NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2019
Updates on Sergei Bobrovsky, Brent Seabrook, Derick Brassard, Matt Duchene, Micheal Ferland, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
PANTHERS PURSUING BOBROVSKY?
THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cited a report by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks citing a source claiming the Florida Panthers are interested in acquiring Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in hopes of signing him to an eight-year contract extension. Derick Brassard, acquired by the Panthers in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, would likely be part of the package going to Columbus.
THE ATHLETIC:(subscription required) Aaron Portzline reports a source within the Blue Jackets organization said the Panthers are not engaged in talks with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and called the Brooks report “just speculation.” The Panthers are also said to have interest in Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming such a deal were possible, Bobrovsky must agree to waive his no-movement clause. The Jackets would also likely want more than just Brassard as part of the return.
With the Panthers already carrying two goalies in Roberto Luongo and James Reimer, my guess is Reimer would be included as Luongo isn’t going anywhere. If a deal isn’t possible before the Feb. 25 trade deadline, the Panthers could attempt to land Bobrovsky and/or Panarin this summers as free agents.
SEABROOK DENIES BEING ASKED TO WAIVE NMC
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Shannon Ryan reports Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook denied a recent report claiming he’d been approached by management about waiving his no-movement clause. “I haven’t been approached by anyone. I don’t know where the reports are coming from,” he said. Asked by reporters if he could ever see himself playing for another team, Seabrook claims he hasn’t thought about.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Seabrook was willing to waive his NMC, his age (33), declining performance, and contract ($6.875 million annually through 2023-24) makes him difficult to trade.
CONTRACT TALKS CONTINUE BETWEEN SENATORS, DUCHENE
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports contract discussions between Senators GM Pierre Dorion and Matt Duchene’s agent (Pat Brisson) recently intensified. Duchene is slated to become a UFA on July 1. During talks last month, the Senators were believed to have proposed an eight-year, $64-million contract.
Garrioch said Dorion is getting inquiries from other clubs about Duchene and fellow UFA forward Mark Stone but the club still hopes to re-sign them as well as winger Ryan Dzingel. Still, it’s believed Duchene and Stone have until next week to reach a decision. If they decide to test this summer’s free-agent market, the Senators will want sufficient time to gauge the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a growing belief among the punditry that whatever happens with Duchene and Stone will determine the moves by others clubs in the trade market. We should know by next week if one or both will be re-signed or traded.
UPDATES ON FERLAND, BOYLE, MARTINEZ, AND HOWARD
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports the trade market for Carolina Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland has slowed as teams await the fates of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Mark Stone. He still expects Ferland to be moved by deadline day.
Several teams have reached out to the New Jersey Devils regarding forward Brian Boyle, who has an eight-team no-trade list. LeBrun doesn’t rule out the possibility of the Devils moving Boyle before the deadline and bringing him back this summer via free agency.
With the Los Angeles Kings trading Jake Muzzin last week to Toronto, LeBrun feels they’ll likely hold onto defenseman Alec Martinez.
If the Blue Jackets trade Bobrovsky, LeBrun wonders if they might have interest in Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.
LATEST ON BURAKOVSKY
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Brian McNally reports Capitals GM Brian MacLellan still thinks highly of struggling winger Andre Burakovsky, who’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation this season. He noted the Capitals still hold Burakovsky’s rights for two more seasons and remains hopeful the winger will improve.
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Chris Kuc reports Burakovsky has heard the trade chatter but insists he wants to stay with the Capitals despite a recent reduction in his role and ice time. Kuc said teams have asked about the winger and MacLellan is listening. The Capitals GM also confirmed he’s active in trade talks but didn’t specifically say if Burakovsky is among the names been discussed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuc noted the Caps GM believes there are hockey trades to be made. If Burakovsky gets traded it probably won’t be for a draft pick or prospect. It’s thought MacLellan will want a player of comparable age (23) who can help the Capitals right away.
ISLANDERS COULD BE BUSY IN TRADE MARKET
NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis recently cited Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said GM Lou Lamoriello is as diligent as anyone monitoring the trade market to see what’s out there to potentially help his club. Cyrgalis doubts Lamoriello will shop forwards Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle to contenders as playoff rentals as that would gut the Isles’ chances of staging a little postseason run. Getting Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey back from injury will also bolster their depth.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Pierre LeBrun’s appearance yesterday on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 speculating the Islanders could add before the deadline, noting they’ve got plenty of salary-cap space to work with. He expects they’ll be aggressive before deadline day and during this summer’s free-agent market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz’s comments are about as close as we’re going to get in learning what the notoriously secretive Lamoriello has in store for his club leading up to the deadline. Given his previous history of trade-deadline moves, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he makes a move or two.