Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 27, 2018
Reviewing Sportsnet’s list of this summer’s potential trade candidates in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SUBBAN, KARLSSON, DOUGHTY AMONG THIS SUMMER’S POTENTIAL TRADE CANDIDATES
SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen previews this summer’s potential trade candidates.
Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban’s name recently surfaced in the trade-rumor mill but the speculation was shot down by management. Boylen considers trading Subban a long-shot, though with the Predators’ depth on defense, he wonders if moving him could someday become a possibility.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s not going anywhere this summer or in the foreseeable future. He’s a Norris Trophy finalist this season and a key part of their roster.
Despite the Ottawa Senators’ intention to re-sign defenseman Erik Karlsson and the blueliner’s desire to stay, it’s believed he could be traded this summer if the two sides fail to agree on a contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen noted Karlsson was linked to the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Maybe those clubs revisit their interest in him. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a Karlsson trade, but the high cost of acquiring him this summer could scare off potential suitors.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty raised eyebrows last autumn suggesting he won’t take a hometown discount on his next contract and his wish to play for a Stanley Cup contender. In April, however, Doughty insisted he wants to remain a King.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Karlsson, Doughty’s a year away from UFA eligibility. I expect the Kings will do what they can to re-sign him this summer. Right now, I’d say there’s a low possibility of Doughty getting dealt this summer.
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom’s struggles this season has sparked trade speculation. However, Boylen suggests he could be poised for a bounce-back season. “If anything, the Oilers could be selling low on a young, controllable asset, depending on the return.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree. If the Oilers trade Klefbom this summer they could end up regretting it, especially if they don’t get a solid return for him.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner and defenseman Justin Faulk have frequently surfaced of late in the rumor mill. With the Hurricanes under new management, there’s an expectation changes are coming to their roster. Boylen warns they should be wary of selling low on those two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes must bolster their offense, so trading Skinner wouldn’t make sense right now. If they’re looking for more scoring punch they could draw upon their blueline depth. I think Faulk appears the most likely to move.
Center Ryan O’Reilly’s season-ending comments about the Buffalo Sabres’ losing culture gave rise to suggestions he could be dealt this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres are a mess right now. Their rebuild has stalled and the fans are restless. There’s a big market for skilled centers and I expect the Sabres will at least listen to offers for O’Reilly this summer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s traded next month.
Boylen noted Montreal Canadiens winger Alex Galchenyuk’s been the target of trade rumors for the past two years. The Canadiens need more offense, but Boylen feels there’s a risk trading Galchenyuk would be shipping out a player they actually need. Team captain Max Pacioretty also popped up in the rumor mill this season. He’s a year away from UFA status but indicated he doesn’t want to leave Montreal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After this season’s disastrous performance the Canadiens are likely to shake things up a bit this summer. I think they will trade one of those guys but not both. There seems to be a growing consensus that Pacioretty, who lacks no-trade protection, could be on the move.
Boylen wonders if the Toronto Maple Leafs might consider trading puck-moving defenseman Jake Gardiner for a more defensively responsible blueliner. Moving him, however, could create another depth need. Gardiner will also be a UFA next summer at a time when expensive new contracts for Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will kick in.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After his struggles against the Boston Bruins in this year’s playoffs, a lot of Leafs fans probably wouldn’t shed tears if Gardiner was traded. The Leafs, however, could prefer finding a way to bolster their defense depth without parting with him.
The Pittsburgh Penguins could move a winger, such as Conor Sheary or Carl Hagelin, to bolster their blueline depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sheary or Hagelin could be dealt for a defenseman, or maybe one of them is moved for a pick or prospect to free up cap space to add a blueliner via a separate trade or free agency.
If John Tavares decides to test the free-agent market, perhaps the New York Islanders will shop his rights before July 1 to recoup a draft pick or prospect.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Isles realize they can’t re-sign Tavares I believe they will shop his rights to the highest bidder.
Boylen wonders if the Washington Capitals might consider moving winger Andre Burakovsky to upgrade the roster. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer and has been hampered by injuries and mental frustration this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t rule out that possibility, but I think they’ll stick with Burakovsky in hopes he’ll have his much-anticipated breakthrough next season.
With the Minnesota Wild’s recent management changes, forwards Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle and defensemen Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba have been suggested as possible trade candidates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Niederreiter and Coyle were hampered by injuries this season, but some observers feel they should’ve been better. Brodin and Dumba have frequently appeared in trade conjecture over the last two years. New GM Paul Fenton could shake things up a bit. I believe he’ll retain Dumba but one of the other three could be on the move this summer.
The Calgary Flames need another scoring forward. Boylen wonders if they might consider moving a defenseman such as Dougie Hamilton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Hamilton hits the trade block I don’t doubt he’ll generate lots of interest. However, every time his name pops up as a trade candidate the notion is almost immediately dismissed by most observers. Hamilton would likely be their best trade bait to land a scoring forward, but I think they’re reluctant to part with him.
In the wake of the Anaheim Ducks first-round playoff elimination and management’s desire to build a faster team, there was speculation suggesting veteran winger Corey Perry could be shopped. Boylen, however, believes Jakob Silfverberg could be a more realistic trade option. He’s still in his prime (27) and carries a reasonable salary-cap hit of $3.75 million, though he’s also a UFA at the end of next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been proposed that Perry, who’s been declining in recent years, might benefit from a change of scenery playing alongside faster wingers. Unless he waives his no-movement clause and the Ducks absorb half of his $8.6-million cap hit, he’s not going anywhere. Silfverberg, on the other hand, could be a more attractive trade commodity for clubs seeking an experienced two-way winger.
Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi also popped up in trade speculation this season. Boylen suggests he could be a good “buy-low” option if the Coyotes are motivated sellers, but he also noted how well Domi finished the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I don’t rule anything out, I think the Coyotes will stick with Domi. Sure, they could listen to offers, but I think they still envision him as a key part of their future.
As long as the Vancouver Canucks are rebuilding, veterans such as Chris Tanev and Alexander Edler will surface in the rumor mill. Edler, however, has a full no-movement clause while Tanev has a modified no-trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks management repeatedly deny any intention of shopping Tanev this summer. If Edler doesn’t want to leave, there’s not much the Canucks can do about it.