NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2017
Latest on Kyle Turris, Andreas Athanasiou and Calvin Pickard in your NHL rumor mill.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan wonders if the recent rumor of an impasse in contract talks between Kyle Turris and the Ottawa Senators is the work of a rival general manager trying to rock the Senators’ boat.
On Thursday night, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Turris seeks a seven- or eight-year contract but the Sens are reluctant to hand out such a lengthy deal. Dreger suggested the deadlock could result in Turris getting traded.
Brennan doesn’t see either side benefiting from revealing that information. Despite Turris’ UFA status next July, he doubts the Sens would try to move him when they’re hoping for a return trip to the playoffs. While Brennan admits a trade is possible he said it’s not what he’s hearing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oh, the intrigue! Regardless of who fed the contract stalemate story to Dreger, I don’t see the Senators trading him if they’re jockeying for a playoff berth before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Unless they get a sweetheart offer from a rival club, they certainly won’t move him now.
Of course, the fact Senators GM Pierre Dorion was reportedly very interested in Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene could give rise to speculation of a Turris-for-Duchene swap. While anything’s possible, that goes against months of conjecture claiming Avs GM Joe Sakic wants a package of good young talent in return. The 28-year-old Turris is nearly two years older than Duchene. Even if Sakic was interested he’d want assurances Turris will re-sign before pulling the trigger on a trade.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa reports Detroit Red Wings winger Andreas Athanasiou is heading to Switzerland for some skating and to assess his options, including seeing if there’s a market for his services in Europe. Athanasiou is the only unsigned player among this year’s crop of NHL restricted free agents.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Wings had offered Athanasiou a two-year deal worth $1.9 million annually and a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. The 23-year-old, however, seeks $2.5 million per season. He also had an offer from KHL club AK Bars Kazan but a source said it was withdrawn because Athanasiou was asking for too much.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I just don’t understand what Athanasiou hopes to accomplish here. He’s a promising player but is really in no position to made demands for more money. In fact, he’s now losing money.The Wings made two fair offers. If unsigned by Dec. 1 he’ll be ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the season.
If the issue is he’s unhappy playing for Wings coach Jeff Blashill,, this is the wrong way to go about addressing it. This standoff also gives him a reputation for being difficult in contract talks, which could also hurt his trade value.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston believes the Toronto Maple Leafs’ acquisition on Friday of goaltender Calvin Pickard from the Vegas Golden Knights hints at more moves to come for the club. The Leafs sent Pickard to their AHL affiliate but Johnston doubts he’ll be in the minors for long, suggesting he might supplant Curtis McElhinney as Toronto’s backup goalie.