Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 9, 2016
Several goalie situations worth watching this season in your NHL rumor mill.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen lists five goaltending situations worth watching in the upcoming NHL season.
Once Matt Murray returns from injury, Allen wonders if the Pittsburgh Penguins will trade veteran Marc-Andre Fleury if the opportunity presents itself.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is an unrestricted free agent and promising Andrei Vasilevskiy could challenge for the starter’s job this season. However, Allen speculates the Lightning could retain Bishop this season and let him walk via free agency next summer.
Inconsistency plagued Detroit Red Wings netminders Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard last season.
If Dallas Stars goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi fail to improve this season, GM Jim Nill could be forced to seek an upgrade between the pipes by the March 1 trade deadline.
The Florida Panthers plan to give James Riemer 35-plus starts this season to ease the workload of aging Roberto Luongo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Penguins at some point could trade Fleury, though it could take until the days lead up to next June’s NHL expansion draft for that move to happen. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has already suggested he could retain Bishop for this season. The Red Wings could try moving Howard this season, especially if Mrazek finally settles in as their starter. The Stars goalie situation will bear watching if their current tandem fails to improve.
WINNIPEG SUN/NBC SPORTS: Ken Wiebe reports the Jets could have a logjam in goal with Ondrej Pavelec, Connor Hellebucyk and Michael Hutchinson. As teams usually carry just two goalies, Hellebucyk could be demoted or Pavelec or Hutchinson placed on waivers. Pavelec was expected to start on Saturday but Hutchinson instead got the call. Joey Alfieri listed several possibilities, among them trading or waiving Pavelec or the Jets theoretically shopping Hutchinson and giving him an additionally start so interested clubs can get another look at him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Wiebe suggests, the path of least resistance is demoting Hellebucyk, who is exempt from waivers, and starting the season with Pavelec and Hutchinson. Still, this could be a situation worth watching over the next several days.