Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 29, 2018
Updates on Max Pacioretty, Wayne Simmonds and Kevin Hayes in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
NBC SPORTS: Joey Alfieri lists the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks as five logical landing spots for Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty.
The Canadiens need centers but Alfieri doesn’t see the Blackhawks parting with Nick Schmaltz or Jonathan Toews for a player on an expiring contract, nor does he see them parting with promising prospect Adam Boqvist. He also doubts the Canadiens would be interested in acquiring an aging player such as Artem Anisimov.
The Oilers still have to re-sign defenseman Darnell Nurse and would have to shed salary to take on Pacioretty’s $4.5-million cap hit for 2018-19. They could have difficulty coming up with the pieces to make a trade work.
A deal that would’ve sent Pacioretty to the Kings during the 2018 NHL draft fell through because a contract extension couldn’t be worked out. Still, Alfieri believes they shouldn’t throw in the towel as they obviously made a serious offer that tempted the Canadiens.
The Devils haven’t been linked to Pacioretty and GM Ray Shero could be leery about giving up assets for a possible short-term acquisition.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson has been aggressive this year, acquiring and signing Evander Kane and then flipping Mike Hoffman to the Florida Panthers after landing him in a trade with Ottawa. He was also in the bidding for John Tavares before he signed with Toronto. The Sharks would have to shed some salary to get Pacioretty but it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks, Kings and Sharks have been linked to Pacioretty for several weeks. Wouldn’t surprise me if Pacioretty ends up with one of those clubs before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline. I don’t see him landing with the Oilers or Devils.
I daresay the Canadiens prefer moving him this summer rather than have this situation carry over into the season, but to do that they’ll likely have to lower their asking price. It’s assumed the Canadiens want a good young forward, preferably a center, as part of the return.
If Pacioretty isn’t willing to sign a contract extension with his new club, however, that will affect what the Habs will get in return. There’s no question teams are interested in the five-time 30-goal scorer but if he won’t commit beyond this season they won’t want to pay much to get him.
CHERRY HILL COURIER POST: Dave Isaac recently reported winger Wayne Simmonds future with the Philadelphia Flyers remains hazy beyond the upcoming season. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. While the Flyers want to keep him they might not be able to afford him if he seeks the prices some of the other 30-goal scorers around the league have gotten. Isaac doesn’t expect Flyers general manager Ron Hextall to lose Simmonds to free agency for nothing. If a long-term deal can’t be worked out, Simmonds could be dealt by the February trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot could depend upon Simmonds’ recovery from off-season pelvic surgery. If he returns to his usual form, Hextall could find a way to keep the winger in the fold, perhaps by moving another contract. However, the recent addition of James van Riemsdyk can be considered insurance in case Hextall has to trade Simmonds this season.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s been little progress between the New York Rangers and center Kevin Hayes regarding a new long-term contract. It’s believed Hayes seeks a five- or six-year deal worth between $5.5 million and $6 million annually, which is in line with what he can expect to get next summer on the open market.
Hayes is slated for an arbitration hearing on Aug. 2 unless he and the Rangers agree to a new deal before then. If the 26-year-old gets a one-year arbiter-awarded contract, Brooks expects he could be traded before the trade deadline for “a presumed late first-round draft pick.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t blame Hayes for trying to get the best deal possible, but I’ll be surprised if the Rangers agree to meet his terms. This one could require arbitration to settle, which will ensure Hayes becomes a fixture in the rumor mill this coming season, especially if the Rangers aren’t in playoff contention as the calendar flips to February 2019.