Potential summer trade candidates & latest on the Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
SUMMER TRADE CANDIDATES
ESPN.COM: Matthew Coller lists New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash, St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, Anaheim Ducks blueliner Cam Fowler, Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie, Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba and Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell as seven players who could still be traded before the start of the 2016-17 season.
Nash suggests the Minnesota Wild as a potential destination for Nash, suggesting they could move out RFAs such as Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter (both are RFAs in 2017) and Matt Dumba, to make room. He also suggests the Boston Bruins for Shattenkirk, the Buffalo Sabres for Fowler (perhaps offering up forward Zemgus Girgensons), the New York Islanders for Nugent-Hopkins (Isles drawing upon their promising wingers for trade bait), the Oilers for Barrie (Oilers depth in young players could interest the Avs), the Arizona Coyotes for Dumba and the Carolina Hurricanes (who hadn’t reached the cap floor at the time this piece was published) for Hartnell.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would certainly be a bold decision by the Wild to pursue Nash. Still, I think their recent signing of Eric Staal is likely the biggest move they’ll make this summer. They’ll likely evaluate Granlund and Niederreiter’s performances next season. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher recently said he’s hopeful of re-signing Dumba in the next few weeks.
The Bruins are very interested in Shattenkirk, but they’re unwilling to pay the Blues reportedly high asking price of promising winger David Pastrnak as part of the return.
The Sabres are apparently quite keen on Fowler, and I can see them dangling a young winger to the Ducks.
The Isles don’t have what the Oilers likely want (an available skilled puck-moving defenseman) for Nugent-Hopkins, unless Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli wants a reunion with Johnny Boychuk and Isles GM Garth Snow convinces the veteran rearguard to waive his no-movement clause. I don’t see that scenario taking place.
Speaking of the Oilers, they could be very interested in Barrie if he becomes available. Barrie for Nugent-Hopkins, perhaps? Maybe not, as Avs GM Joe Sakic maintains Barrie isn’t going anywhere, even if he heads to arbitration.
Coller’s piece appeared before the Hurricanes announced yesterday’s re-signing of Victor Rask, which pushes them over the $54 million salary-cap floor. As a result, I doubt they have a pressing need to add Hartnell now.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton’s trade talks haven’t panned out yet. Avoiding arbitration hearings with “defenseman Dylan McIlrath (July 21) and forwards Chris Kreider (July 22), Kevin Hayes (July 27) and J.T. Miller (Aug. 2)” now becomes the Rangers’ focus. Gross suggests “it’s not unreasonable” to think the Rangers could trade Kreider if his asking price is too high. He also suggests the Blueshirts management probably hasn’t found this summer’s trade market to their liking yet. While their $12.4 million in salary-cap space is enough to re-sign their four RFAs, it won’t leave much to add other players.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard suggests trading Kreider could be the Rangers’ best shot at improving their roster. He believes Kreider’s size, speed and skills could attract a right-sided defenseman like St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk or Minnesota’s Matt Dumba. Leonard also notes two-way center Derek Stepan has popped up in the trade rumor mill. Moving Stepan wouldn’t make sense even to add a defenseman, as it could leave them thin at center.