It’s time for another edition of our NHL rumours as we’re over a month away from the trade deadline. Teams are thinking about adding pieces for a Stanley Cup playoff run and about locking down valuable pieces for their team. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and subject to change.
Rumour: During Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada Headlines segment, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston said Chicago goalie Robin Lehner is focused on getting a fair deal. Johnston said he had “pretty frank” conversation with Lehner on Saturday morning. The 28-year-old has signed two straight one-year deals and played well both season.
"I sense that this is someone who’s going to have a fairly big ask after finishing third in the Vezina trophy voting last year."
For Robin Lehner, among the most important things in his next contract is ensuring that he's fairly compensated.https://t.co/E0iwBhkrrG
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 19, 2020
This matches up with what the Swiss netminder told Tracy Myers of NHL.com when he said he wasn’t willing to take less than what he’s worth. He told Myers that he’s been taking discounts his whole career and would like to get paid what he’s worth.
However, he’s not the only Blackhawks’ goalie that’s an unrestricted free agent. Corey Crawford is a UFA and he wants to stay with the team. Those two will be part of a soon-to-be crowded goalie market.
Analysis: Lehner has played well this season despite Chicago’s record as he’s 14-7-4 with a 2.85 goals-against-average and.923 save percentage. He would certainly be at the higher-end of the free agent pool should he go on the market. Many teams need a goalie and the former Jennings Trophy winner and Vezina finalist would be a huge get.
However, there will be plenty of goalies looking to land a pay day this coming off-season. Goalies like Braden Holtby, Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss and others could be available this off-season. Someone like Lehner wants to score that big contract and he would be a big boon to most teams.
General manager Stan Bowman must have a plan in place this off-season. Does he stay loyal to Crawford or does he give Lehner the long-term deal and security that he’s been craving? It would be a scary prospect if Chicago loses both goalies.
Rumour: Jordan Hill of NBC Sports Philadelphia talked about what the Flyers might do at the trade deadline. The Flyers have developed their younger players well and are seemingly ahead of schedule. Philadelphia sits in one of the wild card spots and have done so with 11 rookies and new head coach Alain Vigneault.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said the team is up against the salary cap as they only have $579,444 of cap space left. Fletcher said they do plan on giving more of their prospects a chance to crack the bottom six forwards. However, he also said he wouldn’t rule out adding a veteran influence.
Analysis: The young Flyers have taken well to Vigneault and are fighting for a playoff spot. This has also been done without the services of Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom. However, the injury to goalie Carter Hart may put a monkey wrench in the Flyers playoff charge.
Philadelphia will have to include a player to make a trade work, but there may been some in-house options ready to go.
— The Athletic Vancouver (@TheAthleticVAN) January 16, 2020
Dhaliwal talked to the agent of each respective player and all wished to stay in Vancouver. Both Markstrom’s and Tryamkin‘s respective agents said they will worry about new deals at the end of the season. The duo want to each focus on the season and will negotiate when the time is right.
Analysis: It seems that Canucks GM Jim Benning wants to get all three players locked up to new deals. Vancouver is currently in first in a very tight Pacific Division. Tryamkin has been in Russia the last couple of season, but is seemingly interested in returning to North America.
Tanev has been the perfect compliment to rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes. He’s been a mentor and chipped in with the youngster.
Markstrom could become part of the bumper crop of goalies that will be available. The Swede makes nearly $3.7 million a season and becomes a UFA with a lot of other talented goalies. Thatcher Demko is a decent backup, many Canucks’ fans hope Markstrom is locked up long term and won’t have to sweat this off-season.
VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 02: Chicago Blackhawks Goalie Robin Lehner (40) winces in pain after being injured during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on January 2, 2020 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)