NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2016
Latest on Brent Burns, Jacob Trouba, Martin Hanzal and Dylan McIlrath in your NHL rumor mill.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer speculating the Edmonton Oilers could pursue San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burn if he decides to test next summer’s unrestricted free agent market. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, however, doubts the Sharks will let their top defenseman go.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers bench boss Todd McLellan coached Burns during his tenure with the Sharks. so there is a connection there. However, the Oilers won’t be the only club willing to open the vault for Burns’ services. I also don’t see the Sharks letting Burns go, but it remains to be seen if the two sides can get a deal done before July 1.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough recently cited agent Kurt Overhardt, who represents Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, saying his camp isn’t concerned about the Dec. 1 deadline for re-signing restricted free agents. If Trouba isn’t signed by then, he becomes ineligible to play the remainder of this season. Having requested a trade, the blueliner is currently withholding his services and is back home in Michigan. Overhardt believes there’s plenty of time to work out a transaction that’s mutually beneficial to both sides.
TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: Appearing yesterday on TSN 1050, Bob McKenzie doesn’t get the sense that Trouba is close to being dealt. Complicating things is the issue of a new contract for the 22-year-old rearguard.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see things picking up on the Trouba front until mid-November. With the Dec. 1 deadline looming by that point, both sides will feel the tension. Much will depend upon the Jets performance by that point. If they’re playing poorly, management could feel pressured to use Trouba as a trade chip to bolster their lineup. If they’re playing well, Trouba could be forced to return to the Jets or miss the remainder of the season.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan recently reported Coyotes center Martin Hanzal could put his contract talks on ice until the end of this season. He said he wants to put his focus on playing hockey. Hanzal is eligible for UFA status next summer. Coyotes GM John Chayka said he remains hopeful of re-signing the veteran center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Coyotes are out of playoff contention by February, Chayka could start fielding trade offers for Hanzal.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is likely listening to any trade offers for defenseman Dylan McIlrath. However, the 6’5″, 220-pounder needs to prove he’s an everyday NHL blueliner if he’s to attract interest from rival clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McIlrath’s only played one game this season. That won’t enhance his trade value.