Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 26, 2017
Latest on Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Miller, Matt Duchene, Marian Gaborik, Justin Faulk and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports he’s hearing the Los Angeles Kings have interest in Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller and Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop as a rental backup for the recently returned Jonathan Quick. Peter Budaj held the fort for the Kings in Quick’s absence.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This doesn’t make any sense. Budaj played very well in Quick’s absence (27 wins, seven shutouts, 2.12 GAA, .917 SP). Those numbers are better than Bishop’s or Miller’s stats. While I know those two are bigger names, I think Budaj’s proven himself as a reliable backup for Quick. Besides, they have a more pressing need to bolster their offense, not to waste time chasing a goalie.
Elliotte Friedman noted Kings winger Marian Gaborik was a healthy scratch in yesterday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. While he has four years left on his contract, the Kings are trying to see if they can move him.
Good luck moving the declining, oft-injured Gaborik at the trade deadline. Maybe the Kings will have better luck dumping that contract ($4.875 million annually through 2020-21) this summer upon a club looking to reach the salary-cap floor in exchange for a draft pick and a prospect.
Speaking of Miller, Friedman reports the Canucks starter, as well as winger Jannik Hansen, submitted their lists of preferred trade destinations. As for Alex Burrows, who could have a few teams with interest in him. His list of destinations could be less than the other two. The Canucks could approach him if they’ve got a good offer and see if he’ll approve it.
With the March 1 trade deadline approaching, Friedman said the Colorado Avalanche are telling teams they aren’t dropping their asking prices for Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. They’re looking for three or four pieces, including a young defenseman or goaltender (depending on the age), and are willing to wait for the offseason to get what they want.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hope you all enjoyed the Duchene and Landeskog trade rumors this season. Looks like they’ll be carrying on into this summer.
Kypreos said some are viewing St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk’s rejecting a trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning (which included a seven-year, $42-million contact offer) as his way of picking a preferred destination, rather than money being the priority. Friedman jokingly suggested it could be the New York Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Certainly seems like Shattenkirk wants to test the market this summer. It’s widely assumed the Rangers could be his preferred destination. If a deal can be worked out with the Rangers, perhaps they’ll take him on at the trade deadline.
Kypreos said the Toronto Maple Leafs have some interest in Detroit Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan. who’s struggling this year. The Leafs could be looking to pick up the 25-year-old at a discount but Kypreos feels it could cost the Leafs a first rounder if they want him. Friedman also noted Wings defenseman Brendan Smith had come up in trade talk but the Wings are trying to re-sign him and he doubts he’ll be dealt.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports New York Rangers forward and leading scorer J.T. Miller is garnering lots of interest as the trade deadline nears, but the Blueshirts have no interest in moving him. Brooks also feels the Rangers have no realistic shot at Kevin Shattenkirk unless the asking price significantly drops. The Rangers need a right-handed shot on the right side of their blueline. While they’ve been connected to Detroit’s Brendan Smith, he’s a left-handed shot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still wouldn’t rule out Shattenkirk to the Rangers at the deadline. He’d address their need for a right-shooting mobile blueliner. The New Rochelle native could be keen to join them. But as Brooks notes, the asking price has to come down first. No way the Rangers part with Miller, who’s blossoming into a reliable scorer.
Brooks also wonders if the Rangers might deal defenseman Kevin Klein, a recent healthy scratch, for a forward. They could keep Klein in order to expose him in the expansion draft. While the Rangers have gone big at recent trade deadlines, Brooks anticipates they could be low key this year.
Brooks claims Boston, Toronto and Edmonton are among the most ardent Shattenkirk suitors. He also believes Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle could be a good fit with Minnesota or Edmonton and suggests Buffalo Sabres winger Brian Gionta could be an interesting option for the New York Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of those three cities suggest the Bruins, Leafs and Oilers could at best make minor moves. While I don’t doubt the Leafs could be interested, I don’t see them paying a big price for a rental player.
EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson recently reported he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pittsburgh Penguins add another defenseman before the trade deadline. Last week, the Pens acquired Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, Matheson cites scouts claiming defenseman Justin Faulk is in play and notes the Canes need a center. He also expects them to dump forwards Jay McClement and Viktor Stalberg by the deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faulk’s only 24, is a right-handed shot and carries a reasonable contract ($4.83 million annually through 2019-20). While he missed some time to injury earlier this season, he still should attract lots of interest. He’s also on pace for over 35 points, which would mark the fourth consecutive season he’s netted over 30. If he’s in play, perhaps the Hurricanes wait until this summer to move him in hopes of finding a suitable return.
Matheson can see the Buffalo Sabres moving defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, provided they pick up half of his $4.2 million cap hit.
Prior to the Chicago Blackhawks acquiring Tomas Jurco from the Detroit Red Wings, Matheson said the prevailing view had the Hawks trying to bring back Patrick Sharp from the Dallas Stars. However, he doesn’t rule out the Florida Panthers chasing Sharp.
Given Ben Bishop’s improvement play of late, Matheson doubts the Lightning will move him at the deadline.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed to have held talks with the Blues regarding Shattenkirk, who’s now being shopped as a rental player. The Blues apparently want a first-round pick and a prospect as part of the return. It’s expected Shattenkirk will signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk to the Caps or Pens? Reports out of Washington claim the Caps aren’t expected to be major players at the deadline. Pens GM Jim Rutherford has a history of making big moves, and could be in the market for another defenseman. However, I don’t think he’ll pay big for a rental.
The Buffalo Sabres are willing to move defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson.
Five or six clubs, including the Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators, are apparently after Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, The Coyotes are said to be seeking a first-round pick, a prospect and another piece in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch also reported the Sens are linked to “Dallas forwards Patrick Sharp and Jiri Hudler along with Detroit’s Thomas Vanek, Winnipeg’s Drew Stafford” and also mentioned New Jersey’s P.A. Parenteau. While he believes Sharp or Hudler might make the most sense given their playoff experience, I think Vanek could be a better option as he has better stats this season. Garrioch also noted young Senators forward Curtis Lazar has come up in the rumor mill but he’s not generating much interest because of his lack of offense.
As for that asking price for Hanzal, I’ll be shocked if the Coyotes find someone willing to pay that price. He’s not worth that much.
There’s talk the Dallas Stars could trade defenseman Johnny Oduya back to the Chicago Blackhawks or perhaps to the Canadiens.
The Tampa Bay Lightning could move center Brian Boyle, with the Columbus Blue Jackets a possible suitor. While goaltender Ben Bishop has frequently surfaced in trade chatter, there’s a growing belief the Lightning could retain him as interested clubs could be unwilling to meet the Bolts’ asking price for a player they can sign via free agency in five months.
The Colorado Avalanche aren’t finding many suitors for the 39-year-old Jarome Iginla, who is willing to waive his no-trade clause for a playoff contender.
The Arizona Coyotes won’t trade captain Shane Doan unless he asks to be dealt. There’s a belief in league circle he might and Garrioch thinks the San Jose Sharks could be interested.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ve heard Doan’s name pop up before and nothing ever came of that speculation. Maybe this year will be different but I’ll believe it when I see it.