The latest on Travis Hamonic, Eric Staal, Tobias Enstrom, Bryan Bickell, Andrew Cogliano and many more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
Highlights from Garrioch’s “Insider Trading.”
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it’ll be difficult for the New York Islanders to find the right trade for defenseman Travis Hamonic, who requested a move during the offseason. A source believes there’s an understanding between Hamonic and Isles management that he could finish the season with them. Snow isn’t expected to bend on his asking price of a comparable asset or more.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could take until the Feb. 29 trade deadline at the earliest to get this deal done.
The Winnipeg Jets have been shopping defenseman Tobias Enstrom in hopes of getting his $5.75 million cap hit off the books in order to re-sign pending UFA Dustin Byfuglien. Their priority remains getting captain Andrew Ladd under contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Enstrom has a full no-movement clause, so he’ll have to sign off on potential trade destinations. With his production in decline and carrying a $5.75 million annual cap hit through 2017-18, I don’t see many takers for the 31-year-old Enstrom this season.
It’s rumored the Anaheim Ducks are shopping left wing Andrew Cogliano, who has seven points and a minus-9 rating in 20 games. Cam Fowler is also attracting attention, but the Ducks will want a big return if they’re serious about moving him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks won’t get much of a return for Cogliano. Fowler would certainly be an attractive trade chip, but I don’t get the feeling GM Bob Murray wants to go down that road.
Excerpts from Matheson’s “Hockey World.”
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports winger Bryan Bickell’s solid performance in the minors could improve the Chicago Blackhawks’ efforts to trade him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tearing it up in the minors is one thing. He’s still carrying a $4 million annual cap hit through 2016-17. Teams will likely want to see how he plays back in the NHL before going after him.
Lots of teams have interest in Calgary Flames defenseman (and pending UFA) Kris Russell. Matheson believes the Flames have to move Dennis Wideman to keep Russell, but no one’s touching Wideman’s $5.25 million cap hit.
Matheson dismisses the notion the Colorado Avalanche will part with defenseman Tyson Barrie.
He also wonders if the San Jose Sharks would actually deal Patrick Marleau to the Anaheim Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not unless it’s a three-way deal. Sharks GM Doug Wilson and Ducks GM Bob Murray may be former teammates and old friends, but I can’t see any scenario where Wilson can justify trading Marleau directly to a California rival.
Matheson believes Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle is on the trade block, but Carle is currently a $5.5 million blueliner playing third-pairing minutes.
Flames healthy scratch Ladislav Smid would be a hot item around the league if he didn’t have another season left on his contract at $3.25 million annually.
Highlights from Hockey Night in Canada’s “Headlines” segment.
SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reports the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings contacted the Islanders about Travis Hamonic, but were told they’re not a fit. Friedman claims a lot of people wouldn’t be surprised if it takes a three-way deal to pull off a Hamonic trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering Hamonic made his trade request in the offseason, it’s apparent that pulling off a straightforward trade isn’t easy right now. It could take another team getting involved to make the pieces work. Three-way deals are rare in today’s salary-cap world, though not impossible. The dollars ultimately have to fit.
Damien Cox reports Eric Staal’s camp could find out by the end of this month if the Carolina Hurricanes intend to re-sign him, or if their ownership situation is such that they cannot afford to do so.
Friedman claims the Montreal Canadiens are trying to do some things to improve their roster.
Latest Hamonic speculation.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic has expanded his list of trade destinations to include the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche. Sources confirm the respective managements of the Wild and Islanders have spoken, but Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has yet to speak with Hamonic’s agent. It’s believed Fletcher would like to add a forward via trade, while the return for Hamonic could be substantial, including a top-four defenseman. If the Wild pursue Hamonic, Russo speculates it might make the most sense to offer up Jonas Brodin, especially with promising Gustav Oloffson in the system.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wonders if it’s possible the Islanders and Jets could swing a deal sending Hamonic and one or two of their top prospects to Winnipeg for Jacob Trouba or Tyler Myers along with pending UFA Dustin Byfuglien (who Brooks doubts would re-sign with the Isles), or if Isles winger (and pending UFA) Kyle Okposo could become part of the discussion. He also wonders what else, besides Tyson Barrie, the Colorado Avalanche would have to give up for Hamonic.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks is obviously just musing out loud. Still, it could take a larger deal, rather than a one-for-one swap, to pull off a Hamonic trade right now. I was a bit surprised that Russo suggested Brodin, but he’s probably what the Isles would want in a straight-up return for Hamonic.