Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 8, 2017
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports Rick Nash would like to re-sign with the New York Rangers and the feeling is mutual. The 33-year-old Nash is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency.
Kypreos feels the Rangers would prefer a short-term deal, perhaps equivalent to that of Minnesota’s Eric Staal (three years at $3 million per), but Patrick Marleau this summer signed a three-year contract worth over $6 million annually. If Nash puts up decent numbers this season, Kypreos feels he could command around $5 million.
Despite the shared interest from both sides, Elliotte Friedman reports there’s been “almost no talks” between them regarding a new contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Nash can stay healthy and nets over 20 goals and 40 points this season, it’ll cost the Rangers much more than $3 million annually to re-sign him. The Leafs signing the 38-year-old Marleau to over $6 million annually really skewed the market for comparable players.
Friedman also reports Kyle Turris wants to stay with the Ottawa Senators and they want to keep him. He said he’s been told the two sides are close to agreeing on the dollars (somewhere in the $6-million range) but term remains the sticking point. Now that the season has started, Friedman doesn’t feel the Sens are keen to move Turris.
Kypreos, however, said he’s been told by some teams that Turris is available. He expects GM Pierre Dorion to listen to offers as long as the center isn’t under a long-term contract.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Turris hasn’t requested a trade and isn’t concerned about his contract talks with the Senators. He’s focusing on hockey and leaving the contract discussions to his agent.
Garrioch said there was a belief the Turris camp would postpone those talks during the season but that notion was quickly dismissed by the Sens.
If they decide to trade Turris, Garrioch believes the Columbus Blue Jackets could be among the suitors. For now, the Sens aren’t shopping Turris but that won’t stop teams from calling.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect Turris to be moved at this stage of the season, if at all. Both sides have plenty of time to work out a new contract.
The situation could change if the Sens fall out of playoff contention by February, especially if the Turris camp won’t budge from seeking a seven- or eight-year deal. If Dorion faces losing Turris for nothing to free agency in July, he could move the 28-year-old center by the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
In that case, teams with interest in Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene could look at Turris as a more reasonable alternative.
THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance reports the Detroit Red Wings could be moving closer to a split with restricted free agent winger Andreas Athanasiou, who’s now skating in Switzerland and mulling his options. The Wings’ offer of a two-year deal worth $1.9 million annually remains on the table, but Athanasiou’s issues with the Wings (Playing time? Issues with the coaching staff?) suggests this goes beyond what he’s earning.
If a trade becomes the only resolution to this impasse, Custance believes both sides will have to be patient. While the Wings aren’t shopping Athanasiou, sources confirm they’re listening to offers. He said a rival GM claims the asking price is high – “a young, top-four defenseman or a young center.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For now, it appears both sides won’t back down. You can’t expect the Wings to accept a draft pick or prospect for Athanasiou. They’ll want an established young NHL player of comparable skill. If Athanasiou has issues with the Wings’coaching staff or his ice time, perhaps it’s best if Detroit GM Ken Holland moves him in exchange for a good young player better suited to the Wings’ rebuilding process.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports as many as eight teams, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins, held trade talks with the Colorado Avalanche regarding center Matt Duchene. However, the Avs high asking price ( a top defenceman, a high-end prospect and a pick) remains the sticking point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As they say in the Canadian Forces, “SITREP: NO CHANGE”.
Winger James Neal’s two-goal performance for the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural NHL game garnered lots of attention. Garrioch doubts Neal, an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, will finish this season with the Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Neal tallied another goal in Vegas’ 2-1 victory over Arizona last night. Barring a significant decline in his play, he’s bound to attract considerable interest by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. If he prefers testing the market this summer, the Knights will shop him in February.
Should the Red Wings re-sign Andreas Athanasiou, they’ll have to clear some cap space for his contract. It’s believed several teams inquired about center Riley Sheahan, who’s a restricted free agent next summer.
If the New York Islanders are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline, defenseman Calvin de Haan could become a valuable commodity. He’s slated to become a UFA in July.