Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 13, 2018
Latest on P.K. Subban, Dougie Hamilton, Phil Kessel, Ilya Kovalchuk, Ryan O’Reilly and Colin Miller in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SUBBAN, HAMILTON AND KESSEL
FRS NETWORK HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman’s appearance Friday on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 where he was asked by co-host Rhett Warrener if the Nashville Predators might contemplate moving P.K. Subban. Warrener believes Subban wears out his welcome and gets under people’s skins in the dressing room but feels his value is huge in the trade market because of his talent. While Friedman said he didn’t know if the Predators would go that route, he felt there would have to be a good reason to make that move.
Friedman was also asked about the possibility of the Calgary Flames trading defenseman Dougie Hamilton for a winger such as Toronto’s Mitch Marner. He doesn’t believe the Leafs will make that move. He doubts the Flames would trade Hamilton. As with Subban, if they were to go that route, it would have to be for a very good reason.
Citing the apparent tension between Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and winger Phil Kessel, Friedman didn’t rule out the possibility of Penguins GM Jim Rutherford “swinging for the fences” by shopping Kessel.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe Subban, Hamilton or Kessel are being traded this summer. Then again, I dismissed the notion of those three being dealt before, so it’s always possible. Still, I don’t think there’s any problem between Subban and his Predators teammates. The Flames appear reluctant to part with Hamilton and the Penguins are likely to retain Kessel for another run at the Cup next season.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S “31 THOUGHTS”
SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman guesses Penguins GM Jim Rutherford “is the kind of guy I could see staying up at night figuring out” how to land New York Islanders center John Tavares.
“Sounds like Edmonton checked in on Ilya Kovalchuk. Not a bad idea, actually. But it won’t happen.”
Friedman also said it appears the number of teams contacting the Carolina Hurricanes about winger Jeff Skinner is growing.
Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake said he met with defenseman Drew Doughty following the season to outline the team’s plan for the next four or five years. “We want him here, and he knows how much,” said Blake. The “heavy lifting” could begin in June.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see how the Penguins can land Tavares via trade or free agency. They’ve already got Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as their top-two centers and have over $70 million invested in 17 players for next season.
Edmonton’s 630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer said the Oilers never pursued Kovalchuk.
Sounds like Skinner could be the first significant move by new Hurricanes GM Don Waddell, provided the winger is willing to waive his no-movement clause. Cap Friendly indicates Skinner has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5.275 million.
Doughty’s eligible for UFA status next summer but the Kings can officially re-sign him this July.
O’REILLY ADDRESSES TRADE RUMORS
FRS NETWORK HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cited TSN’s Darren Dreger recently interviewing Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, in which at one point they addressed the recent speculation about a possible trade out of Buffalo. O’Reilly believes he has “a pretty good relationship” with Sabres GM Jason Botterill. If a trade happen, it happens, but O’Reilly said he plans on being back with the Sabres next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In an earlier interview with Buffalo’s WGR 550, Dreger also reported he felt if Botterill got a good offer for O’Reilly at the draft that the Sabres GM would consider it. There will be interest in O’Reilly and I don’t doubt some teams have probably already made initial inquiries about his availability. Still, Botterill will want a significant offer after getting a low return for Evander Kane at the trade deadline. If there’s no decent offers, O’Reilly will return with the Sabres for 2018-19.
COULD THE CANUCKS PURSUE VEGAS’ COLIN MILLER?
THE ATHLETIC: Mike Halford recently suggested the Vancouver Canucks should try to pry defenseman Colin Miller away from the Vegas Golden Knights via trade or free agency. He pointed out Miller, 25, had 10 goals and 41 points this season with Vegas, averaging over 19 minutes of ice time per game. He also led all Golden Knights blueliners with five power-play goals and finished second on the team with 12 PP assists. Miller’s a restricted free agent in line for a significant raise over his current $1 million. A potential logjam on defense could perhaps force the Golden Knights to consider moving him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Halford admits this is “pure speculation” but feels it’s something the Canucks should consider to bolster their defense corps. Given Miller’s improvement this season in Vegas, however, I doubt the Golden Knights will seriously consider moving him.
Those offensive numbers cited by Halford are reason enough for the Golden Knights to keep Miller. With over $50 million invested in 19 players, they’ve got enough to re-sign such notables as Miller, fellow RFAs William Karlsson and Shea Theodore and perhaps UFA forwards James Neal and David Perron.