Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 27, 2016
Latest on the Vancouver Canucks plus an update on Ryan Spooner in your NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning hopes to re-sign center Bo Horvat to a long-term contract extension. Friedman suggests Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell ($3.85 million annual average value) and Carolina’s Victor Rask ($4 million AAV) as possible comparables, noting Horvat’s upward trend in performance. He points out Horvat is represented by Newport Agency, who could wait until season’s end to talk contract.
Nick Kypreos reports Benning hasn’t given up on the season and is still shopping for a scoring forward. Teams are calling about Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev but are being told he’s unavailable.
VANCOUVER SUN: Among the top-10 reasons for Canucks fans to feel good about the club’s mediocre start, Jason Botchford believes the club can start their trade-deadline plans now. “The Canucks could potentially trade Burrows, Ryan Miller, and, if they ever wrap their heads around a full-tilt rebuild, Jannik Hansen, Alex Edler and, yes, the Sedin twins,” writes Botchford.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Horvat pushes to be re-signed now, I have no doubt his agents will wait until next summer to talk contract The 21-year-old is among this season’s few bright spots for the Canucks. After netting 40 points as a sophomore in 2015-16, he’s on pace for a 55-point campaign this season. Surpassing last season’s numbers will certainly put him in range of a $4 million per season contract.
Tanev could be Benning’s best trade chip to land a scoring forward, but I’m not surprised he’s reluctant to part with the blueliner. Tanev’s under contract for three more seasons and could be vital to their rebuilding process. Unless he wants out, or the Canucks get a fantastic offer, I don’t see him on the trade block this season.
As for the Canucks trade deadline plans, Burrows and Miller are goners, provided they’re willing to waive their no-trade clauses. As they’re UFAs next summer, I believe they will waive them if given the opportunity to go to a playoff contender. Edler and the Sedins must also agree to waive their no-traes but they have term left on their respective deals, which are also expensive. Those could prove more difficult to move at the trade deadline.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports on the poor performance this season of Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner. After a 49-point effort last season, the 24-year-old is on pace for only 27 points this season. He began 2016-17 as a top-six forward but has now dropped to their fourth line. Shinzawa believes Spooner, now in his fifth pro season, cannot use youth or inexperience as an excuse. Spooner’s a restricted free agent in July. If he doesn’t improve soon, his poor performance could hurt his chances of getting a raise or even being re-signed by the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Spooner’s name surfaced nearly a month ago in the trade rumor mill. If his play doesn’t improve soon, he could appear with more frequency in NHL trade chatter.