NHL Rumor Mill – August 9, 2018
Latest on the Red Wings plus a look at Kevin Hayes’ future with the Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
COULD HOWARD AND NYQUIST GET MOVED BY 2019 TRADE DEADLINE?
DETROIT FREE PRESS: In a recent mailbag segment, Helene St. James was asked if the Detroit Red Wings’ recent signing of goaltender Jonathan Bernier means Jimmy Howard might get moved by the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline. The 34-year-old netminder is in the final season of his current contract. If he plays well, St. James speculates he could get a two-year extension.
If the Wings get a decent offer for Howard they could move him at the deadline and attempt to bring him back next summer as an unrestricted free agent. She adds the Wings know what they have in Howard, they like him and he’s played well for them over the last two years.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently examined what the future might hold for Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist. Like Howard, Nyquist is slated to become a UFA next summer. He hasn’t blossomed into the 30-goal scorer he was projected to become earlier in his career.
Khan believes the Wings will use the first half of 2018-19 to evaluate Nyquist’s performance. “With several skilled forwards in the pipeline and the high cost of signing Nyquist, they might opt to move him before the trade deadline,” said Khan. “He has a no-trade clause, but he would probably agree to waive it to join a playoff-contending team.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The respective performances of Howard and Nyquist will determine if they have futures in Detroit beyond 2018-19. Both players could interest playoff contenders come late-February.
If Bernier steals the starter’s job from Howard, the latter could end up on the trade block come February. Cap Friendly indicates he lacks no-trade protection for this season, giving the Wings wider trade options. If there’s no noticeable improvement in Nyquist’s offense, he’ll be a goner if he’s wiling to waive his no-trade clause.
IS THE COMING SEASON HAYES’ LAST WITH THE RANGERS?
THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently examined center Kevin Hayes’ future with the New York Rangers after he agreed to a one-year contract worth $5.175 million. He had sought a five-year deal worth $5.5-million per season, but the Rangers appeared reluctant to invest that long in a center who would be 31 when his contract ended, especially when they have promising young centers in their system.
Hayes is due to become a UFA next summer. While the Rangers can open contract talks on Jan. 1, Goldman said it’s unclear if either side wants an extension. With Hayes closing in on age 27 when the coming season ends, the club could be unwilling to invest a long-term deal into a possibly declining asset. While the Rangers could see how Hayes performs under a new coach and new teammates, it’s possible they could also explore moving him by the trade deadline for either future assets or a player that can provide immediate help.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Hayes has a career-best effort in the coming season that might not be enough to guarantee a longer stay in New York. That apparent reluctance by management to invest long-term in players getting close to age 30 could ensure Hayes’ departure regardless of his performance.