NHL Rumor Mill – September 24, 2018
Updates on the Flyers and Lightning in your NHL rumor mill.
FLYERS PURSUED PANARIN?
FLYERSNATION.COM: Brady Trettenero cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling Jeff Marek he’d heard from a source that the Philadelphia Flyers “tried to take a run” at acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin before signing James van Riemsdyk this summer. He mentioned this during the latest “31 Thoughts” podcast.
Friedman added he wasn’t able to confirm it from the Flyers. “I’ve got a better chance of finding the nuclear codes than finding that out from (Ron) Hextall,” the Flyers general manager.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers may have attempted to land Panarin in late-June after it was revealed the winger was reluctant to re-sign with the Blue Jackets. However, Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen appears intent on trying to get the talented Russian under contract.
Having opted instead to bring back van Riemsdyk, I doubt Hextall will revisit his rumored interest in Panarin. If he does go shopping this summer I’m guessing it’ll be for goaltending depth.
WILL LIGHTNING PURSUE A DEFENSEMAN THIS SEASON?
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Smith was asked if the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the hunt for a right-handed defenseman after losing out in the Erik Karlsson sweepstakes or perhaps a winger. Citing their limited salary-cap space, Smith said it’ll be difficult to make any significant roster addition.
Smith doesn’t rule out pursuing options by the February trade deadline, “depending on how veteran defensemen such as (Dan) Girardi and (Braydon) Coburn hold up, and how ready prospects such as (Erik) Cernak and (Callan) Foote are.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Lightning have over $3.4 million in projected salary-cap space. It was that lack of cap room that was thought to be a major sticking point in their rumored attempt to land Karlsson.
Like Smith, I don’t rule out the possibility of the Lightning making a move or two near the deadline, depending on how those players are performing and where they are in the standings by then. Much will also depend on who’s available in the trade market.