NHL Rumor Mill – August 7, 2018
Another update on Max Pacioretty, the latest on Canucks d-man Ben Hutton and proposed PTO targets for the Devils in your NHL Rumor Mill.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton believes the recent Jeff Skinner trade between the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes should lower expectations of a big return if the Montreal Canadiens move Max Pacioretty.
The Hurricanes shipped the 26-year-old Skinner, a three-time 30-goal scorer who’s due to become an unrestricted free agent next July, to the Sabres last week in exchange for a prospect forward (Cliff Pu) and three draft picks, none of which were first-round selections. That could set the stage for an equally underwhelming return for Pacioretty, a 29-year-old left wing who’s also a former 30-goal scorer eligible next summer for UFA status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s assumed the Canadiens seek a young scoring forward, preferably a center, in return for Pacioretty. They reportedly had a deal in place with the Los Angeles Kings during the 2018 NHL Draft but it apparently fell apart over lack of an agreement on a contract extension. Since then, there’s no indication Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is any closer to dealing Pacioretty, though he reportedly wants to do so before the start of 2018-19.
Still, Bergevin faces slightly better odds of finding a decent return for his captain. Pacioretty’s lack of no-trade protection gives the Canadiens GM more trade options than the Hurricanes had with Skinner, whose full no-movement clause significantly hampered where they could trade him.
TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie reports there is no truth to rumors Pacioretty would skip training camp next month until the Canadiens trade him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever dreamed up that rumor should give their head a shake. Pacioretty is entering his contract year and intends to seek a big raise next summer. Staging a holdout to force a trade not only wouldn’t make any sense but would also be out of character on his part.
NO TAKERS FOR HUTTON
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent piece examining the stock of several Vancouver Canucks players, JD Burke believes no other player on the club needs a change of scenery more than defenseman Ben Hutton. It’s apparent the blueliner has fallen out of favor with coach Travis Green and his stock has declined.
Burke said the Canucks have tried trading Hutton for a while but can’t find any takers. He does point out Hutton’s performance wasn’t as bad as it seemed, noting he and Chris Tanev had solid shutdown numbers where paired together. He adds the Canucks did a better job controlling the puck in 5-on-5 situations with Hutton on the ice.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like rival GMs aren’t impressed with Hutton’s shutdown and possession stats. Otherwise, the Canucks probably would’ve found a club willing to take him off their hands.
TRYOUT OPTIONS FOR THE DEVILS
NJ.COM: Chris Ryan suggests right wings Kris Versteeg, Tommy Wingels and Nick Shore, defensemen Toby Enstrom, Brandon Davidson, Alexei Emelin and Jakub Jerabek, center Logan Shaw and left wings Daniel Winnik and Scott Hartnell as professional tryout offer (PTO) options for the New Jersey Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if the Devils invite any of these guys to training camp. I daresay several of those players could also become PTO candidates with other clubs The exception could be Hartnell, who’s reportedly contemplating retirement.