NHL Rumor Mill – June 17, 2017
Updates on Derek Stepan, Alex Galchenyuk, Jordan Eberle, Travis Hamonic and more in your NHL rumor mill.
NOTE: The NHL expansion draft roster freeze is 3 pm ET today.
TSN: cites the New York Post’s Larry Brooks reporting the New York Rangers seek a “no doubt first-pair right defenceman” in return for center Derek Stepan, who is reportedly on the trade market. “Stepan has four years and $26 million left on his contract with annual cap hit of $6.5 million.” His full no-trade clause kicks in on July 1.
ARIZONA SPORTS: cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting the Arizona Coyotes are among “multiple teams” interested in Stepan.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If we go by Brooks’ reports, the asking price from the Coyotes for Stepan could be Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Quite frankly, I’ll be shocked if the Coyotes agreed to that deal.
EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson wonders if the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens might do a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Alex Galchenyuk swap. He believes the Canadiens would love it but Galchenyuk wouldn’t address the Oilers need for scoring depth at right wing. As a center, he isn’t strong in the faceoff circle and is not a natural playmaker. Galchenyuk has largely played at left wing in his NHL career, but the Oilers already have Milan Lucic and Patrick Maroon on the left side.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Matheson, I don’t think Galchenyuk’s a fit with the Oilers. Nugent-Hopkins is a good second-line center but wouldn’t fill the Habs top-line needs.
Matheson speculates there’s a better chance of the Oilers trading right wing Jordan Eberle, perhaps to the New York Islanders following the expansion draft “for any combination of winger Ryan Strome and defenceman Calvin De Haan.” He also reports the Dallas Stars have interest in Eberle and suggests the Oilers could get center Cody Eakin in return. The Colorado Avalanche are also sniffing around Eberle. Matheson feels the Oilers would want defenseman Tyson Barrie.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports there’s plenty of trade chatter of late involving the Islanders. “Various reports have the Isles shopping defensemen Travis Hamonic or Calvin de Haan and the Isles have been linked to Oilers wing Jordan Eberle, who appears on the move from Edmonton. The Isles have long been interested in Avalanche center Matt Duchene but that would be a taller task to pull off.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle’s attracting considerable interest, but his $6 million annual salary through 2018-19 remains a significant stumbling block. The Oilers might have to absorb part of his cap hit, take back a toxic contract or sweeten the return by adding a high draft pick, a top prospect or a promising young player.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports sources say Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin is attracting lots of interest in the trade market. “As of late Friday, sources said (Wild GM Chuck) Fletcher was in trade talks with several teams, including Vegas, and had a few interesting options that were making him think.” It’s believed the Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the suitors.
The Wild also had trade talks with the Canadiens regarding Alex Galchenyuk, but a source close to the Habs is starting to doubt they can acquire Brodin or Montreal native Marco Scandella. The main reason is adding another forward the Wild would have to protect complicates their expansion draft protection list. Moving Scandella also means the Wild are still at risk of losing Brodin or Matt Dumba in the expansion draft.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports the Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t done shopping for a defenseman after acquiring prospect Mikhail Sergachev from the Canadiens in the Jonathan Drouin trade. He cites Lightning GM Steve Yzerman saying he’d look at it if he can find an available defenseman that can improve his club. Smith lists Brodin and Dumba of the Wild, Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen and the Islanders’ Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan as possible trade targets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks and Islanders will likely want a scoring winger for those blueliners. The Wild want something that won’t screw up their protection list so I’m guessing a first-round pick, top prospect or a good young draft-exempt forward is their possible ask for Brodin, Dumba or Scandella.