NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2016
Latest on Hampus Lindholm, Dustin Brown, Ondrej Pavelec, Jacob Trouba and more in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports teams with interest continue to call the Winnipeg Jets expressing interest in defenseman Jacob Trouba. It’s believed the turning point in this standoff between the Jets and Trouba, who requested a trade several weeks ago, is mid-November. That’s because the Dec. 1 deadline for re-signing free agents will be fast approaching by that point. Dreger claims some believe the Jets would happily re-sign Trouba to a six-year deal at $5.5 million per season, but it’s up to Trouba to decide that it’s best for him to return to action.
Dreger also reports the Los Angeles Kings haven’t made a decision yet whether to replace starting goalie Jonathan Quick, who’s currently sidelined with a reported groin injury. It’s expected a decision could be made in the next day or two if Quick requires surgery. If he doesn’t, he could return sooner than the three-four month period rumors suggest he’d need for recovery. There’s rumors linking the Kings to Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who’s currently in the minors, but the Kings lack the cap space to take on his $3.9 million cap hit. The Jets would have to take back a salary or eat half of Pavelec’s contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Quick does require surgery, the Kings could have little choice but to look into the trade market for help. Their current tandem of Jeff Zatkoff and Peter Budaj can’t replace Quick’s strong goaltending.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Anaheim Ducks hope to re-sign free-agent defenseman Hampus Lindholm to a deal comparable to Buffalo Sabres blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen ($5.4 million annual cap hit). It’s thought the two sides were $700K apart but Friedman feels they’re closer. The sticking point could be if it’s a six-year term, as that buys up two years of Lindholm’s eligibility for UFA status. There’s also speculation Lindholm could be getting some pressure from his Ducks teammates to get a deal done.
A rival general manager said Ducks GM Bob Murray isn’t keen to trade Cam Fowler for picks/prospects as it won’t make his team better. A couple of executives suggest the Ducks might have to move two players, rather than one, to free up cap room for Lindholm’s new contract. Simon Despres recent injury (concussion) could give Murray some cap wiggle room.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Check out my recent column for The Hockey News for my take on how the Ducks could free up cap space without moving Fowler.
Friedman reports there was an unusual rumor claiming the Dallas Stars had interest in Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown, but that speculation was shot down.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Understandably so. Brown is in the third season of an eight-year, $47 million contract plus his production significantly dropped off in recent years. This summer, he was relieved of the Kings captaincy.
There was also reports the Kings contacted the Winnipeg Jets regarding demoted starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec, but also some firm denials.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As TSN’s Darren Dreger noted above, Pavelec’s $3.9 million cap hit and the Kings limited cap space makes a deal unlikely.
St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong would love to add some experience at some point this season. Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks will try to get a forward. Defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk might be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman believes the Blackhawks will have to add a sweetener with van Riemsdyk to land that forward.