Latest on Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Eric Staal, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Jesse Puljujarvi, Marcus Johansson, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
For the latest rumors on Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingel, and Cody Ceci, check out the Senators Trade Watch.
PANARIN AND BOBROVSKY
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers have the best shot at signing Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin to a long-term contract. He feels the Islanders make the most sense to take a shot at him as a rental. The Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars could also pursue him as a playoff rental.
Friedman also believes the Blue Jackets recently attempted to re-sign goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to a contract extension but things don’t sound optimistic. Bobrovsky sounds willing to consider certain trade destinations but hasn’t committed those to write them down as that would make them binding.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The asking price for Panarin will have to include a player who can offset his departure to keep the Jackets in playoff contention this season plus a first-round pick and a high-end prospect. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone’s willing to pony up that much or more by deadline day.
As for Bobrovsky, I’m not expecting him to be traded unless the Florida Panthers are willing to make a pitch. Rumor has it they looked into it but found the Jackets’ price too high.
COULD THE RANGER SIT HAYES, ZUCCARELLO, AND MCQUAID BEFORE DEADLINE DAY?
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Rick Carpiniello wonders if we’ve seen the last of Kevin Hayes, Adam McQuaid, and Mats Zuccarello in Rangers uniforms. The Rangers have three games leading up to the Feb. 25 trade deadline and those three could become healthy scratches in case the Blueshirts decide to move either guy.
The recent improvement in Mats Zuccarello’s play could improve his trade value (Photo via NHL Images)
Carpiniello links Zuccarello to the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins and perhaps the Calgary Flames, while the Dallas Stars are said to be very interested in the winger. The Jets, Bruins, Nashville Predators, and Columbus Blue Jackets could be looking at Hayes. Carpiniello suggests McQuaid could help a playoff contender like the Tampa Bay Lightning or Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Dallas Stars may have looked at Zuccarello. He suggested Hayes could be a fallback for the Columbus Blue Jackets if they don’t land Ottawa’s Matt Duchene.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect all three could be on the move before Monday’s trade deadline. It’s assumed Zuccarello could fetch the Rangers a second-round pick, though his improved play of late could have Blueshirts GM Jeff Gorton seeking a prospect as well.
I expect Gorton will try to acquire a first-round pick or a promising young player for Hayes. McQuaid will probably land a fourth-round pick, though a desperate club might be willing to part with a third.
LATEST ON THE WILD
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on the NHL Network, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated over the possibility of the Minnesota Wild becoming sellers at the trade deadline. He thinks Jason Zucker could start getting mentioned more frequently in the coming days and believes the Bruins and Lightning are among the teams showing interest in Charlie Coyle. Veteran center Eric Staal is a free agent this summer but he controls his fate with a 10-team no-trade list and won’t make it easy to be moved.
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Michael Russo reports Staal’s agent Rick Curran said his client wants to stay in Minnesota and finish his career with the Wild. However, he acknowledged that’s up to the Wild front office and GM Paul Fenton. If Fenton approaches them about a move to a team on Staal’s no-trade list, Curran said he’ll talk to his client about it but if Staal had his way that doesn’t happen.
SPORTSNET: With the Wild in free-fall, Elliotte Friedman wonders if the San Jose Sharks might attempt to bring back forward Eric Fehr, who fit in well for them during the 2018 playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t sound like Staal is very keen to become a playoff rental player again. Maybe Fenton attempts to force the issue by telling the center he has no intention of re-signing him.
JOHANSSON DRAWING INTEREST
THE ATHLETIC (SUBSCRIPTION REQ’D): Pierre LeBrun believes New Jersey Devils forward Marcus Johansson could be a sneaky trade-deadline acquisition. He’s healthy and producing well of late. LeBrun said his five-team no-trade list won’t be an issue if the Devils wish to move him. However, GM Ray Shero could retain Johansson and attempt to re-sign him this summer if no one meets his asking price.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman lists the Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks and possibly the Washington Capitals among those who may have checked in on Johansson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on what Shero’s asking price might be. Perhaps he’ll seek a second-rounder and a young roster player or prospect. Johansson’s injury history, however, will affect his value in the trade market.
BURAKOVSKY LINKED TO CANUCKS AND CANADIENS
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks looked into the availability of Washington Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Montreal’s TSN 690, Darren Dreger said the Montreal Canadiens had some discussions a while back with the Capitals regarding Burakovsky. However, things fell through when the Capitals asked for Artturi Lehkonen. Still, Dreger doesn’t rule out the possibility of the two clubs reconnecting regarding Burakovsky.
ELSEWHERE IN THE RUMOR MILL…
In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman said the Edmonton Oilers are rejecting low-ball offers for winger Jesse Puljujarvi. They know they’ve got an unhappy player on their hands.
The Buffalo Sabres looked into Los Angeles Kings winger Carl Hagelin.
The Colorado Avalanche are looking to move winger Sven Andrighetto. He also suggested defenseman Patrik Nemeth could be a good depth acquisition for the Flames.