NHL Rumor Mill – May 3, 2017
Teams that could make trades with the Vegas Golden Knights before the expansion draft, possible trade destinations for Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and speculating over the trade value of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton recently listed the the Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins as five clubs that could made deals with the Vegas Golden Knights before the expansion draft in June.
The Wild could lose either a forward such as Jason Zucker or Erik Haula or a defenseman such as Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella and Christian Folin in the expansion draft. They could make a deal with the Golden Knights, depending upon whether they protect three or four defensemen. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, could try to do a deal ensuring the Knights pass over selecting a good young forward such as Alexander Wennberg or William Karlsson.
Clinton suggests the Predators could try to convince the Golden Knights to take someone such as Craig Smith or Colin Wilson off their hands in a cost-cutting move. Ditto the Chicago Blackhawks, as Clinton suggests giving up center Marcus Kruger could free up cap space for the Hawks.
As for the Penguins, Clinton speculates it could cost them high quality picks and maybe a roster player to get the Golden Knights not to select Matt Murray if they’re unable to find a way to move Marc-Andre Fleury before the draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There will be undoubtedly be some wheeling and dealing between Golden Knights general manager George McPhee and some clubs hoping to minimize the effects of the expansion draft upon their current rosters. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out in June.
NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough speculates the improved playoff performance of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury could improve his trade value in the offseason. He suggests the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars could suitors and even suggests the Philadelphia Flyers as a possible destination in a three-way deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A three-way trade sending Fleury to the Flyers could depend upon whether the third team is on his list of preferred trade destinations and if his limited no-trade clause follows him from Pittsburgh. I think there’s a better chance Fleury lands with the Flames (who reportedly had some interest in him last June) or Stars.
VANCOUVER SUN: Jason Botchford suggests trading defenseman Chris Tanev now while his value is high could bring the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks a future star. He feels Tanev is the biggest trade chip the Canucks have and a lot of teams have interest in him. The blueliner is also on a good contract, carrying a $4.45 million annual cap hit for three more seasons. Botchford notes the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the market for blueline depth. So are the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have a scoring winger in Jonathan Drouin who could be available for the right price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Botchford isn’t saying the Canucks are shopping Tanev or even considering it, but it could be an option worth considering now that the front office is finally admitting they need to rebuild the roster. Botchford noted one theory bandied about by fans suggests offering Tanev and a draft pick for Drouin and Ryan Callahan’s expensive contract, but I don’t think that deal will materialize. If the Bolts move Drouin, I suspect they’ll look for a better blueliner than Tanev.