NHL Rumor Mill – August 18, 2018
An update on Colton Parayko plus the latest on the Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.
BLUES NOT TRADING PARAYKO
THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports there was a lot of trade chatter this summer involving St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko. While clubs may have inquired into the big blueliner, sources say Blues general manager Doug Armstrong “had no intentions” of trading him. An NHL executive said he hadn’t heard Parayko’s name surface in any management-level conversations.
One reason behind the Parayko rumors was the Blues’ need for depth at forward, while clubs with the assets to address that issue (such as Toronto and Edmonton) also need a defenseman like him. However, Armstrong already bolstered his depth up front by acquiring Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak, David Perron and Pat Maroon via trade and free agency and never considered using Parayko as a trade chip.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of that Parayko trade talk seemed to emanate from those NHL cities whose teams need help on defense. All of that speculation was wishful thinking. As Rutherford said, some teams may have inquired but Armstrong had no desire to move the skilled young blueliner.
LATEST ON THE RED WINGS
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently profiled Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard as he enters the final season of his contract. He feels the 34-year-old could see a heavy workload of 50-plus games this season if he can stay healthy. Offseason acquisition Jonathan Bernier will push him for playing time.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports Howard and Bernier could both stick around for another two or three seasons until the young goalies in the Wings system are ready for prime time. Howard’s UFA status next July makes his future hazy with the Wings, though Kulfan notes both sides “appear willing to keep the relationship going.
Kulfan also notes the Wings will begin introducing younger talent into their blueline line this season and will likely continue doing so for the foreseeable future. GM Ken Holland acknowledged his defense corps is old and his team must do a better job of drafting and developing young rearguards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While these links aren’t trade rumors, they do suggest change could be coming between the pipes and on the blueline for the Red Wings over the next couple of years. They will be a team worth keeping watching in the rumor mill this season.
If Howard stays healthy and has a good season I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wings re-sign him to a two-year deal, though it could be for less than his current $5.29-million annual cap hit. Having Bernier there could make for a healthy level of competition between the two resulting in better goaltending for the Wings. But if Howard struggles and Bernier see the bulk of the action, the Wings could cut ties with their long-time starter and look for help via the trade or UFA market.
Holland may be sincere in his efforts to draft and develop young blueliners. However, I think he’ll also keep an eye on the trade and free-agent markets in hopes of landing someone a good defenseman in his mid-to-late twenties who can provide more immediate help. Hey, maybe he’ll call the Blues about Parayko…just kidding!