Updated NHL Rumor Mill – January 8, 2019
Latest on the Sharks, Canucks, and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.
COULD THE SHARKS BE IN THE GOALIE MARKET?
TSN: cited The Mercury New’s Paul Gackle citing the poor stats of San Jose Sharks goaltenders Martin Jones (.897 save percentage entering last night’s game against the LA Kings) and Aaron Dell (.890) and speculating they could get into the rental market for help. “Gackle points to Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth of the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils starter Keith Kinkaid and Carolina Hurricanes netminder Petr Mrazek as potential options for the Sharks.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks could be forced to stick with their current tandem or seek help from within their system. Howard is the best of the bunch but the asking price is reportedly a first-round pick, something the Sharks don’t have in this year’s draft or next year’s. Elliott and Neuvirth are frequently sidelined by injuries. Concerns over Cory Schneider’s health could make the Devils reluctant to part with Kinkaid. Mrazek’s done a good job backing up Curtis McElhinney and the Hurricanes could be reluctant to part with him.
CANUCKS FACE A DECISION WITH EDLER
VANCOUVER SUN: With the trade deadline on the horizon, Ben Kuzma reports the Canucks will have to make a decision on pending free agent defenseman Alex Edler. They could re-sign him or ask him to waive his no-trade clause, try to move him for “a considerable draft pick or prospect”, and then attempt to bring him back as a free agent this summer. Contract discussions between the two sides haven’t begun yet.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edler’s asking price could be the determining factor. The 32-year-old blueliner is in the final season of a six-year, $30-million contract. If he’s willing to accept a short-term deal for the same cap hit ($5 million per season) or a little less, they could re-sign him before the deadline to ensure an experienced veteran presence on their defense.
CANADIENS WON’T TRADE ASSETS FOR QUICK FIXES
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin doesn’t intend to be busy in the rental market leading up to the Feb. 25 trade deadline. He said he won’t part with future assets for a short-term addition. “Again, if there’s a young player available and there’s assets that need to go [to acquire that player], I get it. But I don’t think I’ll be in the rental business, ” said Bergevin. He also didn’t rule out shipping out some veterans to bring in futures.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Canadiens jockeying for a wild-card berth this season there’s speculation Bergevin could be a buyer at the trade deadline. Maybe he’d be interested in someone with some term on his contract, like LA Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin. However, if the asking price is a first-round pick or top prospect, it appears the Habs GM won’t be interested.
A NOTE ON THE CHANGE IN TODAY’S RUMOR MILL.
Earlier today, I posted a summary of a piece by The Athletic’s Craig Custance listing 20 players who could be moved by the trade deadline. As always, I linked to the story, attempted to summarize his main points and provided my analysis. Unfortunately, some followers accused me of plagiarizing Custance or attempting to circumvent The Athletic’s paywall and provide their content to my readers for free.
This was never my intention and I am sorry if that’s how it came across. I decided to remove the post and resubmit new material for today’s rumor roundup. I’ve also provided the link to Custance’s list if you wish to check it out.
In my coverage of media-generated NHL trade speculation, I’ve always tried to be as accurate as possible. I cite the media source by name with a link to their work and a summary of their rumors followed by my own take. I have never attempted to pass off their work as my own and didn’t mean for my detailed summary of Custance’s list to be construed as bypassing a paywall.
If I make a mistake, even inadvertently, I feel it’s best to admit it and strive not to repeat it. My apologies to Custance, The Athletic, and its readers.