Sunday NHL Post-Draft Rumor Roundup – June 25, 2017
Latest on Dion Phaneuf, Matt Duchene, Alex Galchenyuk and more in your Sunday NHL Post-Draft Roundup.
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Ottawa Senators came close to moving Dion Phaneuf prior to the recent expansion draft roster freeze. During the draft weekend, they received interest in Phaneuf from clubs not on his list of acceptable trade destinations. General manager Pierre Dorion spoke with the defenseman’s representatives about expanding his trade list but nothing doing thus far.
McKenzie said this remains a work in progress and we should allow for the possibility of Phaneuf being dealt. With the Sens losing Marc Methot in the expansion draft and with Phaneuf maybe on the move, they could be talking to defensemen in the upcoming free-agent market.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Dorion confirmed he’s received calls regarding Phaneuf. The club would prefer to retain him but Garrioch believes that could change with one phone call. Dorion acknowledged exploring all options for the blueliner. Garrioch feels it could take until after July 1 to see how the free-agent market shakes out to see if those interested clubs remain keen to do a deal. The Los Angeles Kings have reportedly showed “more than a passing interest” in Phaneuf.
Ultimately, Dorion said it’s up to Phaneuf if he’s willing to waive his no-move clause. The Sens GM said he’d have no problem with the veteran defenseman opting to stay in Ottawa and denied any suggestion that his refusal to waive the clause for the recent expansion draft would be a problem.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting development regarding Phaneuf. If he’s unwilling to broaden his wish list of trade destinations there’s nothing the Sens can do about it. That being said, the recent reports seem to suggest it’s possible. Sounds to me like the Sens are waiting for a club that he would accept getting dealt to.
If the Kings are interested in Phaneuf they must either shed salary or get the Sens to pick up part of his $7 million cap hit to make this work. They have around $9 million invested in 17 players.
Pierre LeBrun reports the Colorado Avalanche aren’t budging from their high asking price for center Matt Duchene. His agent, Pat Brisson, had had discussions with Avalanche GM Joe Sakic. There hasn’t been a trade request by the Duchene camp. The Nashville Predators are interested, but GM David Poile insists he’s not trading one of his top-four defensemen. LeBrun anticipated Poile could get creative to get a deal done.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders GM Garth Snow pitched defenseman Travis Hamonic along with his 2018 first-round pick to the Avs for Duchene but Sakic balked. The Toronto Maple Leafs “reportedly offering a package that included forward James van Riemsdyk and a 2018 first-round pick” for Hamonic, who was ultimately shipped to the Calgary Flames. Staple also cites two league sources claiming Brisson is “seriously unhappy” over Sakic’s foot-dragging on a deal.
PUCK DADDY: Sean Leahy reports Snow will “100 percent” look at using the draft picks he received in return for Hamonic to add another high-end talent, if possible.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regarding Duchene, Sakic will have to lower his asking price (reportedly a top defenseman, a top prospect and a first-round pick) if he intend to move the center. If Poile wants Duchene I think he could try to get a third team involved to get a deal done. As for the Isles interest in Duchene, I think trading away Hamonic takes them out of that sweepstakes.
McKenzie reports Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galcheyuk is still out there. A “juicy rumor” linked Galchenyuk to Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux, but he called it “just a rumor”. While Flyers GM Ron Hextall is willing to listen to offers for his players there’s no indication Giroux is available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still expect the Canadiens will move Galchenyuk for a top-four defenseman, but they could also try to use him to add a proven scoring center. Giroux had a no-movement clause and could nix any attempt to move him. His high cap hit ($8.25 million annually) and the steady erosion in his production screams “buyer beware.”
NHL.COM: Dan Rosen believes the Avalanche, Canadiens, New York Rangers, Vegas Golden Knights and New York Islanders could make more moves before free agency opens on July 1. Galchenyuk remains in the rumor mill, linked to “the New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks, among other teams.” The Habs ideally want a defenseman in return.
The Rangers seek a top-four right-handed defenseman to skate alongside Ryan McDonagh. Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith could be free-agent options. They also need a backup goaltender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks wonders if the Rangers are willing to sacrifice one of their top-two young forwards (J.T.Miller or Chris Kreider) to land a top-pairing defenseman. I daresay it’ll take one of those guys to get that return. It could end up pushing the Blueshirts into the free-agent market.
It’s expected the Islanders could pursue a No. 2 center. They’ve been linked to Colorado’s Matt Duchene.
Golden Knight’s GM George McPhee is getting calls regarding blueliner Marc Methot,