The latest on Nail Yakupov, Andrew Ladd, Mikkel Boedker, Eric Staal and many more in part one of today’s NHL rumor mill.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM LATEST EDITION OF TSN’S “INSIDER TRADING”.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Edmonton Oilers have had trade discussions regarding right wing (and 2012 first-overall pick) Nail Yakupov. He considers it unlikely Yakupov is moved by the trade deadline, suggesting it’s more of an off-season move. Apart from Connor McDavid, Dreger believes there are no untouchables on the Oilers.
Pierre LeBrun reports the Winnipeg Jets have gauged the trade market for left wing Andrew Ladd, who could fetch more than most rental players. There haven’t been any contract talks between the Jets and Ladd, who wants to stay but also wants an answer soon about his future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on the Oilers and Jets in Part Two of today’s Rumor Mill. It’s not surprising the Oilers could consider moving the disappointing Yakupov. Like Dreger, I see him getting dealt in the offseason.
Dreger claims teams are zeroing in on Arizona Coyotes right wing Mikkel Boedker, as the club has pulled back on a multi-year contract extension.
Bob McKenzie reports the Carolina Hurricanes and pending UFA Eric Staal remain in a holding pattern, as he hasn’t been asked to waive his no-movement clause and he hasn’t indicated what he’ll do if they ask him to do so. McKenzie wonders if the New York Rangers could pursue him, noting Staal’s brother Marc patrols their blueline. While the Rangers have indicated they’re not in the high-end rental market because they’ve given up so many futures in the past for rental options, McKenzie suggests they might be better positioned to make a pitch for Staal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks is stumping for the Rangers to acquire Eric Staal, but I don’t see how that’s possible without sacrificing even more of their future for a quick fix that I doubt will improve their Cup chances. I’m not saying the Rangers won’t try to bolster their roster, but it could be for a more affordable player.
McKenzie claims there’s a sense the finish line could be in sight for suspended Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin, He claims at least 10 teams are interested and offers are growing for Drouin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning could move Drouin at the trade deadline, but I wouldn’t be surprised if GM Steve Yzerman waits until the offseason in hopes of bolstering his value.
LeBrun claims it’s up to defenseman Dan Hamhuis if he’s willing to waive his no-movement to let the Vancouver Canucks know this week. He believes the Dallas Stars could be interested in Hamhuis. He also claims the LA Kings could shift their focus from bolstering their defense to adding a winger after Marian Gaborik was recently sidelined.
McKenzie claims Toronto Maple Leafs winger P.A. Parenteau is much in demand as a rental player, speculating one of his former teams, the New York Islanders, might be interested.
Dreger reports the Florida Panthers seeks a third-line winger. Montreal’s Dale Weise could be an option, as could Ladd, although he’d come at a considerable expense.
LATEST FROM LEBRUN’S “RUMBLINGS.”
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun speculates the Winnipeg Jets asking price for Andrew Ladd could start with a first-round pick “and goes from there as part of the package.” The Florida Panthers are believed interested, but LeBrun wonders at what point does Ladd become too expensive for them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps if the asking price is a first-round pick and a good young roster player.
The Chicago Blackhawks have interest in Ladd “among a few other rental forward targets”. Whether it’s Ladd, Eric Staal, Loui Eriksson or Mikkel Boedker, the concern for ‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman isn’t the asking price but finding sufficient cap space.
It’s believed the Washington Capitals inquired about Ladd, but given their top-six setup he might not be a fit there.
LeBrun believes the Buffalo Sabres will move pending UFA winger Jamie McGinn at the deadline.
There appears to be contract dialogue between Eriksson and the Boston Bruins, but it remains to be seen if they can reach an agreement before the trade deadline.
New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero is willing to listen to offers for pending UFAs Lee Stempniak and David Schlemko.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero may be listening, but I think his club’s performance leading up to the deadline will determine if he moves those players or instead seeks an affordable depth scorer to bolster the Devils’ playoff hopes.
New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle is off the trade block.
The Minnesota Wild have sought a boost to their top-six scoring all season but they aren’t willing to part with their first-round pick. Ditto the Detroit Red Wings.
FIRST-ROUND PICKS COULD BE IN PLAY AT THE DEADLINE.
SI.COM: Allan Muir speculates we could still see first-round picks in play at this year’s trade deadline, especially with Boston’s Loui Eriksson, Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd, Carolina’s Eric Staal and Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker potentially available. He suggests a Stanley Cup contender like Chicago, Washington, Anaheim or Los Angeles could be willing to part with a first-rounder if it’ll land an impact player.
Muir also speculates a couple of non-Cup contenders with multiple first-round picks (Boston, Arizona, NY Islanders) could be willing to part with one of them for the right player. He notes rumors claiming the New York Rangers are listening to offers for winger Chris Kreider, though they’re not shopping him. “Same can be said about Toronto’s Nazem Kadri and Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn. Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm of the Ducks have been mentioned as well.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Muir that a Cup contender or a playoff club with depth in draft picks could part with a first rounder at the draft for a consequential player. The Cup contenders picks will all be low in the first round, while those carrying multiple first rounders can offer up their lowest one. As for those “right players” Muir listed who wouldn’t be playoff rentals, the only one who might (emphasis on “might’) be available is Kadri, if only because the Leafs are in the midst of a massive rebuild and are likely entertaining offers for everyone on their roster except defenseman Morgan Rielly.