Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The 2022-23 regular season is more than halfway done and players will be evaluated. Now, with the trade deadline less than a month away, rumors are sizzling.
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 possible. In this special edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, and the Vancouver Canucks.
St. Louis Blues – Jesse Puljujarvi
Rumor: Per – Frank Seravalli – dailyfaceoff.com. The Blues are one of many teams who have inquired about the Alvkarleby, Sweden native and they appear to be a good landing spot for Puljujarvi.
Besides the Blues, the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning could have interest in Puljujarvi enough to deal for him. Then, you have all the teams with salary cap space available where his $3 million contract can be dumped. They include the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, and the Columbus Blue Jackets. When evaluated Puljujarvi can be traded to any number of teams, with the Edmonton Oilers looking to include him as part of a bigger deal. Say like in a prospective trade involving Jakob Chychrun, for instance.
Puljujarvi is a forechecking third-liner and perhaps the Blues feel he just needs a change of scenery and his game could be rejuvenated. The way the Blues have fallen in the standings with both Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly injured, they could use a young forward like Puljujarvi to infuse some energy into the team. It won’t take as much as his current salary to get him signed, and the Blues could benefit from reducing their cap hit if they trade off an unrestricted free agent. If the Blues inquired, they must be considering adding Puljujarvi to their roster… after all what do they have to lose?
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Vegas Golden Knights – Ivan Barbashev
Rumor: Per – Ken Boehlke – sinbin.vegas. The question is just when VGK will make a trade deadline addition? Barbashev may be a solution.
Barbashev is on an expiring $2.25 million contract and the Golden Knights are hurting with star Mark Stone out with another back surgery. He has only nine goals and 15 assists in 51 games this season, which is a real decrease from last season’s 26 goals and 34 assists in 81 games. If he’s playing for a new contract, he had better pick it up in the remaining 31 games. Still, the Golden Knights could use him. They have had tremendous injuries to contend with this season. Not only have they lost Stone, but defenseman Zach Whitecloud has also been on injured reserve since December 11th. Then, of course, Robin Lehner was lost for the season on April 25th of last year.
While Barbashev may retrieve his old stats, the Golden Knights are known to swing for the fences when making deals. They already have $16.8 million tied up in long-term injury reserve, and if Stone is added that will mean they’ll have about $13.3 million available. That would get them into the Timo Meier territory, and don’t think that they aren’t considering that.
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Vancouver Canucks – Jake DeBrusk
Rumor – Per Jimmy Murphy – bostonhockeynow.com. The Canucks GM Patrik Allvin really likes both Brandon Carlo and Jake DeBrusk and wanted one of them included in a Bo Horvat potential trade. Do the Canucks still want to pursue getting DeBrusk in any other trade package?
Vancouver has other players on the trading block like Brock Boeser or better yet Scituate, Massachusetts native Conor Garland, who has been tied to the Bruins in the past. Not that DeBrusk is playing poorly, he’s not with 16 goals and 14 assists in 36 games. It may be one of those trades which helps both teams.
Garland is that sparkplug type of player who gets his teammates going. He would certainly feel right at home in a Bruins uniform. His cap hit is $4.95 million through 2025-26 and DeBrusk is at $4 million through 2023-24. Garland has nine goals and 15 assists in 48 games this season. If the Bruins were able to throw in a third or fourth-round pick, it may work.
It’s no secret that the Canucks are not done yet even after dealing away Horvat. They want to improve and deals will be proposed to do just that. We’ll need to wait and see how this and other NHL rumors pan out. The deadline is fast approaching and teams will start feeling the pressure to swing a deal.
That concludes this special edition of NHL rumors. Our regular Sunday editions is still on tap, so be sure to catch it, and thanks for reading
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