NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2017
Reviewing TSN’s list of players potentially available at the March 1 trade deadline and Sportsnet’s list of buyers and sellers.
TSN: Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, Detroit Red Wings winger Thomas Vanek, Winnipeg Jets left wing Mathieu Perreault and Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog tops TSN’s list of players potentially available by the March 1 trade deadline.
Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata, Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle, St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak round out the top ten.
Buffalo Sabres right wing Brian Gionta, Ottawa Senators right wing Curtis Lazar, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, Philadelphia Flyers netminder Steve Mason, Jets right wing Drew Stafford, Vancouver Canucks left wing Alex Burrows, Coyotes right wing Shane Doan, Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk fill out the bottom ten.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As TSN host James Duthie points out, this list will change numerous times between now and the deadline. Just because these players are on this list, it doesn’t mean they will be moved.
Citing the Avs’ high asking prices for Duchene and Landeskog, Frank Seravalli believes it more prudent for Colorado to wait until the offseason to move those two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed, it’s unlikely they’ll get a solid return during this season. Better to wait for a better trade market this summer.
While teams might inquire into non-rentals such as Shattenkirk and Eberle, Seravalli thinks they’re trending toward staying put. However, Shattenkirk is believed willing to look into a short-term deal with a playoff contender, while the Blues (who probably can’t afford to re-sign him) aren’t as strong as they once were. Seravalli considers the Oilers as buyers for the first time in years. He speculates they might be willing to part with a conditional first-round pick for Shattenkirk. Moving Eberle could leave a big hole at right wing.
Seravalli’s colleague Pierre LeBrun believes the Blues could listen to offers for Shattenkirk, though that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll trade him. Bob McKenzie said the Oilers had permission to talk to Shattenkirk last summer, but at the time he wasn’t keen to go to Edmonton. However, he now could be willing to consider all his options, perhaps including the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the bottom goes out of the Blues’ season in the coming weeks, I don’t see Shattenkirk moving by the trade deadline. I doubt the Blues will get good value back now and they’ll need his puck-moving abilities in the playoffs. While I know the Oilers covet a blueliner of Shattenkirk’s skills, it would be foolish to part with a conditional first-rounder for a playoff rental.
Given the limited trade destinations for Fleury (Dallas, maybe Calgary), Seravalli expects he’ll finish this season with the Penguins. He also suggests Mason could be better value for the Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the Flyers remain in the playoff chase they’ll hang onto Mason.
Though Perreault has a four-year contract starting next season, Seravalli speculates the Jets could move him rather than risk losing him in the expansion draft. He also feels Lazar could benefit from being dealt out of Ottawa, Burrows will determine his own fate as he holds a no-trade clause, while the Leafs are unlikely to move van Riemsdyk this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets don’t have to move Perreault. If they opt to protect four blueliners (Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers), they can protect Perreault, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little. Youngsters Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine aren’t eligible for the expansion draft.
Seravalli considers pending UFAs such as Hanzal, Vrbata, Vanek and Stafford as most likely to be moved as playoff rental players. Pierre LeBrun believes the Detroit Red Wings would like to bring back Vanek for a decent price and term. Bob McKenzie believes Wings right wing Tomas Jurco could be available via trade but the Wings won’t give him away.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox lists the teams likely to be buyers and sellers at this year’s trade deadline.
BUYERS: The Boston Bruins need a scoring winger and had some interest in Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog. They’re also in the market or a defenseman and are unwilling to part with promising blueliner Brandon Carlo. However, CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty cites a report from Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater claiming Carlo could be “back in play.” Haggerty believes the Bruins would be making a big mistake by trading the promising Carlo for Landeskog.
A winger for Jonathan Toews’ line tops the Chicago Blackhawks’ wish list. They reportedly had some interest in Colorado’s Jarome Iginla.
Fox considered the Dallas Stars a tentative buyer because of their firepower, but feels their goaltending and defensive weaknesses should make them sellers. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the next 10-12 games could decide if the Stars become buyers or sellers. If it’s the latter, they’ll listen to offers for pending UFA Patrick Sharp.
A backup goalie, a defenseman and a winger could be on the Edmonton Oilers’ wish list. Fox considers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins expendable if they want to make more headlines. They also have cap flexibility to do something at the deadline.
The Florida Panthers also have the cap space to become buyers. Dale Tallon could seek help for his banged-up offense.
Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi has a couple of million in cap space and needs to boost his offensie. He could keep an eye on the Avalanche and Coyotes.
Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin will be a buyer. There’s talk center Tomas Plekanec could be available. Fox expects Bergevin will focus on the Coyotes’ Martin Hanzal, plus he cites a source suggesting they try to “buy low” on Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Nugent-Hopkins is available. He’s filling the second-line center role for the Oilers. His $6 million per season cap hit is also tough to move during the season. The Habs have over $50 million invested in next season’s payroll and must re-sign Alex Galchenyuk, Alexander Radulov and Nathan Beaulieu, as well as decide if they’ll re-sign or replace aging blueliner Andrei Markov. They’re also carrying Plekanec’s $6 million cap hit for next season. So unless the Oilers want to swap the young Nugent-Hopkins for a declining asset such as Plekanec, I don’t see a fit there.
As Nashville Predators GM David Poile waits for injured stars P.K. Subban, James Neal and Roman Josi to return, he could keep an eye on the trade market.
Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion continues to shop for a left wing.
Fox believes Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will keep his core intact and instead seeks a rental player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Yzerman is seeking a top-four defenseman, preferably a short-term addition for now.
The Arizona Coyotes (Hanzal, Radim Vrbata, possibly Shane Doan) and Colorado Avalanche (Duchene, Landeskog, Iginla, possibly others except Nathan MacKinnon), of course.
Fox suggests Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray should test the trade market on pending UFA Cody Franson and Brian Gionta, pending RFA Zemgus Girgensons and goalie Anders Nilsson.
The Detroit Red Wings will likely become sellers, with winger Thomas Vanek as a gun for hire.
Fox suggests the New Jersey Devils should start fielding offers for “Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Vern Fiddler, Kyle Quincey, and anyone else 30 and over not named Cory Schneider.”
The New York Islanders could be sellers, but GM Garth Snow faces a tough decision on whether to trade or re-sign goalie Thomas Greiss, forward Stephen Gionta and defenseman Calvin de Haan and Dennis Seidenberg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Snow plans to pursue Marc-Andre Fleury via trade this summer or Ben Bishop or Steve Mason via free agency, he will likely re-sign Greiss. The others could become trade bait.
While a playoff spot is in reach for the Vancouver Canucks, Fox believes it’s wiser to sell. He wonders if they’ll re-sign goalie Ryan Miller and what they might get for left wing Alex Burrows.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks GM Jim Benning said he won’t ask players with no-trade clauses (such as Miller and Burrows) to waive them. If those players are dealt, it’s because they asked to be moved.
Fox expects the remaining clubs could stand pat. While moves are possible, they’ll likely be minor deals.