Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 27, 2019
Latest on Matt Duchene and Derick Brassard, as well as some possible buyers at the deadline and more in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
COULD DUCHENE SEE A “SIGN-AND-TRADE” SCENARIO?
TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Ottawa Senators could reach a “fish or cut bait” time of around Feb. 10 regarding contract negotiations with center Matt Duchene. Those talks are expected to pick up again soon. If Duchene doesn’t re-sign, LeBrun wonders if he’d be willing to sign a contract extension with a team that trades for him. Under that scenario, the Senators could get a better return than if they moved him as a rental player. Duchene is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Dave Poulin, however, is skeptical about a “sign-and-trade” option. He points out teams are shying away from long-term deals, noting there was only one seven-year UFA signing last summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “sign-and-trade” is a rare occurrence so I share Poulin’s skepticism. Perhaps a team acquiring Duchene will attempt to re-sign him afterward. LeBrun noted the Sens could seek a conditional pick as part of the return in case he gets re-upped by his new club.
ARE THE JETS INTERESTED IN BRASSARD?
TSN: LeBrun reports the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets could get into an “arms race” to trade a prime asset for a quality rental player. he believes both teams will add and could target similar players.
LeBrun thinks the Jets kicked the tires on Pittsburgh Penguins center Derick Brassard but they might not have liked what they heard at this point. Frank Seravalli noted the Jets tried to acquire Brassard before the deadline last season and he wondered if they might circle back on the center this year.
Dave Poulin also noted Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds and New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes were linked to the Jets. He also noted Detroit Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist and New Jersey Devils winger Marcus Johansson are two other forwards who could be moved.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports I’ve read and heard out of Winnipeg indicate the Jets’ biggest needs are a second-line center and perhaps a left-side defenseman. Simmonds and Nyquist wouldn’t address either of those needs. As for Brassard, perhaps the Jets consider it if they can’t land a better center. Johansson is a winger who has played center before but he also has a long injury history.
SOME TRADE STORYLINES WORTH FOLLOWING
NHL.COM: In a recent column on storylines to watch over the remainder of the regular season, Dan Rosen wondered if the Columbus Blue Jackets will retain or trade goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and winger Artemi Panarin. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents in July. The Blue Jackets are currently a playoff contender but they could get some good future assets for those two if they intend to test the market in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Blue Jackets were out of postseason contention they would probably trade one or both before the deadline. I think they’ll retain both as “own rentals” for the playoffs.
Rosen speculates the New York Rangers could continue rebuilding their roster. Pending UFAs such as Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, and Adam McQuaid could be moved before the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zuccarello and McQuaid are likely goners. The Rangers might prefer re-signing Hayes but only if his asking price is reasonable. It’s assumed anything over $6 million annually on a long-term deal becomes his ticket out of New York.
With the Edmonton Oilers having fired general manager Peter Chiarelli and sitting three points out of a playoff berth, Rosen wonders if they’ll be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: CEO Bob Nicholson said they won’t move their future assets for a quick fix. Combine that with their limited salary-cap space and it’s difficult for them to become buyers.
If they’re sellers they could try moving out high-salaried veterans such as Milan Lucic ($6 million annual average value), Adam Larsson ($4.16 million) or Kris Russell ($4 million). However, they won’t find many takers without agreeing to either absorb part of those salaries, take back another toxic contract, or include a sweetener in the deal like a first-round pick or top prospect.
Rosen also listed Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds, Dallas’ Jason Spezza, St. Louis’ Jay Bouwmeester, Pittsburgh’s Derick Brassard, LA’s Carl Hagelin, Minnesota’s Eric Staal, Washington’s Andre Burakovsky, Carolina’s Michael Ferland, and New Jersey forwards Marcus Johansson and Brian Boyle as possible trade candidates. All are slated to become UFAs except Burakovsky, who’ll be a restricted free agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds, Staal, Ferland, Boyle, and Burakovsky could attract the most interest if they hit the trade block in the coming weeks.
Teams that could be potential buyers include the Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, and Colorado Avalanche.