35 goals & 41 assists to Hertl’s 30 goals & 34 assists, he may be seeking the same contract range. Hertl signed an eight-year, $65.1 million contract in March.
Grier has his work cut out for him.
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Philadelphia Flyers – Kevin Hayes
Rumor: Per Michael DeRosa – nhltraderumors.me. Kevin Hayes has become a trade candidate.
The Flyers have lost 10 straight games and at this point need to reassess their moves going forward. If GM Chuck Fletcher decides to enter a rebuild, he could move Kevin Hayes. Hayes is playing some of his best hockey with six goals and 22 points in 22 games as of this writing. He carries a $7.143 million contract good through the 2025-26 season.
The way the Flyers have been floundering, it is doubtful they will be contenders by the time Hayes’ contract expires. This may be the best time to trade him, considering the success he is displaying this season. As the trade deadline approaches, contending teams will be looking for scoring and Hayes is showing he can do that.
The sticking point may be his hefty contract. If salary can be retained, something could be worked out to move the 6’5″, 218-pound power forward. While Hayes has performed well, the Flyers haven’t, so it may be time to consider a trade.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to watch for our next article and as always, thanks for reading!
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