NHL Rumor Mill – January 31, 2017
Updates on Wayne Simmonds, Mike Smith and the Islanders in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Toronto’s TSN 1050 he guesses most of the trade calls received by Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall involve winger Wayne Simmonds, who was named MVP of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a trade rumor, but worth noting anyway. While anyone can be traded, it’s safe to say Simmonds is considered a key part of the Flyers’ core and isn’t available.
AZCENTRAL.COM: Sarah McLellan recently reported Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith hasn’t considered waiving his no-trade clause to explore new possibilities with another club. Smith told McLellan he’s optimistic over his future with the Coyotes. He’s currently in the fourth season of a six-year, $34-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith’s hefty contract, injury history and inconsistent play work against him as a viable trade target this season.
NEWSDAY: In a recent mailbag segment, Arthur Staple suggested buying out the final season of goalie Jaroslav Halak’s contract could free up some valuable salary-cap space for the New York Islanders before the start of free-agency on July 1. He also proposed moving one of their players with a year remaining on their contracts, such as Josh Bailey, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome or Thomas Hickey. If the Isles stay healthy and maintain their recent improvement, he doesn’t see them making any moves by the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their re-signing last night of Thomas Greiss to a three-year, $10 million deal could be the most significant move they make.