Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 12, 2017
Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Matt Duchene, Martin Hanzal, Brian Boyle and Jannik Hansen in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is open to being dealt to a Canadian team. He thinks the blueliner has about 12 teams on his wish list where he’d sign a long-term deal, two of them being Toronto and Montreal. He’s doesn’t envision himself with the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed the Blues gave an Eastern Conference club permission to speak with Kevin Shattenkirk about three weeks ago. Garrioch claims the Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning also made pitches, with the Bruins being the only team having the ability to sign Shattenkirk to a long-term contract.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports the Boston Bruins kicked the tires on Shattenkirk before the 2016 draft, but it likely would’ve cost them two first-round picks plus a roster player. Given the ongoing development promising Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy, Shinzawa believes that lowers the possibility of the Bruins revisiting their interest in Shattenkirk. He points out it would not only cost the Bruins’ assets to pursue the Blues defenseman, but they’d also have to re-sign him to keep him off the UFA market in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of interesting trade chatter about Shattenkirk with the deadline just over two weeks ago. The sense is the Blues will move him before deadline day. Where he ends up could be determined by which club intends to pay the big bucks to re-sign him.
I still think many of these clubs should seriously consider passing on Shattenkirk and instead target clubs with depth in good young defensemen, such as the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild, to see if a deal can be made. Rather than possibly busting their budgets by paying Shattenkirk $7 million annually, it would certainly make more sense for a rebuilding club, such as the Leafs, or a team looking to revamp their blueline with young talent, such as the Bruins and Lightning, to entertain that option.
SPORTSNET: Kypreos reports some people are speculating Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford could take a run at Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene. The Carolina Hurricanes are also believed in play. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic wants “a top draft pick, a prospect, and maybe even a top defenceman,” He suggested someone such as Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot as part of the deal but Elliotte Friedman doubts that will work.
Friedman also pointed out Rutherford is willing to do whatever it takes to win and if he has to sort it out in the offseason he will. Rutherford prefer to retain goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the remainder of this season as insurance, but recognizes Fleury’s desire is to play.
OTTAWA SUN: Garrioch reports the Carolina Hurricanes could make the biggest push for Colorado’s Matt Duchene, but the asking price could include young defenseman Noah Hanifin. Avs GM Joe Sakic reportedly wants “a young, established blueliner, a high-end prospect and a first-round pick as part of any package if Duchene is to be moved.” The Nashville Predators could also make a serious push. The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators were among clubs to express interest but found the price tag too expensive. It’s possible Sakic could wait until this summer to move Duchene.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford has swung a blockbuster before, acquiring Phil Kessel from the Leafs nearly two years ago. That move, however, took place in the offseason. Given concerns over a potentially flat salary cap for next season, Rutherford might not be so keen to pursue a Duchene deal right now. Pouliot as the centerpiece of an offer from the Pens will not interest Sakic. Packaging Pouliot with Fleury and a draft pick or prospect might be a better offer, but I still think the Avs pass on that.
The Hurricanes could be the best fit for a Duchene deal. They’re loaded with young defensemen to tempt the Avs, they need a proven scorer like Duchene and they have the cap room to pick up his $6 million cap hit. Not sure Canes GM Ron Francis would part with Hanifin, but there’s plenty of other possibilities there for the Avs to choose from.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the recent presence of Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka at a recent Minnesota Wild game sparked speculation the Wild could have interest in Coyotes center Martin Hanzal. The Montreal Canadiens are among several clubs also believed pursuing Hanzal, but Chayka seeks “two big pieces” in return. They’ll have to lower their price or be stuck with him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chayka could keep that price high right up to deadline day, but he’ll likely lower it before then, especially if more teams become sellers.
If the Vancouver Canucks decide to make changes, winger Jannik Hansen could attract calls. Garrioch claims several teams like Hansen because of his decent contract ($2.5 million annually through next season), speed and ability to play with several lines. Hansen’s modified no-trade clause gives him some say in the matter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could shed some pending UFAs such as Alex Burrows or Ryan Miller by the deadline, but I suspect they prefer retaining Hansen. That could change, of course, if they get a healthy offer for him. Earlier this season, GM Jim Benning said he wouldn’t approach his players carrying no-trade clauses to waive them, but recent reports suggest he could change his mind.
SPORTSNET: Kypreos reports being told the Edmonton Oilers have interest in Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle, but the asking price is too high, possibly a first-round pick. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs could also be interested.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Canadiens could also look into Boyle’s availability, but I don’t see anyone parting with a first-round pick for a checking-line center.