NHL Rumor Mill – March 13, 2018
Latest on the Hurricanes and Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.
WILL THE HURRICANES SHAKE THINGS UP THIS SUMMER?
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently examined the Carolina Hurricanes’ removal of Ron Francis as their general manager. He thinks whoever becomes his replacement “will have trade chips at his disposal to shuffle the deck,” provided new owner Tom Dundon allows them to do it. Duhatschek noted colleague Arpon Basu’s recent suggestion the Montreal Canadiens offer up expensive veterans Carey Price and Max Pacioretty to see what assets they could get, but that would be a lot of money for the Hurricanes to absorb. Noting the Canes lack a true superstar, Duhatschek wonders if Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson might be an option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the Canadiens offering up Pacioretty, who lacks no-trade protection, to the Hurricanes this summer in hopes of prying away a good young defenseman such as Noah Hanifin or Jaccob Slavin. However, Pacioretty turns 30 this fall, is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency and will seek a significant raise over his current $4.5-million annual average value.
As for Price, Cap Friendly indicates he has a full no-movement clause this season and in his eight-year, $84-million deal that begins on July 1. I doubt he’ll accept a trade to Carolina. Given the Habs struggles when he’s out of the lineup, I don’t see them being keen to part with him.
If the Hurricanes pursue a superstar this summer, I doubt it’ll be Karlsson, who’s also a year away from UFA status. Their biggest need is for a scoring forward, preferably a center. He also has a modified no-trade clause and could reject a trade to Carolina. If New York Islanders star John Tavares tests this summer’s free-agent market, the Hurricanes might make a bid.
RED WINGS GOALTENDING OPTIONS
MLIVE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Ansar Khan was asked about the free-agent backup goaltender options for the Detroit Red Wings. He suggests St. Louis’ Carter Hutton could be the best one.
Khan noted other goaltenders slated to become UFAs include “Antti Raanta (Arizona), Anton Khudobin (Boston), Kari Lehtonen (Dallas), Jonathan Bernier (Colorado), Michael Hutchison (Winnipeg), and in all likelihood, Petr Mrazek (Philadelphia).” He also sees the Wings offering veteran starter Jimmy Howard a one- or two-year contract next season at around $3 million to $3.5 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues could re-sign Hutton, but if he becomes available the Wings might consider signing him. Raanta, Khudobin, Bernier and Hutchison would also be worthwhile options, but most of them could be retained by their current clubs.