NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2016
Latest on Scott Hartnell plus updates on the Ducks and Sharks in your NHL rumor mill.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell has rescinded his previous agreement to waive his no-movement clause. Earlier this summer, Hartnell agreed to waive the clause and provided Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen with a list of acceptable trade destinations. But after two months of waiting for a trade, Hartnell’s now decided he doesn’t want this uncertainty hanging over him for the upcoming season.
Portzline reports the Jackets never stated why they wanted to trade Hartnell. pointing out no one on the Jackets has scored more over the last two season and only Nick Foligno tallied more points. He wonders if it was for salary-cap purposes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hartnell’s contract runs through 2018-19 and his no-movement covers the remaining tenure. He was a fixture in the rumor mill leading up to last season’s trade deadline and earlier this summer. Everything I read and heard about Hartnell’s trade status was tied to cap purposes, needing to clear space to re-sign key players, but they addressed that issue this summer by buying out Fedor Tyutin and Jared Boll. Hartnell’s decision should bring an end to any lingering trade chatter for now. However, if he or the Jackets struggle this season, perhaps management will ask him again to waive his clause before the Feb. 28 trade deadline.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens wonders how long defenseman Cam Fowler will remain with the Anaheim Ducks, noting trade speculation dogged the 24-year-old blueliner this summer. Instead of being dealt for a scoring forward or to free up cap space to re-sign rearguard Hampus Lindholm, Fowler remains with the Ducks. If promising defenseman Shea Theodore makes the lineup, Stephen speculates the Ducks could be forced to make some kind of move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Awaiting Theodore’s performance (and that of promising Brandon Montour) in training camp and preseason could be one reason why the Ducks haven’t made a move yet. The cost of re-signing Lindholm and winger Rickard Rakell is also another likely factor. The Ducks could use another skilled scoring winger and Fowler is the best trade bait to land that type of player.
CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz speculates San Jose Sharks forwards Tommy Wingels and Matt Nieto could become trade candidates this season. If promising Timo Meier or any other rookie cracks the roster, the Sharks will have to trade or waive someone. Kurz considers Wingels “the likeliest choice”.
Nieto, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to consistently produce and also risks losing his roster spot to a rookie. Kurz suggests Nieto might benefit from a change of scenery. “There should be another team out there willing to part with a mid-to-low round draft pick in exchange for his services, and his light salary would make him an easy player to move,” he writes.