NHL Rumor Mill – February 27, 2019
The fallout from the trade deadline is still being felt. Check out the latest on the Flyers, Flames, Wild, Canucks, and Hurricanes in today’s NHL rumor mill.
FLAMES PURSUED STONE, NEARLY LANDED ZUCKER
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the Flames were linked to right-wing Mark Stone prior to the Ottawa Senators shipping him to the Vegas Golden Knights. However, they were unwilling to part with one of their blue-chip defensemen or their first-round pick for a playoff-rental player.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Flames were close to a deal to acquire Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker. He speculates the reason why it didn’t go through may have been because it was in the queue too long at the league’s Central Registry, adding he’s heard Flames GM Brad Treliving was “white hot” over the deal falling through at the last minute.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t blame the Flames for refusing to give up too much to land a rental player. Zucker, however, may have been another matter. He’s under contract through 2022-23 with a reasonable $5.5 million annual cap hit and would’ve addressed the Flames’ need for more scoring depth at right wing. His limited no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list) goes into effect on July 1 and I wonder if the Flames and Wild revisit this deal around the NHL draft in late-June.
SIMMONDS AND EDLER
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman thinks the Winnipeg Jets thought they had Wayne Simmonds. “They were preparing it and Wayne Simmonds had to waive his no-trade to go to Winnipeg, and it never happened. And instead he ended up in Nashville, and he didn’t have to waive his no-trade to go there.” Friedman stresses he’s not saying Simmonds refused to waive his clause to go to Winnipeg, but rather the Philadelphia Flyers chose instead to send him to Nashville.
Friedman also believes the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins contacted the Vancouver Canucks to ask about defenseman Alex Edler earlier this season. Edler is slated to become a UFA in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks GM Jim Benning said he received inquiries about Edler leading up to the deadline but the blueliner refused to waive his no-trade clause. Benning said contract discussions with the Edler camp continue.
HURRICANES MAKE FERLAND “OWN RENTAL”
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports the Carolina Hurricanes waited until the final minutes leading up to Monday’s NHL trade deadline before deciding not to move right wing Micheal Ferland. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and several clubs were interested in the power forward.
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports it’s believed the Nashville Predators would’ve sent Ryan Hartman to the Hurricanes for Ferland, but that move didn’t make sense for the Canes, who wanted a top-six forward in return. The Predators instead sent Hartman to the Philadelphia Flyers for Wayne Simmonds. LeBrun adds he believes the Toronto Maple Leafs inquired on deadline day but he isn’t sure if there was a formal offer made. The Hurricanes also looked into Ryan Dzingel and Jason Zucker.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems like Ferland will be testing the free-agent market if the Hurricanes were looking at guys like Dzingel or Zucker. Maybe Ferland or the Canes revisit contract talks once the season is over.
FLYERS WILL BE BUYERS THIS SUMMER
NBC SPORTS: John Boruk reports Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher intends to use the money and resources he would’ve spent on now-departed winger Wayne Simmonds toward strengthening the team this summer. He intends to be active in the free-agent market.
COURIER-POST ONLINE: Dave Isaac reports Fletcher also intends to target clubs looking to shed salary this summer. “I think this summer we’ll have a good opportunity when there will be some teams with cap issues, teams that want to add in free agency and are willing to move a player,” Fletcher said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $46 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20, with youngsters Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, and Travis Sanheim all coming off entry-level contracts and lacking arbitration rights. Fletcher will have plenty of cap space to make a big splash this summer via trades or free agency. If he goes the trade route, he could target the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs or Winnipeg Jets. All face salary-cap crunches this summer.