NHL Rumor Roundup – November 15, 2018
Are the Penguins done dealing? Could the Islanders trade Nick Leddy? Will the Oilers make a move soon? The latest in your NHL rumor mill.
PENGUINS NOT DONE DEALING?
SPORTSNET: In the wake of the Pittsburgh Penguins shipping Carl Hagelin yesterday to the Los Angeles Kings for Tanner Pearson, Elliotte Friedman suggests Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford might not be done making trades to improve his roster. “Do not discount the possibility of Rutherford and Anaheim’s Bob Murray trying a lateral “change-of-scenery” trade,” writes Friedman, adding both are looking to make changes. He also believes the list of players the Kings could be willing to trade is growing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Josh Yohe reports Rutherford said trade conversations were still ongoing following the Hagelin-for-Pearson swap. Neither Yohe or Friedman specified which Penguins players could become trade candidates but forwards Daniel Sprong and Bryan Rust were frequently mentioned prior to yesterday’s trade. The Ducks want to get younger and faster while the Penguins seek secondary scoring.
COULD LEDDY HIT THE TRADE BLOCK?
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz has high praise for defenseman Nick Leddy, citing his overall play despite the downturn in his offense. Staple notes Leddy has occasionally surfaced in trade rumors, “though it’s hard to believe that Trotz would work so hard on remaking Leddy’s game at the cost of his point totals and then ship out one of his top two defensemen without much of a replacement waiting around.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leddy’s improved defensive game could be improving his trade value. Maybe the Isles might consider moving him for the right price later in the season if they fall out of playoff contention. Given their better-than-expected start to this season, I don’t believe Leddy’s going anywhere right now. They don’t need to make any significant changes at this time.
TIME FOR THE OILERS TO DEAL?
THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis recently suggested it’s time for the Edmonton Oilers to explore the trade market to address their depth on the wings. He thinks the Los Angeles Kings as a possible trade partner, though the player he felt they should target (Tanner Pearson) was subsequently traded to Pittsburgh.
He also believes they should look at rebuilding clubs such as the Detroit Red Wings (Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Vanek) or New York Rangers, whose possible trade candidates could include Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider or Vladislav Namestnikov. Other and perhaps less likely options include New Jersey, Ottawa, Chicago, and Vegas.
Potential Oilers trade candidates range “from Drake Caggiula (speed) to Matt Benning (right-shot defender) to Zack Kassian (pugnacity).” Willis also notes the Oilers have “a fairly rich collection of prospects, especially on the left side of the blueline, and all of their important draft picks for the next few years.”
Willis feels the Oilers would have enough ammunition, including salary-cap space, to swing a significant move at the trade deadline. It’s less certain, however, if they have enough to do it right now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caggiula, Benning or Kassian on their own probably aren’t enough to land the type of top-six winger the Oilers need. I can see one of them being bundled with a quality prospect or decent draft pick.
Finding help right now, however, won’t be easy. Other than the Kings, most of the clubs Willis cited probably aren’t in the market to shake things up at this time. The Anaheim Ducks could be looking to make changes but they’re focused on speed and youth.
KEEP AN EYE ON ZADOROV
Friedman also noted the recent decline in the ice time of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov. He said he hasn’t heard the 24-year-old’s name come up in trade rumors but suggests it’s worth keeping an eye on his status.