NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2018
The Blues and Senators could be talking trade, updated TSN trade bait list, the latest on the Bruins and more in your NHL rumor mill.
BLUES AND SENATORS TALKING TRADE?
SPORTNET: Josh Beneteau cite’s NHL.com’s Lou Korac reporting a source claiming the St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators are engaged in strong trade discussions regarding Senators forwards Mike Hoffman and Derick Brassard. If a deal is done, the Blues would acquire one or the other but not both. A potential package from the Blues to the Sens could include forwards Vladimir Sobotka, Patrick Berglund and Robby Fabbri.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has indicated he’s seeking “hockey trades” rather than rentals. In other words, he wants players with term remaining on their contracts rather than pending UFAs who could bolt this summer. Hoffman or Brassard would fit the bill and could help bolster the Blues’ offense.
I can understand the Senators interest in Fabbri, but his back-to-back knee injuries are a concern. Frequent reports out of Ottawa claimed the Senators wanted to get younger, but taking on the 30-year-old Sobotka and the 29-year-old Berglund flies in the face of that plan. The only reason I can see why the Senators would want those two is they carry reasonably affordable contracts.
UPDATED TSN TRADE BAIT LIST
TSN: Frank Seravalli added four new names to his 40-name trade-bait list in Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard (fourth), teammate Bobby Ryan (39th), Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi (11th) and Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette (26th). Brassard could be an attractive option in a market thin on quality centers. The Coyotes aren’t actively shopping Domi but “as many as 20 teams” are believed to have investigated his availability.
He also dropped Vegas Golden Knights forwards James Neal and David Perron as they seem likely to stay put at the deadline. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf was also dropped following his trade this week from Ottawa to Los Angeles, while it’s unlikely the Buffalo Sabres will trade forward Sam Reinhart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ottawa pundits have consistently expressed the view that Brassard might not be available, but that could change if the Sens get a significant offer for him (see above). Unless the Sens are willing to pick up a big chunk of Ryan’s $7.25 million annual cap hit or take back a toxic contract in return, I doubt he’ll be moved.
Given Domi’s struggles this season I don’t think the Coyotes will move him while his value is low. He’s a restricted free agent this summer lacking arbitration rights so they’re not under any pressure to trade him. If the Ducks become sellers they could test Vermette’s trade value before the Feb. 26 deadline.
LATEST BRUINS SPECULATION.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON/THE BOSTON GLOBE: Joe Haggerty cites a reports by the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson saying he’s heard the New York Rangers would want young Boston Bruns forward Jake DeBrusk included in any potential deal involving Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Haggerty also believes the Blueshirts would want defenseman Brandon Carlo and a first-round pick included in the deal.
The Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont also noted Matheson’s report, adding rumors have also linked the Bruins to Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon and Vancouver Canucks forward Thomas Vanek.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haggerty cautions Bruins GM Don Sweeney to tread carefully in the trade market and not do anything to significantly alter a Bruins’ roster that’s challenging for the Presidents’ Trophy. Removing multiple players to add someone like McDonagh could adversely affect team chemistry. Sweeney could make a bold move at the deadline, but with his club playing very well over the past three months, there’s really very little reason for him to do so. If he adds, it could be for an affordable depth forward.
LATEST ON GORGES, HUNWICK AND GLENDENING
WGR 550: TSN’s Darren Dreger said Friday he thinks the Buffalo Sabres could move veteran defenseman Josh Gorges at the trade deadline. He’s in the final season of his contract the Sabres are willing to absorb half of his $3.9-million cap hit. He speculates the St. Louis Blues could seek a depth defenseman and believes the Winnipeg Jets have kicked the tires.
Looking more like Matt Hunwick is on the trade block with Ian Cole playing 17-18 mins per game. Pens need cap space to acquire a forward.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 16, 2018
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 16, 2018