NHL Rumor Mill – October 17, 2016
The New York Rangers could use Jacob Trouba, plus a list of next year’s top-10 UFAs in your NHL rumor mill.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba would fill a major hole on the New York Ranger blueline. He speculates the Rangers might land Trouba, who requested a trade before the start of this season, with a package of promising blueliner Brady Skjei and either winger Chris Kreider or versatile forward J.T. Miller. He even suggests adding rearguard Dylan McIlrath in the deal.
However, Brooks feels that price is too high, adding the Rangers don’t need to be too hasty on this. He also suggests the more opportune time to add a skilled right-handed defenseman could be via free agency next July, when St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk might be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, while the Rangers could use a young defenseman with Trouba’s two-way abilities, they shouldn’t rush into things and overpay for the privilege. Brooks also points out the Rangers aren’t exactly brimming with depth among their top-nine forwards that they can afford to part with this season. I don’t doubt Rangers GM Jeff Gorton contacted the Jets to inquire about their asking price for Trouba, but he could lack the assets needed to land the young blueliner.
SPORTSNET: Earlier this month, Luke Fox listed San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, Sharks center Joe Thornton, St. Louis Blues rearguard Kevin Shattenkirk, Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott, Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, Montreal Canadiens right wing Alexander Radulov, Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie, Dallas Stars winger Patrick Sharp and Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner as his top-10 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2017.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can quibble about where some of these players sit on Fox’s list, but there’s no question they are the best of the bunch. Of these, I anticipate Burns, Thornton, Oshie and Alzner to re-sign with their current clubs. Shattenkirk is most likely to be traded, followed by Bishop. Over the course of a long season, however, things can happen that affects their status. It’ll be worthwhile keeping an eye on these players throughout 2016-17.