NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2017
Latest on Dion Phaneuf, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin, Derek Stepan, the Sedins & Nino Niederreiter in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun examines the Ottawa Senators options on defense for the upcoming expansion draft. They could attempt to trade Dion Phaneuf, who reportedly declined to waive his no-movement clause and carries a modified no-trade clause with 12 teams he’d accept being dealt to. They could also trade Marc Methot, who would be easier to move, while Cody Ceci is their least likely trade option. They could also just leave Methot exposed in the draft.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan believes Phaneuf’s decision is forcing the Senators to trade him before the expansion draft. He speculates there has to be a couple of teams on the blueliner’s list of preferred trade destinations close to Stanley Cup contention that could benefit from Phaneuf’s experience.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf’s age (32) and $7 million cap hit through 2020-21 could make him difficult to move. Not impossible, of course, as we saw when the Senators acquired him from the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. But finding a suitable trade partner will be tough to do. I daresay interested clubs will squeeze the Sens to pick up part of his cap hit or toss in a draft pick or prospect.
LeBrun also reports the Montreal Canadiens are listening to offers for restricted free agent winger Alex Galchenyuk but it doesn’t mean they will move him. Given Galchenyuk’s inconsistent performance this season, LeBrun cautions against moving him when he has a lower value. If they do trade him they must ensure the return is right.
Hearing a lot of rumblings that a Drouin/Galchenyuk swap is coming…I’m no tradebreaker, so take it for what it’s worth.
— Conor McKenna (@mckennaconor) June 14, 2017
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 14, 2017
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire’s response speaks volumes:
Galchenyuk for Drouin? “Hmmm… I guess maybe”
Galchenyuk and a 1st for Drouin? pic.twitter.com/ibd7NjH6gL
— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) June 14, 2017
My take: The Canadiens need a top-line center. The Lightning need a top-four defenseman. This rumor doesn’t address those needs. Sure, Galchenyuk could be traded this summer. So could Drouin. Maybe they could be dealt for each other, but I don’t see how this move helps either club.
Regarding the Sedin twins, LeBrun doubts the Vancouver Canucks intend to approach them about a trade.
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is on the trade market. He notes Stepan no-trade clause for the next two seasons kicks in on July 1. He has $26 million remaining on his contract over the next four years. Citing a rumor linking Stepan to Canadiens winger Alex Galchenyk, McKenzie said that talk doesn’t mean the trade will happen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet from the New York media regarding Stepan’s status. I daresay we could learn more soon. Stepan’s name came up earlier this season in the rumor mill linking him to the St. Louis Blues, but that rumored deal had Kevin Shattenkirk going the other way.
The Blues need depth at center. The Rangers need a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot. Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko fit that description but they’re not going anywhere. If Stepan is dealt, it probably won’t be to St. Louis.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has discussed trades with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights but there’s no deal in the works. The Wild risk losing a good player in the upcoming expansion draft. Fletcher wouldn’t confirm if he’s asked winger Jason Pominville to waive his no-movement clause. Winger Nino Niederreiter has been mentioned in trade rumors. Niederreiter’s a restricted free agent but his agent said Wild management will wait until after the expansion draft to open contract discussions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed the Wild could lose a good young defenseman such as Jonas Brodin or Matt Dumba. They could attempt to trade one of them. Then again, perhaps they move a forward such as Niederreiter if they opt to go the eight-player protection route. We’ll find out soon enough what Fletcher has in mind.