NHL Rumor Mill – May 14, 2018
Latest on the Nashville Predators and New York Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
COULD THE PREDATORS TRADE RINNE?
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin examines the possibility of the Nashville Predators trading goaltender Pekka Rinne. While acknowledging Rinne is the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy this season, the 35-year-old failed to provide the Predators with clutch goaltending as they fell to the Winnipeg Jets in the second round. Rinne is a year away from unrestricted free agent status and backup Juuse Saros is considered his heir apparent.
Larkin also points out Predators general manager David Poile has a recent history of making bold moves, including swapping Shea Weber for P.K. Subban, Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen and acquiring Kyle Turris in a rare three-way trade. By moving Rinne and his $7-million cap hit, it would free up cap room to pursue one of the top forwards in this summer’s UFA market or perhaps bring in a cheaper option in return for Rinne.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At first glance, trading Rinne seems preposterous. He’ll likely win the Vezina, he has the full support of his teammates and Cap Friendly indicates he has a $7-million salary-cap hit with a modified no-trade clause. I doubt Poile will go that route as he could be content to tweak his roster instead of making a big trade. Still, it’s an intriguing notion. The Predators GM has made audacious deals in the past and could do surprise us again this summer.
LATEST ON THE RANGERS
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks doubts the Rangers will trade a center like Kevin Hayes or Mika Zibanejad unless they get ” a legit top-four righty defenseman (now or future)” in return. They’d love to pry Jacob Trouba away from the Winnipeg Jets but considers him “probably out of reach”. He notes the Calgary Flames have a surplus of blueliners and need depth at center. While Dougie Hamilton might be obtainable, Brooks wonders if the Rangers would target Flames college prospect Adam Fox.
Brooks also doubts restricted free agent forward Ryan Spooner fits into the Rangers’ long-term plans. They’ll have to decide if they’ll sign him to a one-year contract (possibly worth $3.5 million) so he’ll be a trade-deadline candidate or allow him to depart this summer via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes or Zibanejad aren’t enough to land Trouba or Hamilton.