Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 13, 2019
Updates on Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin, Micheal Ferland, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Dzingel and more in today’s NHL rumor roundup.
BOBROVSKY DRAMA NOT OVER?
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes we haven’t heard the last of the drama between the Columbus Blue Jackets and unhappy goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was recently disciplined by the club for an undisclosed incident following Tuesday’s loss to Tampa Bay. He wonders if the pending unrestricted free agent will finish the season in Columbus or be moved before the Feb. 25 trade deadline but suggests the market could be limited “unless Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher wants to do a sign-and-trade before the deadline.”
Garrioch also noted the Jackets still have to decide what they’ll do with pending UFA winger Artemi Panarin, who also seems reluctant to re-sign. “You have to wonder if they’re a package deal if Panarin and Bobrovksy may end up in Florida. That rumour is out there.”
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s a prevailing opinion suggesting the New York Islanders could pursue Bobrovsky via free agency in July. However, he points out Robin Lehner’s “outstanding work” this season as the Isles starter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Bobrovsky’s struggles this season, he is the only active multiple Vezina Trophy winner. There could be general managers in dire need of an upgrade between the pipes, such as Fletcher in Philadelphia, who could be willing to bet that changing teams could improve his play. Bobrovsky’s inconsistency will hurt his trade value unless he turns things around leading up to the deadline. Significant improvement on his part, however, could also convince the Jackets to hang onto him for the remainder of the season.
As for the Islanders, if Lehner remains healthy and maintains his current level of play (.926 save percentage, 2.21 goals-against average, 12 wins, and two shutouts) over the remainder of this season, they’ll have no need to pursue an expensive starter this summer. Re-signing Lehner, who’s on a one-year, $1.5-million contract, to a longer-term deal with a healthy raise would still be more affordable than chasing Bobrovsky.
Bobrovsky and Panarin to the Panthers? Garrioch didn’t specify if he meant via trade or free agency. Either way, it’ll be costly for the Panthers. If it’s a trade, the Jackets will want a significant return involving at least two good young roster players. That type of blockbuster rarely happens anymore. If it’s via free agency, the Panthers will have to shed considerable cap space to make room for what could be their combined $20 million annual average value.
LATEST ON THE HURRICANES
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock recently reported the Carolina Hurricanes are in a tough spot with winger Micheal Ferland. Acquired last summer in a trade with Calgary, he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
The Hurricanes want to re-sign Ferland and he enjoys playing there, but the cost of re-signing Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen and landing a new starting goalie this summer could make Ferland too expensive to retain. That’s generating speculation he could be moved before next month’s trade deadline. DeCock feels it’s imperative for the Hurricanes to move either Justin Faulk or Dougie Hamilton before the deadline for a scoring winger.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports Ferland could be seeking a deal comparable to the six-year, $31-million contract of Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson. Though he lacks Wilson’s pedigree, Ferland’s physical style could make him an attractive target. Kypreos also said Dougie Hamilton seems the most likely to go if the Hurricanes shop a defenseman.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s talk the Hurricanes have received “plenty of interest” in Ferland, as well as defensemen Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk, and Brett Pesce.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Hurricanes are moving Ferland and Hamilton, who were acquired from Calgary in exchange for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin, they must get a solid return for both that can help now and over the long term. Hamilton, who’s under contract beyond this season, should fetch a scoring forward. Ferland might land them a promising youngster or maybe a first-round pick if they can find a contender keen on going for the Cup this season.
SENATORS WILLING TO MOVE DZINGEL?
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch speculates the Senators will try to re-sign pending UFA forwards Mark Stone and Matt Duchene while listening to offers for Ryan Dzingel. He claims there’s plenty of interest in Dzingel because of his speed and offense (17 goals entering last night’s games against San Jose), though the 26-year-old can be a streaky producer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Stone and Duchene and moving Dzingel appears the best case scenario for the Senators. However, if they can’t re-sign Stone and/or Duchene, they’ll probably do what they can to keep Dzingel in the fold.
UPDATES ON THE KINGS AND JETS
Garrioch reports there’s word Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake is “listening on forwards Ilya Kovalchuk, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Carl Hagelin, Nate Thompson, and Kyle Clifford”, as well as defensemen Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez. Most of them won’t be moved, as some of the forwards have expensive contracts.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe noted a recent report by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting the Jets could be a destination for Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline. Wiebe, however, believes the Jets focus will be on acquiring a left-handed defenseman or a second-line center.