NHL Rumors From The Blogosphere – January 2, 2017
It’s a quiet day for NHL rumors from the media, so here’s a look at what’s been recently kicking around the blogosphere. Enjoy!
HOCKEYBUZZ.COM: Eklund cites “a fun rumor” in which the St. Louis Blues “would send (Kevin) Shattenkirk + a conditional pick and NHL Ready Prospect to Colorado for Matt Duchene and a prospect.”
The New Jersey Devils are also interested in Shattenkirk and would intend to keep the pending UFA for a long time. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets are linked to Duchene.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All the talk I’ve read and heard regarding Shattenkirk indicates his preference is to join an Eastern club, with the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers listed as the most likely destinations. If so, this rumor makes no sense for the Avs, trading away a quality asset such as Duchene who’s still under contract through 2018-19 for a defenseman who will likely depart via free agency on July 1. If Avs GM Joe Sakic makes that deal, he should be immediately fired.
Regarding the Devils supposed interest, if they were to acquire him, they must ensure they can re-sign him. They have the cap space to do so, but Shattenkirk might still wish to test the market.
If Shattenkirk is traded before the March 1 trade deadline, I suspect he’ll be seen as a rental player.
As for those clubs with interest in Duchene, Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the asking price will be huge. “If you want to come at [the Avalanche] with good, young defencemen or prospects, [they] are prepared to listen. But the packages are going to have to be big because they look at both [players] and see good players signed to good contracts.”
The Sabres and Canadiens need blueline depth. The Habs also have limited cap room, as do the Blue Jackets. Doesn’t seem like he’s a fit with those clubs right now. And why would the Jackets want him? They’re playing very well with their current roster. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
One rumor has the Toronto Maple Leafs shipping center Nazem Kadri to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Meanwhile, the New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche could have interest in Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Leafs would love to have a defenseman such as Hamilton, but I don’t believe they’ll give up Kadri to get him. For that matter, I don’t believe the Flames intend to trade Hamilton, whose play has significantly improved after a slow start. He’s become one of the key reasons behind the Flames into playoff contention. And of course, there’s team president Brian Burke loudly and angrily denying those reports back in November claiming Hamilton was available.
I can see the Isles having interest in JVR. He could be a fantastic linemate for center John Tavares. However, the Avs biggest need is improving their defense. Adding another scoring winger doesn’t address that problem.
Eklund claims Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba has resurfaced in the rumor mill. The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs could be interested, though the Jets prefer dealing Trouba to an Eastern Conference team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless a team is willing to part with the Jets’ significant asking price for Trouba (they’d prefer a blueliner of equivalent age and skills, but could also accept a good young player who can help them right away plus a top prospect), he’s not going anywhere before the March 1 trade deadline. Like many observers, I expect Trouba will be traded before his two-year contract expires in 2018, but I don’t see that move taking place until this summer at the earliest.
Ryan Miller to reunite with former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff with the Dallas Stars? Eklund claims all indications suggest this could take place in January.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If it does, the Stars must ship either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Miller, or move one of those guys in another deal. Miller must also be willing to accept a trade to Dallas.
THE FOURTH PERIOD: Shawn Hutcheon cites sources saying Bruins forward Ryan Spooner expects to be dealt before the end of the season, though a trade isn’t imminent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Spooner’s offense has picked up of late. Given the Bruins lack of scoring depth beyond their first line and the recent sidelined of David Backes with a concussion, I don’t think Spooner’s going anywhere for the time being.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin continues to quietly shop for a top-six forward (possibly a center) and a top-four defenseman. In the past, the Habs were linked to Arizona’s Martin Hanzal, Winnipeg’s Alex Burmistrov and Anaheim’s Cam Fowler.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Bergevin will swing a deal or two before the March 1 trade deadline to bolster his roster for the playoffs. If he’s interested in Burmistrov, the young forward was placed on waivers yesterday by the Jets.