Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 11, 2018
Latest on the Rangers, Maple Leafs, Lightning, Senators and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
RANGERS AND MAPLE LEAFS
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports New York Rangers winger Rick Nash said his 12-team list of acceptable trade destination includes clubs he thinks have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup and are also places that would be good for his family. “And, yes, that does include teams in Canada. I’m not excluding that as a possibility,” Nash said.
Brooks also said teams not on the list have contacted Nash’s agent to see if they could be included but the winger hasn’t reached that point yet. Nashville, Dallas, San Jose and St. Louis have expressed interest. Boston is “in” and Tampa Bay and Winnipeg could be interested. So could Toronto, though Brooks said they seem “reluctant to jump into the pool head-first.”
Brooks reports Tampa are “extremely interested” in Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. He feels the Blueshirts should seek either young Lightning blueliner Mikhail Sergachev or” top-flight prospects Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh or Cal Foote” as part of the return.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos also reports the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars appear to be the front runners for New York Rangers winger Rick Nash. He also said the Predators could have some interest in Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green as a fifth- or sixth- defenseman who can step up into the top-four if one of their bigger blueline names gets hurt.
Friedman speculates the Boston Bruins could be a destination for Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. He believes the Bruins “can do it” and feels he could be a fit on the left side of the Bruins’ defense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash is no longer the dominant forward he once was, but there’s no question he’s still enough of a name to draw considerable attention as a rental player near the trade deadline. Brooks believes there “is no more attractive top-six, complete-game, secondary-scoring winger available on the rental market” than Nash and calls upon Rangers management to seek NHL-ready talent rather than “late first-rounders and mid-level prospects”. For now, that’s probably what’s being offered to the Blueshirts, but one of those Cup contenders could eventually decide Nash is worth parting with a promising young NHL player as part of the return. At least we know for certain that Nash won’t reject joining a Canadian contender.
McDonagh is also generating lots of interest but the Rangers aren’t under as much pressure to move him because he’s signed through next season. I don’t doubt Lightning GM Steve Yzerman could be interested in acquiring McDonagh but I don’t see him agreeing to part with Sergachev after acquiring him last summer from Montreal. The Bruins could be among the suitors but they’re apparently unwilling to part with any of their young NHL players or top prospects. If they maintain that stance, forget about McDonagh heading to Boston.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports two teams made inquiries about Toronto Maple Leafs forward (and pending free agent) James van Riemsdyk. The Leafs, however, don’t intend to move the left winger before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, though there hasn’t been any serious contract talks between management and van Riemsydk or his fellow free agents Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov. Kypreos believes that, in van Riemsdyk’s case, it’s because the winger won’t give the Leafs a hometown discount.
Elliotte Friedman noted there were recent rumblings linking the Leafs to Edmonton Oilers winger Patrick Maroon, though he doesn’t know where Maroon would fit unless the Leafs made a surprise move somewhere. He speculates the Tampa Bay Lightning could be in on Maroon, whose former junior coach is Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper.
Nick Kypreos reports we shouldn’t expect winger Matt Martin to go the Josh Leivo route and request a trade. Martin intends to be patient with the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise the Leafs aren’t moving van Riemsdyk. Yes, they could lose him for nothing this summer to free agency, but he remains vital this season to their hopes for a long playoff run.
MORE FROM SPORTSNET’S SATURDAY HEADLINES
Chris Johnston notes the Ottawa Senators intend to sell off some current players for future assets at the trade deadline but that doesn’t include captain Erik Karlsson. Elliotte Friedman believes there’s some real interest in Derick Brassard, though he notes the Senators are a little concerned about their depth at center if they move him.
Nick Kypreos reports the shortage of centers in the trade market is why the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks are being linked to Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens. There’s some concern if Sharks center Joe Thornton (knee injury) can return to play meaningful games down the stretch, making Plekanec a stopgap measure. Friedman also feels the Penguins and Sharks could be in on Brassard and doesn’t rule out the Canadiens re-signing Plekanec.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens could trade Plekanec for a draft pick and sign him this summer as a UFA. If they don’t go that route, it won’t sit well with those Habs followers demanding significant roster changes.
Friedman doesn’t think Arizona Coyotes winger Max Domi is seeking a trade. However, the club could be asking around to gauge interest in the 22-year-old forward. Friedman doesn’t think it’s a move where the Yotes want to get rid of him, but just looking to see if there’s some place where a fresh start might benefit him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes GM John Chayka last week denied Domi was on the block. Of course, he’s not going to admit he’s shopping anyone. Doesn’t mean he’s not listening to offers. Still, I think Chayka prefers giving the 22-year-old Domi an opportunity to stay and improve in Arizona.
Friedman also notes the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers have been scouting each other of late, saying people are wondering if there’s a match.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Boruk believes the Flyers could use a forward, preferably a center. The Sabres don’t really have a lot of available center options unless they’re parting with Jordan Nolan, Johan Larsson or Jacob Josefson.
Left wing Evander Kane is expected to be dealt but the Sabres seek a high asking price and Flyers GM Ron Hextall doesn’t want to part with his good young assets. Like Kane, winger Benoit Pouliot is a UFA this summer and could be available at the deadline.