Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 18, 2016
Latest on James van Riemsdyk, Martin Hanzal, the Colorado Avalanche & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk isn’t being shopped and the Leafs haven’t received any hard offers. However, teams are making inquiries and the Leafs are willing to listen.
JVR has a year remaining on his contract and wants a long-term deal for his next one. The Leafs would seek a significant return comparable to that received from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Phil Kessel.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs decide to trade JVR, it won’t happen during this season unless they get a substantial offer. That type of trade typically takes place near the annual NHL draft every June. Even so, there’s no certainty van Riemsdyk gets dealt. He and the Leafs could hammer out a long-term extension that works for both sides. However, they must balance that with the significant raises that rising young stars such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander will be seeking in two-three years time.
OTTAWA SUN: With the NHL holiday roster freeze (Dec. 19-27) fast approaching, Bruce Garrioch reports a league executive said things are quiet in the trade market. Garrioch cites nobody, other than the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche, can be considered out of playoff contention. He also claims Avs general manager Joe Sakic has been working the phones and is open to all suggestions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Sakic decides to shake up his roster, I don’t see that move coming before midnight tomorrow. Such a move could happen leading up to the March 1 trade deadline, but I think those type of deals happen in the off-season.
Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello is sniffing around for a defenseman.
The Los Angeles Kings continue shopping for a goaltender. They haven’t spoken to the Winnipeg Jets about Ondrej Pavelec since last month’s GMs meetings in Toronto. They could reach out to the Penguins for Marc-Andre Fleury, but with sidelined starter Jonathan Quick due back later this season, they need a short-term solution. The Pens don’t want to move Fleury right now. The Kings had interest in Ottawa Senators backup Andrew Hammond but he’s not on their radar now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick is currently on long-term injury reserve, allowing the Kings to spend above the $73 million cap ceiling by over $5 million. The problem, however, is they must become cap compliant when Quick returns in February or March as projected. If they’ve acquire a goalie carrying a significant salary, that means shedding salary and potentially weakening their depth elsewhere in the lineup.
That’s why I don’t see the Kings chasing any goalie with significant salary and term on their contract like Fleury, or even someone with only a year left on their contract like the New York Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak. Kings GM Dean Lombardi also knows he’s dealing from a position of weakness, which explains why he said last week he’s not throwing the kitchen sink at another team to land a starter.
The Arizona Coyotes have been trying to move pending UFA center Martin Hanzal but asking price is a sticking point. It’s believed they want a prospect and at least a second-round draft pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one’s biting for Hanzal right now. If the Coyotes continue to shop him, their best opportunity to get that type of return is closer to the March 1 trade deadline.