NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2018
Latest on Kevin Hayes, Alexander Edler, Alec Martinez and William Nylander in your NHL rumor mill.
RANGERS FACE TOUGH DECISION WITH HAYES
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the future of center Kevin Hayes could be the rebuilding New York Rangers’ biggest decision this season. Hayes, 26, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. While he’s young enough to remain part of their rebuild, Brooks feels they could part ways with Hayes if it takes longer than three seasons to return to playoff contender status.
If the Rangers want to keep Hayes, Brooks speculates it could also cost between $5.7 million to $6.2 million annually to re-sign him on a six-year contract. Given the Rangers depth at center, Brooks suggests Hayes could be dealt if the Rangers can get back a top-six winger or top-four defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Hayes has a 30-goal, 50-point season, I think he’ll be shopped at the trade deadline. He tallied over 40 points in three of his four NHL seasons entering 2018-19 but he’s not a $6-million per season center. The Rangers are rebuilding and want to get younger and faster. Hayes might fetch a return that helps them in that regard, though I don’t think he’ll bring them a roster-ready player.
EDLER ATTRACTING INTEREST?
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Elliotte Friedman’s Tuesday appearance on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 discussing the presence of 13 scouts at a recent Canucks game. While he chalked it up to a light schedule on Monday, he also suggested some of them may have been watching Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler, who’s slated to become a UFA next summer.
So far, there’s no indication the Canucks and Edler have discussed a contract extension. Friedman noted the Tampa Bay Lightning had interest in Edler last season and heard rumblings about the Pittsburgh Penguins, though he can’t confirm if they indeed have interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Edler has a full no-trade clause so he controls his fate this season. If he doesn’t want to move there’s nothing the Canucks can do about it if they want to shop him. However, we don’t even know if they want to trade him. The Canucks are so far exceeding expectations this season. If they remain in playoff contention when the calendar flips to 2019 they might prefer keeping him, even at the risk of losing him to free agency in July.
KINGS GM WON’T DISCUSS MARTINEZ RUMOR
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Curtis Zupke reports Kings GM Rob Blake declined to comment on TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reporting defenseman Alex Martinez could become a trade candidate. “I’m not going to go into specifics into any of the [phone] calls. Listen, when you start a season like this, you’re going to have a lot of different rumors. That’s all I can say,” said Blake. Martinez, meanwhile, is unconcerned. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not worth giving any thought because it’s not going to make things any better,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blake’s remarks seem like a “non-denial denial.” Martinez’s name surfaced early last season in the rumor mill but the speculation quickly died away as the Kings rolled to a 98-point season. If they quickly reverse their current fortunes the Martinez chatter will dissipate again. If not, expect to hear his name popping up on a regular basis.
AVALANCHE WON’T LAND NYLANDER
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers recently took note of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ contract impasse with restricted free agent winger William Nylander. While the Colorado Avalanche has the salary-cap space to acquire Nylander if the Leafs decide to move him, Chambers doesn’t see them landing him. “But unless Colorado considers trading 2017 No. 1 draft pick Cale Makar, the sophomore defenseman at the University of Massachusetts, Nylander won’t be that guy. The Avs aren’t likely to trade either of their top two young defensemen in Makar, 19, and second-year Sam Girard, 20.”