NHL Rumor Mill – August 26, 2017
Latest on the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes plus an update on Will Butcher in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites TSN’s Darren Dreger’s Friday appearance on WGR 550 discussing the lingering questions facing the Detroit Red Wings.
Despite the Wings lack of salary-cap space, Dreger wonders if general manager Ken Holland can find a way to add an unrestricted free agent, such as former Wings forward Thomas Vanek. He feels the Wings still have legitimate interest in Vanek, who netted 17 goals last season with Detroit and the Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, there were reports claiming the Vanek camp had been in touch with Wings management. While I don’t doubt there’s mutual interest, the Red Wing are above the $75 million salary cap by just over $3 million and still have restricted free agent forward Andreas Athanasiou to re-sign.
They’ll get $3.9 million in cap relief at the start of the season when inactive winger Johan Franzen is once again placed on long-term injured reserve.However, that won’t free up sufficient room to re-sign Athanasiou and bring back Vanek.
Holland recently said he’ll address this issue during preseason. He can demote a couple of players to squeeze out sufficient cap space for Athanasiou but it could take a salary-dumping trade to find enough room to also add Vanek.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan wonders what the Arizona Coyotes plan will be to address their lack of depth at right wing. He notes they currently have ” Anthony Duclair, Tobias Rieder, Christian Fischer and maybe Nick Cousins, a left-wing transplant or even Emerson Etem” to fill those positions. Morgan notes GM John Chayka sounded like he wanted to make one more move to reshape his roster but it has yet to happen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chayka could go the UFA route, where ageing wingers such as Jaromir Jagr, Thomas Vanek, Jarome Iginla, Brian Gionta and P-A Parenteau remain available. He’s obviously not bringing back long-time Coyotes captain Shane Doan.
With over $19 million in salary cap space, Chayka could get bold and maybe pitch an expensive offer sheet to a restricted free agent, such as Boston’s David Pastrnak or Columbus’ Josh Anderson. However, I don’t think he intends to employ that rarely-used tactic.
TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens are not in the running to sign unrestricted free agent college defenseman Will Butcher.