Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 4, 2018
A look at players who should or shouldn’t be traded now plus updates on the Bruins and Flames in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
WHICH NHL PLAYERS SHOULD BE TRADED NOW?
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen recently looked at several notable players in this season’s NHL rumor mill to determine which ones should be traded now. He believes Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, and New York Rangers forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello fall into that category.
Allen doubts the Leafs can get Nylander re-signed to an affordable bridge deal and notes they’ll reach a cap crunch next summer when they must re-sign Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. He suggests the Carolina Hurricanes, with their blueline depth, could be a good trade fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Carolina Hurricanes are “all in” on Nylander if the Leafs decide to trade him. They’ve been frequently linked to the Leafs forward in the rumor mill since the summer, with Justin Faulk or Brett Pesce cited as the defenseman heading to the Leafs if a deal goes down. For now, no word on any progress involving Nylander’s contract talks or of the Leafs getting any closer to trading him.
One rumor making the rounds on Twitter last night had Nylander going to the Los Angeles Kings in a multi-player deal that would bring suspended defenseman Slava Voynov to the Leafs. I’ll be very surprised if the Leafs trade a good young player like Nylander as part of a deal for a blueliner carrying heavy personal baggage who hasn’t even been reinstated yet by the NHL
If the Blue Jackets believe Joonas Korpisalo is ready to become a starting goalie, Allen feels they should trade Bobrovsky now. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agency and this could be his last season in Columbus. Hayes and Zuccarello are also slated for UFA status next summer and could have trade value for the rebuilding Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s recent struggles and apparent unhappiness are suggestions that he could be traded soon. Until Korpisalo proves himself as a capable replacement, Bobrovsky’s not going anywhere. If the Rangers can find decent returns for Hayes and Zuccarello they could move one or both soon. However, I expect they’ll wait until January when they could be of more value to playoff contenders.
Allen also notes Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers and Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene have surfaced in the rumor mill. However, he doesn’t believe those players should be traded at this time.
LATEST ON THE BRUINS
WEEI.COM: Matt Kalman reports Boston Bruins president Cam Neely still believes in his club’s younger players to pick up the club’s secondary scoring. “But we recognize we don’t want to sit around, wait too long, for something that may or may not happen,” he said. Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork are struggling to score and the Bruins last week demoted Ryan Donato to the minors.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked about the possibility of the Bruins trading goaltender Tuukka Rask, who’s being outplayed by backup Jaroslav Halak. He notes Rask has a modified no-trade clause, enjoys living and playing in Boston, and isn’t likely to waive it at the present time. The clause lists eight teams he could be traded to.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ lack of secondary scoring is catching the eye of pundits around the league, who’ve started speculating over the possibility of one of their promising young forwards being shopped for an established scorer. Given the Bruins high placement in the Eastern Conference standings, they’re not going to be rushed into anything. They’ll take their time and wait for either their youngsters to regain their scoring touch or for a good deal in the trade market.
As for Rask, he always seems to pop up whenever he’s going through a rough patch but he remains a Bruins. Given his annual cap hit ($7 million) through 2020-21, he’ll likely stay that way for a while.
UPDATE ON THE FLAMES
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports there are some ice time issues for Calgary Flames forwards Sam Bennett and Michael Frolik. In order to find more playing time for James Neal, Kypreos suggests they might have to trade someone like Frolik. Bennett hasn’t asked for a trade but his situation is intriguing as he’s seeking quality ice time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bennett has frequently surfaced in trade speculation since last season but the Flames are believed reluctant to move the young forward lest he blossoms with another club. Of the two, Frolik could be more difficult to move. Cap Friendly indicates he carries a $4.3-million salary-cap hit through 2019-20 and carries a 10-team no-trade list. He has seven goals in 14 games and is coming off an injury-shortened 25-point campaign.