NHL Rumor Mill – October 1, 2017
Latest James van Riemsdyk speculation and forecasting which GMs could be active in this season’s trade market.
TSN: Darren Dreger believes the Toronto Maple Leafs could get more from winger James van Riemsdyk on the trade market than their other pending unrestricted free agents, including Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov.
Dreger isn’t predicting van Riemsdyk is the most likely to get trade. However, he feels there are teams that could be willing to pay more for JVR based on the belief they could get more out of him and push him to a higher level.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs put JVR on the trade block this season there will be considerable interest in his services as a playoff rental. Some general managers will also have an eye on retaining him after this season. As always, much depends upon van Riemsdyk’s performance, how expensive his next contract could be and where the Leafs are in the standings as the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Scott Nichols cites NHL insider Pierre LeBrun’s Thursday evening appearance on Montreal’s TSN 690 forecasting which NHL general managers could be busy in this season’s trade market.
The Montreal Canadiens’ Marc Bergevin has the salary-cap room to be active.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens enter the season with over $8 million in salary-cap room. Bergervin doesn’t have a lot of attractive trade chips but he does have room to take on a contract or two from cap-strapped clubs or those looking to shed salary later in the season.
Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks could make a move at some point to replace forward Patrick Marleau, who signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson loves to wheel and deal near the trade deadline. Depending on his team’s needs by that point, I expect he’ll be active in the market.
The St. Louis Blues enter this season with major injury issues. LeBrun feels Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn’t afraid to make a deal if he can’t find answers from within his system.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap space could be an issue there. The Blues only have a little over $2 million in wiggle room. They’ll only get just over $894K in cap relief if they decide to put Robby Fabbri, who’s out for the season with a knee injury, on long-term injury reserve.
LeBrun wonders if Rob Blake of the Los Angeles Kings uses one of his defensemen to improve up front.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll depend upon the play of center Anze Kopitar and wingers Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson this season. Kopitar’s production sagged last season while Toffoli missed a big chunk of last season with an injury. If those two bounce back well and Pearson continues to improve, Blake might not have to go shopping for help up front.