NHL Rumor Mill – January 10, 2017
Updates on the Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS: Chris Nichols cites Elliotte Friedman appearing on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 saying he thinks there are teams that want to make moves right now, but the problem is only the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche can be considered sellers at this point.
He believes the Tampa Bay Lightning want to do something, the Los Angeles Kings “really want to get some scoring” and he thinks the Chicago Blackhawks want to add a winger to Jonathan Toews’ line. Asking prices are also high right now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning need to add a top-four defenseman. The Kings were already linked to Avs right wing Jarome Iginla. There was also speculation last week that tied Iginla to the Blackhawks, but as a depth addition.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports winger Michael Grabner could become the odd man out when the New York Rangers submit their list of protected players in the June expansion draft. Grabner has 18 goals thus far for the Rangers and is signed through next season at an affordable annual cap hit of $1.65 million. Brooks believes “Rick Nash (no move), Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes will be protected,” noting that “Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich are exempt.” He observes the Rangers will have to move one of their protected players or risk losing Grabner in the expansion draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That headache probably won’t be actioned until the offseason, and then Rangers GM Jeff Gorton will have to move quickly to get it done. Gorton could try to address this leading up to the March 1 NHL trade deadline, but he could be unwilling to mess with his forward line chemistry.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty doubts the Boston Bruins will part with prized blueline prospect Charlie McAvoy or rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo to acquire a physical, 20-goal scoring winger. Both were mentioned in trade speculation regarding Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Now that the Edmonton Oilers have demoted winger Jesse Puljujarvi and placed goalie Jonas Gustavsson on waivers, David Staples wonders what they’ll do with struggling winger Benoit Pouliot. Noting the club’s apparent inability to trade Pouliot, whose performance has been dreadful this season, perhaps he’ll be placed on waivers and demoted.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Pouliot earning $4 million per season through 2018-19, it’s understandable why the Oilers can’t find any takers for him in the trade market.