Rumors from the Blogosphere – September 6, 2016

by | Sep 6, 2016 | Rumors | 29 comments

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler remains a hot topic in the NHL trade rumor mill.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler remains a fixture in the NHL trade rumor mill.

 The Labor Day long weekend didn’t generate many NHL trade & free agent rumors from the media, so here’s a look at what’s been kicking around the blogosphere for the past week. Enjoy!

HOCKEY BUZZ: Eklund claims unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell could be close to signing with a team. He’s hearing the Calgary Flames are a possible destination, while the Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils are also in the mix. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also speculated last week that Russell could return to the Flames, but doesn’t see a fit there unless they free up some salary-cap space. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News recently dismissed the notion of Russell returning to the Stars (“that ship has sailed”). As for the Sens and Devils, I think they’ll evaluate their rosters during training camp before deciding if they need another defenseman. 

He also claims the Devils are in on St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Anaheim Ducks rearguard Cam Fowler, as well as UFA d-man Dennis Seidenberg. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think if the Blues were keen to move Shattenkirk in the offseason, they would’ve done so by now. GM Doug Armstrong last month indicated he expects Shattenkirk to be in the Blues lineup when the season begins. As for Fowler, the Ducks need a scoring left winger. Unless they’re willing to accept oft-injured and expensive veteran winger Mike Cammalleri, I don’t see a fit there. 

Eklund also adds the Buffalo Sabres continue to have some interest in Stars restricted free agent winger Valeri Nichushkin. The Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks also want to be kept in the loop if Nichushkin’s contract talks with the Stars breaks down.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars GM Jim Nill recently said he expects to have Nichushkin re-signed and is looking forward to seeing the young winger improve this season. If that improvement fails to materialize, perhaps Nill shops Nichushkin at the trade deadline. I doubt that happens now.

THE HOCKEY PRESS:  The Vancouver Canucks could be interested Arizona Coyotes forwards Tobias Rieder or Martin Hanzal. The Canadiens also have interest in Hanzal and could shop center Tomas Plekanec.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Word out of Arizona is the Coyotes have no intention of moving Rieder or Hanzal. If the Habs were interested in the often-sidelined Hanzal, I doubt they’ll part with the healthier and more consistent Plekanec. 

The Edmonton Oilers are still shopping winger Nail Yakupov and were in contact with the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is also receiving interest. If the Oilers struggle this season, winger Jordan Eberle could also be moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers and Hurricanes have depth in defensemen, which could make them attractive trade targets for the Oilers. I don’t see Nugent-Hopkins moving right now. I expect they’ll keep him for the upcoming season and see how he performs on the third line. 

If the Tampa Bay Lightning trade Ben Bishop to a team like the Dallas Stars, they could also try including center Valtteri Filppula into the deal in hopes of landing Patrick Sharp. They could then try to re-sign Sharp, a UFA next summer, to a short-term deal as a “Plan B” if for some reason RFA Nikita Kucherov doesn’t re-sign this year or Jonathan Drouin leaves next year. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov will be re-signed and Drouin won’t leave next year unless the Bolts decide to trade him. I don’t see Sharp fitting into the Bolts plans. In addition to Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat must be re-signed next summer.

Sources confirm” the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues sought winger Chris Kreider in “Fowler/Shattenkirk deals” but the Rangers aren’t willing to move him. The Rangers wish to move Rick Nash, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, with the Leafs interested in Girardi. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Leafs pursuing Girardi. He’s a fading asset and wouldn’t be a good fit in the rebuilding Leafs long-term plans. 







29 Comments

  1. Dear Lord please dont let the Flyers trade for any of Edmontons garbage.

    Thank you

    Lol

    • Hextall has to be one of the worst gms in the league! He couldn’t trade a dollar away for a dime?

      • Intelligent comment. Especially from a Bruin fan-considering who the GM is for the Bruins

      • Hextall hasn’t done anything wrong I’m just responding to Jull the way he talks about every other gm in the league! I haven’t liked what Sweeney has done backes and Miller signings were terrible imo

      • Axtually, I think David Backes is an excellent signing by the Bruins, as are bottom six guys, Riley Nash and Dominic Moore.

    • Look at you Ron Jull talkin like you guys got the best team out there.

      • Lol, one thing Ron Jull doesn’t do is claim that his team is the best out there.

    • I’d take a shot at Yak, say for Streit. It would move an expiring contract off the books, I know he’s 39 and yada yada but he can still be a legit offensive dman, he had 52 points just 2 seasons ago. He just has no spot with Ghost around, Provo likely coming. I’d think Edmonton lacks a vet, offensive type dman, I know they say Larsson will do such and such, but he hasn’t proven an offensive side of his game yet. Yak maybe needs a change, playing with G & JV might be worth the gamble. The Flyers can say they are comfortable with the left side of the roster but their’s just no way!

  2. Does anyone know if Smid is fit to play? If destined for LTIR Calgary may be able to make the dollars work to bring Russell back.

    • I live in the Calgary area and I haven’t heard a word on Smid. But if the Flames are still talking to UFA’s I have to believe that they intend to put him on LTIR. It would be the only way they could make the money work when they sign Gaudreau.

    • There has been hints coming out of Edmonton all last week that Wideman could be a target for Edmonton. Would clear a spot for Russell. Stauffer was hinting that if something was to happen it would be during or near the end of the World Cup.

      • I could see that as long it’s Yakupov going to the Flames. This gives Yakupov a new home and takes Wideman’s cap hit off of the Flames books and gets the Flames a better top 6 LWer than what they already have. Also the Oilers have the cap space to take on Wideman’s cap hit and gives them a RH defence man that can be put on the number pairing for the power play. Although taking Wideman who the refs may target this year may not be a good thing.

    • You mean there’s actually something you’re clueless on? Something WE needed to help you out on? But you seem to have all the answers.

  3. Does Anaheim still need a LW? With the acquisition of Vermette I assume he plays 3rd line C moving Rackell back to LW a position he played at the start of last season before moving back to C.

    Rackell, Getzlaf, Perry.
    Cogliano, Kesler, Silfverberg.
    Ritchie, Vermette, Garbutt.
    Raymond, Wagner, Boll.

    Cogliano isn’t the ideal #2LW but this is 1 of the best shut down lines in the NHL & they contribute just enough offense to still garner 2nd line minutes.

    • Seriously Striker? Anaheim doesnt need a LW anymore because we have Cogliano and Silfverberg as 2nd line wingers? Ritchie is going to go from AHL talent last year to Cup caliber 3rd line left wing?

      Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg is supposed to be the 3rd line! And Vermette isnt a 2C. That means they still need an entire 2nd line since none of Ritchie, Vermette, Garbutt are 2nd liners. Remember the Penguins had Kessel, Bonino, and Hagelin as their 3rd line. Cogliano-Kesler-Silfvberg is comparable, maybe, although we have no Kessel. Kesler and Silfverberg is similar to Bonino + Hagelin so you could argue the penguins third line was BETTER than the 2nd line you listed. That just proves the Ducks still need major additions, an entire 2nd line.

      • To compare any 3rd line to the penguins supposed third line doesn’t work. The Pens spread out their talent and ended up with 3 quality lines where we can debate long and hard which one was number 3.

      • That was & is currently Anaheim’s 2nd line. It went up against the other teams best line every night yet still generated decent offense considering. 2 of the 3; Kesler & Silfverberg, players both managed to score 20 goals essentially playing shut down roles & I think Silfverberg has far more to give. He just hasn’t been able to put it all together for some reason as yet. Rackell also has tons of growth coming.

        Your HBK line was put together late in the season & played together through out the playoffs. Kessel was a much better fit with Bonino. Kessel likes to carry the puck which didn’t blend well with Crosby & Malkin who like to carry the puck as well. This certainly was 1 of the best 3rd lines if not the best in the NHL when assembled last season.

        Playing with Bonino on the 3rd line significantly reduced the quality of checking this unit was forced to play against as Jeff essentially eluded to. There is no direct way to compare these 2 lines & the roles & responsibilities each have.

        Considering Anaheim’s salary structure & as I addressed, Vermette muddying the waters at C with Getzlaf & Kesler locked in at 1 & 2 the top 6 in Anaheim with either Rackell or Vermette moving to LW seems likely to me as both can’t play #3 C.

        Ritchie having played 33 games in the NHL as a rookie last season is ready to continue his development as a 3rd line winger & will move up as soon as able to handle the added responsibility.

        If a Dman is moved & I assume 1 will be eventually a winger on an ELC or decent contract would appear to be returning but I’m not convinced this will necessarily happen till the off season just prior to the expansion draft. It could just as easily happen tomorrow. It all depends on the return.

        This is essentially the very team Anaheim iced last season less Perron; post Hagelin, who in some way has been replaced by Vermette. No other changes may be forth coming & this was 1 of the best teams in the NHL last season in almost any catagory you choose to use. They lead the league in GA, PK efficiency & PP%. their 5 on 5 scoring struggled mightily early.

        The 1 oddity being they couldn’t buy a win in their 1st 25 games. From that point on they were the best team in the NHL. From January on 2nd to only Pittsburgh I believe. I have them as a serious cup contender although just getting out of the Pacific is a feat in & of it’s self.

      • So you asked a question, someone’s opinion just to say you don’t agree and answer it yourself?

  4. If Smid is healthy buy him out if not LTIR. Either way done and done… Don’t think Russell will replace him. A good young player like Kylington ready to step in.

    • When is the next buy out period?

    • Actually, from what I just read because the Flames didn’t have an arbitration case they don’t have a second buy out period, so LTIR is their only option for Smid to free up cap space to sign Russell.

      • Exactly

  5. Calgary clearly needs to lock in some final pieces. The ducks as well. I think vermette could play 2/3 center as needed. He did just get a cup with Chicago. Their problem isn’t depth it’s quality top scoring. Which is a huge factor in the west. Ironically, it was why the sharks couldn’t top the pens. They added Bodker to address this and are riding on his addition and donskois improvement. There are some options left for teams in both situations. The Hudler pick up was along these lines. I’ll suspect some roster changing moves during World Cup. I’m excited for World Cup cause it means hockey!

  6. Umm…RNH third line? My goodness is that a wording mistake? Second line and draisatl on the wing most likely. Third line he says…here we go downplaying oilers players talent lets get the haters making comments and going now.

    • Don’t get your knickers in a twist. Nobody’s “downplaying oilers players talent.” Even the Oilers own depth chart lists RNH as their third-line center.
      http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=33403

  7. One of the things I’m most excited about is watching Team North America. Ironically, the inclusion of team north america and ‘team’ europe is the reason I dislike the idea of the world cup.
    Whats the plan if Team Europe ends up winning? Who’s anthem plays?

    • Maybe all of them. Then the crowd’ll be standing with their thumbs up their butts for half an hour!

    • Who cares. This concept of playing national anthem is antiquated for me. I’m a proud Canadian but could care less if they played the anthems or not, by that point I’ve stopped watching.

      I’m with you. I struggle with the format. I don’t like the European or NA under 23 team. If I’m the American’s I’m not happy either. A number of their kids should be on the US team & at the very least McDavid on Canada’s team.

      That said I will watch & enjoy.

  8. 2016 Stanley CUp Champs…

    PITTSBURGH PENGUINS!!!