NHL Rumor Mill – January 9, 2018
Some suggested trade proposals, latest on the Predators and Bruins plus an update on Zack Smith in your NHL rumor mill.
TRADE PROPOSALS FOR GALCHENYUK, HOFFMAN & DUCLAIR
ESPN.COM: Rob Vollman speculates Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk, Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman and Arizona’s Anthony Duclair are offensive-minded wingers who could be pursued by playoff contenders.
Vollman believes Galchenyuk could reach his full potential as a scorer with a change of scenery. Noting the Canadiens need for scoring depth, particularly at center, he proposes shipping Galchenyuk to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Alexander Wennberg, who’s currently sidelined with a back injury. Wennberg is similar in age (23) and salary (4.9 million cap hit) and could also benefit from playing elsewhere.
The Senators could use a top-four defenseman. Vollman suggests shipping Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks for Brenden Dillon, noting he was “an effective, defensive-minded top-four option in Dallas” and could fill the void left by Marc Methot departure in last summer’s expansion draft.
Vollman feels the Coyotes could seek “low-cost forward assets” for Duclair, ideally someone who can contribute at both ends of the ice. He suggests sending Duclair to the Los Angeles Kings for Trevor Lewis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vollman goes into much greater detail explaining these proposed moves. If you have an ESPN.com subscription, I recommend giving his column a read.
Of these proposals, Galchenyuk for Wennberg makes the most sense to me, though his recent injury could give some cause for concern. He’s about two-to-four weeks away from returning to action. Wennberg reached a career-high 59-points last season but seems to have fallen out of favor with Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella. Given the Habs’ dire need for help at center, perhaps taking a chance on Wennberg could be worthwhile.
The Sharks would probably jump at the opportunity to land Hoffman by giving up Dillon, but I don’t think that return will be enticing for Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. Word out of Ottawa is the Sens want to get younger. While Dillon’s not long in the tooth (he’s 27), I don’t think he’s what Dorion has in mind. As for Duclair, I think the Coyotes will seek a better return than a 30-year-old Lewis.
UPDATES ON THE PREDATORS AND BRUINS
USA TODAY: The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan was asked if he sees the Nashville Predators swinging a big move before the trade deadline and if so, would it be for a forward or a sixth defender. Vingan doesn’t rule out the possibility of Preds GM David Poile making a move. He believes the Preds are happy with their goaltending and defensive group but they could use another scoring winger. He lists Buffalo’s Evander Kane, Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman and Montreal’s Max Pacioretty as those rumored to be available who could fit that description. Their respective cap hits, however, could mean some roster tinker and salary-cap maneuvering by the Preds.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t rule out the possibility of Poile swinging a deal to bolster his scoring by the trade deadline. The asking prices for Kane, Hoffman or Pacioretty could be high, perhaps more than he’s willing to spend. Having swung a major three-team deal earlier this season that brought in center Kyle Turris, Poile could consider a more affordable short-term rental option.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Sportsnet’s NHL insider Elliotte Friedman’s Monday appearance on NHL Network discussing possible moves by the Boston Bruins. While reports indicate the Bruins could seek a top-six winger or a top-four defenseman, Friedman said they’re unwilling to part with their prospects. “Charlie McAvoy is not going anywhere. Brandon Carlo is not going anywhere,” said Friedman. He said the Bruins rejected a pitch last year by a rival club for prospect Trent Frederic.
Friedman can see the Bruins attempting to land someone like Vancouver’s Thomas Vanek with a late-round draft pick. While the Bruins seek a left-shot defenseman, Friedman notes Matt Grzelcyk has been playing well for them lately.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Bruins sitting second in the Atlantic Division and third overall in the Eastern Conference, GM Don Sweeney can afford to be patient and wait for more affordable options to appear by the trade deadline. He’s not sacrificing his futures for a quick fix.
FLAMES INTEREST IN SMITH?
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators forward Zack Smith is believed to have drawn interest from the Calgary Flames, Smith is among several Senators (Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Johnny Oduya and Cody Ceci) mentioned as possible trade candidates before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.