NHL Rumor Mill – February 19, 2019
The latest on Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel, plus updates on the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
PANARIN AND BOBROVSKY
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Aaron Portzline believes Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin is better than 50-50 to be moved by next Monday’s NHL trade deadline while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is less than 50-50. He believes there are too many hurdles to clear in order to move Bobrovsky, including a soft goalie market and getting him to waive his no-movement clause.
If they trade Panarin, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen would have to make a subsequent trade for a return that keeps his club in the playoff race. Portzline believes it’ll take “some staggering offers” to pry Panarin away. He notes the Jackets have reportedly contacted the Ottawa Senators regarding center Matt Duchene. The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets are said to be interested in Panarin and Portzline thinks the New York Islanders could also kick the tires.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Montreal’s TSN 690, Bob McKenzie talked about the rumors linking Panarin and Bobrovsky to the Florida Panthers. While he doesn’t know if the Panthers can get them via trade or free agency, he notes there’s certainly a desire on their part to do so. It would involve clearing some salary-cap space as they’re a budget team and not a cap team, which explains the recent rumors involving Panthers forwards like Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s shaky performance this season also adversely affects his trade value. If the Jackets trade him away they’ll also have to find a suitable replacement to act as a backup for Joonas Korpisalo and that could prove difficult to do.
I don’t doubt there’s plenty of interest in Panarin and the asking price will be high. It could take time, however, for that to happen, potentially complicating Kekalainen’s efforts to swing a subsequent deal. Not saying he can’t pull it off but he could run out of time if he waits too long for a suitable offer for Panarin.
As for the Panthers, there are rumblings they contacted the Jackets about Bobrovsky and Panarin but the Jackets denied those rumors. If they hope to acquire Panarin via trade, someone like Huberdeau or Hoffman would have to be part of the return. Such a deal, however, could be too complicated to pull off before the trade deadline.
STONE, DUCHENE, AND DZINGEL
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators are hoping to learn within the next 48 hours if pending free agent winger Mark Stone will re-sign with them or if they’ll have to trade him. Fellow UFA Matt Duchene is expected to be moved before the deadline, possibly in a sign-and-trade scenario. Garrioch believes the asking price for either guy could be a first-round pick, a top prospect plus another piece.
The Senators have had talks with winger Ryan Dzingel’s agents but it’s unknown if he’s received an offer. Garrioch claims the asking price for Dzingel is a first-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick will be a crucial part of the return for any of those players. The Senators dealt away their pick in this year’s draft to the Colorado Avalanche in the trade that brought Duchene to Ottawa. As Garrioch reports, whatever happens with Stone will determine the Senators’ next moves.
LATEST ON THE BRUINS AND RED WINGS
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said he expects the Boston Bruins “are in it to win it” and expects they’ll make a significant move before the deadline. He notes they’ve got the assets in draft picks and promising young players to make it happen.
Dreger speculated the Bruins may have had their sights on Los Angeles Kings’ forward Tyler Toffoli at one point but no longer believes he’s their main target anymore. He also thinks they’ll have interest in Ottawa’s Ryan Dzingel if he hits the trade block.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how much the Bruins gave up last year to land Rick Nash, GM Don Sweeney might be reluctant to repeat that experience. While there’s lots of speculation suggesting the Bruins should be in on big names like Artemi Panarin or Mark Stone, Dreger’s comments suggest Sweeney could be looking at more affordable options.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland continues to weigh his options leading up to the trade deadline. Holland would like to re-sign goaltender Jimmy Howard, winger Gustav Nyquist, and defenseman Nick Jensen and all three wish to stay but a deal must be equitable for both sides. Holland could trade them and attempt to sign them this summer via free agency but there’s no guarantee they’ll return.
Khan considers Howard as almost certain to re-sign with the Wings, though the Calgary Flames are among the clubs rumored to be interested in him. Other possible trade chips include defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Luke Glendening.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the deadline passes with Howard, Nyquist, and Jensen still with the Wings. The asking price for each is said to be a first-round draft pick.
SHOULD THE SHARKS PURSUE A GOALIE?
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Kevin Kurz wonders if it’s time for the San Jose Sharks to address their sub-par goaltending, pointing out they have the worst even-strength save percentage (.896). Their 6-5 loss to Boston raises more questions over the tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell.
Kurz suggested perhaps they should consider giving Detroit’s Jimmy Howard or Philadelphia’s Brian Elliott a look. Ultimately, however, he expects they’ll stick with Jones over the remainder of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there were better options in the goalie market, perhaps Sharks GM Doug Wilson would consider it.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Bob McKenzie speculated the New York Rangers could move defenseman Adam McQuaid if they believe they can get a fourth- and a seventh-round pick or anything better than that. They gave up a fourth and a seventh, along with Steve Kampfer, to acquire McQuaid.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington believes there’s a good chance Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will be playing elsewhere by next Monday afternoon. Beaulieu has been a frequent healthy scratch and remains frustrated over his lack of playing time. Last month, his agent request a trade.