NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2016
Latest on Jacob Trouba, Martin Hanzal, the Canucks, Kings and more in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports it’s possible the Winnipeg Jets could still trade recently re-signed defenseman Jacob Trouba, but they’re under no obligation to do so and there was no promise of a trade from the club. If a team is willing to pay a steep price for the blueliner, Dreger thinks the Jets could listen. It’s not on the front burner right now.
Pierre LeBrun still thinks Trouba could still consider or welcome a change of scenery over the next two years. He believes Trouba will still play hard for the Jets, which could improve his trade value.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Jets moving Trouba now, and he’s rescinded his trade request. The trade speculation might ramp up again next summer, but I believe he’s going to be with Winnipeg for the duration of this contract. After that, we’ll see how things shake out.
LeBrun speculates Arizona Coyotes 6’6″ center Martin Hanzal could become a target by the March 1 trade deadline. He’s an unrestricted free agent next summer and could seek a long-term deal, whereas the Coyotes could prefer a shorter term. They’re loaded with promising young centers and don’t want to block any of them when they’re ready. If Hanzal hits the trade block, LeBrun suspects the Coyotes will want at least a young player who can help them right away, rather than picks or prospects.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll certainly be worth watching what happens with Hanzal and the Coyotes over the course of this season. They obviously won’t part with him now, but if they’re out of playoff contention leading up to March 1, Hanzal could hit the trade block if they’re unable to re-sign him by then. The only concern about him is his long history of injuries. When healthy, he’s a very effective two-way center.
Bob McKenzie said there’s no willingness by the struggling Vancouver Canucks right now to make changes behind the bench. However, if the losses keep piling up, pressure could mount to replace current head coach Willie Desjardins. If that were to happen, McKenzie speculates they could turn to Travis Green, the coach of their AHL affiliate in Utica.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The remainder of this month could tell the tale. If the Canucks don’t snap out of this tailspin soon, a coaching change will be in order. They’ll have little choice, as there’s not a trade coming that’s going to right the ship.
LeBrun also reports the solid play of Los Angeles Kings call-up goaltender Peter Budaj (2.06 GAA, .912 SP) alleviates the need for management to make a move between the pipes. Jeff Zatkoff’s return from injury also means they can hold off shopping for goaltending help. If their play deteriorates, however, they could be forced back into the trade market.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also reports Trouba’s affordable new deal (two years, $6 million) helps his trade value, but he doesn’t see the Jets lowering their high asking price. A strong performance by Trouba over the course of this deal will also improve his bargaining power in 2018, when he’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and unrestricted free agency over the horizon. Friedman doubts the Jets were close to moving Trouba before he re-signed.
Meanwhile, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff moves on to Alexander Burmistrov. Friedman believes everyone on both sides feels it’s time for a change of scenery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burmistrov’s career numbers aren’t that good (only two points in 13 games this season, only 80 in 287 career games), so the Jets won’t get much back in return. However, he still young (25) and carries an afforable $1.55 million cap hit. Teams in need of affordable depth on the wings could come calling
Friedman also reports teams are hoping the struggling Canucks get desperate enough to part with “2015 first-rounder Brock Boeser and 2016 version Olli Juolevi.” He doesn’t see that happening unless they get an incredible return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And they won’t get that type of return. As I said earlier, there’s no trade coming to help the Canucks now. They’ll have to consider other options, like a coaching change.