NHL Rumor Mill – August 9, 2016
Updates on the Red Wings, Devils and Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
MLIVE.COM: In his weekly mailbag, Ansar Khan expressed surprise former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey hasn’t been signed yet by another NHL club. He believes Quincey wants to return to Colorado, where he lives in the offseason, but the Avalanche’s defense appears set for 2016-17. Khan suggests the New Jersey Devils as a possible option for Quincey, noting they only have five defensemen on their NHL roster.
Khan also doubts the Red Wings will have interest in unrestricted free agent blueliner James Wisniewski. He points out Wings GM Ken Holland wants a top-pairing blueliner or a best a No. 3 rearguard. Khan feels Holland wants to add a younger blueliner and notes the Wings would have to shed salary to sign a UFA.
Khan also profiled Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, saying the winger must rebound from a disappointing 2015-16 performance. He also suggests Nyquist could be a trade chip for a top-three defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quincey could be an affordable short-term signing for clubs seeking experienced blueline depth. I agree with Khan that the Wings won’t pursue Wisniewski and his suggestion Nyquist could become a trade candidate.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils were suggested by some observers as possible candidates to land 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on Aug.15.
Gross also reports Devils GM Ray Shero has said any decision on a possible return of long-time Devils forward Patrik Elias won’t be made until September. It’ll also depend upon Elias’ health and desire to return.
He also doesn’t rule out Rangers GM Jeff Gorton making other improvement to his roster, but feels the Blueshirts will head into preseason with their current roster. Last month, the Rangers shipped center Derick Brassard to the Ottawa Senators for center Mika Zibanejad.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess is Vesey signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs (his father and brother work for the Leafs), his hometown Boston Bruins or the Chicago Blackhawks, who have a winning pedigree and can afford to sign him to an entry-level deal.
It would be quite the swerve if Vesey signs with the Rangers or Devils. The Rangers are in the midst of transitioning toward younger talent, but it could take them a couple of seasons to compete that change. Despite the Devils acquisition this summer of Taylor Hall, they’re still in the rebuilding process.