NHL Rumor Mill – December 7, 2018
Latest on the Blues, Ducks, Hurricanes, and Flyers in your NHL rumor mill.
WILL THE BLUES MAKE A MOVE SOON?
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cited TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s Wednesday appearance on NBCSN discussing whether or not St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong might try to bolster his injury-ravaged roster via trades.
While Armstrong might want to make a move, McKenzie points out they’re missing several players (including Alex Pietrangelo, Alexander Steen, and Robby Fabbri) to injury. He also believes Armstrong prefers to give new coach Craig Berube more time with a healthier roster to get a better idea of his club’s needs. Some have pointed to the Blues’ goaltending but McKenzie noted Jake Allen has improved of late.
STLTODAY.COM: During his weekly chat with Blues fans, Jim Thomas was asked about recent rumors claiming the Blues were scouting Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard. He believes they only make that move if they’re close to the playoffs and that’s currently not the case. He also speculates Armstrong’s supposed interest in Howard may have been an exploratory thing.
Thomas was also asked it it was time to blow up the roster and if it made sense to move players such as Steen, David Perron, Colton Parayko, Patrick Maroon, and Jake Allen “for a quick rebuild”. He would keep Parayko, doubts Maroon would fetch much as a rental player, and thinks Perron’s contract is reasonable enough not to scare off other teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are a mess right now. While they have the talent on paper to be better than they are this season, they’ve struggled defensively and seem to have difficulty adjusting to the faster pace of the game this season.
If they don’t reverse their fortunes soon, Armstrong could become a seller by the trade deadline, provided he hasn’t lost his job by then. After all, he built this roster and bears responsibility for their poor performance dating back to last season.
I don’t think they’ve give up on Parayko. Yes, he’s struggled this season but could regain his form under a new head coach since Berube is only there on an interim basis. Steen has a full no-trade clause and could be unwilling to waive it. With a five-team no-trade list, Perron ($4 million annually through 2021-22) would be easier to move though some clubs might be leery of the length of his contract.
LATEST ON THE DUCKS AND HURRICANES
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Anaheim Ducks recently scouted the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes. He believes they’re looking for a third-pairing defenseman with a left-handed shot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recently demoted Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner might suit their needs, though the Habs would have to pick up a significant chunk of his $4.625-million annual cap hit. He also has a seven-team no-trade list but I daresay at this point he’s not fussy over where he could go.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, Pierre LeBrun reports they’re still in the market for a scoring forward and they have the blueline depth to draw upon as trade bait to address that need.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s well known the Hurricanes were closely watching William Nylander’s recent contract standoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hurricanes rearguards Brett Pesce and Justin Faulk are frequently mentioned as possible trade chips.
If the Ducks want one of those guys, however, they’ll have to part with a scoring forward, which could potentially weaken their own offensive depth. Still, if they feel they can’t reach an agreement with pending UFA Jakob Silfverberg, maybe the Ducks will try to use him to pry a d-man away from the Hurricanes? He’s a very streak scorer and might not be enticing to the Canes.
UPDATE ON THE FLYERS
COURIER-POST: Dave Isaac reports a dozen scouts took in the Philadelphia Flyers game last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Word on the street is “new general manager Chuck Fletcher has an itchy trigger finger,” though that’s not the impression Fletcher gave during his introductory press conference earlier this week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher may have let it be known that he’s open to trade proposals but I believe he’s going to take some time evaluating his new roster before deciding what moves he’ll make.