NHL Rumor Mill – June 20, 2017
Latest on the Islanders, Rangers, Bruins and Sharks in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Darren Dreger telling Toronto’s TSN 1050 he expects the New York Islanders are going to make a major move to acquire a top-six forward in the next week. He suspects it’ll cost them defenseman Travis Hamonic “and something else” in return.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports Islanders general manager Garth Snow is working the phones to land a high-end offensive talent. Possibilities includes Colorado’s Matt Duchene, Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle and Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk. All three clubs seek to bolster their defense and Snow is believed willing to part with Hamonic.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow already reportedly swung a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights, shipping his first-round pick (15th overall) and Mikhail Grabovski to Vegas, who in turn will select Nikolay Kulemin in the expansion draft.
There’s currently a roster freeze in place for all but the Golden Knights but GMs such as Snow can continue discussing trades with other clubs. If Snow secures a deal to his liking, it could be revealed soon after the roster freeze is lifted at 8 am ET on June 22. It certainly appears Hamonic’s days with the Islanders are numbered.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers center Derek Stepan has considerable value in the trade market. He envisioned several scenarios involving Stepan, such as dealing him to the Carolina Hurricanes for Justin Faulk or shipping him to the Arizona Coyotes for assets that could be flipped to Winnipeg for Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba. However, unless the Rangers can deal Stepan for “a no-doubt, first-pair right defenseman,” Brooks believes they’re better off keeping him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Brooks’ take. The Rangers won’t do the deal if it doesn’t suitably address their blueline needs.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty believes the Boston Bruins should avoid getting into the bidding New Jersey Devils wayward winger Ilya Kovalchuk. Instead, they should consider investing in younger, longer-term assets such as Colorado Avalanche forwards Gabriel Landeskog or Matt Duchene. Possible short-term options via unrestricted free agency could include Dallas’ Patrick Sharp or San Jose’s Patrick Marleau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were linked to Landeskog last season but the Avs’ reported asking price involved a promising young defenseman such as Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy. If the Bruins aren’t willing to part with one of those youngsters in the trade market, they could be forced to consider lesser options to bring in a scoring winger.
CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz recently reported San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s had some contract dialogue with pending UFAs Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau but declined to elaborate. Wilson’s priority is re-signing defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goaltender Martin Jones. He said he’s making progress in those negotiations. Sources say Thornton seeks a three-year deal worth $5 million annually, while a source said Marleau also hopes to land a three-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if the Sharks re-sign those 37-year-olds to three-year contracts. At this stage in their respective careers, they’ll be lucky to get two-year deals. I can see Wilson offering Thornton a two-year deal for $5 million annually and Marleau getting a one-year offer for $4 million.