NHL Rumor Mill – February 15, 2019
Oilers and Flyers discussing a Cam Talbot trade, plus the latest on the Senators, Jets, Flames, and Wild in today’s NHL rumor mill.
FLYERS, OILERS DISCUSSING POSSIBLE TALBOT TRADE
TSN: Darren Dreger reports Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers have engaged in preliminary trade discussions regarding Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. He pointed out Talbot has a modified no-trade clause but it’s believed he gave the Oilers permission to talk to the Flyers. It’s expected the Oilers would have to take back a goalie such as Anthony Stolarz or Mike McKenna. The Oilers would be making this move to free up salary-cap room for returning defenseman Andrej Sekera.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: John Boruk also reports the Oilers and Flyers are discussing a possible Talbot trade. He cites a source saying the Flyers want the Oilers to take back pending UFA goalie Brian Elliott. Adding Talbot would provide rookie netminder Carter Hart with an experienced backup and mentor. Boruk also noted Hart and Talbot have been friends for years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot is a UFA this summer and no longer fits into the Oilers’ plans. They desperately want to get Sekera back into the lineup in hopes he’ll keep their flagging playoff hopes alive. The Oilers would probably prefer taking back a more affordable netminder like Stolarz ($761K) or McKenna ($700K) than Elliott and his $2.75 million salary-cap hit. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out.
SENATORS SCOUTING JETS
TSN: Bob McKenzie believes the Ottawa Senators continue their push this week to re-sign pending unrestricted free agents Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. He expects it could take another day or three for the Sens to determine where they are. He also believes management is also exploring their trade options out of necessity. He reports general manager Pierre Dorion and his assistants are in Winnipeg to scout the Jets and their AHL affiliate.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jason Bell also reported on the presence of Dorion and his assistants in Winnipeg. He notes there’s plenty of speculation links Stone and/or Duchene with the Jets. Bell speculates “Jets forward Jack Roslovic, slick-skating Moose blue-liner Sami Niku and top goaltending prospect Eric Comrie” could be among the players they’re scouting. He also noted the Jets had scouts following last night’s Senators-Red Wings game in Detroit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the trade deadline drawing nearer, it’s widely assumed the Senators could reach a decision on the status of Duchene and Stone by the end of this week. If they cannot re-sign the duo it’s expected they’ll be shopped to the highest bidders before Feb. 25.
The Jets are reportedly seeking a top-six forward and their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft is said to be in play. The Sens will certainly want a first-rounder to replace the one they dealt away to the Colorado Avalanche last season. It’s said they’ll also want a top prospect and a good young player for Duchene or Stone.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff apparently doesn’t want to mortgage his club’s future for a quick fix and is said to be reluctant to part with Roslovic. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll reconsider to land Duchene or Stone or look elsewhere for more affordable help.
FLAMES IN THE MARKET FOR A GOALIE?
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the recent struggles of goaltender David Rittich has sparked speculation over whether they’ll pursue another netminder before the trade deadline. He wondered if they’ll pursue a rental such as Detroit’s Jimmy Howard or a possible long-term solution such as Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick. While management still has faith in their goalie duo of Rittich and Mike Smith, McKenzie said all options remain on the table and this situation could bear monitoring leading up to the deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Howard is the best of the possible rentals but the Wings’ asking price is said to be a first-round draft pick. Having traded away their second-round pick in this year’s draft. Flames GM Brad Treliving could be leery about parting with his first-rounder. Going after Quick would be a significant and expensive move that would also probably cost the Flames their first-round pick as part of a package to Los Angeles.
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has also featured prominently in this year’s rumor mill but Calgary might not be on his list of preferred destinations. Most of the speculation has tied him to the Florida Panthers.
If the Oilers talks with the Flyers regarding Talbot fall through, one has to wonder if the Flames might look into his availability. Depends, of course, on their willingness to help their hated rival and Talbot’s willingness to waive his no-trade to go to Calgary.
WILD TO BECOME SELLERS?
TSN: Pierre LeBrun cites Mike Russo of The Athletic reporting Minnesota Wild GM Paul Fenton received permission from team owner Craig Leipold to do whatever is necessary to retool the roster, despite the fact they’re currently jockeying for a playoff berth in the Western Conference. While core players such as Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, and Jonas Brodin could all potentially be in play, LeBrun believed pending UFA center Eric Staal could be worth watching. Staal wants to stay with the Wild and has a 10-team no-trade clause. ” It’s a 10-team list that we’re told is vastly populated with all the obvious contenders and I’m not convinced that he’d want to waive, we’ll see,” said LeBrun.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: What’s notable about this story is it came out around the same time Wild coach Bruce Boudreau was guaranteeing his club would clinch a playoff berth. Just because Fenton has permission to shake things up, even at the risk of jeopardizing his club’s playoff hopes this season, doesn’t mean he’s going to do it. I expect he’ll monitor his club’s performance over the next week to determine if they need to sell while monitoring trade offers from rival clubs.
Coyle and Brodin have frequently surfaced in the rumor mill over the last couple of years but Granlund and Zucker could fetch better returns. All four are also under contract beyond this season, which could make them more palatable to clubs seeking long-term depth.