Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 10, 2017
A look at Sportsnet’s nine trade candidates to watch this season in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET; Rory Boylen lists his nine NHL trade candidates to watch this season, including potential destinations for each. Topping the list, of course, is Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, with Columbus, NY Islanders, Montreal, Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh as possible landing spots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen also notes Duchene’s topped most trade candidate lists, citing the high asking price by Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic as the main sticking point in efforts to trade the center. He also notes the recent rumblings suggesting Duchene might not report to training camp.
Sakic recently told BSN Denver’s Adrian Dater he expects the 26-year-old center to be there when camp opens on Sept. 14. Of these possible destinations, Columbus and Nashville seem the most likely, as those clubs have the right combination of tradable assets and salary-cap space to acquire him.
Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer. If the Leafs aren’t able to re-sing him, perhaps he could be shopped for blueline depth. Carolina, Calgary, Florida, Columbus and Anaheim are possible destinations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carolina’s biggest need is for a playmaking center so van Riemsdyk might not be a fit there. Calgary already has Johnny Gaudreau and promising Matthew Tkachuk as their top-two left wingers, while Artemi Panarin and Nick Foligno patrol the left side for Columbus. Florida and Anaheim could be more promising options.
Vegas Golden Knights wingers Jonathan Marchessault and James Neal are UFAs next summer and could be shopped near the trade deadline. Boylen doesn’t expect either player to be re-signed by Vegas. Pittsburgh, Calgary, Carolina, Montreal, NY Islanders and Boston are possible options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those destinations will obviously depend upon where those teams are in the playoff chase by the trade deadline.
Vancouver Canucks winger Thomas Vanek could also be moved by the trade deadline as a rental player. Destinations could include the “NY Islanders, Ottawa, Montreal, Buffalo — as long as they’re in the playoff race.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While anything’s possible, I don’t see the current managements of the Islanders and Canadiens bringing back Vanek. Buffalo did reacquire winger Jason Pominville in June so maybe they will look at a Vanek redux if they’re in the postseason hunt by February. Vanek could be a fit with the Senators, who seem a little thin at left wing.
Florida Panthers defenseman Jason Demers surfaced in this summer’s trade rumor mill. He carries an eight-team no-trade clause and there were reports he nixed a trade to the Vancouver Canucks. Boylen lists Colorado, Detroit, Montreal, New Jersey and Dallas as possible options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Demers wants to play on a postseason contender I doubt Colorado, Detroit and New Jersey will be on his list.
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba’s contract expires after this season and speculation could arise over his future. He requested a trade last summer but eventually rescinded it and signed a two-year deal with the Jets. If he becomes available, Boylen lists Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, New Jersey, Dallas, Vancouver as potential suitors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason Trouba wasn’t dealt last year was the big return sought by the Jets. I doubt their asking price will be lower next summer, especially if he continues to improve. Trouba will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in line for a big raise so things could again get interesting in his negotiations with the Jets.
Boylen expects the Hurricanes will eventually have to move a defenseman for a big forward. He considers Justin Faulk as an underrated, big-minute blueliner carrying an affordable ($4.8 million per season) contract for the next three seasons. He thinks Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce are less likely to be moved while promising Noah Hanifin has flown under the radar. Boylen suggests “Toronto, Colorado, Winnipeg, Dallas, Boston, Montreal” as destinations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faulk tends to get mentioned most in Hurricanes trade speculation.
If the New York Islanders decide to trade pending UFA center John Tavares, Boylen lists “Montreal, St. Louis, San Jose, Calgary… let’s be honest: anywhere” as possible landing spots. He also points out there’s no certainty Tavares gets traded but the longer he goes unsigned, “the greater chances the team decides to recoup whatever assets it can get.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend upon the Islanders performance this season and their efforts to find a place to build a new arena. Tavares is loyal to the Isles but he also wants to play for a stable Stanley Cup contender. If they’re not heading in the right direction this season, he could decide on continuing his career elsewhere.