NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2017
Trade needs of the Canadian teams plus updates on the Flyers, Blackhawks and Lightning in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Frank Seravalli examined the trade needs of the seven Canadian NHL franchises. He believes Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal would be an ideal rental option for the Montreal Canadiens, making them bigger down the middle.
He also speculates GM Marc Bergevin could kick the tires on Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, though a deal of that magnitude probably wouldn’t happen until the offseason. He notes the Habs have five second round picks in 2017 and 2018 to use as trade bait.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanzal could be a good fit with the Canadiens, provided the oft-injured center stays healthy. He’s a bit of a gamble. As for Duchene, his $6 million annual cap hit would be an expensive pickup, especially with center Alex Galcheyuk in line for a significant raise. Bergevin probably can’t afford the Avs’ asking price.
The Edmonton Oilers still need a right-shot defenseman on the power play, but Seravalli feels their biggest need is at left wing. They won’t part with future assets for short-term help. Winger Benoit Pouliot is a likely trade candidate. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (via FanRag Sports Network’s Chris Nichols) doesn’t think there’s a lot of interest in Pouliot or Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle. He believes if there was more interest in Eberle, Taylor Hall wouldn’t have been dealt last summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of Edmonton suggest Pouliot’s performance is so bad that the Oilers cannot even give him away.
The Ottawa Senators need a top-line left wing but lack suitable assets to land one. Seravalli believes Curtis Lazar and Nick Paul could be trade bait, but also wonders if this is the season they’ll shop their first-round pick, as the 2017 draft isn’t considered a deep one.
Seravalli’s colleague Bob McKenzie speculates they could have an interest in Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog or center Matt Duchene. However, he speculates the asking price is too expensive.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Would Lazar and a first-rounder convince the Avs into parting with Landeskog? Probably not. The Avs need blueline help. I don’t see the Sens having any good young rearguards they’re willing to move who will help the Avalanche.
Seravalli suggests the Calgary Flames need a good second-pairing defenseman. While noting pending UFAs Dennis Wideman and Deryk Engelland could be available, moving them won’t address the issue.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames could end up sticking with their current lineup unless they can find a real steal at the deadline.
Seravalli doesn’t expect the Winnipeg Jets to be significant buyers or sellers at this year’s trade deadline. If they do decide to sell, they could move pending free agents Mathieu Perreault, Ondrej Pavelec or Drew Stafford.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff usually isn’t a big wheeler-dealer, especially at the trade deadline. His club might need help in goal if Connor Hellebuyck continues to struggle with his consistency, but Cheveldayoff could remain patient with him.
While there’s lots of trade buzz surrounding Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, Seravalli notes they’re not in a hurry to move him. The Leafs biggest priority is adding a top-four defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the offer is Cam Fowler or Hampus Lindholm of the Anaheim Ducks straight up for van Riemsdyk, I don’t see the Leafs moving him this season.
While the Vancouver Canucks still need a scoring winger, Seravalli doubts they’ll be terribly busy by the deadline. Perhaps they’ll add a player or two to audition down the stretch to determine if they’ll have a future in Vancouver. Possible trade bait includes forwards Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen.
FanRag Sports Network’s Chris Nichols cites Canucks GM Jim Benning telling Vancouver’s TSN 1040 he’s not trading any more draft picks going forward. In the recent past, he moves some picks to acquire Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund, who’ve performed well for the Canucks. Benning said he’s happy with the development of his young players this season and is optimistic about those coming up in the system.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burrows and Hansen have no-movement/no-trade clauses. Benning’s on record saying he won’t ask any player carrying those clauses to waive them. If Burrows and Hansen are dealt, it means they asked to be traded.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports the struggling Philadelphia Flyers might need a trade to snap them out of their recent doldrums. Panaccio believes GM Ron Hextall’s current roster lacks few marketable commodities and most teams aren’t interested in his roster players, preferring instead the Flyers’ depth in young defensemen. He notes Hextall saying he would only make a deal if it will help the club long term. Panaccio points out the Flyers need scoring depth on the wings.
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the cap-strapped Flyers must shed salary in order to put veteran blueliner Mark Streit ($5.25 million cap hit), who comes off injured reserve this weekend, into the lineup. Some are waiting to see if they could make a trade to address this issues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Streit’s age (39) and cap hit, the Flyers probably won’t be able to move him. They obviously won’t move Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov and Brandon Manning, so It’ll be interesting to see how Hextall addresses this.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Bob McKenzie’s Jan 10, 2017 appearance on Vancouver TSN 1040 discussing the plight of the Tampa Bay Lightning and what they might do to bolster their defense. He wonders if the possibility that he won’t be able to re-sign his key free agents this summer, which includes such notables as Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin, could factor into any potential trade decisions. McKenzie doesn’t expect Drouin will be traded, but figures “just about anybody else up front” might be a possibility” to land a defenseman that could help them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adding a long-term solution on defense could require parting with Johnson or Palat. Yzerman might be shopping for a more affordable short-term solution, but such deals are tough to find right now.
THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports salary-cap space shouldn’t be an issue for the Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline if they want to make a significant move. Noting all salary-cap hits are prorated over the course of the season, Powers observes (via Cap Friendly.com) that the Blackhawks should have over $5.3 million in cap space by the March 1 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The question is, will the Blackhawks use that cap space? They’re reportedly seeking a depth winger and were linked to Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla. They can afford to pick up him by the deadline if they wish.