Latest on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyson Barrie and more in your NHL rumor mill.
NUGENT-HOPKINS IGNORING TRADE SPECULATION.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough cites the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reporting Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins saying he tries not to pay much attention to rumors suggesting he could be traded this summer. “If it happens, it happens,” he told Matheson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nugent-Hopkins was a fixture in the NHL rumor mill last season. Indeed, I expected he would be dealt for a top-four defenseman this summer. Instead, it was Taylor Hall who was dealt.
There’s some internet speculation claiming the Oilers and Minnesota Wild discussed a deal that would ship RNH and Benoit Pouliot to the Wild for defenseman Matt Dumba and winger Jason Zucker. With the Wild carrying over $4.7 million in cap space for 2016-17, they can’t afford to take on the combined salaries ($10 million annually) of Nugent-Hopkins and Pouliot.
LATEST ON TYSON BARRIE
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater, a long-time Colorado Avalanche chronicler, citing a source claiming the Avs aren’t worried about defenseman Tyson Barrie’s upcoming arbitration hearing on July 29. They control Barrie’s rights for three more seasons and could accept the two-year option from the arbiter and re-sign him for a year after that. The same source said trade rumors about Barrie are unfounded, but Staples wonders if the possibly contentious relationship between Barrie and Avs coach Patrick Roy could keep the trade speculation alive.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly seems like the Avs are prepared to accept whatever award Barrie gets via arbitration. We’ll find out very soon what their plan is for Barrie in the short term.
ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON THE BRUINS
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty recently replied to questions from Boston Bruins over what else the club might have in store this summer. He notes the Bruins are still believed among the front runners for college prospect and pending UFA Jimmy Vesey. He also expects the Bruins could pull the trigger on a trade to add a puck-moving defenseman. If the Bruins’ season goes south, Haggerty hopes they’ll explore trading Zdeno Chara at the trade deadline. He doesn’t see the Bruins trading winger Brad Marchand to the Anaheim Ducks for Hampus Lindholm and Chris Wagner. If the Bruins sign Vesey, he speculates they could offer up Frank Vatrano or Ryan Spooner and a first-round pick to the St. Louis Blues for Kevin Shattenkirk, or perhaps David Krejci to Shattenkirk during the season.