NHL Rumor Mill – November 19, 2018
Latest on the Flames, Penguins, and Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.
MORE POSSIBLE FLAMES GOALIE TARGETS
SPORTSNET: Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils, and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings top Rory Boylen’s list of possible trade targets if the Calgary Flames decide to go shopping for a goaltender. The others are Jaroslav Halak of the Boston Bruins, Charlie Lindgren of the Montreal Canadiens, Ryan Miller of the Anaheim Ducks, and Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators.
Several of these goalies (Bobrovsky, Schneider, Howard, and Lindgren) were discussed by Elliotte Friedman during a recent appearance on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960. Boylen noted Bobrovsky’s no-movement clause makes it unlikely he’ll come to Calgary. He also observed Schneider’s been struggling to regain his form following offseason hip surgery.
Friedman suggested Howard might be a better option, even though there are rumors that he’s looking at signing a short-term contract extension with the Red Wings. He doubts the Flames can pry Halak away from the Bruins and thinks Lindgren could be a more affordable acquisition than Howard.
Boylen wonders if Miller might be an option near the trade deadline if the Ducks are out of playoff contention by that point. Anderson expressed interest in a trade during the summer as he was growing weary of the drama surrounding the team. However, their surprising play this season and lack of a quality goalie in their system who can step into the starter’s job could make the Senators reluctant to move him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s not joining the Flames via trade. Even if he was willing to accept a move to Calgary, the Blue Jackets’ asking price and the high cost of re-signing him could hurt the Flames more than he could help. Schneider’s difficulties won’t make him an attractive option for the Flames, assuming he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause.
Howard’s played a crucial role in the Wings’ recent resurgence. He wants to stay in Detroit and the Wings appear keen to keep him. Unless things go off the rails in the coming weeks, I don’t think Howard’s available. Tuukka Rask’s inconsistency this season means the Bruins aren’t parting with Halak.
Anderson could become available if Senators owner Eugene Melnyk decides to blow things up but that’s unlikely to happen as long as the club continues to exceed expectations this season. As for Miller, his wife is actress Noureen DuWulf so I don’t think he’s keen to leave Anaheim even if the Ducks continue to struggle this season.
Of those on this list, Lindgren seems the most likely trade option but there’s no certainty the Canadiens will part with him. Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin could prefer keeping Lindgren as insurance in case Carey Price or Antti Niemi get hurt at some point in the season.
MORE PENGUINS SPECULATION
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t likely to stop at their recent addition of winger Tanner Pearson, especially when they’re sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and GM Jim Rutherford remaining keen to deal.
Johnston noted younger winger Daniel Sprong has surfaced in the trade-rumor mill and defenseman Olli Maatta’s name has popped up as well. “There have even been some renewed whispers about Phil Kessel’s availability — although the Penguins need more scoring behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, not less, and Kessel has an eye-popping 115 points to show for his last 100 games.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Kessel going anywhere. He’s their leading goal scorer (nine goals) and sits second in points (23) behind Evgeni Malkin. Sprong and Maatta are more likely trade candidates. Forwards Bryan Rust and Riley Sheahan could also be available.
I’m sure Oilers have sniffed around Nylander too but would take Larsson because Leafs need R shot D
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) November 18, 2018