NHL trade rumors: J.T. Miller could be moved, Oilers still seeking defensemen
Catch up on all the latest trade talk around the NHL as the March 3 deadline looms.
There's just a few days left before the March 3 NHL trade deadline, and despite some big deals going down over the weekend, there are still some notable names waiting for a convincing bid from a contender.
Here's a roundup of the latest news around the league.
Canucks thinking of moving J.T. Miller?
On Monday, The Athletic's Shayna Goldman reported that Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller's name began floating around in trade talks over the weekend.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have emerged as a potential trade partner for the Canucks, Matt Vensel of the Post Gazette reported on Tuesday.
The Penguins recently engaged in trade talks with the Canucks centered on J.T. Miller, the Coraopolis native. Those talks stalled but the door is still ajar.
Plus, Jakob Chychrun is on the radar.
Buckle up. New few days will be fun. https://t.co/ZpQni2sjg9
— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) February 28, 2023
Goldman also reported on Tuesday that league sources believe the Canucks have a "sizeable deal in the works", and that the potential trade hinges only on cap management issues to navigate.
League sources believe the Canucks have at least one sizable deal in the works by the deadline, with the wait due to cap management/space brokering. We’ll see if it’s Miller or someone else...
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 28, 2023
A trade to move Miller out of Vancouver would be surprising considering he signed a fresh seven-year, $56-million contract ($8 million AAV) in September 2022 — a deal that won't even kick in until next season. While the 29-year-old is still producing at a steady clip with 54 points in 59 games (he tallied a career-high 99 points last season), Miller has made headlines for the wrong reasons in 2022-23.
A potential Miller deal could be tricky to pull off for Canucks general manager Patrik Alvin, as any trade would likely have to include salary retention. And, as pointed out by Cap Friendly, Vancouver would have to hold on to a percentage of Miller's cap hit on both his current deal ($5.25 million AAV) and the lucrative contract he's set to cash in on in the summer.
Regarding what happens when a player is traded with retained salary and they have a contract extension that hasn't begun yet:
The league settled this issue with clubs back in 2013: the retained salary percentage always applies across the current active contract AND the extension
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 28, 2023
Vancouver announced Monday that Miller is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Miller's agent told The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta that the trade should only keep him out for a week, and that his absence is not trade-related.
We've all heard JT Miller's name in/out of #Canucks trade speculation over the last few weeks again. He's not playing tonight, but his agent Brian Bartlett confirms to me it's a "minor injury that should keep him a week or so." Adds it's "unrelated to trades or anything else."
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 27, 2023
Oilers still hunting for a defenseman
The Edmonton Oilers are in need of some help on the defensive side of the puck, and general manager Ken Holland has reportedly made it a priority to give Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl the support they need behind them.
TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday that the Oilers and Coyotes were "progressing" on a deal for Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun on Monday, but talks cooled down later in the day.
The Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes were progressing on Jake Chychrun trade negotiations yesterday. Things cooled late afternoon. Holland also talking with CBJ and Nashville on Gavrikov and Ekholm. Plan is to resume talks with all 3 today.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 28, 2023
Dreger also reported on Monday that the Oilers and Nashville Predators are engaged in trade talks over veteran blueliner Mattias Ekholm.
The 32-year-old currently has 18 points in 57 games this season, and is only in the first year of a four-year, $25 million contract ($6.25 million AAV).
Edmonton is also keeping close tabs on Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson, Dreger reported.
And, among the other options, I’m told the Oilers and Canadiens continue to discuss a trade involving Joel Edmundson. https://t.co/rfvBGKeYo4
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 27, 2023
The 29-year-old has been limited by injury this season, appearing in only 39 games and registering six points. Edmundson is on the books for this season and next at a $3.5 million AAV, and has a modified no-trade clause.
Chychrun talks heating up again
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that trade talks around Chychrun are picking up with only days left until the deadline.
The Kings, which were reportedly close to acquiring the 24-year-old last week, are still one of the frontrunners to land the versatile blueliner, along with the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes.
I'm told talk has picked up on the Jakob Chychrun front. It doesn't sound like a deal is imminent (as in tonight), but it's heating up again. Hearing the Kings, Capitals and Hurricanes are three of the teams very much in the mix. Coyotes trying to get this done by deadline.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 28, 2023
Interest growing around Van Riemsdyk, Hayes
It's safe to say the Philadelphia Flyers aren't having the season they envisaged when they hired John Tortorella to steer the ship in the right direction. Currently sitting near the bottom of the NHL standings with a 23-28-10 record, general manager Chuck Fletcher admitted on Tuesday that his team will be a seller ahead of Friday's deadline.
Chuck Fletcher said Flyers are selling. Flyers want younger assets (picks and prospects). He said Flyers are willing to listen on anything, but a lot of calls have been about expiring contracts.
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 28, 2023
Kevin Hayes, a first-time All-Star and second in team scoring with 48 points in 60 games, can be had at the right price, according to Fletcher.
Hayes is available at right price, Fletcher hints. #Flyers
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) February 28, 2023
According to NHL insider Kevin Weekes, a number of buyers are also closing in on Philadelphia Flyers forward James Van Riemsdyk.
**Keep an eye 👁️ on **
Action is heating up among Buyers on @NHLFlyers F Van Riemsdyk . Over 900 career GP, good hands and scoring touch with size in the net front role. @espn @NHL @NHLNetwork @TSNHockey @DKSportsbook #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) February 27, 2023
The 33-year-old has nine goals and 23 points in 40 games this season, and is in the final year of a five-year, $35 million contract ($7 million AAV).