It’s another quiet Sunday for media-generate NHL trade & free agent rumors, so let’s take a look at what’s kicking around the blogosphere of late.
The Boston Bruins are pursuing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets could lose Byfuglien to next summer’s UFA market, but I think they’ll keep him around for next season and see how things play out. His presence buys more time for Tyler Myers to adjust (he’s only been with them since mid-Feb) and for Jacob Trouba to continue his development. The Bruins are considering adding another defenseman but that addition will likely come via free agency.
The Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs are talking trade regarding Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf was linked to the Kings midway through last season, but the talks never really went anywhere because of the Kings’ limited cap space and the Leafs unwillingness to pick up part of his contract or take back a toxic contract. The Leafs’ new management and coaching staff want to evaluate Phaneuf’s performance in 2015-16, while the Kings still lack sufficient cap space to take on his contract.
The Carolina Hurricanes are shopping left wing Jeff Skinner. Montreal and Nashville are interested.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes entertained offers for Skinner earlier this summer but didn’t get anything to their liking. The Canadiens might have had interest, but over the past month they added Alex Semin and Zack Kassian to their forward lines. They also have high hopes for youngsters Alex Galchenyuk and Jacob de la Rose. As for the Predators, they’ve already got Filip Forsberg, Colin Wilson and promising Kevin Fiala on the left side, so I doubt they’re chasing Skinner.
The St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators are interested in Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Drouin’s disappointing rookie season, the Lightning aren’t giving up on him. Drouin has the potential to move up into the Lightning’s top-two lines. I’ve already noted the Predators’ depth at left wing, while the Blues have Alex Steen, Jaden Schwartz and promising Dmitrij Jaskin on the left side, so Drouin’s not a fit there.
The Chicago Blackhawks are shopping Corey Crawford. Winnipeg, Ottawa, Detroit and Edmonton are all interested.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not happening. The Blackhawks are committed to Crawford as their starter. They won’t go into next season with Scott Darling and Michael Leighton as their tandem. Yes, Darling has promise but he hasn’t fully established himself as an NHL starting goalie.
The San Jose Sharks could trade forward Patrick Marleau to the Boston Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, they won’t. As I noted a week ago, Marleau has a full no-movement clause and no intention of waiving it. The Bruins are more interested in bolstering their defense.
The Montreal Canadiens could trade defenseman Alexei Emelin to the Dallas Stars for winger Ales Hemsky and a draft pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not happening. Sure, Emelin was mentioned in trade rumors last season, but his full no-trade clause makes him difficult to move. Assuming the Habs were to ship Emelin to the Stars, they won’t want a banged-up winger like Hemsky, who’s past his best-before date and is earning $4 million annually for two more years, as part of the return.