NHL Rumor Mill – June 16, 2017
Updates on Alex Galchenyuk, Dion Phaneuf, Jordan Eberle and Jonas Brodin in your NHL Rumor Mill.
TSN: In the aftermath of the Montreal Canadiens acquiring Jonathan Drouin yesterday from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Darren Dreger believes the Habs are now shopping forward Alex Galchenyuk.
Dreger points out they have a need on defense after shipping key prospect Mikhail Sergachev to the Lightning. He suggests they could shop Galchenyuk for one of the good young defensemen believed available in the trade market, such as Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin or the Islanders’ Travis Hamonic.
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports multiple sources confirm Galchenyuk is in play in the trade market. He believes the 23-year-old could be on the move in the coming days.
LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Yvon Pedneault wonders what the Canadiens will do to address their ongoing need for a scoring center. He wonders if swapping Galchenyuk for Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will work for both clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe Bergevin is done dealing and expect Galchenyuk’s days with the Habs are numbered. Most of the media chatter indicates the 23-year-old winger could be dealt for an established young top-four defenseman.
If Galchenyuk is swapped for a blueliner, their issues at center could dog the club next season unless Bergevin acquires one via trade or free agency. There’s some suggestion Drouin could skate at center but I think the preference is to get an established one.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports there isn’t a huge market for Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf, but there is some interest. He believes the Sens will have to eat some of his $7 million annual cap hit to get a deal done or take back a bad contract. Phaneuf recently submitted a new 12-team list of preferred trade destinations to the Sens.
Ian Mendes reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion said he’s getting interest in Phaneuf, Marc Methot and Cody Ceci. However, he cautions that doesn’t mean one of them will be dealt before the expansion draft. Phaneuf’s decision not to waive his no-movement clause for the purpose of the expansion draft means exposing Methot or Ceci.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports sources claim Dorion is trying to trade Phaneuf in order to protect Methot and Ceci in the expansion draft. ” League sources say Arizona, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Colorado, Calgary, Edmonton, Buffalo and San Jose are looking for help on the back end and may have varying degrees of interest in Phaneuf.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Dorion’s willing to pick up a healthy chunk of Phaneuf’s cap hit or take back a toxic contract, I believe he could find a taker for Phaneuf. Of those clubs listed by Garrioch, it remains to be seen if any of them are on Phaneuf’s wish list or if he’ll agree to broaden his list.
I suspect Phaneuf will accept a trade to a playoff contender, which rules out Arizona, New Jersey, Colorado and Buffalo. He began his career in Calgary and maybe he’ll consider a return there. Then again, his preference could be sticking with Eastern Conference clubs. We’ll find out shortly.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild are getting quality trade offers for defensemen Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba. The Wild risk losing one of those blueliners to the Vegas Golden Knights in the upcoming NHL expansion draft. Sources say the Wild “showed great interest” in Montreal Canadiens winger Alex Galchenyuk, with TSN’s Bob McKenzie saying Brodin is the type of defenseman the Habs could target.
Galchenyuk’s a restricted free agent and could prove difficult to squeeze onto the Wild’s salary-cap payroll even if Brodin were dealt. Russo believes “it’s hard to see how the Wild makes it work financially unless it’s willing to trade Granlund, Niederreiter or Charlie Coyle at some point, or find a way out of Jason Pominville’s $5.6 million cap hit.”
BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy speculates the Bruins could target a young, left-shooting blueliner such as Brodin or the Islanders’ Travis Hamonic before the expansion draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One gets the sense Brodin or Dumba will be dealt before the expansion draft roster freeze is implemented on Saturday at 3 pm ET. Perhaps one of them will be moving to Montreal. The Canadiens could try to pick up an additional salaried player from the Wild in the deal but that could complicate efforts to re-sign Alexander Radulov. They also don’t want to create possible difficulties with their own expansion draft protection list.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Darren Dreger telling Edmonton’s TSN 1260 there are six or seven clubs with interest in Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle. He believes the Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders could be among the front runners. Dreger brings up Isles defenseman Travis Hamonic as a player of possible interest to the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, Eberle’s $6 million annual salary through 2018-19 remains a sticking point. The Oilers might have to pick up part of it or take back an expensive contract to get a deal done. The Oilers were linked to Hamonic last season and could perhaps revisit their rumored interest. There’s also talk the Avs could move blueliner Tyson Barrie.