NHL Rumors: Panthers, Stars, Canucks, Sabres, Lightning

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, reports have surfaced that the Florida Panthers are actively trying to trade Sergei Bobrovsky. What are they willing to do to move him? Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars are expected to name Peter DeBoer their next head coach.

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Did the Vancouver Canucks land the KHL’s biggest free agent and are they in the market for a top-four defenseman? What will the Buffalo Sabres do if no top-tier goaltenders will consider them? Finally, is Brayden Point going to play Game 3 for the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Panthers Trying to Trade Bobrovsky

The Panthers are reportedly pushing hard to trade goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Nick Kypreos said on the “Real Kyper & Bourne” show. “In terms of takers, who needs a goalie, and we are willing to hold cash back. And I’m told as much as 50 percent.”

Sergei Bobrovsky Florida Panthers
Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida Panthers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

If true and the Panthers are willing to retain 50% of his contract, that’s not a bad deal for a number of teams who could use a starter. A healthy and productive Bobrovsky for four seasons at $5 million per season is a solid value contract. Through 54 games in 2021-22, he went 39-7-3 with a .913 save percentage and 2.67 GAA and helped lead the Panthers to the President’s Trophy. His numbers have dropped off at times and did in this year’s postseason (.911 SV% and 2.70 GAA through 10 games) but he was still a strong netminder.

Still only 33 years old, he has a no-move clause that kicks in July of 2024.

Stars to Hire DeBoer

According to Elliotte Friedman: “Hearing that Peter DeBoer will be the next head coach of the Dallas Stars.” There has been no official announcement from the Stars yet, but Pierre LeBrun of TSN writes the two sides are, “working away on a four-year deal worth north of $4 million a season, sources say. Still not signed but that’s where it’s headed once finalized.”

The Stars are in win-now mode and DeBoer is known as a coach that can get the most out of his roster. The hope seems to be that he’ll spark some of the team’s more offensive guys that haven’t been all that offensive in the last couple of seasons.

Canucks and a Top-Four Defenseman?

During the Donnie & Dhali Show, Thomas Drance asked Rick Dhaliwal if he’s heard anything about the Canucks potentially chasing after a top-four defenseman. Neither said they’d heard anything concrete but both believe the team will ultimately seek one out.

The sense internally was that both Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tyler Myers were leaned on too heavily by the club and played too often. They also believed that Ekman-Larsson was strong last season, especially when asked to play a shutdown role. They’d still like to see him put in more offensive positions.

In other Canucks news, the agent for Andrey Kuzmenko has confirmed that the Canucks have landed the KHL free agent. He writes, “Confirming Andrey Kuzmenko’s intent to sign with Vancouver Canucks. Contract details to be worked out soon.”

Sabres to Play In Goalie Backup Pool

According to Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News, the Sabres don’t expect some of the higher-tiered UFA goalies will be available to them. Because the organization won’t be Option A for many of the high-level netminders, it is expected they’ll go the cheaper route this summer.

Casey DeSmith, Pittsburgh Penguins
Casey DeSmith, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

In free agency, the Sabres are more likely to target bargain options such as Casey DeSmith, Mikko Koskinen, Eric Comrie and Kevin Lankinen. There are ample trade options. Will the Bruins make Ullmark available if they’re rebuilding? Jonathan Quick, John Gibson, Semyon Varlamov, James Reimer and Adin Hill are a few names to watch.

source: “Sabres Mailbag: Goalie plan, Pilut’s status, pursuing free agents and draft day’ – Lance Lysowsky – Buffalo News – 06/12/2022

Point a Game-Time Decision

Jon Cooper says Brayden Point is a game-time decision against the Colorado Avalanche for Game 3. Point did not take the morning skate. Neither did Andrei Vasilevskiy, but he will play tonight despite the onslaught of goals he faced in Game 2.

Cooper says that Point hasn’t exactly been the same player as before his injury but noted that he’s been asked to play against the fastest team in the NHL and that’s a tough situation to get tossed into.