Latest on Bryan Bickell, Anze Kopitar, Stephen Weiss, Dominic Moore and more in your NHL rumor mill.
Highlights from Pierre LeBrun’s latest “Rumblings.”
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun examined why the Chicago Blackhawks placed left wing Bryan Bickell on waivers yesterday, saying he wouldn’t be surprised if Bickell remains on the roster after clearing waivers today. LeBrun notes the Blackhawks spoke with several teams regarding Bickell during the summer, and this move could send a signal to clubs they haven’t spoken with regarding the winger’s availability. It’s also possible being placed on waivers could be a wake-up call for Bickell, who’s struggled over the last couple of seasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bickell is demoted, the Blackhawks will only receive $950K in cap relief. His $4 million cap hit is the obvious sticking point, as there aren’t many teams willing to take a chance on the winger at that price. The ‘Hawks might have to either pick up part of Bickell’s cap hit or take back a salaried player to make a deal work. The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc reports the Blackhawks could also place Bickell on LTIR to start the season because of his ongoing vertigo issues.
Contract talks continue between Anze Kopitar and the Los Angeles Kings. They don’t appear close to a deal but the dialogue remains healthy and positive.
Updates from the latest “Dreger Report.”
TSN: Darren Dreger also touched on Kopitar’s contract status, as well as Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Carolina’s Eric Staal. He notes the longer Stamkos remains unsigned, the more the Lightning captain will have to speak about this in media scrums, while Staal and the Hurricanes have yet to exchange salary numbers.
Wonder whatever happened to Stephen Weiss? After being bought out by the Detroit Red Wings, Weiss has reportedly declined a number of professional tryout offers and remains an unrestricted free agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weiss hasn’t been the same player since undergoing wrist surgery in 2013. It’s possible a club desperate for depth at center might take a chance on him at some point this season, but he won’t get more than an inexpensive one-year offer.
Latest on the Flyers and Rangers.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall would rather make a trade than risk losing a player to waiver. The most likely trade candidate remains defenseman Luke Schenn, while blueliner Brandon Manning is the likely waiver candidate.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard speculates the Rangers might find a trading partner for center Dominic Moore rather than demote Emerson Etem or Tanner Glass, though he considers that a “hard to believe but conceivable” option.