Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 11, 2016
Latest on Jarome Iginla, Martin Hanzal, Zemgus Girgensons & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman cites a recent interview by Colorado sportswriter Adrian Dater with Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla in which the future Hall of Famer could consider waiving his no-trade clause this season. He’s an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, is coming to the end of his career and hasn’t won a Stanley Cup. If Iginla wants to go, the Avs could search the trade market to see what options are available for him to chase the Cup one more time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla’s best seasons are well behind him now. Age and 20 years of NHL action have taken its toll. There could be several teams with some interest in his leadership and experience, but he won’t be as attractive a trade chip as he was a few years ago. Iginla’s only got six points in 26 games this season. His production must improve over the next couple of months to making him more enticing to playoff contenders.
Friedman also reports the Buffalo Sabres are getting calls about forward Zemgus Girgensons, whose playing time has declined of late. The Sabres aren’t selling low as they still believe in him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Girgensons is only 22 and has potential as a good two-way forward. However, his performance has declined since his 30-point performance in an injury-shortened 2014-15 campaign playing on a depleted Sabres roster. At the risk of upsetting Girgensons fans, it appears he’s overrated. The Sabres have a deeper roster now with a better head coach in Dan Bylsma, but Girgensons is struggling. Maybe he needs a fresh start elsewhere to get his NHL career back on track.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Arizona Coyotes pending unrestricted free agents Martin Hanzal, Radim Vrbata, Ryan White and Michael Stone are already being floated in the NHL trade market because of the club’s woeful record this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if Coyotes GM John Chayka makes any significant moves before the trade freeze on Dec. 19. If he Coyotes’ playoff hopes are fully dashed by mid-January, some of those guys could hit the trade block by then.
With the Tampa Bay Lightning struggling, “the whispers have started about the future of head coach Jon Cooper.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Cooper’s going anywhere. GM Steve Yzerman will point to his injury-depleted lineup as the reason why the Bolts are struggling.
The solid recent play of New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak has silenced the trade chatter that swirled about him earlier this season.
Garrioch claims he’s been told Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic is willing to talk trade about almost everyone on his roster except center Nathan MacKinnon. If Sakic wants to make a move, Garrioch suggests shopping goaltender Semyon Varlamov “because they’ll be able to get young assets in return.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt it. Varlamov’s stock has declined since he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2014. He’s won only five of 18 games this season, with a 3.34 GAA and .897 SP. He’s also got two more years at an annual cap hit of $5.9 million left on his contract. I think the Avs will have to pick up part of that cap hit to drum up interest.
Garrioch also wonders if there’s any truth to a rumor claiming the San Jose Sharks tried to acquire Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan over the last six or seven NHL trade deadlines.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doan’s not going anywhere.