NHL Rumor Mill – December 14, 2016
Updates on Zemgus Girgensons, Jarome iginla & Ryan Spooner, plus the latest on the Lightning & Blues in your NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman thinks the Anaheim Ducks had some interest last summer in Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, but the Sabres’ asking price was one of the Ducks’ talented young defensemen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last weekend, Friedman reported some teams noticed the decline in Girgensons’ playing time this season and inquired into his status, but the Sabres aren’t willing to sell low because they still believe in him. The 22-year-old center must improve, however, if the Sabres hope to land a quality return.
Noting Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome iginla’s recent comments that he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause this season to join a contender, Friedman wonders if the Edmonton Oilers would think about pursuing him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I went over this in yesterday’s rumor mill. Long story short, given the decline in Iginla’s speed and skills, I don’t think he’s a fit for the Oilers. Still, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli did sign Iginla back when he was GM of the Boston Bruins and Iggy put up some decent numbers with them, so I suppose we can’t completely dismiss the possibility.
Friedman reports there’s no truth to a rumor suggesting the Boston Bruins could trade forward Ryan Spooner to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Matt Dumba.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba’s improved this season under Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. Unlikely that they’ll part with him.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Tampa Bay Lightning top priority between now and the March 1 trade deadline is a top-four defenseman. He also believes the St. Louis Blues could use a top-four blueliner, but doubts they’ll pursue a rental player. He thinks they’ll want one who can play for them beyond this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Lightning pursue a rental defenseman, Calgary’s Dennis Wideman and Arizona’s Michael Stone could top the list of potentially available notables.
The Blues will find it difficult landing a rearguard who can play with them beyond next season. Perhaps they’ll target clubs that could risk losing a defenseman to next June’s expansion draft. The Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators could face that situation.