NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2020
Zach Parise was nearly traded to the Islanders, plus a post-trade deadline look at the Leafs and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.
PARISE TO ISLANDERS DEAL FELL THROUGH
THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild were working on a trade before yesterday’s deadline that would’ve sent winger Zach Parise to the New York Islanders. It was a complicated deal that also would’ve seen Islanders winger Andrew Ladd head to the Wild. Wild general manager Bill Guerin declined to discuss the details.
Parise and Ladd both agreed to waive their no-movement clauses to allow the deal to happen. It’s unclear what caused it to fall through, but it may have been tied to the players’ contracts. Parise is signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of over $7.5 million, while Ladd has three years remaining at $5.5-million.
Russo cited sources claiming a Parise-to-the-Islanders trade was discussed last summer with then-Wild GM Paul Fenton, but Fenton didn’t want to take back Ladd in the deal. Guerin said he has a good relationship with Parise and is happy the winger is still with the Wild.
TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Guerin said there’s a chance the Wild and Islanders could revisit trade talks this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the Wild and Islanders circle back to these discussions in June. They’ll have more time to hammer out a possible deal and more salary-cap space to work with. Perhaps the Islanders wanted the Wild to retain a portion of Parise’s salary. That might explain why the talks fell through.
LEAFS UNLIKELY TO RE-SIGN BARRIE
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas declined to say whether he’ll re-sign pending free-agent defenseman Tyson Barrie. He said he’d use the remaining time to see if there’s a fit, but noted it wouldn’t be easy given their current salary-cap situation.
TSN: Bob McKenzie said the Leafs were seeking a first-round pick and a prospect for Barrie leading up to yesterday’s NHL trade deadline. “They want to try to do a deal like St Louis did with Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals three years ago. Or they want to do a deal like Andrej Sekera to the LA Kings from Carolina five years ago,” said McKenzie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie’s a goner this summer. I expect the Leafs will attempt to shop his rights for a draft pick before July 1.
LATEST ON THE JETS
WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said sidelined defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has no interest in playing this season. His $7.6-million salary-cap hit for this season is off their books and they’ll attempt to trade him at some point. Byfuglien has one season remaining on his contract.
THE ATHLETIC: Ken Wiebe suggests how things shake out for the Jets down the stretch could determine what the roster looks like next season. If they don’t make some noise, Wiebe feels Cheveldayoff could have little choice but to make a bolder move involving one of his core players.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre observes Cheveldayoff will have the salary-cap flexibility this summer to land a prized free agent or swing a major trade. The groundwork for an off-season player-for-player swap may have been laid based on discussions he’d had leading up to yesterday’s trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Byfuglien decides to retire, the remaining year of his contract comes off the Jets’ books. If he still wants to play, interested parties will want assurances he’s fully recovered from his ankle injury.
As for the off-season, we’ll have to wait and see how things shake out for the Jets over the remainder of the current schedule. If they fail to reach the playoffs or make an early post-season exit, they will be the subject of considerable summer trade conjecture.