NHL Rumor Mill (Part 2) – June 20, 2018
Latest on the Sharks and Canucks plus updates on Ryan O’Reilly and Cam Talbot in your NHL rumor mill.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE SHARKS?
THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle reports the San Jose Sharks acquisition of winger Mike Hoffman from the Ottawa Senators and subsequently flipping him to the Florida Panthers enabled general manager Doug Wilson to clear salary-cap space to pursue a top-six forward as well as restock their cupboard with draft picks. They’ve been considered potential suitors for pending unrestricted free agents John Tavares and Ilya Kovalchuk. Wilson also left open the possibility of acquiring a scorer via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson isn’t done, that’s for sure. He’ll likely keep an ear open in the trade market but I think Tavares and Kovalchuk are his main targets. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of acquiring Tavares’ rights if the Islanders are unable to re-sign him by next week.
SABRES NOT SHOPPING O’REILLY
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres GM Jason Botterill isn’t surprised by the interest of other clubs in Ryan O’Reilly, noting the center is among his team’s better players. While Botterill is getting plenty of calls, Harrington said he’s not shopping O’Reilly or any other player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The O’Reilly trade chatter has subsided a little in recent days. Doesn’t mean he won’t get dealt but I think Botterill’s asking price could be far more than interested parties are willing to pay. Remember, the Sabres GM isn’t under pressure to move his best two-way forward. O’Reilly under contract through 2022-23 so he can afford to be patient.
OILERS AREN’T TRADING TALBOT
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers have yet to reach out to goaltender Cam Talbot regarding a contract extension, but that doesn’t mean they’re trading him. While they recently signed former KHL goalie Mikko Koskinen to a one-year deal, he’s not a replacement for Talbot. Matheson suspects Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli might prefer waiting to see how Talbot performs in the first half of 2018-19 before opening contract discussions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no goaltender in this summer’s UFA market who’s a suitable replacement for Talbot and no trade chatter about any notable netminders. Sure, it’s possible Chiarelli’s working on a trade that could land the Oilers an upgrade between the pipes, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. They’ll stick with Talbot for next season and see how things work out.
CANUCKS INTERESTED IN BEAGLE?
THE ATHLETIC: JD Burke cites a report by Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal claiming he’s heard the Vancouver Canucks could target Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle if he hits the free-agent market on July 1. Assuming the Canucks don’t trade away one of their current centers, Burke doubts they’ll pursue Beagle. “He’s not an inherently bad player; he just doesn’t offer anything that isn’t already available to the Canucks with their current crop of players. And it’s not often a team alters its lineup significantly to accommodate a 32-year-old fourth-line centre.”