NHL Rumor Roundup – July 26, 2017
Latest on the Rangers, Canadiens, Devils and Predators in your NHL rumor mill.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers “are expected to deal defenseman Nick Holden” to add depth at center if necessary. They also have until Thursday to decide if they’ll buy out veteran blueliner Marc Staal. While that move would free up over $3.6 million in salary-cap space for 2017-18, the Rangers would be carrying eight seasons of dead cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the full breakdown of a possible Staal buyout at CapFriendly.com. I think they’ll hold off on that idea and see how Staal performs next season. If a buyout becomes necessary next summer, better to carry six years of dead cap space than eight. As for Holden, I believe the earliest he could be moved is in September when teams are evaluating their rosters in training camp and preseason play.
LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Jean-Francois Chaumont speculates the Canadiens signing defenseman Mark Streit yesterday makes a return of Andrei Markov less likely.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs currently carry eight defensemen on one-way NHL contracts totally nearly $24 million. Still, they have over $8 million in salary-cap space. Markov seeks a two-year, $12 million contract and the Canadiens (and apparently, every other NHL club) won’t meet that demand. However, if he lowers his asking price, the Habs have the room to bring him back.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall likes the moves his club made this summer and doesn’t think they’re finished. “We’ve got some good pieces. I don’t think they’re done by any means. I think there’s some things they’re still looking to do,” Hall said. Fox notes the Devils have roughly $19.42 million in salary-cap space with only restricted free agents Damon Severson and Stefan Noesen to re-sign.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils need help on defense and GM Ray Shero is reportedly keen to address that issue. Free agent options include Andrei Markov, Francois Beauchemin and Cody Franson. Shero might have better luck via the trade market in September, as he has some depth in prospects to offer up as trade bait to cap-strapped clubs looking to shed salary before the start of the season.
THE TENNESSEAN: Adam Vingan reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile maintains he’s not touching his defense in the near future. The Preds carry eight defenseman for 2017-18 and Vingan speculates that provides the club with trade chips if an opportunity to improve the roster presents itself.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile seems especially unwilling to move top-four defensemen such as Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm.