NHL Rumor Mill – January 30, 2017
Latest on the Red Wings plus updates on Kevin Shattenkirk, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog in your NHL rumor mill.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James believes the next few weeks will determined if the Red Wings become sellers by the March 1 trade deadline. Pending free agent left wing Thomas Vanek could attract interest in the trade market. While Vanek has indicated how much he enjoys playing for the Wings, St. James suggests moving him at the trade deadline and bringing him back this summer via free agency. She also recommends moving goaltender Petr Mrazek if a reasonable offer emerges, and believes it’s time to unload either Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist if possible.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa believes it unlikely veterans Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Fran Nielsen will agree to be dealt. He also advocates shopping Vanek if he’ll fetch a reasonable return. Ditto Tatar and Nyquist. Krupa also notes the Wings logjam in goal ” should be examined for the best opportunity to hasten the pursuit of stars.” He considers all their defensemen to be expendable.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zetterberg lacks a no-trade, but at 36 and with an annual cap hit of over $6 million through 2020-21, I doubt there’s much of a market for him leading up to the deadline. I don’t see Kronwall or Nielsen agreeing to move. The Wings could retain Vanek if they can re-sign him to a reasonable extension.
Tatar and Nyquist are their most valuable trade chips, as they’re not parting with promising players such as Dylan Larkin or Anthony Mantha. Tatar is a restricted free agent this summer but is also hampered this season by a nagging shoulder injury. Nyquist is under contract for two more seasons at $4.75 million annually. Given Jared Coreau’s solid play, Mrazek could be expendable, but there’s not much of a market for goalies right now. Only the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues are in genuine need of help between the pipes.
STLTODAY.COM: Benjamin Hochman recently acknowledged the trade speculation swirling about Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Given the club’s defensive struggles this season, however, he suggests that trading Shattenkirk could worsen their blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Blues improve over the next four weeks, they could retain Shattenkirk. If not, he could be shopped to address weaknesses elsewhere in the roster. Shattenkirk’s UFA status this season and the expense of re-signing him is the biggest reason why he could be moved at the trade deadline.
BLEACHER REPORT’s Adrian Dater recently tweeted “After talking with sources in LA,at bare minimum it’ll take young, established D player and 1st round pick to get either Duchene or Landy (Landeskog)”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So no real reduction in the Avalanche’s asking price for either guy. Unless that drops significantly, I doubt we’ll see either guy moved by the March 1 trade deadline.