NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2018
Latest on the Bruins, Leafs, and Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.
SUGGESTED FORWARD OPTIONS FOR THE BRUINS
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Citing TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent report claiming the Boston Bruins are in the market for a center, Joe Haggerty believes the Bruins simply need a forward who can skate alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk on the second line or a center to bring stability to the third line.
Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin is the biggest name in the rumor mill but Haggerty believes the potential asking price (a top defenseman and a young forward) would be expensive. Perhaps the Bruins could sell them on Torey Krug and Danton Heinen but the Jackets would likely ask for DeBrusk.
Anaheim Ducks winger Nick Ritchie would’ve been an interesting target but he’s off the table now that he’s signed a three-year contract with the Ducks. New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider would also be an attractive option for the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will continue monitoring the trade market for a suitable deal but it could take weeks to find one.
Panarin isn’t going anywhere right now. While he’s still reluctant to re-sign with the Jackets they won’t move him as long as they’re in playoff contention this season. Pursuing Panarin would be risky if he remains unwilling to discuss a contract extension. Parting with two quality roster assets for a guy who could depart next summer wouldn’t be a smart move for any club.
I doubt the Ducks signed Ritchie for the purpose of a sign-and-trade scenario. The Rangers still see Kreider as an important part of their roster retool and could be unwilling to part with him.
LATEST ON NYLANDER
TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Toronto Maple Leafs efforts to sign restricted free agent William Nylander took a positive step forward with general manager Kyle Dubas flying to Europe this week to meet with the forward’s representatives. However, lots of work remains to be done. It’s believed the two sides have not yet exchanged contract numbers.
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports speculation persists over possible trade destinations for Nylander if he’s not under contract before Dec. 1. Some suggest the Nashville Predators for a defenseman like Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis or the Minnesota Wild for blueliner Jared Spurgeon.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a Thursday appearance on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli made it clear he’s not pursuing Nylander.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing really new here on Nylander’s status. I realize some of you are weary of seeing his name in the rumor mill on a daily basis but a quiet trade market and an unsigned Leaf early in the season makes his status a hot topic.
So far, all the rumors linking Nylander to the Predators and Wild are based on a few pundits spitballing possible destinations. There’s no indication those teams have serious interest in Nylander. Maybe that changes in the coming weeks if Nylander remains unsigned a month from now.
HOW WILL THE PENGUINS REPLACE SCHULTZ?
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey recently reported Penguins GM Jim Rutherford doesn’t intend to scour the trade market for a replacement for sidelined defenseman Justin Schultz ( fractured lower left leg). Rutherford said he intends to address the issue from within but acknowledged he might have to consider “other options” if the club doesn’t perform as well as hoped.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a recent appearance on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, Elliotte Friedman said he believes Schultz’s injury should help Olli Maatta get out of coach Mike Sullivan’s doghouse. “He was a scratch. They weren’t happy with him. I think you were getting close to a situation where maybe he was on the trade block, and obviously, that’s not going to happen right now – they’re going to need him.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As more than one observer noted, Rutherford isn’t afraid to get active in the trade market at pretty much anytime during a season. For the time being, he’ll be patient and see how his club reacts to Schultz’s absence. Maatta certainly isn’t going anywhere now.