NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2017
TSN’s top-30 trade-bait, including Jordan Eberle, Matt Duchene, Travis Hamonic and more in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, Minnesota Wild blueliners Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba, Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene and New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic top Frank Seravalli’s list of TSN’s top-30 trade-bait board.
Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle, Avalanche rearguard Tyson Barrie, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury round out the top ten.
New Jersey Devils wayward winger Ilya Kovalchuk, Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan, Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok, Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer, New York Rangers netminder Antti Raanta, Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp and right wing Joel Armia, Lightning d-man Andrej Sustr, Blue Jackets center William Karlsson and Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin make up spots 11-20.
Filling spots 21 to 30 are San Jose Sharks defender Brenden Dillon, Isles blueliner Ryan Pulock, Lightning center Tyler Johnson, Predators center Colton Sissons, Montreal Canadiens d-man Nathan Beaulieu, Philadelphia Flyers center Brayden Schenn, Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin, Boston Bruins right wing Jimmy Hayes, St. Louis Blues forward Jori Lehtera and Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli notes some of the names on this list, such as Vatanan, Brodin and Dumba, are there because they belong to clubs at risk of losing those players in the expansion draft later this month to the Vegas Golden Knights. Rather than lose them for nothing, some of those clubs could trade them.
Some, such as Duchene and MacKinnon, are here because their clubs are looking to make significant changes. Some, like Eberle and Jenner, could be dealt to shed salary. I believe Drouin and Johnson are here because their teams could lack sufficient cap space to re-sign them.
We can quibble over the placement of certain names on this list or whether some (such as MacKinnon) even belong here, but I think some of them could be joining new clubs by the end of this month. While all of them won’t be traded, the combination of the expansion draft and salary-cap constraints could result in 10 or 12 getting moved in the coming weeks.
Seravalli’s colleagues Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger discussed the Edmonton Oilers’ efforts to re-sign Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Dreger said he’s been told there are trade offers on the table for Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle, but none that general manager Peter Chiarelli is willing to accept right now. Citing the club’s need to free up sufficient salary-cap room to re-sign Draisaitl and McDavid, Dreger believes it “sounds like he’ll definitely get traded.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, Chiarelli told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun he will have to move a player to clear cap room but didn’t have to do it this year. He also sang Eberle’s praises, despite his poor offensive production in the playoffs. That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if Chiarelli tries to move him for a favorable return. While he obviously needs to clear room for the anticipated expensive new deals for Draisaitl and McDavid, it appears he’s not intent on just giving Eberle away.
McKenzie considers Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene as the player most likely to be traded this summer. He notes the Avs tried moving Duchene at the trade deadline but didn’t receive offers to their liking. He expects they’ll find what they’re looking for this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leading up to the trade deadline, the pundit consensus was the the Avs sought a good young defenseman or goaltender, a first-round pick, a top prospect and more for Duchene. If that’s true, it’s no wonder they didn’t get what they wanted. I daresay they’ll have to lower that asking price to move him this summer. Not saying Duchene can’t be traded or doesn’t have value, because he certainly does and there will be interest in him, but the Avs probably won’t get a king’s ransom for him.
Dreger notes the New York Islanders risk losing a defenseman in the upcoming expansion draft, which could make Travis Hamonic an attractive trade piece for a top-six forward. Avalanche blueliner Tyson Barrie could also be in play if they move Matt Duchene for a defenseman. The asking price could be a high draft pick or a combination of picks and prospects.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles could also look at cutting a side deal with Vegas to ensure they don’t lose a decent blueliner left exposed in the expansion draft. Moving Hamonic could also leave a big hole in the Isles defense for next season. As for Barrie, it appears his future hinges on what the Avs get in return from a possible Duchene trade.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to convince the Vegas Golden Knights to take winger David Clarkson’s contract off their hands in a trade. Clarkson is all but retired due to a back injury. The Jackets can place him on long-term injured reserve next season, but having his contract on their books affects possible offseason moves. Friedman said the Jackets are trying to determine what kind of “sweetener” to add to the deal to entice Vegas. Clarkson isn’t eligible to be exposed in the upcoming expansion draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have over $70 million invested in next season’s payroll with RFAs Alexander Wennberg and Josh Anderson to re-sign. They might also want to keep UFA forward Sam Gagner. Even if they lose a salaried player via the expansion draft, it might not clear enough room to re-sign those players and to perhaps make other additions. Clarkson has reportedly agreed to waive his no-movement clause to allow the Jackets to shop his contract, but it could take a quality draft pick or prospect to entice the Golden Knights.