NHL Rumor Mill – August 1, 2018
Updates on the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders in your NHL rumor mill.
BLACKHAWKS COULD SEEK A VETERAN PLAYER
TSN: Carrying more salary-cap space this offseason than usual, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman recently hinted he could be in the market for a veteran player to help his club return to the playoffs. With between $5.5 million to $6.5 million in cap room, Bowman said his club has more flexibility than in previous summers.
Bowman didn’t name any specific trade targets. However, he envisioned a scenario in which a young player earns a roster spot with another team and becomes an impact player, forcing that club to consider moving a veteran.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield recently reported Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov isn’t paying attention to trade rumors suggesting he could be dealt to create more cap flexibility. He carries an annual average value of $4.55 million plus a modified no-trade clause choosing 10 teams he’d accept being dealt to. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I’m not in control of that,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bowman is looking to add a veteran it could mean parting with a draft pick or a prospect instead of a roster player. That could also mean Anisimov won’t be shopped. Even if he was, finding a club on his list of preferred destinations willing to pick up his cap hit through 2020-21 won’t be easy. Bowman’s comments also suggests he’ll wait until at least training camp before targeting possible trade partners.
COULD ISLANDERS USE NELSON AS A TRADE CHIP?
NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross recently observed New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has yet to add to his blueline corps this summer. The only notable moves were “re-signing Thomas Hickey to a four-year, $10-million deal and Ryan Pulock to a two-year, $4-million deal.” Gross wondered if center Brock Nelson, recently re-signed to a one-year, $4.25-million contract and a year away for unrestricted free agent status, might be used as a trade chip to address that issue.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello will likely evaluate his roster during training camp and preseason before deciding if other moves are necessary. The Carolina Hurricanes are loaded with defensemen and Justin Faulk is believed available. The Hurricanes are said to be seeking help at center but their asking price for Faulk could cost more than Nelson.
The Boston Bruins could be another trade partner. Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid have popped up in trade speculation, though they’re more in the market for a scoring winger.