NHL Rumor Mill – January 8, 2019

by | Dec 29, 2018 | Rumors

Latest on the Sharks, Canadiens, Canucks and more in today’s updated NHL rumor mill. 


TSN: yesterday cited The Mercury News’ Paul Gackle speculating the San Jose Sharks could be forced to look for a rental goaltender. Starter Martin Jones (.897 save percentage) and backup Aaron Dell’s (.890) numbers aren’t that good this season. One option Gackle suggests is swapping Dell for an experienced netminder. Possible targets could include Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, Philadelphia’s Brian Elliott or Michal Neuvirth, New Jersey’s Keith Kinkaid, or Carolina’s Petr Mrazek. 

Could the San Jose Sharks consider acquiring a veteran netminder such as Detroit’s Jimmy Howard? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All of those suggested trade options are slated to become unrestricted free agents. Howard is the best of the bunch but the rumored asking price is a first-round draft pick, which the Sharks no longer have for 2019 or 2020.

Elliott and Neuvirth are oft-injured and likely won’t be very enticing. Given the concerns over Cory Schneider’s health, the Devils could retain Kinkaid. The Hurricanes could be reluctant to part with Mrazek, who’s been a good backup for Curtis McElhinney.

Unless the market for goalies improves, the Sharks could be forced to stick with their current tandem for the remainder of the season.


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin doesn’t intend to give up assets for a short-term fix leading up to the trade deadline. “Again, if there’s a young player available and there’s assets that need to go [to acquire that player], I get it. But I don’t think I’ll be in the rental business,” said Bergevin. He also didn’t rule out moving out some veterans at the deadline for futures. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Canadiens jockeying for a wild-card berth, some followers feel Bergevin could become a buyer at the deadline. If he had the option of landing a quality player for, say, a third-round pick, I think he could consider it. He’s obviously not going to part with his promising prospects or a first- or second-rounder to do it.

The Canadiens need additional skilled blueline depth, but Bergevin’s unwillingness to part with significant assets could put him out of the market for someone such as the LA Kings’ Jake Muzzin.


VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports the Canucks must soon decide if they’re going to re-sign pending UFA defenseman Alex Edler or attempt to move him for “a considerable draft pick or prospect” at the trade deadline and try to bring him back this summer via free agency. Edler would have to agree to waive his no-trade clause. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much could also depend on how much the 32-year-old Edler would want to re-sign with the Canucks. He’s completing a six-year, $30-milion contract. If he wants a short-term deal for a little less than his current rate, the Canucks might keep him to provide experience and leadership for their rebuilding club. 

THE ATHLETIC:  Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin, Ottawa Senators forwards Matt Duchene and Mark Stone, and New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes are among Craig Custance’s list of 20 players who could be moved by the Feb. 25 trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier today, I posted a summary of Custance’s complete list, highlighting the key points he cited for each player and offering up my own brief summary of each. Unfortunately, some followers accused me of plagiarizing Custance or ripping off paid content and posting it for free. 

This was not my intention and I am sorry if this is how it came across. I’ve removed the post but I’ve left the link for those of you who might be interested in reading the full list.

In tracking media-generated NHL trade speculation, I always strive for accuracy. I name the source and provide a link to their work along with a brief overview of their main points followed by my own analysis. I’ve never attempted to pass off anyone else’s work as my own nor was I deliberately trying to circumvent The Athletic’s paywall to provide my readers with free access to their content.  

If I make a mistake, even inadvertent, I feel it’s best to own up to it and try to avoid repeating it in the future. My apologies to Custance, The Athletic, and their readers.