NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2017
Updates on the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning in your NHL rumor mill.
CSN BAY AREA’s Kevin Kurz, responding to a reader’s question on Twitter, said he wouldn’t be shocked if the San Jose Sharks added another scoring forward. Thus far, however, he hasn’t heard anything.
SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: Paul Ladewski suggests the Sharks consider signing Jaromir Jagr. He notes the 45-year-old right wing can still contribute offensively, especially on the power play, an area where the Sharks struggled last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, I also suggested Jagr could help the Sharks power play. They have over $8 million in salary-cap room and could easily afford inking him to a one-year, bonus-laden deal with a $2 million base salary.
It remains to be seen, however, if general manager Doug Wilson will consider that option. I think he intends to evaluate his roster during training camp, especially the play of wingers Mikkel Boedker, Timo Meier, Joonas Donskoi and Melker Karlsson. If those players show improvement, the Sharks won’t need to bring in Jagr.
SPORTSNET: cites Sport-Express hockey writer Igor Eronko reporting Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin hopes his team will sign countryman and former KHL forward Danis Zariopov. Malkin said he’d enjoy having Zaripov playing on his line. Zaripov was recently banned from playing in the KHL for using the decongestant pseudoephedrine. However, the 36-year-old is allowed to sign with an NHL team because the substance in question isn’t banned in that league. He was also barred from testifying at his own hearing for his KHL suspension.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Zaripov’s agent, Dan Milstein, said the Lightning are among his client’s preferred NHL destinations. Several clubs, including the New York Rangers, are also believed interested in the Russian forward. Smith notes the Bolts have over $3.25 million in available cap space. While the Bolts seem set at forward, Smith suggests adding a skilled veteran winger such as Zaripov might be intriguing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins also have over $3 million in salary-cap room, but their priority is addressing their third-line center spot. They’ve offered Jay McClement a professional tryout offer and could go the trade route to bring in help at center. With their depth in young wingers, there might not be enough room for Zaripov on the Penguins’ roster.
As for the Lightning, they might not have room for Zaripov. As Smith notes, they’re well stocked at forward entering this season. Still, after trading away Jonathan Drouin to Montreal this summer, maybe GM Steve Yzerman is keeping his options open.