Updates on Jonathan Drouin, plus the latest on James van Riemsdyk, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Galchenyuk in your NHL Rumor Mill.
Follow this link for my take on the Anaheim Ducks trading Carl Hagelin to the Pittsburgh Penguins for David Perron and Adam Clendening, and of the Montreal Canadiens acquiring enforcer John Scott in a three-way deal with the Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators.
Drouin trade doesn’t seem imminent.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE/TAMPA BAY TIMES: Despite reports on Thursday night suggesting the Tampa Bay Lightning could trade Jonathan Drouin by Friday evening, it doesn’t appear a deal is imminent. Erik Erlendsson reports the Drouin trade talks are heating up, with the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks among a dozen teams that appear interested in the young left winger. “Tampa Bay likely would be seeking a right-handed shot defenseman and a young prospect with term or contract control beyond a couple of years,” writes Erlendsson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And so the Drouin trade watch continues for another day, perhaps longer. It’s obvious Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will be patient in fielding offers until he gets the one he wants. Blues rookie Robby Fabbri has been mentioned in the Drouin trade chatter, as has Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen of the Ducks.
Oilers dangled Nugent-Hopkins for Seth Jones.
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector (no relation) reports “multiple sources” confirm the Edmonton Oilers offered up center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Seth Jones, who was eventually dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen. “What it tells us is that Chiarelli sees Nugent-Hopkins as the one player from the Oilers former core that can command the greatest return — yet at the same time is expendable,” writes Spector.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Leon Draisaitl emerging as a scoring center and Connor McDavid expected to be a superstar, Nugent-Hopkins could be pushed down to the Oilers third line. Yes, they could move Draisaitl to right wing, but why mess with the obvious chemistry he has with left wing Taylor Hall?
It’s apparent Oilers management sees Nugent-Hopkins as the best trade chip to land a quality defenseman. If the right deal can be found, his days with the Oilers are numbered. Nugent-Hopkins could be dealt before the trade deadline, or at the NHL draft in June. However, his $6 million annual salary is a sticking point, as is his injury history. The Oilers might have to pick up part of that cap hit to make a deal happen.
Teams interest in van Riemsdyk.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox cites Elliotte Friedman saying he’s had a couple of teams tell him they’ve inquired about Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk and were told he’s not available. “So the price is very high for him,” said Friedman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs aren’t trading van Riemsdyk. They see him as a key part of their rebuilding program.
Could the Canadiens trade Galchenyuk?
630 CHED EDMONTON (via Today’s Slapshot): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin doesn’t have much to trade in order to bolster his struggling club’s sagging offense. “He’s not trading Price. He’s not trading Subban. He’s not trading Max Pacioretty. Who else is he moving? I think under the right circumstances, he would consider moving (Alex) Galchenyuk. But it’s got to be the right circumstances,: said Friedman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, it’s got to be a reliable, experienced veteran scorer still in his playing prime. Otherwise, it makes no sense to part with Galchenyuk, who’s among their few decent scoring forwards.