Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Full Press Hockey‘s NHL Rumors. The trade deadline is four weeks away, but that does not mean the rumors are going away. Therefore we will be upping our coverage from two days a week to four days a week. The February 23rd edition of NHL Rumors will cover the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, and Ottawa Senators.
Buffalo Sabres – Victor Olofsson
Rumor: Per – Frank Seravalli – dailyfaceoff.com. Victor Olofsson is likely due a raise by virtue of being arbitration-eligible this summer. Will the Sabres want to pay him? Arbitration was already filed once.
Olofsson will be a restricted free agent at the season’s end. He is signed to a $3.05 million deal with a $3.25 minimum qualifying offer. His stats have taken a hit ever since his 2019-20 season when he hit 20 goals and averaged 0.78 points per game. He’s gone down to just 0.57 points per game since.
His power-play production has suffered as well, and that is because he is not on a line with departed Sabres Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. He’s gone from 11 extra-man tallies in 54 games to eight in 98 games. It makes general manager Kevyn Adams wonder if keeping Olofsson is a good idea. The team has the most cap space available at just shy of $13 million. So, it’s not a cap issue as to whether they keep Olofsson around longer.
His progression has seemed to have hit the wall. And with a projected $4.25 million renewed contract, will his play progress enough to justify a raise? Olofsson’s future will be a hot topic in NHL rumors, so be sure to follow it all right here.
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Vancouver Canucks – Conor Garland
Rumor: Per – Mike Cole – NESN.com. Should Conor Garland Be On The Boston Bruins’ NHL Trade Deadline Wish List?
Conor Garland has been involved in NHL rumors even though he was just traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Vancouver Canucks this summer. While the name everyone keeps hearing is J.T. Miller being traded, that is not written in stone. More than likely Miller will be a good player to keep around once GM Jim Rutherford determines the nucleus of his team going forward.
The Canucks are not looking like a playoff team and Rutherford needs to look at who he can deal to make that change. Enter Garland’s name. He has 13 goals, 16 assists in 47 games this season and is a proven two-way player fans love to love. The thing is, he is signed to an attractive contract at $4.95 million until the 2026-27 season. Other teams may like that and see him as a forward they need to move their team up the Cup ladder.
The Scituate, Mass native is naturally tied to going to the Bruins. There’s no doubt he could help the Bruins forward line, and we all know that Jake DeBrusk has been in NHL rumors for a while now. With Garland’s attraction to the fanbase, he could really pump some energy into the Bruins aspirations of Cup success. Whether that will happen or not is up to Don Sweeney and Jim Rutherford to decide.
Ottawa Senators – Anton Forsberg
Rumor: Per – Frank Seravalli – dailyfaceoff.com. Scoop: IF, and it’s a big if, the Senators feel comfortable with Matt Murray in net – then Anton Forsberg should provide the perfect trade fodder for Ottawa.
Forsberg has had a very successful season with an impressive 10-8-2 record. His .916 save percentage with a 2.78 goals-against-average on a team placed 26th in the NHL standings is also something to digest. He only has a $900,000 salary and is an RFA after this season. The thing is there are teams out there looking for a goaltender to add to their roster.
It’s been well documented that the Edmonton Oilers are looking for a goalie and Forsberg could be a good fit. Nothing will happen unless the Sens are all-in with Matt Murray playing up to his $6.25 million contract. If they were to trade Forsberg, can young Filip Gustavsson take the reins as the backup? Good questions and that’s why general managers in the NHL don’t sleep much. It’s the usual decision where when a player starts to excel, do you trade him while his worth is at its highest point, or keep him hoping things will work out?
With just a month to go before the trade deadline, hopefully, many of these NHL rumors will either fall to the edge or become reality. Are you excited yet?
Be sure to look for our Saturday NHL rumors article and see what the latest is.
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