NHL Rumor Mill – October 15, 2016
Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Evander Kane and the Arizona Coyotes search for a top-four defenseman.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford believes defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk could get $6 million per season on his next contract, but doubts he’ll get it from the St. Louis Blues. He points out the Blues have a No.1 right-side blueliner in Alex PIetrangelo and a top-four rearguard in Colton Parayko who can quarterback the power play. By re-signing Shattenkirk, Rutherford feels that puts a cap on Parayko’s ice time while keeping a prospect such as Jordan Schmaltz in the minors for “quite a bit longer.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk’s performance and that of the Blues this season will determine if he’s moved by the trade deadline. So will their roster needs by that point. His UFA status in July makes him a rental player unless he’s willing to sign a contract extension. If he’s unwilling to do that, the Blues probably won’t get a lot back in return.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports the Arizona Coyotes remain in the market for a top-four, right-handed defenseman. “Conversations continue with Winnipeg about restricted free-agent holdout Jacob Trouba, and with St. Louis about impending unrestricted free agent Kevin Shattenkirk,” said Morgan.
He notes the Jets are playing hardball with Trouba and doesn’t appear willing to move the blueliner despite his trade request. While the asking price for Shattenkirk remains high, Morgan believes at some point before the trade deadline the Blues will try to move him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have depth in promising young players and prospects to dangle as trade bait for Trouba or Shattenkirk. However, they’ll have to clear cap space if they intend to acquire and sign Trouba. If they pursue Shattenkirk, they’ll need assurances he’ll re-sign with them before committing to a trade. If the speculation about Shattenkirk preferring to join an Eastern Conference club is true, he won’t be a good fit with the Coyotes.
Anaheim Ducks blueliner Cam Fowler is rumored to be a trade candidate, but he’s a left-handed shot. I think the Coyotes will see how this season unfolds and if any other notable right-shooting defensemen become available.
WGR 550’s Paul Hamilton recently reported via Twitter that Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray was asked if he considered trading or suspending left wing Evander Kane. Murray replied many options went through his mind, but noted he wouldn’t have received market value in return for Kane and “you have to make deals that help the team.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Kane out indefinitely with three cracked ribs it’s unlikely he’ll be going anywhere before the March 1 trade deadline.