Latest on Evgeni Malkin, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ben Bishop and more in today’s collection of NHL rumors.
Updates on Malkin and Fleury
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jenn Menendez reports Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said there’s no truth to a rumor that emerged yesterday claiming the Chicago Blackhawks were interested in acquiring center Evgeni Malkin. “None. We’re not looking to move him. I did not get an inquiry from any team,” Rutherford said. Malkin also has a full no-movement clause, but Rutherford said he’s not a trade option regardless of his trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Malkin-to-Chicago speculation just didn’t make sense to me. He carries a hefty contract and the Blackhawks themselves are strapped for cap space. With Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each pulling in $10.5 million per season in annual salary, acquiring Malkin would see them tying up over $30 million in cap space in just three forwards.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Rutherford isn’t in any hurry to address his goaltending situation. Because of an expected expansion draft next year, it’s believed Rutherford could trade Marc-Andre Fleury in order to protect Matt Murray. “I want to see what the guidelines are for expansion – of course that changes the dynamic for every team,” he said. “We might have to make a decision at some point. I’m not aggressively doing anything. But if we start the season with both of those guys we’ll certainly have our goaltending covered.” Johnston suggests the Calgary Flames are the most likely destination for Fleury if Rutherford decides to move him this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford doesn’t have to trade Fleury this summer. He could wait until the Feb. 28 trade deadline, or try moving him next summer, or swing a deal with the Las Vegas expansion team to not select Murray while protecting Fleury. Right now, I think the biggest reason to move Fleury is cap space, as the Penguins don’t have very much of that heading into 2016-17.
It’s believed Rutherford sought the Flames first-round pick (sixth overall) in this year’s draft in return for Fleury. That’s not going to happen, but it could just be the opening bid in what could be some haggling between the two clubs.
Latest on Shattenkirk
TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: Chris Nichols has a collection of links regarding recent trade speculation swirling about St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Nichols cites TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming the Boston Bruins offered up a first-round pick to the Blues for Shattenkirk. Dreger’s understanding is the Blues might want to take one more run at re-signing the blueliner, who’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. Failing that, they’ll start listening to offers, with the Bruins, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs among the likely suitors.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins are interested in Shattenkirk, but a source also claims the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers expressed interest in the Blues rearguard.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited a report from Dreger claiming the Oilers are interested in Shattenkirk. They also wouldn’t be open to trading Darnell Nurse to Winnipeg for Jacob Trouba. Staples, however, notes that Oilers insider and employee Bob Stauffer repeatedly said the Oilers aren’t interested in Shattenkirk because he’s not interested in coming to Edmonton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also question why the Flyers want in on Shattenkirk. They’ve got promising young blueliners such as Ivan Provorov and Sam Morin waiting in the wings, so I think they want to ensure they’ve got room to promote those guys. Unless they can find a way to move out Mark Streit’s $5.5 million cap hit for next season to make room for Shattenkirk, I don’t think this is a possibility.
Nothing new regarding Bishop.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Tom Jones reports agent Allain Roy, who represents Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, said all’s quiet regarding trade speculation about his client. Bishop has a partial no-trade clause.
TSN 1040 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Bob McKenzie ripped “some dimbulb” citing a comment he made on Twitter to a reader speculating the Calgary Flames might be interested in Bishop and running with it by claiming the Flames had a deal in place for Bishop. McKenzie believes it’s possible the Lightning could trade Bishop this summer, citing possible expansion next June and a cap crunch they face in re-signing some key players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You know you’ve screwed up when McKenzie publicly calls you “a dimbulb”. While it’s possible the Flames could look at Bishop as a goaltending trade option, there’s no certainty he’ll agree to go there.
Latest Panthers news.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM’s Harvey Fialkov reports the following via Twitter on Dmitry Kulikov. “Panthers get inquiries on Kulikov all the time. He’s not on trading block.”
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien reports it sounds like Panthers backup goalie Al Montoya on the free-agent market. O’Brien thinks Montoya could be “a sneaky goaltending gem” for teams that wait out the early stages of the UFA signing frenzies.