Updates on Steven Stamkos, Ryan Johansen, Jeff Skinner and more in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
Highlights from Garrioch’s “Insider Trading.”
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is apparently willing to discuss trades regarding nearly everyone but his best young players. Topping the list of those Francis wants to move is winger Jeff Skinner, who has four years left on his contract at $5.75 million annually. Garrioch claims the Hurricanes are even willing to add a prospect in the deal to get Skinner off their books. Francis must also reach decisions with pending UFAs Eric Staal and Cam Ward before the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner must return to his 30-goal form to attract interest from rival clubs. His concussion history is also a concern.
The Winnipeg Jets must decide what to do with pending UFA defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. The Arizona Coyotes face a similar decision with right wing Mikkel Boedker, as do the Boston Bruins with winger Loui Eriksson. Garrioch speculates the Florida Panthers could take a run at Byfuglien, citing his link with Panthers GM Dale Tallon, plus the Panthers have Brian Campbell coming off their books after this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t surprise me if Tallon tried to sign Byfuglien this summer. He was the Blackhawks assistant GM when they drafted Big Buff in 2003.
Teams are interested in Calgary Flames UFAs Jiri Hudler and Kris Russell, but the Flames hope to re-sign them.
“The biggest decision the Leafs are going to have to make is on goalie James Reimer. Making $2.3 million in the last year of his contract, he’ll be a UFA on July 1.”
It’s rumored Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray would like to move wingers Andrew Cogliano and Pat Maroon but there’s not much of a market for either guy. If Murray decides to trade defenseman Cam Fowler, he’ll get a better return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: By the sound of things, Murray doesn’t want to move Fowler.
“The Blue Jackets are looking for a top-four defenceman in exchange for prospect defenceman Kerby Rychel.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rychel’s a forward, not a defenseman, and the Blue Jackets won’t get a top-four blueliner for him.
Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli would like to make changes to his roster and winger Jordan Eberle is rumored to be in play, but it sounds like it’ll be difficult for him to make a move before the trade deadline.
There’s some interest in Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor Daley, who might benefit from a change of scenery. The asking price is believed to be a second-round pick and a prospect.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe a draft pick at this point. Doubt it goes as high as second round plus a prospect.
Updates on Stamkos and Johansen.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos still hasn’t re-signed, but the fact his parents have recently moved to Tampa Bay “has left a lot of people believing he will re-sign with the Lightning.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Take that for what it’s worth, gang.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports just because Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is listening to inquiries from rival clubs for center Ryan Johansen doesn’t mean he trades him. Russo feels Kekalainen wants to get a sense of Johansen’s trade value. However, he believes the Blue Jackets GM will be cautious about moving his first-line center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can bet the asking price for Johansen is much more than most GMs are willing to pay. My guess is Kekalainen wants at least a top-two defenseman as part of the return.