NHL Rumor Mill – February 21, 2019
Latest on the Senators, Wild, Bruins, Rangers, Blackhawks, Sharks, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SENATORS TRADE WATCH
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators are believed to have tabled five- and six-year offers to right wing Mark Stone with more money than was offered last summer on multi-year offers before the two sides agreed to a one-year, $7.35-million deal. If Stone hits the trade block, the Winnipeg Jets are considered the leading contender, while the resurgent St. Louis Blues could also get into the bidding.
The Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets are considered the front-runners for Matt Duchene, who isn’t expected to play tonight against New Jersey as the Senators attempt to trade him. The New York Islanders have also been linked to Duchene. As for Ryan Dzingel, sources say the Senators want to sign him for around $4 million annually but he’s apparently seeking a five-year deal worth $5-million annually.
Garrioch also reports former Senator Mike Hoffman is being mentioned in trade speculation. There’s talk the Florida Panthers could package him with another former Senator, center Derick Brassard.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on NBCSN on Wednesday, TSN insider Bob McKenzie believes the Jets and Boston Bruins could be in on Stone. The Bruins last night acquired center Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild. Regarding Duchene, McKenzie speculates he might be interested in joining the Predators on a longer term and suggested the Blue Jackets could also pursue the center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most general managers who are considered buyers are waiting to see what the Senators do with Duchene and Stone. There’s a lot of interest in both players and where they go will certainly have an effect upon the rest of the market. Maybe the Blues are kicking tires on Stone but I suspect St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong may be leery about tinkering too much with his club’s recent successful chemistry. The Jets’ 7-1 humiliation last night at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche could push them even closer toward Stone or Duchene.
As for Hoffman, there’s been some talk he could be bundled by the Panthers in a big package offer to the Blue Jackets for Panarin. Perhaps that could be tied to the Jackets’ rumored interest in Duchene. I’m not saying they’ll flip Hoffman to the Senators but perhaps if they can land the Panthers’ first-round pick in this year’s draft perhaps they’ll package that with a young player and a prospect for Duchene.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE WILD AND BRUINS?
STARTRIBUNE.COM/TWINCITIES.COM: In the wake of the Minnesota Wild last night shipping center Charlie Coyle to the Boston Bruins, Sarah McLellan and John Shipley speculate the Wild aren’t done dealing before Monday’s trade deadline.
McLellan suggests pending free-agent forwards Eric Staal and Eric Fehr are possibilities, though Staal has expressed his wish to remain in Minnesota even though he and his agent haven’t had contract talks yet with management.
Shipley wonders if core players such as Jason Zucker, Mikael Granlund or Devan Dubnyk might be next, though he feels some of them will have to stay if the Wild hope for a quick turnaround. He doubts veterans Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who still have six-years on their expensive contracts with full no-movement clauses, are going anywhere.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty expects the Bruins to employ Coyle as their third-line center. He feels they’re still in need of a second-line winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t surprise me if more moves are coming for both clubs. There’s talk the Sharks could be looking at bringing back Fehr. As we’ve seen, speculation suggests the Bruins could be in on Ottawa’s Mark Stone.
UPDATE ON THE RANGERS’ TRADE CANDIDATES
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports contract length and not money is why the Rangers are expected to move pending free-agent forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello. Hayes is believed seeking six- or seven-years while Zuccarello apparently wants five years. The Bruins and Jets have been linked to Hayes and Zuccarello while the Blue Jackets are tied to Hayes and the Predators to Zuccarello.
The Bruins, Predators, and Toronto Maple Leafs are said to be interested in Chris Kreider but it’ll take an offer too good to refuse to pry him away from the Rangers. So far, they haven’t received one. Defenseman Adam McQuaid and center Vladislav Namestnikov have drawn interest and Brooks thinks either guy would be a good fit with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on NBCSN: TSN’s Bob McKenzie speculates Hayes could fetch the Rangers a first-round pick and a prospect, Zuccarello a second-round pick and McQuaid, potentially, a third-rounder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Brooks points out, the fates of Hayes and Zuccarello are tied to whatever happens to Senators forwards Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. The clubs that lose out on the bidding for those two will come calling on Hayes and Zuccarello. I don’t expect Kreider to be going anywhere at the deadline.
WILL THE BLACKHAWKS BECOME BUYERS?
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus speculated over what the resurgent Chicago Blackhawks will do at the trade deadline. They’re reportedly shopping John Hayden and Gustav Forsling and they suggest they could consider moving defenseman Erik Gustafsson for the right price. Powers cites a source claiming Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marcus Kruger, Artem Anisimov, and Chris Kunitz aren’t interested in waiving their no-trade clauses.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on NBCSN, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the word out of Chicago is the Blackhawks have no desire to part with futures for rental players. It’s either a hockey trade or bust for them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they want a player-for-player swap, with the return being someone whose rights the Blackhawks will own beyond this season.
SHARKS INTERESTED IN RYAN MILLER?
NBC SPORTS: cites a report by Kings blogger and insider John Hoven indicating the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks are involved in trade discussions regarding Ducks backup goaltender Ryan Miller. Hoven indicates the return would be a third-round pick. Miller has a limited no-trade clause but would apparently okay a trade to San Jose. There’s also a chance Miller could return to the Ducks this summer as a free agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks and Sharks are reportedly denying this but, as NHL Network’s Jonathan Davis points out, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Davis suggests there could be some last-minute details to iron out. The Sharks’ goaltending tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell has been shaky of late. Miller could be a good backup stopgap who could push Jones to elevate his game.
UPDATES ON THE FLAMES, KINGS, AND PENGUINS
CALGARY SUN: Daniel Austin reports the Flames have been linked to Ottawa Senators’ Mark Stone and the New York Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello. He believes GM Brad Treliving will make a move by the deadline if there’s someone available who can improve their chances for a Stanley Cup run.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Curtis Zupke reports Los Angeles Kings forward Carl Hagelin, Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford are being mentioned in recent trade speculation.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford doesn’t want to trade his first-round pick and doesn’t have much salary-cap space to worth with. Under the right conditions, however, he might get into the bidding for one of the appealing names in the trade market.