NHL Rumor Mill – May 4, 2018
A look at this summer’s trade market, possible defense partners for Shea Weber and the latest on the Coyotes in your NHL rumor mill.
PREVIEWING THE SUMMER TRADE MARKET
FRS NETWORK HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cited Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussing possible offseason moves on his latest “31 Thoughts” podcast. Friedman doesn’t see the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes trading their first-round picks (first and second overall) but thinks the Montreal Canadiens (third overall), Ottawa Senators (fourth) and Arizona Coyotes (fifth) could be tempted.
With the New York Islanders holding the 11th and 12th selections, Friedman suggests they could have some trade leverage if center John Tavares decides to re-sign with them. If Tavares moves on, they’ll likely retain those picks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll take a lot to tempt the Canadiens, Senators and Coyotes in parting with those respective draft picks. Those three clubs all need scoring punch, especially at center.
Friedman and Jeff Marek were asked about what might be this summer’s biggest trade. They bandied about several names, including Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman, Montreal’s Max Pacioretty, Dallas’ Jason Spezza, Anaheim’s Corey Perry, Carolina’s Jeff Skinner and Calgary’s Dougie Hamilton.
Marek suggested a new coach in Dallas could changes Spezza’s status, while Friedman noted the Los Angeles Kings are believed to have interest in Skinner. He also thinks Perry gets one more year with the Anaheim Ducks. Marek doesn’t think it’s a good idea for the Flames to move Hamilton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of those names (Karlsson, Hoffman, Pacioretty) were mentioned as trade candidates leading up to the Feb. 26 trade deadline. No certainty any of them will move but you can’t rule out the possibility.
Now that Jim Montgomery has taken over as Dallas’ new head coach, the Stars might retain Spezza for the final season of his contract. Perry has three years left on his contract with an annual cap hit over $8 million and a full no-movement clause. He could be dealt but I think it’s unlikely.
The Flames could get a solid return for Hamilton but I don’t believe they want to move him. The Kings might be interested in Skinner but I don’t think they can address the Hurricanes’ need for a scoring center.
POSSIBLE DEFENSE PARTNERS FOR WEBER
JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: suggested Columbus’ Jack Johnson or Nashville’s Alexei Emelin as possible defense partners for Montreal Canadiens blueliner Shea Weber. Johnson and Emelin are unrestricted free agents this summer. Other options could be sticking with promising Victor Mete, selecting prospect Quinn Hughes with the third overall pick in this year’s draft or attempting to acquire defense prospect Miro Heiskanen from the Dallas Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin does to bolster his porous blueline this summer. Sticking with Mete is one option, while Johnson or Emelin could be affordable free-agent options.
I doubt Bergervin will use the third overall pick for a defenseman, especially since Rasmus Dahlin, the top prospect in this year’s draft, will be gone by the time he gets up to the podium to make his selection. I also don’t believe the Stars will move Heiskanen, the third-overall pick in the 2017 draft.
LATEST ON THE COYOTES
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports the Arizona Coyotes’ acquisition yesterday of center Marcus Kruger from the Carolina Hurricanes could signal a makeover for their shutdown line. Center Brad Richardson is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and might not return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes GM John Chayka didn’t rule out bringing back Richardson but I think Kruger will be his replacement.