NHL Rumor Mill – November 26, 2016
Lists of potential trade bait and trade suggestions in your NHL rumor mill.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen engages in some “Black Friday shopping” with some trade proposals. He suggests the New York Rangers pursue Calgary Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton, though he speculates the Flames could ask for forward J.T. Miller in return. Despite the decline in Hamilton’s production and $5.75 million cap hit, Allen believes he could improve under a different system.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen acknowledges there would be some cap difficulties for the Rangers in taking on Hamilton’s salary. He also doubts the Rangers will part with Miller, who’s among their leading scorers this season. If the Rangers were to pursue Hamilton, I think that’s an offseason move.
Allen also suggests Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane could provide the New York Islanders with an offensive spark. Noting the Sabres’ need for a defenseman, he suggests offering up Thomas Hickey or Calvin de Haan.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This would be a desperation move by the Isles. I doubt they go that route. Sure, Kane could improve if dealt to the Isles and skates alongside John Tavares. Then again, he could end up being a bust like Andrew Ladd.
He also suggests the Boston Bruins pursue St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, ” If the Bruins believe they can persuade Shattenkirk to sign in Boston, it would be worth to overpay to acquire him”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll have to be a significant overpayment. The Blues see themselves as a championship contender this season. While they could lose Shattenkirk for nothing next summer, I think they’ll keep him for the remainder of this season.
Allen recommends the Montreal Canadiens package a young player and a draft pick to the Arizona Coyotes for center Martin Hanzal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Problem is, I don’t think the Canadiens have the young player that can tempt the Coyotes. They’re certainly not moving Alex Galchenyuk or Brendan Gallagher, and I don’t think they want to move young blueliner Nathan Beaulieu.
He also wonders if the Detroit Red Wings might offer up one of their young forward prospects to the Carolina Hurricanes for 23-year-old defenseman Ryan Murphy. The Colorado Avalanche, Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks could also be interested in Murphy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy could be an affordable gamble, but the Wings might prefer to part with a draft pick instead of a forward prospect.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun lists (in no particular order) Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane, Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop and Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman as players who could be moved at the March 1 trade deadline.
LeBrun believes the Sabres would be open to moving Kane for a top-four defenseman. He feels the Coyotes will keep trying to re-sign Hanzal, but could shop him if he’s not under contract by March 1. He suggests the Montreal Canadiens could be among the suitors.
LeBrun wonders if the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars could inquire into Fleury’s availability. He also wonders if the Lightning will consider trading Bishop, a pending UFA, before the trade deadline or keep him for a possible run at a championship this spring. Wideman, who’s also eligible this summer for UFA status, is a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot who still has some bite to his game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s trade stock is down this season, so the Sabres probably won’t get that top-four defenseman. If the Coyotes put Hanzal on the block, it’s believed they want a good young player who can help them right away.
I think the Flames and Stars could look at Fleury again, though they’ll have to move one of their current goalies to make room for him. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said he would evaluate his tandem over the course of this season.
Lightning GM Steve Yzerman’s suggested he’s comfortable with keeping Bishop for the entire season, even at the risk of losing him next summer to free agency.
Wideman could attract some interest by the trade deadline. I expect he’ll get moved by then.