Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 19, 2017
The latest on Alexander Radulov, Kevin Shattenkirk, Tyler Johnson, Jaroslav Halak & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports term could be an issue in contract negotiations between the Montreal Canadiens and right wing Alexander Radulov, The winger apparently seeks a six-year deal, but he turns 31 in July. If he’s adamant on that term, Kypreos wonders if the Canadiens could re-sign him for less than his current $5.75 million salary. Perhaps the Habs could sign him to a shorter term (three years) for a higher annual salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t see the Canadiens or anyone else signing Radulov for six seasons. As good as he’s been this season, a six-year investment in a 31-year-old player is too costly. A three-year deal worth between $6 – $7 million annually seems more likely.
Elliotte Friedman reports Ottawa Senators forward Curtis Lazar and his agent met with management today. He believes the Lazar camp passed along their client’s desire to play, but Friedman doesn’t think the Senators are inclined to trade him.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong faces a dilemma. Despite his club’s recent improvement, does he still move defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk? The blueliner is considered the biggest trade chip available leading up to the March 1 trade deadline, and it’s believed the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the interested clubs. The asking price is said to be a “high-end prospect, a first-round pick and another piece.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last week, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Shattenkirk remains available despite the Blues’ recent improvement. Armstrong has set a high price for him and it’ll be interesting to see if anyone bites before the deadline. If not, the Blues GM will have to lower it if he hopes to move Shattenkirk by deadline day.
Time is running short for Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic to reach a decision on whether to move Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog before the trade deadline. 17 teams scouted the recent Avalanche-Buffalo Sabres game, but teams aren’t willing to part with what the Avs seek. “The Los Angeles Kings (including GM Dean Lombardi), Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs were represented by multiple scouts.” The Montreal Canadiens are also believed interested in both players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic isn’t under pressure to move either guy at the deadline. It’s widely assumed that if no one is willing to meet his price by the deadline, he’ll wait for the offseason market.
To clear some salary-cap space, it’s believed Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman might be willing to move the contracts of blueliners Braydon Coburn and Jason Garrison. Pending UFA center Brian Boyle will likely be dealt.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrison has one year remaining at a cap hit of $4.6 million, Coburn two years at $3.7 million. Both also have no-trade clauses. Not an easy sell at this time of year. If either guy gets moved, it’ll likely happen this summer. Boyle, I believe, is a goner at the deadline.
Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland is trying to move players, including Tomas Jurco and Thomas Vanek.
Garrioch believes Dallas Stars winger Patrick Eaves is available.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently suggested the Edmonton Oilers pursue New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak as a backup for starter Cam Talbot before the trade deadline. While Halak has a year left on his contract at $4.5 million, Matheson believes the Isles will pick up part of it. The Oilers can leave Halak exposed in the June expansion draft or try to trade him at the NHL draft days later.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Isles pick up half that cap hit, maybe Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli might consider it. Bear in mind Matheson is simply making a suggestion here. There’s no reports that I’ve seen or heard indicating Chiarelli is even considering this option.
The Carolina Hurricanes have lot of depth in young defenseman and are in need of scoring forwards. Matheson believes their only untouchable is Jaccob Slavin and suggests Justin Faulk could fetch a nice return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faulk certainly would bring in a scoring forward, but is Hurricanes GM Ron Francis willing to part with him? If he wants to bolster his scoring and doesn’t wish to part with his younger blueliners, he might not have much choice.
Matheson claims there’s a belief “the Tampa Bay Lightning will trade restricted free-agent Tyler Johnson this summer because they can plug Brayden Point into his centre slot. Lightning will resign Ondrej Palat instead but need defencemen in any deal for Johnson.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not sure that move would be a wise one. Last month, there was a couple of articles in the Tampa Bay Times suggesting the Lightning consider shopping Johnson. Point’s shown some potential in his rookie season, but at 5’10” and 160 lbs, he’s not much bigger than the 5’8″. 185-pound Johnson, who’s also a proven performer for the Bolts.
The Boston Bruins may be interested in Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, but they’re not parting with promising defensemen such as Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy to get him.
It’s thought the Chicago Blackhawks might try to bring back winger Patrick Sharp from the Dallas Stars, but Matheson feels Patrick Eaves would be a better pickup.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was in the market for defensive depth long before recent injuries to Olli Maatta and Justin Schultz for the right price. As the trade deadline approaches, he’ll continue shopping for one or two defensemen. He also said he’s open to any move, big or small, that will make his team better.