NHL Rumor Mill – September 1, 2016
Updates on Jacob Trouba, Johnny Gaudreau, Kris Russell & more in your NHL rumor mill.
TROUBA, GAUDREAU AND RUSSELL
NHL NETWORK (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports some teams earlier this summer tried to potentially talk trade with the Winnipeg Jets regarding restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba. At one point the Jets sought scoring, but their selection of promising winger Patrik Laine at the 2016 NHL Draft appears to address that issue. Friedman said he isn’t sure where things are going, as the Jets don’t have many needs right now, but he feels it could take a great offer to pry Trouba away from the Jets now.
Friedman also said there’s nothing imminent to report regarding contract talks between the Calgary Flames and RFA winger Johnny Gaudreau. It sounds like both sides want a long-term deal, with Gaudreau probably seeking a big number.
Regarding unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell, Friedman expects the blueliner is getting close to reaching a decision on where he’ll sign. He believes Russell’s preference is to remain out west and wouldn’t be surprised if he returned to Calgary, though the Flames blueline is very crowded right now. “Unless they can do something there with one of their existing contracts, I’m not sure there’s room,” said Friedman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still expect the Jets will get Trouba re-signed to a two-year bridge contract. They’ll want to evaluate him over that period before determining if they’ll invest in an expensive, long-term deal with him.
Gaudreau will get a seven- or eight-year deal worth closer to $7 million than the $6.375 million per season linemate Sean Monahan recently agreed to. I don’t see Russell returning with the Flames, especially after they re-sign Gaudreau to his rich new deal. Unless they ship out a contract or someone goes on LTIR, they simply won’t have the cap room.
PTO OPTIONS FOR THE OILERS, WILD AND DEVILS.
EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson reports Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli could bring in a veteran center on a professional tryout offer to potentially fill their fourth-line center spot. Matheson suggests David Legwand, Mike Richards and Stephen Gionto as possible options. Paul Gaustad would also be an obvious choice, but he will announce his retirement within the next couple of weeks.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is “looking at different options for pro tryouts to act as insurance policies if some vying for spots show in camp they aren’t ready.” He speculates Paul Gaustad, Lauri Korpikoski, Steve Downie and R.J. Umberger could be among their external options.
NJ.COM: Chris Ryan lists defensemen Matt Bartkowski, Kyle Quincey and Christian Ehrhoff and forwards Tyler Kennedy, Steve Downie and Brad Boyes as potential PTO options for the New Jersey Devils.