NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2017
Latest on Evander Kane and Ilya Kovalchuk plus an update on the St. Louis Blues in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites TSN’s Darren Dreger appearance Friday on Buffalo’s WGR 550 in which he discussed trade speculation regarding Sabres left wing Evander Kane.
While Dreger claims there’s “clear interest” in Kane from clubs in “win now” mode, moving him leaves a big hole at left wing for the Sabres. While he didn’t specify which teams could have interest in Kane, Dreger suggests the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks as two Western Conference clubs as possibilities.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sabres decide to trade Kane, I believe they’ll want a good, young top-four defenseman to help bolster their bluelline in return. Interested clubs could try to get the Sabres to pick up part of Kane’s $5.25 million cap hit.
SPORT-EXPRESS’ Igor Eronko reports hearing the New York Rangers are out of the bidding for left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, who hopes to return to the NHL after four seasons in the KHL. NEWSDAY’S Arthur Staple replied he’s heard the New York Islanders also aren’t interested in the Russian winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New Jersey Devils own Kovalchuk’s rights but they’ve given his agent permission to speak with other NHL teams. A sign-and-trade scenario is possible but it appears it won’t be with the Rangers and Islanders. There’s talk the Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks could be interested.
STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with his readers, Jeremy Rutherford said St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has been in touch with Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee but otherwise things are quiet on the Blues’ trade front. While the Blues biggest need is for a center, Rutherford speculates they could acquire scoring depth. He considers Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle and Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin as the strongest possibilities.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have over $68 million invested in 20 player for 2017-18 and they must re-sign restricted free agent blueliner Colton Parayko. Unless they clear out significant cap room or convince the Oilers to pick up part of Eberle’s $6 million cap hit, I don’t think there’s a fit there. If the Lightning trade Drouin they’ll want a top-four blueliner in return and could ask for Parayko, which is a deal breaker.