NHL Rumor Mill – February 12, 2018
Updates on the Oilers, Senators, Penguins and Islanders in your NHL rumor mill.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports multiple sources claim the Boston Bruins have interest in Edmonton Oilers winger Patrick Maroon. Oilers VP of hockey operations Craig MacTavish scouted a recent Bruins-Sabres game while Bruins executive director of player personnel John Ferguson Jr. has scouted the last two Oilers games.
Haggerty feels the 6’3″, 227-pound Maroon could provide the Bruins some veteran help and size on the wing while the Oilers are looking to stock up with young players and draft picks. The Bruins are willing to improve their roster but they don’t want to mess too much with their lineup.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples notes Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos suggested the Oilers should look at trading forward Leon Draisaitl if they think they can get a big return. Kypreos’ colleague Elliotte Friedman disagreed, as does Staples, who believes whatever pieces the Oilers got back may or may not turn out, whereas Drasaitl is averaging 0.96 points per game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins play the Oilers on Feb. 20, which could explain why the two clubs are scouting each other. The Bruins could be interested in Maroon but it’ll depend upon the Oilers’ asking price. Boston management has stated they don’t want to move their good young players or top prospects.
As for Draisaitl, Kypreos seemed to be simply musing out loud over what moves the Oilers should make to improve going forward. Draisaitl’s not going anywhere unless he wants out of Edmonton and there’s no indication that’s the case.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion is expected to ramp up efforts to make deals leading up to the Feb.26 NHL trade deadline. It’s believed Dorion won’t be moving Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone and Thomas Chabot. Inquiries about Colin White were rebuffed, center Matt Duchene isn’t going anywhere and it’ll take a significant offer to move Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
There is interest in forwards Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith, Ryan Dzingel and Derick Brassard, but Garrioch would be surprised if Brassard is moved given the difficulty in finding a center. It’s believed the Los Angeles Kings have circled back on their prior interest in Dion Phaneuf. Veteran blueliner Johnny Oduya could help a contender. Garrioch doesn’t feel it’s prudent to move blueliner Cody Ceci right now.
Garrioch cites league sources saying the Tampa Bay Lightning have called about Karlsson and Ceci, but the Sens can’t decide on the latter until there’s a decision made over Karlsson’s future. St. Louis, New Jersey, Carolina, San Jose and Buffalo are thought to have interest in Hoffman, while Calgary, Vegas and San Jose were linked to Smith.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning may have inquired about Karlsson but GM Steve Yzerman isn’t feeling pressured to make a blockbuster move at the trade deadline. It doesn’t sound like he’s keen to overpay, pointing out such moves do not guarantee a Stanley Cup championship. Indeed, the Bolts are reportedly unwilling to part with youngsters Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev, two players some scribes feel must be included in any offer for Karlsson or New York Rangers blueliner Ryan McDonagh.
If the Senators make a deal or two at the deadline, Hoffman or Smith could be the likely candidates. Both have regularly appeared in the rumor mill in recent weeks. Moving Phaneuf could mean picking up part of his $7-million annual cap hit or taking back a toxic contract.
PENGUINS AND ISLANDERS
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie lists Minnesota’s Matt Cullen, New York Rangers center David Desharnais, Edmonton’s Mark Letestu, Florida’s Jared McCann and Carolina’s Derek Ryan as five potential trade targets for the Pittsburgh Penguins. While Riley Sheahan has performed well of late, Bombulie still feels the Penguins need to bolster their depth at center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins third- and fourth-line center roles have been the subject of almost constant chatter in the Pittsburgh media. GM Jim Rutherford could look at bringing in one of the players on Bombulie’s list to center the fourth line.
NEWSDAY: Brian Heyman suggests forward Brock Nelson and goaltender Jaroslav Halak as two players the New York Islanders could move at the trade deadline. While Nelson is playing well of late, Heyman feels he’s not part of their young core and could be a useful trade chip if the Isles wish to improve their goaltending or defense. He thinks the Isles should consider moving Halak in a package deal for his replacement. Given the way Thomas Greiss has played, Heyman thinks they might trade a middling draft pick for a new backup goalie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles carry two picks in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. They could dangle one or two of them as trade bait but GM Garth Snow seems reluctant to do that. If so, he’ll have to move a good roster player in order to improve his defense and goaltending. That could make Nelson a worthwhile candidate. Unless they tumble further out of wild-card contention over the next two weeks, I don’t think they’ll move Halak.