NHL Rumor Mill – July 28, 2018
Latest on the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.
HURRICANES COULD STILL MAKE SIGNIFICANT OFFSEASON MOVES
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Despite the recent lack of activity in the NHL’s offseason trade market, Matt Larkin believes the Carolina Hurricanes still have two big trade chips in defenseman Justin Faulk and left wing Jeff Skinner.
Their recent additions of Dougie Hamilton and Calvin de Haan, along with promising Haydn Fleury, Jake Bean and Adam Fox in their system, give the Hurricanes an overflow of talent on the blueline. Larkin believes Faulk is most likely to be dealt, suggesting the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks could have interest in the mobile right-shooting rearguard.
The Blackhawks could also use a scoring winger such as Skinner, as could the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Larkin believes the Hurricanes need a dominant center but doubts Faulk and Skinner can land that type of player. He instead suggests picks and prospects could be the return, though the Hurricanes might prefer something that provides more immediate help.
NHL NETWORK (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Mike Johnson believes Skinner’s situation could dribble over into the season. He’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status but the Hurricanes don’t want to lose him for nothing. Though Skinner’s a valuable commodity and a market for his services, Johnson expects the Hurricanes will take their time and wait for the right deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Larkin suggests, perhaps the reason we haven’t seen Faulk or Skinner moved yet is due to high cost of acquiring either guy. Interested parties could be waiting for the Hurricanes to lower their asking price.
Another factor could be teams perhaps waiting to see what happens with Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin and Montreal Canadiens left winger Max Pacioretty. If one of those players is moved this summer, teams that lost out in the bidding for their services could shift their focus toward Faulk or Skinner.
ARE MORE MOVES IN STORE FOR THE PENGUINS?
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said he’ll stay in the mix if he hears certain players are available regardless of how his team is doing. However, Rutherford doesn’t feel he has to make additional moves. Some feel the Penguins carrying six centers suggests he might have more moves in store but it appears he will evaluate his club’s performance and act accordingly.
Derick Brassard, Carl Hagelin and Tristan Jarry have been suggested as trade pieces. However, there’s a feeling a healthy Brassard will have a better performance this season. The Penguins really like Hagelin’s speed and his efforts on Evgeni Malkin’s line. The recently re-signed Jarry could be a future number one goalie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford could swing a deal before training camp opens but it appears he’s intent now to be patient and see how his current roster performs. His next big move will likely take place at some point during the 2018-19 season.