NHL Rumor Update – February 27, 2017
Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Matt Duchene, Marc-Andre Fleury and more in the latest NHL Rumor Mill update.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie telling Montreal’s TSN 690 he still expect the St. Louis Blues will trade defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Looking at what the Arizona Coyotes got from the Minnesota Wild for center Martin Hanzal, McKenzie believes Shattenkirk should fetch at least that much, depending on where he goes. The Blues seek a first-round pick, a prospect and another piece.
Nichols also cites insider Elliotte Friedman telling Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 the Hanzel return could reinforce what Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic seeks for center Matt Duchene on the trade market. Friedman also suggests the Nashville Predators could circle back to their interest in Duchene.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues and Avs can set those high asking prices for Shattenkirk or Duchene, but it remains to be seen if anyone’s willing to pay at the deadline. I don’t think the Avs will find any takers for Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog at the deadline. Shattenkirk, however, is a UFA and is being shopped as a rental player. Maybe the Leafs, Oilers, Rangers or Boston Bruins take the gamble.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford recently said he hasn’t received a trade offer for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Rutherford will decide within 48 hours of the trade deadline if he’ll move or retain Fleury. Trading the veteran netminder won’t be easy, given his annual cap hit ($5.75 million through 2018-19), his modified no-trade clause and the soft market for goaltenders. Possible destinations could include the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets. Rutherford has also stated his preference is to keep his tandem of Fleury and Matt Murray intact for the remainder of the season.
TSN: Frank Seravalli sized up the goalie market in the wake of the LA Kings acquiring Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fleury, Anaheim’s Jhonas Enroth, Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth and the NY Islanders Jaroslav Halak, along with sidelined Winnipeg Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec, are possibly available via trade. Dallas, Calgary, St. Louis and Winnipeg could be in the market for help between the pipes, while Edmonton and Columbus could look at backup options for the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t be surprised if Fleury stays put. There could be some interest in him between now and the deadline, but Rutherford seems to prefer taking another run at the Cup with Fleury and Murray as his goalies. Dallas needs help in goal, but unless they move one of their current netminders, they’ll likely wait until this summer to address that issue. Jake Allen has improved in the Blues goal over the past month, lessening the pressure there for an upgrade. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff rarely makes moves of note at the deadline and I’m not expecting him to make a significant move this year. The Flames could be leaning toward sticking with Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson for the rest of the season. The Oilers and Blue Jackets could also stick with their current tandems. The Senators are fine in goal with Craig Anderson and Mike Condon.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests the New York Rangers recent offensive struggles (two goals or fewer in five or their last six games) could be a more pressing need than bolstering their depth on defense. He thinks the Rangers should target possible rental players such as Dallas Stars winger Patrick Sharp or Arizona Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata for the right price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether it’s adding a defenseman or a forward, I have a feeling Rangers GM Jeff Gorton will make a move by the deadline to improve his roster.