Rumors From The Blogosphere – August 28, 2016
It’s a quiet day for media-generated trade rumors and speculation, so here’s a look at what’s been recently kicked around by the hockey rumor bloggers. Enjoy!
HOCKEY BUZZ: Eklund claims a source says the Montreal Canadiens are “aggressively pursuing” Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov. Habs defenseman Alexi Emelin is believed in the deal along with a couple of less significant payers. The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals made serious inquiries. Eklund also claims the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders contacted the Oilers in the past, though the Isles were more interested in Jordan Eberle.
After losing out on Jimmy Vesey, the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are talking again to the St. Louis Blues about defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The Canadiens and New Jersey Devils could also have interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have sufficient depth on the right side (Brendan Gallagher, Alex Radulov, Andrew Shaw) so I don’t see where Yakupov is a fit there. The young Oilers winger can play on the left side and the Canadiens are thin there, but he’s predominantly used to play as a right wing. Dealing away their sole shutdown defenseman in Emelin doesn’t make sense for the Habs, unless they’re very confident one of their prospects can replace Emelin (unlikely) or they find a suitable replacement via trade or free agency. I’m not convinced the Bruins and Flyers are interested in Yakupov as he doesn’t seem like the type of player they want. The Capitals have sufficient depth on the wings for the upcoming season.
As for the Isles, I also don’t see them pursuing Yakupov. They’ve already made their significant offseason moves by adding Andrew Ladd , P-A Parenteau and Jason Chimera. Their biggest issue right now is finding a taker for goalie Jaroslav Halak.
The Bruins would probably love to land Shattenkirk, but they will likely want assurances they can re-sign him before his eligibility next summer for unrestricted free agency. I don’t see the Leafs gambling on a blueliner who could bolt via free agency next July.
THE HOCKEY PRESS: notes New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash has been a frequent topic of trade speculation this summer. He’s been linked to the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, to the Anaheim Ducks for blueliner Cam Fowler and to the Buffalo Sabres for rearguard Rasmus Ristolainen. They claim the Blues haven’t been in contact with the Rangers, but say the Ducks “have discussed a POSSIBLE Cam Fowler/Hampus Lindholm for Rick Nash deal in the past week” They also claim the Canadiens and Ottawa Senators have interest in Nash, while the Sabres and New Jersey Devils contacted the Rangers about Nash in the past week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash-for-Shattenkirk has kicked around a while in the media. Nash-for-Fowler, less so. That’s because the Ducks are a budget team and I daresay Nash’s $7.8 million cap hit and his age (32) would concern them. If the Ducks do shop a defenseman, it won’t be Lindholm.
I highly doubt the Sabres will part with Ristolainen, who was their best defenseman last season and has a very bright future. Nash has a 12-team list of acceptable trade destinations. I don’t believe rebuilding clubs, such as the Sabres and Devils, are on it. As per the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, no Canadian teams are on Nash’s list. If the Habs and Sens have interest in him, they’re wasting their time.
In other speculation, the Ducks and Canadiens are “DEFINITELY” interested in Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin. They speculate the Stars want a defenseman or a starting goaltender on a cheap contract in return or picks and/or prospects.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars GM Jim Nill claims negotiations are going well with the Nichushkin camp and he’s looking forward to getting him signed. Nill expects a big year for the young winger. Doesn’t sound like he’s looking to move him.