Senators Trade Watch – February 20, 2019

Get the latest on Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingel, and Cody Ceci.

DUCHENE

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports center Matt Duchene has probably played his final game for the Senators. With the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaching and no contract extension in sight, the Senators have decided to sit him pending a trade. Five teams, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, and Winnipeg Jets, have expressed interest in Duchene. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman isn’t convinced the Jets are in on Duchene and wonders if the Calgary Flames or New York Islanders will become stealth suitors for the 28-year-old pending UFA center. If the Predators land him, there’s talk they could attempt to re-sign him to a long-term contract. He also feels the Blues Jackets’ interest in Duchene could include center Alex Wennberg, who could use a fresh start. However, his $4.9-million annual average value through 2022-23 could be more than the Senators want to take on. 

The Ottawa Senators are sitting center Matt Duchene as they attempt to trade him before the Feb. 25 deadline (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene’s a goner, it’s just a matter of when and where. The Jets’ depth in prospects could give them the edge in the Duchene sweepstakes but their focus could be on another Senator (see below).

Wennberg could benefit from moving to another team but, as Friedman suggests, his contract could be a sticking point if the Jackets try to dangle him to the Senators. The reason the Jackets are interested in Duchene is they see him as a possible replacement for Artemi Panarin if they end up trading him to another club before the deadline. 

STONE

Garrioch also reports the Senators are believed to have offered right wing Mark Stone a deal in the five- or six-year range with “a strong annual average value”. They’re not shopping Stone but are listening to trade offers. Garrioch expects the Flames and Vegas Golden Knights could be among the suitors. 

Friedman reports rumors of a five-year offer worth $10.5-million AAV have been denied. He expects the Jets and Flames are among those kicking tires on Stone but the Golden Knights aren’t interested in him as a rental player. Appearing on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650, Friedman believes the Jets are going all-in on Stone. Jets center Jack Roslovic and prospect Kristian Vesalainen could tempt the Senators. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: cites a report by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks claiming the Boston Bruins are also all in on Stone.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Jets could probably benefit from bringing in Duchene and making him their second-line center, they’re reportedly content with Bryan Little in that role. Stone is said to be their main target.

While the Jets’ first-round pick is in play, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff reportedly doesn’t want to mortgage his future on a rental player. Unless he can re-sign Stone or Duchene, he could be reluctant to give up Roslovic or Vesalainen. As for the Bruins, they’re also reportedly watching another Senator (see below). 

DZINGEL

Garrioch reports it’s believed an offer was recently tabled to Dzingel but he may be holding off in the belief he’ll get a better offer from the Senators if Duchene and Stone are traded. Garrioch believes they have enough prospects in the system to replace Dzingel, who is being closely watched by the Boston Bruins. The Sens asking price is a first-round pick. 

Friedman believes Dzingel’s fate is tied to Stone’s decision. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe noted the recent speculation tying the Jets to Duchene, Stone or Dzingel. He said the Senators covet Roslovic, who’d be a likely ask for Duchene or Stone.  Vesalainen, Mason Appleton, Brendan Lemieux, Nic Petan, Sami Niku, Logan Stanley, Dylan Samberg, Declan Chisholm, and Eric Comrie could also be on the Senators’ wish list. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dzingel would be a much more affordable acquisition than Duchene or Stone but he won’t have the same impact as those two. Still, he could become a decent consolation prize for clubs that fail to land Duchene or Stone. If the Senators trade away both guys, maybe they’ll try to re-sign Dzingel but not if he seeks considerably more than they wish to pay. 

CECI

Friedman suggested a decision on defenseman Cody Ceci could come closer to the deadline. Appearing on the NHL Network, Friedman wondered if the Tampa Bay Lightning would have some interest in the right-handed blueliner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ceci is a restricted free agent so the Senators aren’t under pressure to move him now, though they’ll consider it if there’s suitable interest. He’s also got arbitration rights again this summer, which could also factor into the Sens’ trade plans. 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 19, 2019

The latest on Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel, plus updates on the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

PANARIN AND BOBROVSKY

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Aaron Portzline believes Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin is better than 50-50 to be moved by next Monday’s NHL trade deadline while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is less than 50-50. He believes there are too many hurdles to clear in order to move Bobrovsky, including a soft goalie market and getting him to waive his no-movement clause.

It will take a significant offer to pry Artemi Panarin away from the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo via NHL Images).

If they trade Panarin, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen would have to make a subsequent trade for a return that keeps his club in the playoff race. Portzline believes it’ll take “some staggering offers” to pry Panarin away. He notes the Jackets have reportedly contacted the Ottawa Senators regarding center Matt Duchene. The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets are said to be interested in Panarin and Portzline thinks the New York Islanders could also kick the tires. 

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Montreal’s TSN 690, Bob McKenzie talked about the rumors linking Panarin and Bobrovsky to the Florida Panthers. While he doesn’t know if the Panthers can get them via trade or free agency, he notes there’s certainly a desire on their part to do so. It would involve clearing some salary-cap space as they’re a budget team and not a cap team, which explains the recent rumors involving Panthers forwards like Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s shaky performance this season also adversely affects his trade value. If the Jackets trade him away they’ll also have to find a suitable replacement to act as a backup for Joonas Korpisalo and that could prove difficult to do.

I don’t doubt there’s plenty of interest in Panarin and the asking price will be high. It could take time, however, for that to happen, potentially complicating Kekalainen’s efforts to swing a subsequent deal. Not saying he can’t pull it off but he could run out of time if he waits too long for a suitable offer for Panarin.

As for the Panthers, there are rumblings they contacted the Jackets about Bobrovsky and Panarin but the Jackets denied those rumors. If they hope to acquire Panarin via trade, someone like Huberdeau or Hoffman would have to be part of the return. Such a deal, however, could be too complicated to pull off before the trade deadline. 

STONE, DUCHENE, AND DZINGEL

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators are hoping to learn within the next 48 hours if pending free agent winger Mark Stone will re-sign with them or if they’ll have to trade him. Fellow UFA Matt Duchene is expected to be moved before the deadline, possibly in a sign-and-trade scenario. Garrioch believes the asking price for either guy could be a first-round pick, a top prospect plus another piece.

The Senators have had talks with winger Ryan Dzingel’s agents but it’s unknown if he’s received an offer. Garrioch claims the asking price for Dzingel is a first-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick will be a crucial part of the return for any of those players. The Senators dealt away their pick in this year’s draft to the Colorado Avalanche in the trade that brought Duchene to Ottawa. As Garrioch reports, whatever happens with Stone will determine the Senators’ next moves. 

LATEST ON THE BRUINS AND RED WINGS

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said he expects the Boston Bruins “are in it to win it” and expects they’ll make a significant move before the deadline. He notes they’ve got the assets in draft picks and promising young players to make it happen.

Dreger speculated the Bruins may have had their sights on Los Angeles Kings’ forward Tyler Toffoli at one point but no longer believes he’s their main target anymore. He also thinks they’ll have interest in Ottawa’s Ryan Dzingel if he hits the trade block. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how much the Bruins gave up last year to land Rick Nash, GM Don Sweeney might be reluctant to repeat that experience. While there’s lots of speculation suggesting the Bruins should be in on big names like Artemi Panarin or Mark Stone, Dreger’s comments suggest Sweeney could be looking at more affordable options. 

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland continues to weigh his options leading up to the trade deadline. Holland would like to re-sign goaltender Jimmy Howard, winger Gustav Nyquist, and defenseman Nick Jensen and all three wish to stay but a deal must be equitable for both sides. Holland could trade them and attempt to sign them this summer via free agency but there’s no guarantee they’ll return.

Khan considers Howard as almost certain to re-sign with the Wings, though the Calgary Flames are among the clubs rumored to be interested in him. Other possible trade chips include defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Luke Glendening. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the deadline passes with Howard, Nyquist, and Jensen still with the Wings. The asking price for each is said to be a first-round draft pick. 

SHOULD THE SHARKS PURSUE A GOALIE?

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Kevin Kurz wonders if it’s time for the San Jose Sharks to address their sub-par goaltending, pointing out they have the worst even-strength save percentage (.896). Their 6-5 loss to Boston raises more questions over the tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell.

Kurz suggested perhaps they should consider giving Detroit’s Jimmy Howard or Philadelphia’s Brian Elliott a look. Ultimately, however, he expects they’ll stick with Jones over the remainder of the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there were better options in the goalie market, perhaps Sharks GM Doug Wilson would consider it. 

MCQUAID

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Bob McKenzie speculated the New York Rangers could move defenseman Adam McQuaid if they believe they can get a fourth- and a seventh-round pick or anything better than that. They gave up a fourth and a seventh, along with Steve Kampfer, to acquire McQuaid.  

BEAULIEU

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington believes there’s a good chance Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will be playing elsewhere by next Monday afternoon. Beaulieu has been a frequent healthy scratch and remains frustrated over his lack of playing time. Last month, his agent request a trade. 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 18, 2019

Updates on Matt Duchene and Charlie Coyle plus the latest on the Blackhawks, Canucks, and Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.

Several teams reportedly have interest in Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene (Photo via NHL Images).

SENATORS SHOPPING DUCHENE

TSN: Barring a last-minute change, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Ottawa Senators are planning to trade center Matt Duchene. Pierre Lebrun adds this news isn’t surprising and notes the Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the clubs to inquire into Duchene’s trade status. Dreger also reports the Senators will soon make a decision about Mark Stone’s future with the club. Both are pending free agents this summer.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed at least five teams have expressed interest in Duchene. It’s expected Senators general manager Pierre Dorion will step up efforts to move Duchene, Stone, and Ryan Dzingel if he can’t get them to agree to new contracts before the trade deadline. Garrioch adds the Winnipeg Jets are interested in the Senators’ trio.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets’ interest in Duchene could also be tied to the possibility of trading away winger Artemi Panarin before the deadline. Like the three Senators forwards, he is also slated to become a UFA in July.

If the Jackets shop Panarin, it’s believed they want to get a player back as part of the return who can help them right away. If that kind of deal isn’t out there but they still wish to move him, perhaps they can swing a separate deal to offset his absence with Duchene? Should be interesting to see how this shakes out.

WILL THE SABRES PURSUE COYLE?

THE BUFFALO NEWS: With the Sabres in need of depth at center, Mike Harrington suggests they pursue Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle. He’s under contract through next season with an affordable $3.2-million cap hit.

While the loss of Wild captain Mikko Koivu seemingly puts a stop on trading Coyle, Harrington suggests he could be had at a cost of one of the Sabres’ first-round draft picks. He notes Wild GM Paul Fenton was given permission by team owner Craig Leipold to shake things up if necessary. The struggling Wild are clinging to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Harrington isn’t saying the Sabres are pursuing Coyle but it’s not a bad suggestion. The Wild seem poised to tumble out of playoff contention, providing first-year GM Fenton an excuse to start retooling his roster for next season. I daresay Coyle will frequently surface in the rumor mill as the trade deadline approaches.

At this stage, the Sabres’ three first-rounders (their own plus those they received from the Sharks and the Blues) won’t be top-10 selections. They can afford to part with one of them for a good player to bolster their lineup beyond this season. 

LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS, CANUCKS, AND CANADIENS

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield reports it’s uncertain whether the Blackhawks will be sellers after rising into playoff contention. He believes there are seven players – goaltender Cam Ward, defensemen Gustav Forsling, Slater Koekkoek, and Carl Dahlstrom, centers Marcus Kruger and John Hayden, and forward Brandon Perlini – who could be moved without giving the impression they’re giving up on the playoff race.

VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports Canucks GM Jim Benning acknowledged he’d like to have another goal scorer but finding one is easier said than done. “I’m not necessarily looking at rentals. If we’re going to do trades, it’s going to be players who can be pieces of the puzzle moving forward,” he said.

 










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 17, 2019

Latest on Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, Artemi Panarin, and Jesse Puljujarvi plus updates on the Flames, Islanders, and Stars in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

UPDATE ON STONE AND DUCHENE

The Ottawa Senators are believed to be quietly shopping center Matt Duchene (Photo via NHL Images)

SPORTSNET (via Kukla’s Korner): Elliotte Friedman reports the Ottawa Senators have re-engaged with right wing Mark Stone’s representatives in hopes of working out a contract extension. Nick Kypreos said the structure of the contract and signing bonuses appear to be the issue. Chris Johnston said rumors had the Vegas Golden Knights interested in Stone but he gets the sense they’re not interested in the rental market at all. They might pursue Stone if he becomes a UFA this summer. 

Friedman also said the Senators are quietly testing the trade market for center Matt Duchene. He expects trade talks could heat up over the next several days. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve felt the Senators were prepared to lose one or the other but not both. Not surprised that there’s a push on getting Stone re-signed as he came up through their system and seemed keenest to stay in Ottawa. I’m not disparaging Duchene but I’ve gotten the impression Stone is more interested in remaining a Senator. A lot can happen between now and the Feb. 25 trade deadline but my best guess is they re-sign Stone and move Duchene before the deadline for the best available offer. 

SHOULD THE BRUINS PURSUE PANARIN?

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty recently opined the Bruins should make a run at acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin. He notes Bruins winger David Pastrnak is out for an indeterminate period with an injured thumb, heightening their need for a scoring winger. Haggerty acknowledged landing Panarin will be expensive and the risk he’ll bolt via free agency in July, suggesting it could cost a good young player like Jake DeBrusk and a first-round pick. He wondered if the Blue Jackets might bite on Trent Frederic or Danton Heinen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins paid a big price last season for Rick Nash and it didn’t pan out. GM Don Sweeney might prefer a more affordable rental winger or perhaps someone signed beyond this season. 

LATEST ON THE FLAMES

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos thinks the Calgary Flames’ priority heading toward the trade deadline was finding a veteran defenseman as they’ve used four blueliners 22-and-younger this season. He also said rumors have linked them to forwards like Ottawa’s Mark Stone and the New York Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello. If veteran winger James Neal (lower-body injury) is out longer than expected, Kypreos wonders if they might be more aggressive in pursuing a forward. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m expecting the Flames to swing a deal for a rental before the deadline. They’re among the top teams in the Western Conference and I think GM Brad Treliving sees his club as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. If he’s looking for a winger Zuccarello would be more affordable than Stone. 

UPDATE ON PULJUJARVI

SPORTSNET: While there’s talk the Edmonton Oilers might be willing to trade struggling young winger Jesse Puljujarvi, Nick Kypreos considers that highly unlikely. He feels the 20-year-old’s trade value to be at an all-time low and expects he’ll be sent back to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield to get him into a more positive environment. Elliotte Friedman speculates Puljujarvi might want out of Edmonton but Kypreos insists they won’t give him away. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ordinarily I’d agree with this assessment but who the hell knows what’s going on with the Oilers anymore? Yes, interim GM Keith Gretzky made a couple of decent minor moves this weekend  (Cam Talbot to Philadelphia for Anthony Stolarz in a cost-cutting deal, reacquiring Sam Gagner by sending little-used Ryan Spooner to Vancouver) but who’s to say he won’t move Puljujarvi if someone pitches what he considers a tempting offer? 

COULD THE PENGUINS GO AFTER ZUCCARELLO?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks still expects the Rangers will trade pending UFA forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello before the trade deadline. Both players want longer-term deals while management wants shorter terms. Brooks speculates the Pittsburgh Penguins could be in on Zuccarello. The Pens don’t have a lot to give up but Brooks feels the Rangers would covet their first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also expect Hayes and Zuccarello will be moved before the deadline. I doubt the Penguins will part with their first rounder for Zuccarello. Consensus suggests he’ll fetch at most a second-rounder, something the Pens lack in this year’s and next year’s drafts. 

WILL THE ISLANDERS BECOME BUYERS?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wouldn’t be surprised if the New York Islanders are in on Columbus’ Artemi Panarin, Ottawa’s Mark Stone, or Florida’s Mike Hoffman. He also wondered if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello would be interested in a reunion with LA Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who played for Lamoriello with the New Jersey Devils. He also suggested Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid, who’s been linked to the Tampa Bay Lightning, might be a good fit with the Isles. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We never know what the always-secretive Lamoriello has in store heading toward the trade deadline, but we know he has a history of swinging deadline deals to bolster his rosters when they’re in a good position for a possible playoff run. The Isles have exceeded expectations this season and Lamoriello could shop around for a player or two.

STARS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Dallas Stars could be among the suitors for Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin or Rangers’ winger Mats Zuccarello. 

NYQUIST

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist is drawing interest in the trade market. However, it’s unclear if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause or where he’ll waive it to. 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 16, 2019

The Oilers are reportedly open to trading Jesse Puljujarvi, updates on Mark Stone and Wayne Simmonds, plus the latest on the Stars in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

COULD THE OILERS MOVE PULJUJARVI?

TSN: Ryan Rishaug yesterday reported the Edmonton Oilers are open to trading winger Jesse Puljujarvi, provided the right return can be found. It would have to be quite high, as Puljujarvi was the fourth-overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft. Rishaug also said the club is considering sending the 20-year-old back to the minors to bolster his confidence.

The day earlier, Rishaug’s colleague Darren Dreger speculated Puljujarvi won’t be moved by the Feb. 25 trade deadline as the asking price is too high. While Dreger doesn’t know what that is, he thinks it starts with either a first-round pick or a top prospect plus something else. 

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports Puljujarvi’s agent Markus Lehto believes his client would benefit from a change of scenery. He suggests his client has doubts over what the Oilers think of him and his role with the club.  “It’s like when the player isn’t trusting anymore. ‘Do these guys really want me here? Do they really trust me to be a top-six guy? A top-nine guy? An offensive player?’ The player is uncertain.”

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson warns against trading Puljujarvi, suggesting the move could blow up in the Oilers’ faces. As an example, he points to center Dylan Strome’s improvement with the Chicago Blackhawks after struggling with the Arizona Coyotes. 

With the Oilers trading Cam Talbot, is Jesse Puljujarvi the next to go? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers already ruined a top draft pick in Nail Yakupov and seem to be doing the same to Puljujarvi. He’s a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract so the Oilers aren’t under pressure to move him before the upcoming trade deadline. Still, they’re in a bind here over what to do with the struggling but still-promising youngster.

It might be best to retain Puljujarvi and see if he improves under new management and coaching, as changes are coming in the Oilers’ front office and behind the bench this summer. Then again, it was the revolving door of coaches that contributed to Yakupov’s decline following his promising rookie campaign. If the Oilers maintain a high asking price for Puljujarvi, he’s probably not going anywhere before the deadline.  

JETS, GOLDEN KNIGHTS INTERESTED IN STONE?

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing yesterday on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590, Elliotte Friedman suggested the Winnipeg Jets are the top contender for Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone. The Jets have a lot of prospects that could interest the Senators, including Jack Roslovic and Sami Niku. Friedman isn’t sure how willing the Jets are to give up those guys, but he noted Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and his assistants recently scouted the Jets and their AHL affiliate. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Chris Stevenson believes the Senators and Jets are perfect trade partners. One director of player personnel Stevenson spoke to regarding a Stone-to-Winnipeg scenario suggested the Senators should push for Roslovic or winger Nikolaj Ehlers as part of the return. He also noted Stone is from Winnipeg and perhaps would be willing to re-sign with the Jets after this season. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Vegas Golden Knights have also shown considerable interest in Stone. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch didn’t say what the Golden Knights would be willing to offer up for Stone. It’s believed the Senators seek a player, a first-round pick and a prospect for Stone or Matt Duchene. The Jets are apparently willing to part with their 2019 first-round pick and have depth in prospects, though GM Kevin Cheveldayoff reportedly doesn’t want to mortgage the future on a rental player.

Of course, if Cheveldayoff can convince Stone to re-sign, that would be a different story. That would mean, however, moving out a salaried player to clear sufficient salary-cap room. That explains the mention of Ehlers, who’s carrying an annual salary-cap hit of $6 million through 2024-25 and lacks no-trade protection. That’s assuming the Senators want to take on that cap hit. 

STARS SHOPPING FOR OFFENSE

NHL.COM: Mike Zeisberger reports Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill hopes to add some scoring before the trade deadline. He said he’s open to almost anything, though his plans could change if his club loses its grip on a playoff spot. “We’re very open to making a hockey trade if it’s going to make us better. If we stay in the hunt the way we are, we’re open to adding to our team.”

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing yesterday on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590, Elliotte Friedman included the Stars among the clubs that could pursue Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin, especially if they free up some cap space by placing some injured players on long-term injured reserve. 

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien suggests Nill shouldn’t make any panic trades. They’ll have over $13 million coming off their books this summer (Jason Spezza, Marc Methot, and the salary retention of departed goaltender Antti Niemi) and Martin Hanzal’s $4.5 million will be gone in 2020. He cautions against short-term gains when they could have more money this summer to pursue potentially available talent like Panarin or Ottawa’s Matt Duchene or Mark Stone. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nill has to boost his scoring before the deadline. The Stars are among the league’s lowest-scoring teams and hold the first wild-card spot (63 points) in the Western Conference. Even if they reach the playoffs, their pop-gun offense likely makes them a first-round-and-out club. 

Going after Panarin will also mean parting with a good young forward along with a first-round pick and perhaps a top prospect. More affordable options include the Rangers’ Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist or maybe Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds. 

UPDATE ON SIMMONDS

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports it appears winger Wayne Simmonds remains likely to be moved by the Philadelphia Flyers before the trade deadline. It’s believed GM Chuck Fletcher hasn’t made a contract extension offer to Simmonds, though he could circle back with a last-minute pitch if the trade offers he’s received aren’t to his liking.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, and Boston Bruins are said to be interested. Seravalli believes Simmonds would be a good fit with the Toronto Maple Leafs, though Leafs GM Kyle Dubas apparently isn’t keen on rental players.  










NHL Rumor Mill – February 15, 2019

Oilers and Flyers discussing a Cam Talbot trade, plus the latest on the Senators, Jets, Flames, and Wild in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot could be on his way to Philadelphia (Photo via NHL Images).

FLYERS, OILERS DISCUSSING POSSIBLE TALBOT TRADE

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers have engaged in preliminary trade discussions regarding Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. He pointed out Talbot has a modified no-trade clause but it’s believed he gave the Oilers permission to talk to the Flyers. It’s expected the Oilers would have to take back a goalie such as Anthony Stolarz or Mike McKenna. The Oilers would be making this move to free up salary-cap room for returning defenseman Andrej Sekera. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: John Boruk also reports the Oilers and Flyers are discussing a possible Talbot trade. He cites a source saying the Flyers want the Oilers to take back pending UFA goalie Brian Elliott. Adding Talbot would provide rookie netminder Carter Hart with an experienced backup and mentor. Boruk also noted Hart and Talbot have been friends for years. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot is a UFA this summer and no longer fits into the Oilers’ plans. They desperately want to get Sekera back into the lineup in hopes he’ll keep their flagging playoff hopes alive. The Oilers would probably prefer taking back a more affordable netminder like Stolarz ($761K) or McKenna ($700K) than Elliott and his $2.75 million salary-cap hit. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. 

SENATORS SCOUTING JETS

TSN: Bob McKenzie believes the Ottawa Senators continue their push this week to re-sign pending unrestricted free agents Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. He expects it could take another day or three for the Sens to determine where they are. He also believes management is also exploring their trade options out of necessity. He reports general manager Pierre Dorion and his assistants are in Winnipeg to scout the Jets and their AHL affiliate. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jason Bell also reported on the presence of Dorion and his assistants in Winnipeg. He notes there’s plenty of speculation links Stone and/or Duchene with the Jets. Bell speculates “Jets forward Jack Roslovic, slick-skating Moose blue-liner Sami Niku and top goaltending prospect Eric Comrie” could be among the players they’re scouting. He also noted the Jets had scouts following last night’s Senators-Red Wings game in Detroit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the trade deadline drawing nearer, it’s widely assumed the Senators could reach a decision on the status of Duchene and Stone by the end of this week. If they cannot re-sign the duo it’s expected they’ll be shopped to the highest bidders before Feb. 25.

The Jets are reportedly seeking a top-six forward and their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft is said to be in play. The Sens will certainly want a first-rounder to replace the one they dealt away to the Colorado Avalanche last season. It’s said they’ll also want a top prospect and a good young player for Duchene or Stone.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff apparently doesn’t want to mortgage his club’s future for a quick fix and is said to be reluctant to part with Roslovic. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll reconsider to land Duchene or Stone or look elsewhere for more affordable help. 

FLAMES IN THE MARKET FOR A GOALIE?

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the recent struggles of goaltender David Rittich has sparked speculation over whether they’ll pursue another netminder before the trade deadline. He wondered if they’ll pursue a rental such as Detroit’s Jimmy Howard or a possible long-term solution such as Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick. While management still has faith in their goalie duo of Rittich and Mike Smith, McKenzie said all options remain on the table and this situation could bear monitoring leading up to the deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Howard is the best of the possible rentals but the Wings’ asking price is said to be a first-round draft pick. Having traded away their second-round pick in this year’s draft. Flames GM Brad Treliving could be leery about parting with his first-rounder. Going after Quick would be a significant and expensive move that would also probably cost the Flames their first-round pick as part of a package to Los Angeles.

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has also featured prominently in this year’s rumor mill but Calgary might not be on his list of preferred destinations. Most of the speculation has tied him to the Florida Panthers. 

If the Oilers talks with the Flyers regarding Talbot fall through, one has to wonder if the Flames might look into his availability. Depends, of course, on their willingness to help their hated rival and Talbot’s willingness to waive his no-trade to go to Calgary.

WILD TO BECOME SELLERS?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun cites Mike Russo of The Athletic reporting Minnesota Wild GM Paul Fenton received permission from team owner Craig Leipold to do whatever is necessary to retool the roster, despite the fact they’re currently jockeying for a playoff berth in the Western Conference. While core players such as Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, and Jonas Brodin could all potentially be in play, LeBrun believed pending UFA center Eric Staal could be worth watching. Staal wants to stay with the Wild and has a 10-team no-trade clause. ” It’s a 10-team list that we’re told is vastly populated with all the obvious contenders and I’m not convinced that he’d want to waive, we’ll see,” said LeBrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What’s notable about this story is it came out around the same time Wild coach Bruce Boudreau was guaranteeing his club would clinch a playoff berth. Just because Fenton has permission to shake things up, even at the risk of jeopardizing his club’s playoff hopes this season, doesn’t mean he’s going to do it. I expect he’ll monitor his club’s performance over the next week to determine if they need to sell while monitoring trade offers from rival clubs.

Coyle and Brodin have frequently surfaced in the rumor mill over the last couple of years but Granlund and Zucker could fetch better returns. All four are also under contract beyond this season, which could make them more palatable to clubs seeking long-term depth.