NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2018
Updates on Jacob Trouba, Wayne Simmonds and Josh Leivo in your NHL rumor mill.
TROUBA OPEN TO LONG-TERM DEAL WITH JETS
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre reports defenseman Jacob Trouba isn’t ruling out signing a long-term contract with the Winnipeg Jets. Last month, he was awarded a one-year, $5.5-million contract via arbitration, fueling speculation the Jets might trade him rather than face another difficult contract negotiation with him next summer.
Trouba said going through the arbitration process didn’t bother him, calling it part of the process. His camp reportedly sought $7 million from an arbiter while the Jets countered with $4 million. McIntyre suggests a trade is still possible though he doesn’t see Trouba being dealt during the coming season. The earliest the Jets can open contract discussions with the blueliner is Jan. 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Trouba would accept a long-term contract with the Jets as long as they’re paying him what he wants. I daresay he’d leap at the opportunity to sign a seven- or eight-year contract worth $7 million annually.
Jets management, however, seem disinclined to invest too much for too long in a defenseman who’s been hampered by injuries for most of his career. They must also re-sign Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Tyler Myers next summer but won’t have enough cap space to keep everyone.
Depending on how the coming season shakes out, Trouba could become the odd man out. He’ll attract plenty of interest if he hits the trade block next summer.
WHAT WILL THE FLYERS DO WITH SIMMONDS?
NBC SPORTS: During a recent assessment of the Philadelphia Flyers for the coming season, Joey Alfieri wondered what the future holds for winger Wayne Simmonds. He’s eligible next summer to become an unrestricted free agent and there were rumors around last February’s trade deadline that the Flyers were willing to move him.
The addition this summer of James van Riemsdyk might not leave much room to keep Simmonds, who’s coming off pelvic surgery. The Flyers could be reluctant to re-sign a player who’s soon to turn 30 and has had his share of injuries. It seems unlikely that they’ll move Simmonds during the season if they’re in the playoff hunt but they also can’t risk losing him to free agency for nothing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Simmonds going anywhere for now as the Flyers could take a wait-and-see approach here. If he plays well I expect they’ll do all they can to re-sign the popular winger. If his performance declines they’ll try moving him though they probably won’t get as much interest. If he plays well but they’re out of the postseason race by next February they could seriously entertain trade offers if they feel they can’t get him under contract before the trade deadline.
LEIVO HOPES TO REMAIN A LEAF
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby recently reported winger Josh Leivo hopes to see more playing time with the Maple Leafs this season. “Word was Leivo’s handlers were pushing for a trade late last season, but he intends to make it harder than ever for general manager Kyle Dubas and coach Mike Babcock to ignore him in the coming weeks.” The offseason departures of James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Matt Martin and Tomas Plekanec could open up opportunities for Leivo.