NHL Rumor Mill – December 15, 2018
A review of TSN’s updated trade-bait board (which includes such notables as Colton Parayko, Jeff Carter, Kevin Hayes, and Jimmy Howard) in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Jake Muzzin, New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes, Carolina Hurricanes rearguard Brett Pesce, and Kings center Jeff Carter top Frank Seravalli’s updated trade-bait board.
While there’s a lot of attention lately on the futures of Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo, Seravalli claims there are teams willing to line up to land Parayko, who could fetch the Blues a significant return. He suggests the Edmonton Oilers consider pursuing the 25-year-old d-man.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s colleague Bob McKenzie made the observation that if Blues general manager Doug Armstrong could be listening to offers for “just about everybody” (including Tarasenko), it doesn’t mean he’s trading he’s trading everybody. Still, that hasn’t stopped the growing speculation over the futures of some of the Blues best players, including Pietrangelo.
Sportsnet’s Josh Beneteau listed the Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vegas Golden Knights as five clubs that could make a trade for Pietrangelo.
The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford, meanwhile, reports the Blues aren’t believed actively shopping anyone and echoes McKenzie’s opinion that just because they’re willing to consider a big move doesn’t mean they’re going to do it. While there’s a belief the Leafs and Blues had a casual chat about Pietrangelo, Rutherford cites another source saying that speculation probably generated from the Leafs need for a top defenseman and Pietrangelo would make a lot of sense if available.
What’s interesting is that Parayko hasn’t generated nearly as much chatter in the rumor mill as Pietrangelo and Tarasenko, even though he’d probably be the most likely of that trio to move if the Blues opt to swing a major deal. He’s a little younger (25) than the other two, lack no-trade protection and carries a reasonable annual average value ($5.5 million) through 2021-22.
Maybe Parayko’s struggles this season have dampened his trade value, or maybe it’s a case where a guy who doesn’t garner as much media attention ends up being the one who gets traded. If the Oilers take Seravalli’s advice, I expect the asking price could be Darnell Nurse or a package including winger Jesse Puljujarvi.
Turning to the Kings, Seravalli suggests Muzzin and perhaps currently sidelined defenseman Alec Martinez are prime candidates to become part of a shake-up trade. So could Carter, who lacks a no-trade clause but could use the threat of retirement as a means of picking his next destination. If he were to retire, the Kings would be hit with a salary-cap recapture penalty.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings need younger talent so I can certainly see any one of those three being shopped if the return includes a promising young NHL player. The Athletic’s Craig Custance also suggested Tyler Toffoli and Jonathan Quick as possible trade options if they were to follow the blueprint the Boston Bruins used in trading Milan Lucic, a move that allowed to Bruins to quickly restock with young talent.
As for Carter, Custance’s colleague Fluto Shinzawa suggested Carter could be a good short-term fit for the Bruins to bolster their depth at center. Young Bruins such as Ryan Donato and Anders Bjork could be part of the Kings’ asking price.
It seems to be only speculation at this point that Carter would use the retirement threat as a measure of no-trade protection. If he were to retire, Cap Friendly yesterday informed me that the Kings would get tagged with a $2.75- million cap hit per season for the remaining three seasons of his contract, with the Columbus Blue Jackets (Carter’s former team) getting tagged for over $180K over the same period.
The Philadelphia Flyers, the team that signed Carter to his current contract, traded him before the deal went into effect. I’m guessing that’s why they won’t also get hit with a cap recapture penalty.
Turning to Hayes, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Winnipeg Jets could target him as a depth option at center. He also thinks the Nashville Predators could pursue Hayes’ teammate Mats Zuccarello, who (like Hayes) is due to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Seravalli also feels Pesce or Justin Faulk could be peddled by the Hurricanes for a scoring forward, suggesting Leafs winger Kaspari Kapanen could be among their trade targets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs could be reluctant to move Kapanen, preferring to retain their embarrassment of riches up front for the remainder of this season.
Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle, Detroit Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist, Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland, Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, and Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene round out the top 10.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports claim Coyle could be available, linking him to the Bruins, Senators and Montreal Canadiens. Trade speculation over the futures of Nyquist and Howard has died down with the Wings staying in playoff contention, though they might pick up if they fall out of the postseason chase before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline.
Seravalli believes Ferland could be dealt because he’s on a pace this season that could put him in line for a Tom Wilson-type contract (six years, $31 million) and that’s rich for the Hurricanes. However, there’s no certainty he will remain on that pace. Let’s see how things shake out with him between now and the trade deadline.
As for Duchene, there’s been some optimistic talk of late suggesting he and the Senators could be working toward a contract extension. Those discussions are expected to resume in January.
Zuccarello, Blues forward Alex Steen, Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg, Faulk, Philadephia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, Martinez, Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, Wild winger Nino Niederreiter, Rangers forward Vladislav Namestnikov, and Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky fill positions 11 to 20 on Seravalli’s list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Steen has a full no-trade clause and could be unwilling to leave St. Louis. Silfverberg is due for UFA status in July but the Ducks could hang onto him if they remain in the playoff race. Simmonds is also a pending UFA and has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill. If the Flyers fail to gain ground in the standings, he could be a goner by the trade deadline.
I don’t see any market for the aging, banged-up Bouwmeester. Niederreiter, like Coyle, is thought to be someone Wild GM Paul Fenton might be willing to move but Fenton appears to be staying patient with both players.
Namestnikov surfaced earlier this season as a trade candidate but his improved play since then has largely quieted that talk. The 25-year-old is under contract through 2019-20 at $4 million annually. As long as the Blue Jackets remain in playoff contention, Bobrovsky’s not going anywhere this season.
Kapanen and fellow Leaf forward Andreas Johnsson, Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, Senators defenseman Cody Ceci, Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin, Vancouver Canucks blueliner Michael Del Zotto, Florida Panthers rearguard Alex Petrovic, Chicago Blackhawks defender Brandon Manning, Canucks center Sam Gagner, and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel fill positions 21-30.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs seek a top-pairing defenseman, Kapanen and Johnsson could be part of the asking price. The recent improvement of Talbot and the Oilers quieted any suggestions that he could become available. Ceci’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer, which likely explains his placement on his list. Like Bobrovsky, Panarin’s going nowhere this season as long as the Jackets are a playoff club.
The Athletic’s George Richards recently reported Petrovic felt like he’s been pushed aside in Florida. He could be on the move before the trade deadline. He’s a UFA at season’s end. Kessel’s name recently popped up in the rumor mill. Unless an interested club is willing to part with a hefty return, don’t expect to see him moving this season.