It’s another quiet Sunday for media-generated NHL rumors, so here’s a look at what was kicking around the blogosphere last week. Enjoy!
The Chicago Blackhawks could trade defenseman Brent Seabrook, as they can’t afford to re-sign him before his UFA eligibility next summer. Potential destinations include the Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (June 28), Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman told Seabrook he’s not going anywhere. Friedman’s among the best insiders in the game and I see little reason to doubt his word on this one. Re-signing Seabrook will be expensive, but the Blackhawks will have the cap space next summer to do so. It’s my understanding wingersBryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg remain the Blackhawks’ likely trade candidates.
Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford still wants to bring Jordan Staal back from the Carolina Hurricanes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This rumor originally surfaced midway through last season and was quickly swatted down by Hurricanes GM Ron Francis. Since then, the Penguins swapped Brandon Sutter for Nick Bonino and signed Eric Fehr and Matt Cullen. They have no need to pursue another center.
The Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues are interested in Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets have Bryan Little, Mark Scheifele and the promising Adam Lowry centering their top-three lines, while the Blues top-three centers are David Backes, Paul Stastny and Jori Lehtera. These teams have no need to add an expensive veteran center like Plekanec.
The Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders could be interested in Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche and Oilers could certainly use another experienced top-four defenseman, but at this point I doubt they’re keen on the 34-year-old Seidenberg, who has three seasons left (with a full NTC for 2015-16) at $4 million per. I believe the Isles are set with their current defense corps and have no reason to pursue him.
The Calgary Flames are close to signing UFA defenseman Cody Franson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only if they’re not re-signing Mark Giordano, and even then I doubt they’d go after Franson. With a defense corps for next season consisting of Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, T.J. Brodie, Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell, Deryk Engelland and Ladislav Smid, the Flames have no reason to add another veteran rearguard. With only around $2.1 million in cap space for 2015-16, they certainly can’t afford Franson without dumping salary elsewhere before the start of next season.